|Selexys CEO Scott Rollins|
The biotech: Selexys Pharmaceuticals
Round: $23 million
Based: Oklahoma City
CEO: Scott Rollins
Investors: MPM Capital, Undisclosed Investor
The scoop: Selexys who? Just because little Selexys grew up off the beaten biotech track in Oklahoma City didn't mean that Big Pharma wouldn't come calling. Novartis ($NVS) stepped up with a package worth up to $665 million for an option to buy the company and its mid-stage drug for sickle cell disease. And A-list investor MPM Capital along with an undisclosed partner provided a $23 million venture bankroll to keep the company on track. Novartis has its eyes on SelG1, an antibody headed into a mid-stage study for vaso-occlusion, a painful crimping of circulation in blood vessels that threatens sickle cell anemia patients. In a statement, the biotech said its preclinical efforts demonstrated the treatment's success in preventing cell-cell interactions required to trigger vaso-occlusion. Another antibody, meanwhile, is headed into Phase I.
Novartis grabs a $665M option to buy sickle cell disease biotech