E Exclusive Interview With Lindsay Rosenwald, CEO Of Fortress Biotech 

Terry Chrisomalis: Where and how do you find them?
Lindsay Rosenwald: Fortress Biotech has an incredible business development group comprised of about a dozen people, most of whom are PhDs or MDs. I train them to scour the world for promising drug candidates. Fortress Biotech also has strong relationships with some of the world’s best research institutions, such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, City of Hope and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. There are lots of opportunities out there, as at least 10 to 20 companies drop major programs annually that are often available for deals on favorable terms.

Terry Chrisomalis: Can you give me an example of Fortress Biotech executing on this strategy?
Lindsay Rosenwald: In 2018, our partner company Mustang Bio in-licensed a lentiviral gene therapy from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the treatment of X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency, also known as bubble boy disease. We were excited about the data and the hope that the therapy, MB-107, could offer kids who previously had an average life expectancy of about two years. 

What made the partnership work is that each party brought something special to the table. St. Jude has a stable producer cell line that provides a reliable source of vector. That’s very unusual and was compelling to us. In turn, Mustang Bio has its own manufacturing facilities that could relatively easily adapt to manufacturing the gene therapy and get it to patients quickly. Last April, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study from St. Jude that found the gene therapy had cured infants in a clinical trial.

Terry Chrisomalis: Fortress Biotech currently has a dozen plus world-class academic and commercial partners. How important are these relationships to growing and sustaining your business?
Lindsay Rosenwald:Fortress Biotech’s relationships with research institutions and other companies are incredibly important to us. We don’t have the capability nor the desire to do our own research. Our focus is on acquiring the rights to research that has reached clinical stage. Our goal is for these relationships to be mutually beneficial. There are a lot of great institutions and companies that have assets that aren’t being developed. We step in to provide that opportunity for them.

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Disclosure: This article is part of a new “UnderCovered” series of exclusive articles featuring companies with limited coverage. Authors are compensated by TalkMarkets for their time, and ...

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Kurt Benson 3 months ago Member's comment

Good article Lindsay A. Rosenwald. Sounds like $FBIO is on the right track. But how might the growing threat of the coronavirus impact your company?

Mike Nolan 3 months ago Member's comment

I'm wondering this as well.

Backyard Hiker 3 months ago Member's comment

Never heard of this company before but I like their business model.

Wall St. Wolf 3 months ago Member's comment

I've liked $FBIO for a while now.

Adam Reynolds 3 months ago Member's comment

$FBIO sounds like a pretty innovative company.