One of the biggest business books of the ‘90s was “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James Collins and Jerry Porras. Many biotech companies today don’t dare dream that big anymore, but some do. Some are even being rewarded for their long-term vision by investors.
What’s their secret?
Questions like that are on the minds of many executives today, and mine, too. So I’m psyched to announce that a couple true long-term company builders — Paul Hastings of Redwood City, CA-based OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and Adelene Perkins of Cambridge, MA-based Infinity Pharmaceuticals — have agreed to join the next big Xconomy biotech event in San Francisco. This conference, titled “Profiles in Perseverance: Building Biotechs to Last” is set for the afternoon of Dec. 9 at Genentech Hall, at the UCSF Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.
Hastings, the CEO of OncoMed (NASDAQ: OMED), will be able to talk about the experience of taking a serious antibody drug developer through the ringer known as the IPO road show. At the time of its IPO in July, OncoMed had raised more than $325 million from investors, partners, and grant agencies since its founding in 2004, burned through more than $157 million of cash, and pushed five product candidates into clinical trials. The company has no moneymaking drugs on the market, and it will take years to find out if it ever will. Yet investors were attracted to buy its shares, and support an enterprise that’s being built for the long haul.
Perkins, the CEO of Infinity (NASDAQ: INFI), has been a public company CEO for a few more years than Hastings and has the trademark battle scars to go with it. She’s seen a couple of Infinity’s promising high-science drug candidates go down in flames. But Infinity never bet the farm on just one drug, and because of its dealmaking skill and longstanding R&D investment, the company has been able to fall back on another promising drug candidate for blood cancers. Infinity still has a long way to go to realize its dream of becoming a fully integrated cancer drug developer, but it is still very much in the game.
These two are joining an already superb lineup of speakers for this event on Dec. 9. Here’s who you can expect to hear from:
—Jean-Jacques Bienaime, CEO of San Rafael, CA-based BioMarin Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BMRN)
—Kim Popovits, CEO of Redwood City, CA-based Genomic Health (NASDAQ: GHDX)
—Stanley Crooke, CEO of Carlsbad, CA-based Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ISIS)
—Chris Garabedian, CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Sarepta Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SRPT)
—Bryan Roberts, partner with Venrock Associates in Palo Alto, CA.
—Bob More, senior advisor for venture investing at the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
—David Shaywitz, director of strategic and commercial planning at South San Francisco-based Theravance (NASDAQ: THRX), and the co-author of a new book called Tech Tonics.
As always, we’ll leave plenty of time for people in the audience to ask questions during the program, and during networking breaks. Discounted “early bird” tickets are available until Oct. 29, so it’s a good idea to reserve your seats soon. See you in San Francisco Dec. 9.