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Bridge Medicines Appoints Louis M. Renzetti, Ph.D., As Chief Scientific Officer

 

NEW YORK, April 3, 2018 – PRNewswire

Bridge Medicines, a pioneering drug discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies from concept to clinic, announced today the appointment of Louis M. Renzetti, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

 

Bridge Medicines, launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine, in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, is a groundbreaking initiative that extends the work of the independent, non-profit Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI). Tri-I TDI, also a collaborative venture of the three academic institutions, in partnership with Takeda, is working on approximately 50 early-stage drug discovery projects spanning therapeutic areas that include infectious disease, oncology, neuropsychiatry and rare diseases. As CSO of Bridge Medicines, Dr. Renzetti will be responsible for scientific oversight for R&D programs within Bridge Medicines, building a portfolio of early-stage drug discovery projects and positioning these programs for entry into the clinic.

 

“We are thrilled to bring such a talented drug discovery expert as Louis into the role of CSO at Bridge Medicines,” said William Polvino, CEO of Bridge Medicines. “Louis is a rigorously trained scientist and an experienced drug developer. His skills in identifying promising scientific targets and driving toward successful clinical products will be a great asset to the mission of Bridge Medicines, the Tri-I TDI, and the three institutions.”

 

Dr. Renzetti said, “Bridge Medicines is a unique opportunity to transform the breakthrough research done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine, and the Tri-I TDI into valuable medicines for patients. I am excited to join Bill and the team and look forward to working with the highly talented investigators within the Tri-Institutional community.”

 

Dr. Renzetti has more than 25 years of experience in biopharma, encompassing all aspects of drug discovery and early development. Most recently, he served as Chief Research and Early Development Officer for Gotham Therapeutics, a New York-based start-up. Prior to Gotham, Dr. Renzetti served as SVP of Drug Discovery and Early Development at X-Rx, Inc., where he led the company’s efforts to develop small molecule inhibitors of autotaxin to treat fibrotic diseases, a program subsequently partnered with Gilead. Dr. Renzetti spent much of his drug discovery career at Roche. He was the champion and leader of the RNA Therapeutics division and collaboration with Alnylam. He served as the Disease Biology Area Head for Inflammation, was VP of Respiratory and Inflammation, and head of Discovery Pharmacology. Dr. Renzetti has advanced numerous programs to clinical candidacy and into the clinic. He earned his doctorate in Physiology from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Renzetti completed his post-doctoral training in Pharmacology at ICI Pharmaceuticals. He has authored more than 30 publications.

 

About Bridge Medicines

Bridge Medicines is a pioneering drug-discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies in major academic institutions from human proof-of-concept to clinical development. Launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., in partnership with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that provides an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from discovery to drug candidate.

 

About Tri-TDI

TDI connects researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine with collaborators from across the globe to remove the barriers that impede drug discovery in academic settings. Together with our partner, Takeda, we enable the discovery of next-generation drugs by empowering our faculty with the tools, technology, and expertise to meet this extraordinary challenge.

 

Contact

Deerfield Management Company
Karen Heidelberger, 212-692-7140
karenh@deerfield.com

Contact

Bay City Capital, LLC
Carl S. Goldfischer, MD, 415-835-9385
carl@baycitycapital.com

 

Bridge Medicines Accepts Novel Small Molecule Targeting Basal Cell Carcinoma As First Drug Candidate for Development

Project Originated at Rockefeller University and Graduated From Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute

 

NEW YORK, March 14, 2018 – PRNewswire

Bridge Medicines and the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI) announced today the acceptance into Bridge Medicines of its first drug candidate, a small molecule for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma, that originated in the laboratory of Rockefeller University’s Dr. Tarun Kapoor and successfully completed pre-clinical trials at Tri-I TDI.

 

The generation of this investigational drug candidate reflects the culmination of years of innovative, breakthrough science led by Dr. Kapoor as part of his effort to understand molecular “motors,” such as dyneins, that power certain cellular functions. Dr. Kapoor has developed novel chemical inhibitors that block intracellular transport needed for the growth of certain cancer cell types. Through a collaboration among scientists in Dr. Kapoor’s laboratory and the Tri-I TDI, this discovery has led to a drug development candidate that has the potential to eliminate some skin tumors without surgery.

