Deerfielders Weigh in on a Safe Return to Work Policy Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Antibody testing provides a data-driven path to getting people back into the economy

The availability of point of care antibody testing—also known as serological testing—may provide a feasible roadmap for getting people back to work safely following the COVID-19 crisis, according to an editorial published in the journal Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications.

“You can’t stop the economy forever,” asserted Governor Cuomo in a recent news conference, according to STAT. “So we have to start to think about, does everyone stay out of work? Should young people go back to work sooner? Can we test for those who had the virus, resolved, and are now immune, and can they start to go back to work?”

Regardless of whether they already have immunity to the virus, millions of Americans may try to return to work, potentially undoing all the benefits of the shutdown, suggests the editorial. 

Antibody testing, the authors argue, could clarify a person’s status quickly in real-time and reveal whether they have been exposed to COVID-19. Accordingly, a person who mounts an IgG positive response (suggesting the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies) would most likely now be immune to the virus and an IgM positive result would point to the process of developing immunity in someone who more recently became infected.

“Unlike the PCR tests (a measure of virus material), the immediate results and unconstrained supply of antibody tests could fundamentally change the way we manage this epidemic,” says Robert Jackson, MD, a co-author of the paper. “And from an economic perspective, it could lead to a tractable path for people to return to work. Collecting the data and tracking individuals longitudinally, in order to confirm the hypothesis, will be necessary.”

And barring any HIPAA concerns, the authors propose that persons with positive antibody tests during periods of social distancing could get a bracelet, which indicates that they are immune-protected and can return to work. Those without a bracelet would still be asked to practice social-distancing and not yet resume their normal activities. But this approach could potentially get at least some portion of the economy back running again, suggests the authors.

According to the authors, the antibody tests are cheap, easy to administer, and could be made available at every hospital.

“Broad testing is in society’s best interest,” says Alex Karnal, a co-author of the editorial. “Until we make serological tests available in a robust way, it’s as if we are flying a plane without navigation.”

Authors of the editorial, titled, “Let’s Get Americans Back to Work Again,” are: Alex Karnal, Partner and Managing Director; Robert Jackson, MD, Partner and Chief Science Officer; and Joe Pearlberg, MD, PhD, Vice President of Scientific Affairs, all at Deerfield; and Amitabh Chandra, PhD, McCance Family Professor at Harvard Business School and Weiner Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Large-Scale Cell and Gene Therapy Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization to Launch in PA

The Center for Breakthrough Medicines expected to relieve the industry’s production constraints, providing patients better access to treatments

(King of Prussia, PA, and New York, NY, January 22, 2020)—The Discovery Labs and Deerfield Management Company have formed The Center for Breakthrough Medicines, a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) and specialty investment company, to alleviate the critical lack of capacity that is preventing patients from accessing critically needed cell and gene therapies. The CDMO is occupying over 40 percent of The Discovery Labs’ 1.6 million square foot biotech, healthcare and life sciences campus in King of Prussia, PA.

The CDMO provides preclinical through commercial manufacturing of cell and gene therapies and component raw materials. It offers process development, plasmid DNA, viral vectors, cell banking, cell processing, and support testing capabilities all under one roof. The immense $1.1 billion facility will provide instant capacity as the largest known single source for accelerating the delivery and affordability of lifesaving and life-changing therapies from the bench to the patient’s bedside.

The Company has initiated a substantial hiring effort targeting the best and brightest of the life sciences community including, experts in CGMP manufacturing. The Company expects to hire over 2,000 team members within the next 30 months.

The CDMO has retained Nucleus Careers, a cloud-based specialty life sciences human capital recruiting and retention management expert, to buildout the entire team. Nucleus has proprietary recruiting and retention software designed for large scale human capital buildouts of high growth companies.

In addition to developing the world’s largest single-point cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility, The Discovery Labs is establishing THE COLONY which will provide custom built discovery labs, breakthrough funding, sponsored research agreements, housing and relocation for the world’s leading iconic experts in cell and gene therapy.

THE COLONY will seek to work hand in hand with scientists from both academic and pharmaceutical institutions to unlock and expedite groundbreaking therapies.

Marco A. Chacón, Ph.D., Founder of Paragon Bioservices and Chairman of The Discovery Labs states, “musicians, artists, members of religious communities and great thinkers throughout time have formed colonies where freedom of thought and expression combined with unlimited dreams and potential have resulted in the world’s greatest accomplishments. The United States of America is a perfect example.” Dr. Chacón went on to say, “the goal of THE COLONY is to unshackle the potential of the world’s greatest scientific minds.”

The ability for the industry’s greatest scientists to cohabitate, collaborate, cooperate, and communicate via technology and in person will create an exponential therapeutic “X FACTOR.” THE COLONY seeks to unlock institutional barriers prohibiting the world’s greatest scientists from moving at a pace necessary in today’s ever-changing therapeutic revolution. THE COLONY will partner with the institutions where the scientists currently work by providing equity, license fees, and revenue sharing.

“The Center for Breakthrough Medicines will be serving companies from the earliest stages through commercialization. Its exceptional scale and offering will quickly relieve the production bottleneck for advanced therapies by reducing the time, complexity, and cost of commercializing vitally needed gene and cell therapies,” noted Audrey Greenberg, Board Member and Executive Managing Director for The Discovery Labs.

The addition of this end-to-end manufacturing capability is expected to significantly enhance the offerings of The Discovery Labs in an area that has become one of the largest life sciences hubs in the world. Renovations are underway to construct a total of 86 plasmid, viral vector production, universal cell processing, CGMP testing, process development and cell banking suites. The viral vector and cell processing suites will be fully compliant with both U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency standards. All suites will offer the flexibility to meet client-specific workflows and will be able to adapt quickly to meet demand. The Company is in the process of reserving capacity now for late 2020.

“Today brilliant scientists are advancing an unprecedented number of gene and cell therapy drug candidates. The real tragedy, however, is a scarcity of manufacturing know-how, which is complex and expensive,” said Alex Karnal, Partner and Managing Director of Deerfield Management and a Board Member of the Discovery Labs. “With its visionary business model, it is hoped that The Center for Breakthrough Medicines will help realize the promise of cell and gene therapies in time to treat the many patients who need them.”

The Discovery Labs provides a central campus where the world’s greatest scientists can collaborate on new therapeutic discoveries to eradicate diseases affecting small and large segments of the global population. The Center for Breakthrough Medicines will work with these leaders, life sciences companies, large pharmaceutical companies, and academic and government institutions.

This new manufacturing capability is a transformational addition to The Discovery Labs market offering and dovetails with The Discovery Labs biotech incubator, Unite IQ. Unite IQ offers immediate space to emerging life sciences companies and scientists giving them the ability to grow from startup to enterprise company on one campus. The incubator and accelerator space at Unite IQ provides a comprehensive home for startups with every resource needed to initiate business operations. