Blackstone and Novartis: Joint venture targets cardiovascular disease

Anthos Therapeutics enters the market with US$250 million backing from Blackstone and an anti-thrombotic licensed from Novartis

Novartis and Blackstone Life Sciences have teamed up to create a new biopharmaceutical company. For its part, Novartis will licence its antibody MAA868 for a minority equity interest. Blackstone, on the other hand, will provide US$250 million in financial backing, and control product development.

A large unmet medical need exists for next-generation anti-thrombotic therapies in patients currently underserved by conventional anti-coagulant therapies.

MAA868, is an antibody directed at Factor XI and XIa, key components of the intrinsic coagulation pathway. It is a promising anti-thrombotic, modulating genetically and pharmacologically validated components of the intrinsic pathway.

The antibody at the heart of the new company has the potential to prevent a variety of cardiovascular disorders with minimal or no bleeding risk, within a new long-acting treatment paradigm, thus providing advantages over conventional standards of care.

Jay Bradner, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, said: “Blackstone Life Sciences has the necessary experience and has assembled a first-class team at Anthos to drive the further development of MAA868.”

The new company will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John Glasspool, a former leader of Novartis’ cardiovascular franchise with 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, will join Anthos as CEO. Many other Novartis and Blackstone employees will also take up roles at Anthos.

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