Archimedes readies U.S. commercial ops for cancer pain

Yesterday's announcement that Archimedes Pharma had snared a $100 million bankroll from two big investors--Warburg Pincus and Novo A/S--leaves the company with a sizeable sum to roll out its new nasal spray product for breakthrough cancer pain. And newly-named CEO Jeffrey Buchalter tells FierceBiotech that a significant portion of that money will be used to set up the company's commercial operations in the U.S.

"The audience is very targeted," says Buchalter from his office in the UK. And presuming that the FDA issues an approval around its PDUFA date this summer, he adds, the company can proceed with plans to recruit anywhere from 50 to 100 people to sell the therapeutic.  

The arrival of Buchalter--the former CEO of Enzon--should also lay to rest any lingering questions about Warburg Pincus's plans for the company. Reuters had reported last May that the firm was shopping Archimedes, touting PecFent's $500 million in annual sales potential. "Warburg had looked at all its options," says the CEO, before it hammered out an agreement with Novo A/S to go ahead and build out commercial operations in Europe and then establish a U.S. commercial presence this year.

Most biotech companies with Archimedes' profile--with products on the market and a big earner expected soon--would have gone public by now. But Buchalter says that an IPO just isn't in the works right now. "It's a good problem to have," he says, referring to the company's existing sales revenue. "If it's appropriate to go public, it's an option for us."

- for more on the company's expansion plans, read this story from the Financial Times
- and here's more background from Dow Jones