Seattle startup maps a short route to a lupus deal

A trio of experienced biotech players has come together to create a startup developer in Seattle that will try to create some quick value as it targets one of the toughest diseases on the planet. As explained by Xconomy's Luke Timmerman, experienced dealmaker Jim Posada (Eli Lilly and GlycoFi) is joining hands with rheumatologist Keith Elkon and Jeff Ledbetter (co-founder of Trubion) to launch Resolve Therapeutics.

Rather than go out to round up some big amount of venture cash, though, the virtual biotech plans to get a new lupus therapy through the first level of mid-stage development as quickly as possible and then generate a return on its investment with a Big Pharma deal, leaving the partner to push the therapy ahead. And Resolve announced this morning that is has licensed compounds from the University of Washington, where the two scientific founders developed the technology.

"There's a well thought out plan here," Posada tells Xconomy. "We're going to operate with as little capital as possible and get ourselves to a partnership deal as quickly as possible. We can provide returns for our investors in a timely way, and we can provide Big Pharma what it needs in terms of new drug candidates."

Resolve has set its sights on lupus, a disease that hasn't seen a new drug approval in about half a century. Human Genome Sciences ($HGSI) may be about to change that equation, but lupus remains an area with the kind of high unmet medical need that can grab the attention of a number of pharma players around the world. 

- here's the Resolve release
- and read the article from Xconomy