Case Study: ILEX Oncology

The Boston Millennia team has extensive experience in the area of outsourced services for pharmaceutical companies and has leveraged that experience to identify additional exceptional investment opportunities.  As a result, we were quickly able to support an investment in ILEX Oncology soon after we reviewed the company.  The company management was sourced to the BMP team as a result of our relationships in the contract research industry including knowledge of the CEO from our work with PAREXEL.  Because ILEX had both a product and service side of their business, the downside risk of an investment we felt was limited.  The CRO services were comparable to that performed by PAREXEL where we had had many years of history.  It was focused on the oncology sector however.  It also had world class scientists supporting the company in addition to the CEO, Dick Love, who had significant previous drug discovery and development experience.  Dick is currently a Board at PAREXEL as well as an advisor to the BMP team.

ILEX was formed from a division of the Cancer Therapy & Research Center located in Texas, and initially focused its efforts on providing outsourced development services and clinical trials capabilities to major pharmaceutical companies.  ILEX later evolved its business strategy; in addition to providing clinical trials services, ILEX acquired additional active anticancer agents and completed their development on its own behalf or with partners.  During The BMP investment period, ILEX completed two Core acquisitions, augmenting its products portfolio and scientific capabilities.  BMP introduced ILEX to several of its close banking relationships and selected a large bracket firm to manage its IPO.  ILEX completed its initial public offering in February 1997 and commenced building an independent pharmaceutical company raising subsequent public capital to support its expansion.  The company reached a significant milestone, with the U.S. and European regulatory approvals and marketing launch of Campath.  At the time, this success put ILEX into a select group of approximately 40 biotechnology companies that have marketed products, out of more than 1,000 biotech companies overall.  The company had a deep pipeline of other anti-cancer compounds focused on the treatment of both advanced and early disease. ILEX maintained one of the biopharmaceutical industry’s most experienced in-house development organizations for oncology drugs, with locations in San Antonio, TX, Annapolis, MD, and the United Kingdom. ILEX also conducted drug discovery research in angiogenesis inhibition, medicinal chemistry and nuclear receptor biology from its laboratories in Boston and Geneva, Switzerland. BMP remained on the board of directors for five years. After a successful launch of the Campath product ILEX received an offer to be acquired by Genzyme Corporation (NasdaqGS: GENZ) in 2004 for $1 billion. Our investment in ILEX Oncology resulted on a 500% return for our investors.

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