 

The Rockefeller University is one of the world’s foremost research institutions, with 82 labs dedicated to basic and translational bioscience, and strong commitment to using the power of basic science to further the development of new medicines and reduce human suffering. With Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medicine, Rockefeller is a founding partner of Tri-I TDI and of Bridge Medicines.

 

The drug candidate “graduated” from Tri-I TDI, a partnership of the three institutions with Takeda Pharmaceuticals formed in 2013 that enables early-stage drug discovery work in a collaborative academic setting. Projects that show great promise in Tri-I TDI have the opportunity to enter Bridge Medicines, a novel drug development collaboration between the academic institutions, Takeda, and venture capital firms Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital. Formed in 2016, Bridge Medicines leverages financial and technical resources to enable further drug development work, including human clinical trials. Each project enters with a fully articulated development program prepared by Bridge Medicines and approved by the Bridge Medicines Scientific Advisory Board, the originating institution, and the primary investigator. Bridge Medicines financially and operationally supports the projects as they generate the data needed to prepare an Investigational New Drug application; programs that enter Bridge are expected to yield an IND-ready drug candidate ready for subsequent clinical trials.

 

“This is an incredibly exciting first step for the basal cell carcinoma program which has already received strong guidance from Bridge Medicines. We have an action plan, funding, and operational support to move forward in an expeditious fashion,” stated Dr. Kapoor, who is the Pels Family Professor at Rockefeller and head of the Lawrence Ruben Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology.

 

“We look forward to our continued partnership with Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Weill Cornell Medicine as we advance the world-renowned science of each institution. It has been a pleasure to work with Rockefeller University, a premier institution, and we are encouraged that our collaboration will grow stronger with the many emerging projects that may soon enter Bridge,” stated Dr. William Polvino, CEO of Bridge Medicines.

 

“The power of using state-of-the-art industry development capabilities and technologies to further these exciting novel ideas has formed a symbiosis that would be hard to create outside of this setting. Working side by side with investigators to understand their insights and then translating these insights into proof of concept is an extremely powerful starting point for the development efforts at Bridge Medicines,” stated Yoshiyuki Fukase, Takeda chemistry leader working within the Tri-I TDI.

 

About Bridge Medicines

Bridge Medicines is a pioneering drug-discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies in major academic institutions from human proof-of-concept to clinical development. Launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., in partnership with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that provides an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from discovery to drug candidate.

 

About Tri-TDI

TDI connects researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine with collaborators from across the globe to remove the barriers that impede drug discovery in academic settings. Together with our partner, Takeda, we enable the discovery of next-generation drugs by empowering our faculty with the tools, technology, and expertise to meet this extraordinary challenge.

 

Contact

Deerfield Management Company
Karen Heidelberger, 212-692-7140
karenh@deerfield.com

Contact

Bay City Capital, LLC
Carl S. Goldfischer, MD, 415-835-9385
carl@baycitycapital.com

 

Bridge Medicines Appoints William J. Polvino, M.D., As Chief Executive Officer

New York, NY – March 27, 2017

Bridge Medicines, a pioneering drug discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies from concept to clinic, announced today the appointment of William J. Polvino, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In conjunction, Kathleen Metters, Ph.D., who served as the interim CEO upon the establishment of Bridge Medicines in October 2016, will continue to have an operating role within Bridge Medicines, and will Chair the Scientific Advisory Board.

 

Bridge Medicines, launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., in partnership with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, is a groundbreaking initiative that extends the work of the independent, non-profit Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI). Tri-I TDI, also a collaborative venture of the three research institutions and Takeda, is working on approximately 50 early-stage drug discovery projects spanning therapeutic areas that include infectious disease, oncology, neuropsychiatry and rare diseases. As CEO of Bridge Medicines, Dr. Polvino will be responsible for building a portfolio of early-stage drug discovery projects and advancing each program from animal proof of principle to clinical trials by providing expert clinical, operational and managerial expertise.

