After overseeing the $2.5 billion acquisition of Ra Pharmaceuticals last year, Douglas Treco, Ph.D., will lead Alchemab Therapeutics in its quest to develop therapies for hard-to-treat diseases.
Treco is a well-connected executive with a history of raising biotechs up to be acquired by bigger pharmaceutical companies. Ra, a biotech company focused on the complement pathway, was picked up by UCB back in April 2020. Another brainchild of Treco’s, Transkaryotic Therapies, was bought by Shire (now part of Takeda) in 2005, overseeing the development of four therapies there: Dynepo, Replagal, Elaprase and Vpriv.
He is also chairman of Inozyme Pharma’s board of directors, a member of CRISPR Therapeutics’ board and provides scientific advice to venture capital firm Lightstone Ventures.
At his latest gig leading Alchemab, Treco will oversee a company trying to develop therapeutic options for hard-to-treat diseases, with an initial focus on neurodegenerative conditions and oncology. The biotech uses a bank of patient samples to identify novel drug targets by analyzing protective antibody responses in patients who are susceptible but resilient to certain diseases.
Lightstone Ventures was one of the investors in Alchemab’s April series A financing, which brought in $82 million. The lead investor was RA Capital, with DHVC and Data Collective VC Bio joining.
“Doug has a proven track record of building successful life science companies and we’re pleased to team up with him again,” said Andrew Levin, M.D., Ph.D., managing director at RA Capital.
Treco will take over from Alex Leech, who saw the company go from inception to the series A. Leech will go back to scouting companies as a venture partner at SV Health Investors.
Alchemab has collaborated with Illumina and was one of the first biotechs to join the Illumina Accelerator. AstraZeneca has also inked a deal with Alchemab to use the smaller company’s platform to develop new prostate cancer treatments.