The Swiss Pharma giant Roche has released the details behind its buyout of Marcadia late last year, revealing that the company put up $287 million in cash with $250 million in milestones if its diabetes drugs pan out as hoped. And the owners of the biotech, which licensed in the research work of former Lilly scientist Richard DiMarchi, hope to get back one of the compounds and launch a new company, according to a report in the Indianapolis Business Journal.
“It wasn’t necessarily our plan to do it when we did it. It probably came a little bit earlier than expected,” former CEO Fritch French told the Indianapolis Star. “Our goal was always to develop the company to the point where we have a significant return for investors and you can get a good clean exit.”
Marcadia was able to get going with only $16 million in venture cash, hanging on to the rest of its equity by striking collaborations with Eli Lilly and Merck. Now former CEO French says that the company’s small staff of 11 is angling to regain control of a glucagon compound that had been partnered with Lilly for hypoglycemia. That could form the basis of a fresh venture.