Blackstone Life Sciences and Novartis Launch Anthos Therapeutics to Develop Innovative Medicines for Cardiovascular Disease

Blackstone Life Sciences provides $250M Financing

Cambridge, Massachusetts, February 27, 2019 – Blackstone Life Sciences today announced the launch of Anthos Therapeutics Inc. (“Anthos”), a new biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing next-generation targeted therapies for high-risk cardiovascular patients.

As part of this launch, Novartis has licensed to Anthos MAA868, an antibody directed at Factor XI and XIa, key components of the intrinsic coagulation pathway. A large unmet medical need exists for next-generation anti-thrombotic therapies in patients currently underserved by conventional anti-coagulant therapies. As a promising anti-thrombotic modulating genetically and pharmacologically validated components of the intrinsic pathway, MAA868 has the potential to prevent a variety of cardiovascular disorders with minimal or no bleeding risk within a new long-acting treatment paradigm, which would provide major advantages over the conventional standards of care.

Funds managed by Blackstone Life Sciences, a private investment platform with capabilities to invest across the lifecycle of companies and products within the key life sciences sectors, provided $250M for Anthos and will control the development of the products.  Novartis will retain a minority equity interest in Anthos. 

According to the American Heart Association, thrombotic disorders cause nearly 500,000 deaths each year. Thrombotic disorders can affect arteries or veins, manifesting as ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease, venous thromboembolism, and many debilitating orphan diseases. Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart arrhythmia, is a major risk factor for ischemic stroke and systemic arterial thromboembolism.

“The need for new medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases is clear, and this agreement is part of our strategy to work with innovators outside our walls to advance medicines that have the potential to have a positive impact for patients,” said Jay Bradner, MD, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. “Blackstone Life Sciences has the necessary experience and has assembled a first-class team at Anthos to drive the further development of MAA868.”

“Blackstone Life Sciences is focused on bringing important medicines and healthcare technologies to market, often working in partnership with major biopharmaceutical companies to provide them with access to capital, scientific expertise and hands-on operational leadership,” said Nick Galakatos, Ph.D., Head of Blackstone Life Sciences and Chairman of Anthos.  “We are excited to collaborate with Novartis to create Anthos, with the goal of delivering important therapies for the high-risk cardiovascular patients who need them.”

Founding members of Anthos’ Board of Directors include Blackstone Managing Director Paris Panayiotopoulos, former CEO of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and Blackstone Principal Ari Brettman, MD. Jonathan Freeman, MBA, Ph.D., Blackstone Senior Advisor and Anthos co-founder, joins as Chief Operating Officer.

Shaun Coughlin, MD, Ph.D., Novartis’ Global Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolism joins as an Observer to Anthos’ Board. Craig Basson, MD, Ph.D., Novartis’ Head of Cardiovascular and Metabolism Translational Medicine joins Anthos’ Scientific Advisory Board.

John Glasspool, a former leader of Novartis’ cardiovascular franchise with 30 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, joins Anthos as CEO. Mr. Glasspool served as Global Head of Novartis’ Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases franchise from 2004-2008 and more recently served as Head of Corporate Strategy and a member of the Executive Team at Baxalta that led its acquisition by Shire.

“I am excited to be leading Anthos upon its formation by Blackstone Life Sciences and Novartis. Anthos is well-positioned to leverage contributions from Blackstone and Novartis to deliver life-saving therapies to patients with cardiovascular disease. We are building a leading cardiovascular company, laser focused on genetically and pharmacologically validated targets.” said Mr. Glasspool.

Anthos Therapeutics is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About Anthos Therapeutics
Anthos Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of genetically and pharmacologically validated therapies for high-risk cardiovascular patient populations. Anthos’ most advanced program is MAA868, an anti- Factor XI / XIa monoclonal antibody, which represents a promising next generation anti-thrombotic investigational therapy with the potential to prevent multiple thrombotic diseases with minimal or no bleeding risk. Anthos is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

About Blackstone Life Sciences
Blackstone Life Sciences is a private investment platform with capabilities to invest across the life-cycle of companies and products within the key life science sectors.  By combining scale investments and hands-on operational leadership, Blackstone Life Sciences helps bring to market promising new medicines that improve patients’ lives. In launching this new platform, Blackstone acquired Clarus, a leading global life-sciences firm.

Jennifer Friedman
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Eric Althoff
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