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Ex-Merrimack, Seragon Execs’ New Startup Gets $60M, Buys Sanofi Drug

Xconomy Boston — 

Partner Therapeutics, a Boston startup launched last week by a pair of former Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Seragon Pharmaceuticals executives, has raised $60 million and acquired an immune system-boosting drug from Sanofi for an undisclosed sum.

Partner bought Sanofi’s (NYSE: SNY) sargramostim (Leukine), a drug used to help acute myeloid leukemia patients fight infections after undergoing bone marrow transplants. Partner aims to test the drug in different diseases, like melanoma and radiation poisoning.

Perceptive Advisors, Adams St. Partners, and MidCap Financial, meanwhile, led the $60 million Series A for Partner, which aims to buy up late-stage or marketed cancer drugs from others and develop them for different cancers or related afflictions.

Partner is led by CEO Robert Mulroy and chief medical officer Debasish Roychowdhury. Mulroy was the longtime CEO of Merrimack, which went public and won FDA approval of a pancreatic cancer drug, Onivyde, but later sold it off and restructured after the launch didn’t meet expectations. Mulroy resigned in October 2016 as part of a restructuring that saw Merrimack cut 22 percent of its workforce. Roychowdhury, meanwhile, is a former Sanofi oncology executive and most recently served as the CMO of breast cancer drugmaker Seragon, which Roche bought for $725 million up front in 2014.

Here’s more on Partner and its plans for sargramostim from the Boston Globe.