Novartis and Blackstone Form New Biopharma Company

| By | biopharma, Novartis
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Blackstone Life Sciences and Novartis announced the launch of Anthos Therapeutics Inc. (“Anthos”), a new biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing next generation targeted therapies for high-risk cardiovascular patients.

As part of this launch, Novartis has licensed to Anthos MAA868, an antibody directed at Factor XI and XIa, key components of the intrinsic coagulation pathway. A large unmet medical need exists for next-generation anti-thrombotic therapies in patients currently underserved by conventional anti-coagulant therapies. As a promising anti-thrombotic modulating genetically and pharmacologically validated components of the intrinsic pathway, MAA868 has the potential to prevent a variety of cardiovascular disorders with minimal or no bleeding risk within a new long-acting treatment paradigm, thus providing major advantages over the conventional standards of care.

Blackstone Life Sciences, a private investment platform with capabilities to invest across the lifecycle of companies and products across life sciences sectors, provided $250M for Anthos and will control the development of the products. Novartis will retain a minority equity interest in Anthos

Thrombotic disorders are estimated to account for one in four deaths and are the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Thrombotic disorders can affect arteries or veins, manifesting as ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, and many debilitating orphan diseases. Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia, is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke and systemic arterial thromboembolism.

The need for new medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases is clear, and this agreement is part of our strategy to work with innovators outside our walls to advance medicines that have the potential to have a positive impact for patients,” said Jay Bradner, MD, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. “Blackstone Life Sciences has the necessary experience and has assembled a first-class team at Anthos to drive the further development of MAA868.”

Blackstone Life Sciences is focused on bringing important medicines and healthcare technologies to market, often working in partnership with major biopharmaceutical companies to provide them with access capital, scientific expertise and hands-on operational leadership,” said Nick Galakatos, Ph.D., Head of Blackstone Life Sciences and Chairman of Anthos. “We are excited to collaborate with Novartis to create Anthos, with the goal of delivering important therapies for the high-risk cardiovascular patients who need them.”

Founding members of Anthos’ Board of Directors include Blackstone Managing Director Paris Panayiotopoulos, former CEO of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and Blackstone Principal Ari Brettman, MD. Jonathan Freeman, MBA, Ph.D., Blackstone Senior Advisor and Anthos co-founder, joins as Chief Business Officer.

Shaun Coughlin, MD, Ph.D., Novartis’ Global Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolism joins as an Observer to Anthos’ Board. Craig Basson, MD, Ph.D., Novartis’ Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolism Translational Medicine joins Anthos’ Scientific Advisory Board.

John Glasspool, a former leader of Novartis’ cardiovascular franchise with 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, will join Anthos as CEO. Mr. Glasspool served as Global Head of Novartis’ Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases franchise. He was previously Head of Corporate Strategy and a member of the Executive Team at Baxalta that led its acquisition by Shire.

I am excited to be leading Anthos upon its formation by Blackstone Life Sciences and Novartis. Anthos is well-positioned to leverage contributions from Blackstone and Novartis to deliver life-saving therapies to patients with cardiovascular disease. We are building a leading cardiovascular company, laser focused on genetically and pharmacologically validated targets.” said Mr. Glasspool.

Anthos Therapeutics will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.