 

Carl S. Goldfischer, managing director of Bay City Capital and executive chairman of Bridge Medicines, remarked, “As an entrepreneur and executive of exceptional skill, Bill is ideally equipped to lead Bridge Medicines as the company embarks on its mission. We look forward to benefiting from Bill’s expertise as Bridge Medicines seeks to harness the combined strengths of academic discovery and industrial know-how to change the paradigm of drug development and help to transform New York into one of the world’s leading biotechnology hubs.”

 

Dr. Polvino commented, “Bridge Medicines is in an honored position to work with some of the world’s most renowned scientists and institutions. It is a privilege to take their groundbreaking work forward for the benefit of patients. As CEO, I will work closely with our esteemed partners to ensure the company succeeds in its mission of accelerating the transition of promising projects into the clinic.”

 

Dr. Polvino is a pharmaceutical entrepreneur with more than 26 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare arena. Most recently, Dr. Polvino was president and chief executive officer of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S (NASDAQ: VELO), a public biotechnology company that deploys proprietary formulation technology to develop and commercialize innovative oral drug products. Prior to Veloxis, Dr. Polvino held positions at Helsinn Therapeutics (formerly Sapphire Therapeutics), where he also served as the company’s president and CEO. During his tenure at Helsinn, he advanced novel in-licensed, preclinical stage, new chemical entities into late-stage clinical development and registration in the supportive oncology space. Dr. Polvino has also held executive and senior-level positions in drug development at Merck, Wyeth and Theravance.

 

Dr. Polvino earned a medical degree from Rutgers Medical School and a B.S. in Biology from Boston College. He was also a fellow in clinical pharmacology at the National Institutes of Health and trained in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

About Bridge Medicines

Bridge Medicines is a pioneering drug-discovery company focused on advancing promising early technologies in major academic institutions from human proof-of-concept to clinical development. Launched by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., in partnership with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital, Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that provides an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from discovery to drug candidate.

 

Contacts:
Karen Heidelberger
Deerfield Management
karenh@deerfield.com
(212 692-7140

Contacts:
Carl S. Goldfischer, MD
Bay City Capital, LLC
carl@baycitycapital.com
(415) 835-9385

Pioneering Drug Discovery Company Bridge Medicines Launched to Advance Promising Early Technologies in Major Academic Institutions through Human Proof of Concept

The Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, a partnership between Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, Weill Cornell Medicine and Takeda, joins with Deerfield Management and Bay City Capital to create an accelerated path to innovative therapies to treat disease

NEW YORK and OSAKA, JAPAN (Oct. 31, 2016)

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine announced today that they have established a new drug discovery company called Bridge Medicines. Launched in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. and healthcare investment firms Bay City Capital and Deerfield Management, Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that completes a seamless, fully funded and professionally staffed path from concept to drug candidate to efficiently and rapidly develop innovative therapeutics for treating human diseases.

Bridge Medicines builds upon the work of the independent, non-profit Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, known as Tri-I TDI. Scientists at the Tri-I TDI, which launched in 2013, are working in the laboratory on approximately 50 early-stage drug discovery projects — spanning therapeutic areas including infectious disease, oncology, neuropsychiatry and rare diseases — with the hope that they might be translated into future treatments for patients.

Research projects accepted into the Tri-I TDI will now be able to graduate to Bridge Medicines, where they will be given financial, operational and managerial support to move seamlessly from a validating, proof-of-concept study to an in-human clinical trial. Typically, investigators behind promising early-stage discoveries must search for a biopharmaceutical company to purchase or license their intellectual property, or find a funding opportunity to support additional research. This process can be time consuming and may shift investigators’ focus away from science, slowing down and in some cases ending the development path.

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Dr-Michael-Foley-news

The launch of Bridge Medicines is a truly exciting development in New York’s biotechnology space, said Dr. Michael Foley, Sanders Director of the Tri-I TDI. We’re tapping into the distinguished talent at Sloan Kettering, Rockefeller and Weill Cornell Medicine and offering entrepreneurs access to support what’s next in biopharmaceuticals. Bridge Medicines will enable us to advance promising projects farther down the development pipeline, providing new therapies to patients as quickly as possible.

