We target healthcare companies with proven late stage products or technology in high growth markets, with leaders who have a proven track record of building.
AcelRx Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ACRX) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel drug-device combinations for the treatment of moderate-to-severe pain. We believe the company’s most clinically advanced product, ARX-01, has the potential to displace intravenous (IV) morphine as the standard of care for pain management in the post-operative setting, which is estimated to be a $1.5 billion market opportunity. Approximately 10 million U.S. surgeries per year incorporate the use of patient-controlled pain relief (PCA) following an invasive procedure. The current standard of care for post-operative recovery is intravenous (IV) PCA, which uses programmable devices that are designed to deliver pain relief on demand. Opioids – most often morphine and fentanyl – are the most potent pain relievers (analgesics) and play a major role in pain management via PCA. However, these opioids have unfavorable side-effects like sedation, nausea, vomiting, mental impairment and opioid-induced constipation (which is very serious, requires a costly increased length of hospital stay and is such a big issue that it has spawned major R&D efforts for new drugs to offset the effect).Back to Top
Type 2 diabetes is a major health issue, which affects 25 million people in the United States and more than 250 million people worldwide. There is a significant need for better patient treatment options.
GLP-1 therapy extends life for type II diabetics by lowering weight, hemoglobin A1c, and cardiovascular events. No other diabetic therapy can boast these benefits; however, the use of GLP-1 has been limited because its current formulations are either painful to inject, cause nausea or vomiting or both.
Intarcia has developed a 6 month/once a year implant the size of a match stick. This implant is given to diabetics through a quick stitch-less procedure in the doctor's office and delivers steady GLP-1, replacing the need for injections. We believe this will revolutionize and dramatically increase the number of people who use GLP-1 therapy, and greatly impact the lives of these patients.
Currently GLP-1 therapy is a multi-billion dollar market but is used by a small fraction of the diabetic population because of the formulation limitations. Each single percent share of the market is worth $500 million; making Intarcia one of the biggest drug opportunities over the next decade.
Kurt Graves, the Chairman of Intarcia, is regarded as one of the pharmaceutical industry's most successful commercial strategists. Kurt most recently served as executive vice president, head of corporate and strategic development and chief commercial officer at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. During his time at Vertex he lead growth that increased the company's market cap from $2 billion to nearly $8 billion.
Prior to joining Vertex, Mr. Graves held leadership positions at Novartis Pharmaceuticals including US general manager and head of Commercial Operations, global head of the General Medicines and chief marketing officer for the Pharmaceuticals Division. He oversaw a period of record growth and multiple blockbuster launches. Kurt has a track record of significant success, development and regulatory expertise, deep relationships with pharma, and extensive business development and M&A expertise.Back to Top
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: KERX) is focused on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of renal disease. Keryx is developing ZerenexTM (ferric citrate), an oral, ferric iron-based compound that has the capacity to bind to phosphate and form non-absorbable complexes. Keryx recently reported the late-stage trial of Zerenex met the main study goal of reducing phosphate levels in blood, compared with a placebo over a four-week period. Zerenex also met the two secondary goals of increasing the levels of two proteins in the blood and reducing the need for intravenous iron and erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA), an agent used to stimulate red blood cell production.Back to Top
Puma Biotechnology (NYSE: PBYI) is developing what we believe is the most powerful oral product for her-2 positive breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer. For many people her-2 positive breast cancer can continue to progress with current treatments which include injectable antibodies which target the her-2 receptor. New studies have demonstrated that attacking her-2 breast cancer with agents that work on different parts of the her-2 receptor, like Puma's oral agent, can help extend life in patients. We believe Puma has the world's most powerful oral her-2 agent and this agent will play a significant role in treating people with her-2 positive breast cancer over the next decade.
In addition, Puma's CEO Alan Auerbach has a proven track record of executing this strategy. He previously founded and was CEO of Cougar Biotechnology, a company that in-licensed and developed drugs for the treatment of cancer. Cougar was founded in 2003 and acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009 for $1 billion.Back to Top
Solta (Nasdaq: SLTM) is a leader in creating instruments and products to make people look better. Solta sells these instruments to dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons. We believe the most exciting and revolutionary of Solta's product lines is "Liposonix," an instrument that melts superficial fat. Liposonix is approved in the United States and will launch in Q1 2012. The device melts an inch of fat away in areas such as the stomach with an hour procedure that does not require surgery. We believe the category of "body sculpting" will become one of fastest growing sectors of consumer purchased care, rivaling products like Botox ($1.5 billion market). Solta also has a series of products in its core business that reduce wrinkles and are used in concert with or in place of Botox.Back to Top
Tarsa is close to filing for FDA approval of an oral formulation of calcitonin for the treatment and prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a significant market, affecting more than 10 million people; an additional 34 million have low bone mass, placing them at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. The world needs stronger, early bone density loss treatments other than vitamin D and Calcium, which are as safe and easy to take.
Calcitonin has been used as injection and intra-nasal for decades. Calcitonin promotes high quality bone growth and density changes and has an extraordinary safety record. 2.5 million women have discontinued bis-phosphonates over the last two years because it is now believed bis-phosphonates do not stimulate strong bone and in some people can cause bad fractures. Tarsa's OSTORA™ tablet will provide calcitonin's proven safety and efficacy with the major advantage of once-daily oral dosing. OSTORA™ is the only oral calcitonin in development and we believe is the best treatment on the horizon for early stage mild to moderate osteoporosis as well as replacement therapy for patients with mild to moderate osteoporosis who rotate off of bis-phosphonates. In addition, Tarsa has strong patents, which run through 2030. Tarsa's CEO David Brand has deep pharmaceutical industry experiences, having spent more than 30 years at GlaxoSmithKline, and a proven track record of success.Back to Top