Ikaria spinoff Bellerophon attracts former Amgen exec

Bellerophon CEO Jonathan Peacock

Bellerophon, a spinoff of private-equity backed specialty pharma company Ikaria, has brought in former Amgen ($AMGN) heavyweight Jonathan Peacock as chairman and CEO. Peacock said he expects to get three programs into Phase III development within the next 12 to 18 months.

R&D largely languished within Ikaria, as its private equity investors focused more on financial management. Last December, Ikaria spun off some of its portfolio into a separate company, now dubbed Bellerophon Therapeutics, as part of a larger buyout from a new PE investor.

Peacock was the EVP and CFO at Amgen from 2010 to 2014 and the chief financial and administrative office of Novartis ($NVS) prior to that. He assumes his new role from Daniel Tasse, the chairman and CEO of Ikaria, who was filling it on an interim basis.

As part of the December deal, Ikaria investors including New Mountain Capital, Arch Venture Partners, Venrock and 5AM Ventures committed to funding Bellerophon with about $80 million.

Bellerophon currently has two ongoing Phase II trials for its INOpulse nitric oxide delivery device: one to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and the other for pulmonary hypertension in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A third product, a bioabsorbable cardiac matrix for the prevention of cardiac remodeling and subsequent congestive heart failure following acute myocardial infarction, is in a feasibility trial designed to help it get a CE mark in Europe.

Editors Note: Madison Dearborn Partners is not an investor in Bellerophon, an earlier version of this story incorrectly said it was. 

- here is the press release