Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FivePrime CEO Done After Two Years

FivePrime Therapeutics has a new CEO. As of Wednesday, August 17, the next-generation antibody company is listing its founder Lewis Williams, better known as Rusty, as chief executive. He replaces Julia Gregory, who was hired in 2009.

Through a company spokeswoman, Williams said Gregory resigned effective August 16. The company declined further comment.

The timing is somewhat of a surprise, as Gregory described the job as a "biotech CEO's dream" in an Xconomy interview a year ago. On her watch, the firm signed its largest deal to date, out-licensing its lead program, an FGF inhibitor that hadn't yet dosed in Phase II trials, to Human Genome Sciences in March 2011 for a $50 million upfront payment. FivePrime also signed discovery deals with Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline in 2008 and 2010, respectively. The Pfizer agreement recently ended without renewal.

Gregory moved to FivePrime from Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, where she ran finance and business development. Before Lexicon, she was an investment banker, a significant addition to a private biotech with a strong scientific bent. A renowned biotech veteran, Williams founded FivePrime in 2002 after leaving Chiron, where he was chief scientific officer and a board member. The firm attracted top venture backers in Versant Ventures and Kleiner, Perkins Caufield & Byers, with Brian Atwood of Versant and Brook Byers on the board. (Byers referred inquiries back to the company.) Privately held, FivePrime's most recent publicized round of venture capital came in 2005, when it raised a $45 million C round led by Domain Associates. With the round, Domain took a board seat but no longer has representation.

1 comment:

Kathy Garolsky said...

Hi there.Great article here.Informative and reliable..Thanks