Healthcare Industry News: Eisai
News Release - May 26, 2010
Tesaro, Inc. Secures $60 Million in Start-up FundingFormer MGI PHARMA Executives Found New Oncology-Focused Biopharma Company
Initial Financing Provided by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Management
BOSTON--(HSMN NewsFeed)--TESARO, Inc., an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has secured $60 million in start-up funding to acquire, develop and commercialize cancer therapeutics and supportive care products. Participants in a $20 million Series A financing included New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and TESARO management; additionally, NEA has reserved $40 million to support company growth. The company is co-founded by former executives of MGI PHARMA, an oncology and acute-care focused specialty biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by Eisai Co., Ltd. in 2008 for $3.9 billion. The TESARO leadership team includes Lonnie Moulder, Chief Executive Officer; Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer; and Rick Rodgers, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. TESARO is dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by acquiring, developing and commercializing safer and more effective therapeutics and supportive care agents.
“Cancer patients are in need of more effective and safer therapies, yet many promising drug candidates are currently under-resourced,” said Lonnie Moulder, Chief Executive Officer. “The TESARO team will apply its demonstrated competencies to identify, acquire, develop and commercialize those potential drug candidates that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of cancer patients.”
“Scientific advances are beginning to enable the simultaneous targeting of critical nodes in biochemical and metabolic pathways associated with cancer. In addition, co-development of drugs with correlative diagnostic tools will facilitate the targeting of the most appropriate patients,” said Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer. “TESARO will take advantage of this progress as we develop drug candidates within defined populations, thereby imparting the greatest benefit to patients.”
David M. Mott, General Partner at NEA, said, “Lonnie Moulder, Mary Lynne Hedley and Rick Rogers are the type of entrepreneurs NEA loves to back. This team has an exceptional track record for delivering value to all constituencies including patients, investors and employees, and importantly, they have previously worked together as a team. Oncology therapeutics is among the largest and fastest growing segments of the biopharmaceutical industry, yet cancer patients remain among the most underserved by today’s drugs. We believe there is a tremendous opportunity for the TESARO team to make a real difference for cancer patients while delivering value for their investors and employees.”
About TESARO, Inc.
Founded in 2010, TESARO is a privately held oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by developing and commercializing safer and more effective therapeutics. The company intends to leverage the experience and competencies of its management team to identify, acquire and develop promising drug candidates; and to commercialize meaningful products for the treatment and support of cancer patients.
Lonnie Moulder, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Abraxis Bioscience after having served in a senior management role at Eisai Corporation of North America following the sale of MGI PHARMA to Eisai in 2008. Mr. Moulder joined MGI in 1999 as Executive Vice President, became President and Chief Operating Officer in 2002, and then served as President and CEO from 2003 until the company’s acquisition in 2008. Prior to MGI, Mr. Moulder had 18 years of commercial and business development experience at both small and large companies, including Eligix, Inc., a venture-stage biomedical company, and Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi-Aventis) and its predecessor companies.
Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder, most recently served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Scientific Officer at Abraxis BioScience after having served in a senior management role at Eisai Corporation of North America following the sale of MGI PHARMA to Eisai in 2008. Dr. Hedley joined MGI PHARMA in 2004 and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to being a member of the MGI Executive Team, her responsibilities included overseeing all research and development activities and collaborations related to the company’s portfolio (Aloxi® (palonosetron HCl), Dacogen® (decitabine), LusedraTM (fospropofol disodium), amolimogene, and several earlier stage anticancer compounds). Previously Dr. Hedley was a founder and ultimately CEO of venture-backed oncology and anti-viral company Zycos, which was acquired by MGI in 2004.
Rick Rodgers, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and co-founder, most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Abraxis BioScience. Mr. Rodgers previously served at MGI as Senior Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer and a member of the company’s business development and strategy teams. He joined MGI in 2004 and has more than 15 years experience in senior financial roles in companies including MedSource Technologies and ADC Telecommunications. Mr. Rodgers became a Certified Public accountant in 1992.
During their tenure at MGI PHARMA the TESARO founders participated in leading significant company growth; market capitalization increased from under $200 million to an acquisition value of approximately $3.9 billion; annual revenue grew from under $50 million to over $400 million; and the number of employees expanded from approximately 75 to over 600.
The Board of Directors of TESARO consists of Lonnie Moulder, Chief Executive Officer; Mary Lynne Hedley, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer; David Mott, General Partner, NEA; and Paul Walker, Partner, NEA. TESARO is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.tesarobio.com.
About New Enterprise Associates
New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a leading venture capital and growth equity firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors and geographies. With approximately $11 billion in committed capital, NEA invests in information technology, healthcare and energy technology companies at all stages in a company’s lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. Since the firm’s founding in 1978, NEA’s experienced management team has invested in over 650 companies, of which more than 165 have gone public and more than 265 have been acquired. In the U.S., NEA has two offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and one in Menlo Park, California. In addition, New Enterprise Associates (India) Pvt. Ltd. has offices in Bangalore and Mumbai, India and New Enterprise Associates (Beijing), Ltd. has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, China. For additional information, visit www.nea.com.
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