Craig-B-Thompson-news

Memorial Sloan Kettering has always had an unwavering commitment to the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs, said Craig B. Thompson, president and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering. Bridge Medicines will provide an innovative and unique opportunity to continue that commitment, with the goal of delivering the best drugs to patients in the shortest amount of time.

Dr-Richard-P-Lifton-news

This unique academic-industry partnership advances the remarkable work of the Tri-I TDI, further extending the ability of basic scientists such as those at our three institutions to explore the full potential of their discoveries for the benefit of patients, said Dr. Richard P. Lifton, president of The Rockefeller University. We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative.

Augustine-MK-Choi-news

Bridge Medicines is a transformative concept for therapeutics development that will provide enormous hope to patients and incredibly exciting opportunities for researchers to take their discoveries into the clinic, said Weill Cornell Medicine Interim Dean Augustine M.K. Choi. Weill Cornell Medicine is honored to be part of this groundbreaking investment in medicine.

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As we looked ahead and beyond the current research climate, we knew this flagship collaboration would continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in medical research. The establishment of Bridge Medicines is that next phase, said Dr. Andrew Plump, chief medical and scientific officer of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Takeda is thrilled to be a partner in this innovative approach to further research and drug discovery for the benefit of more patients around the world.

carl-goldfischer-news

To be part of this project, working alongside Takeda, Deerfield and three of the world’s leading research and clinical institutions in helping to advance translation research and build the New York City-based biotechnology infrastructure is a great honor, said Carl S. Goldfischer, managing director of Bay City Capital.

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Harnessing the combined strengths of academic discovery, industrial know-how, capital and entrepreneurship, Bridge Medicines is a breakthrough in the translation of ideas into treatments, said William Slattery, a partner at Deerfield. As Bridge Medicines changes the paradigm of drug development, it can also help transform New York into a world-class center of biotechnology excellence. We at Deerfield look forward to collaborating with Takeda, our illustrious academic partners at The Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell, and Bay City Capital in our mission to advance healthcare.

The Investment Model

In current drug-development models, intellectual property is often sold or licensed to a pharmaceutical company when it is still a basic compound or antibody. This early stage is fraught with risk; companies may choose to discontinue a project if it doesn’t meet expectations during the clinical trial process – or the project may not find funding at all. The Tri-I TDI program reflects a different paradigm: Principal investigators collaborate with medicinal chemists from Takeda to demonstrate the therapeutic viability of new compounds through preclinical proof-of-concept studies.

 

Any project successfully graduating from Tri-I TDI is eligible to enter Bridge Medicines, where it can continue along the drug development pipeline without interruption and be professionally managed in a venture capital setting. This includes projects meant to develop drugs to combat diseases such as tuberculosis, which strikes large numbers of people in underdeveloped countries but few people in the Western world, and Niemann-Pick type C, which is rare and has a small potential market.

 

Because Bridge Medicines projects are funded as a group, even some riskier – but potentially transformational – ideas can obtain financial support. The arrangement could shave a decade off of the typical process to go from a promising discovery to medical use.

 

Bridge Medicines makes this essential portion of the drug development pathway possible with the backing of its investing partners, who assist in the creation of the business and scientific development plans. Projects that are part of the Bridge Medicines portfolio would be supported through filing of an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Once that hurdle is passed, Bridge Medicines would work with the participating scientists to establish and fund biopharmaceutical companies responsible for managing individual projects and advancing them to clinical trials, with the intention of basing the new companies in New York City. These entities would be able to raise additional funds to support research on related targets, or engage with another biopharmaceutical company to complete the development process.

 

“Bridge Medicines’ mission is to increase the odds of successfully developing novel therapeutics to meet the needs of patients while simultaneously helping to build a vibrant biotechnology sector in New York City,” Dr. Foley said.

 

Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine were advised by WilmerHale. The investors were represented by Paul Hastings.

Media Contacts

memorial-sloan-logo

Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center

Caitlin Hool

212.639.3573

hoolc@mskcc.org

rockefeller-logo

The Rockefeller
University

Katherine Fenz

212.327.7913

kfenz@rockefeller.edu

weill-cornell-logo

Weill Cornell
Medicine

Jennifer Gundersen

646.962.9497

Jeg2034@med.cornell.edu