When New York hedge fund manager John Taylor co-founded Inspiration Biopharmaceuticals in 2004, his main goal was to help his son, who suffers from the blood-clotting disorder hemophilia. So he and co-founder Scott Martin—a Texan who also has a child with hemophilia—set up a virtual biotech company and began pursuing new treatments for the disease. They were a far-flung group: Their chief scientist, for example, was based in Laguna Niguel, CA. “When you’re 12 people in 18 different labs and universities, the lines of communication get difficult,” says Taylor, who is the CEO and founder of FX Concepts, a New York-based hedge fund and foreign exchange management company. “I used to joke that we were a biotech company with no running water.”
As of January 1, Inspiration has gone non-virtual, and yes, it has plenty of running water. The company has moved into its new home at One Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, where it’s under the tutelage of former Genzyme executive John Butler, who became CEO of Inspiration in October. The company expects to expand its staff from 60 to 100 by the end of 2012 and to file for FDA approval of its lead hemophilia compound in the first half of the year. On December 22, Inspiration announced four new executives had joined the company, two of whom also came from Genzyme.
The access to so much biotech expertise was key for Inspiration, Taylor says. “Massachusetts is a spectacular place to be when you’re in the hemophilia business,” he says.
Inspiration’s lead compound, IB1001, is a form of “recombinant factor IX,” a bioengineered protein that helps blood to clot properly. It is not the only version of the protein to be developed: Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) markets factor IX under the brand name BeneFIX. But, says Inspiration CEO Butler, that product has sometimes been in short supply, and its cost can be prohibitive to … Next Page »
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