It is being reported that Sir Christopher Evans, the entrepreneur behind some of Cambridge's most successful biotechs and the funder of many more, is to set up a multi-billion company that could transform the pharmaceutical industry by removing the financial burden of drug development.
According to the story which has appeared on the blog of Sky News' Mark Kleinman, NCPharma will have the specific purpose of taking drug targets through to a market-ready position before selling them back to the pharmaceutical companies the drugs were taken from.
The former Labour party donor, Sir Chris, will raise money from the Middle East having been introduced to key players there by friend and former UK prime minister, Tony Blair.
Apparently a team has already been assembled to head the company which intends to raise $750m at the outset, but several billion more later on. It is not known whether any investment has yet been made though Sir Chris is believed to be looking for more funders in the Far East and Wall Street.
The report does say that agreements in principle have been made to licence 32 drug candidates from Merck, Sharpe & Dohme and that discussions were underway with Johnson & Johnson and Wyeth.
The appeal of the model to big pharma is the removal of massive overheads associated with drug development and clinical trials, while NCPharma wouldn't be burdened by the distractions of everything pharma does outside of the drug development including the very early stage work and massive corporate structures.
Sir Chris has backed a number of Cambridge biotechs through his Merlin Bioscience funds including Lab21, Cyclacel, Ark Therapeutics and BioWisdom.
Mark Kleinman's blog can be found here.blog comments powered by Disqus