Former Receptos executives launch Gossamer Bio with $100M war chest

San Diego startup Gossamer Bio says its lead candidate has the potential to be "a pipeline within a product."

Ex-Receptos CEO Faheem Hasnain has been lying low since selling the company to Celgene for $7.2 billion in 2015, but now he is back at the helm of a new biotech.

Along with Receptos’ former chief medical officer Sheila Gujrathi, M.D., Hasnain has launched San Diego-based Gossamer Bio with $100 million in financing from a seed round of capital provided by Omega Funds and a series A round co-led by Omega and ARCH Venture Partners.

Details of the new venture are sketchy, to say the least. A single-page website says merely that Gossamer is focusing on “novel and differentiated therapeutic products” and its press release talks about “a phase 2b/3 oral, once daily therapy targeting specific patients across different indications with the potential for a pipeline within a product,” as well as “other clinical and preclinical stage assets in multiple disease areas.”

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Since selling to Celgene, Hasnain has retained board positions on several companies in the San Diego area, including serving as chair of Tocagen, but Gossamer Bio gives him another hands-on management role.

“We founded Gossamer Bio with a vision to pursue the development of meaningful products that meet patients’ needs,” he said, adding that since the Receptos acquisition, “we have been thoroughly assessing and acquiring therapies that have the potential to create substantial value.”

Gossamer’s strategy will be to leverage an “asset-rich in-licensing environment,” drawing on its team’s “strong track record of execution in immunology, inflammation, fibrosis and oncology.”

Omega Funds Managing Director Richard Lim and CEO Otello Stampacchia are joining the board of Gossamer, along with ARCH co-founders Kristina Burow and Robert Nelsen and ARCH partner Thomas Daniel, M.D., who was formerly president of Celgene’s global research and early development operations.