OK, if you’ve followed the threads on Biostage you’re no doubt aware of the recent bull”crap” on financing the company.
I want to tell the Gummimmune community that this is a VERY interesting technology that includes one patient who has survived in a trial-sponsored implant of their trachea for at least 5 months. It’s my understanding he would have been long-dead. Recall there are ALSO about 6+ patients (most in Europe) who, using an older version of this technology (and a highly controversial Italian surgeon) are still alive today (I think one patient died who was near death before the transplant and not related to the transplant).
With all of the bull shit around Pecos and Goldblatt, Biostage has run out of money. I think Dr. KSS might agree that the science was strong. They simply lacked the financial resources to get to the end point. I believe they currently need about $15M to $20M (million) to complete the current FDA PH 2 study. As I said, the one patient enrolled in the study is STILL ALIVE.
Full disclosure, I know this team personally and have helped recruit several key people to the team at the HIGHEST LEVELS for Biostage (and it’s predecessor, Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology). I’ve personally known the CEO (Jim mcgorry) since 1975 and can tell you he is morally and ethically 100% sound. I would give him my last shirt/dollar if he asked (I’m happy to explain this if needed). Bottom line, I have literally trusted McGorry with my life in years past. This is a company we could, as a group, think about funding, especially if Dr. KSS and Cleveland agree the tech is sound. I believe this could be the first regenerative technology play to get a product (trachea) through to approval. Note, I also recruited Tengion’s ENTIRE senior management team and, had they not squandered about $140 million stupidly building a manufacturing plant, they might have had the first regenerated autologous-organ (bladder) the FDA approved (google Tony Atala M.D., former Harvard and now at UNC who’s technology was behind our efforts at Tengion where I owned a lot of founding stock). I also did work at Histogenics and a few other regentech co’s. Sadly, the path through to approval, dependant on the combined branch at the FDA has struggled to develop a process, which cost these pioneering companies too much for them to succeed. While funding remains a challenge for Biostage, at least they have an ongoing clinical trial and initial path forward.
IF we could fund Biostage and IF they can create and succeed in a path forward, this could be a SIGNIFICANT investment with a HUGE MULTIPLE. Of course, it could be a zero.
One added thought is that the company needs to be private. Public status at this stage is ridiculous. I’ve been telling McGorry that since before recruiting him there.
Next step is to find a chief medical officer If Saverio won’t return. I am uncertain whether Saverio LaFrancesca and McGorry are the right combo going forward. Saverio probably has the right background but may have burned too many bridges. With solid funding, we can recruit the right chief medical officer.
I’d welcome everyone’s reactions.
Wanting to remain in the background (for now), my brief self-description is 20+ years as a high level recruiter with several of the world’s top executive search firms (Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles, Russell Reynolds). I led the global recruiting practices for 2 of these firms, was second in-command for a third and started and ran two of my own boutiques. I’ve done about 700 searches – all in biotech and medtech. I don’t know everyone, but humbly can say my life sciences network is solid. For example, Dr. KSS knows Bill Rice at Aptose – as do I, all the way back to Bill’s first company. Beyond that, I’ve known a good percentage of management at companies Dr. KSS has recommend.
Anyone have any thoughts?
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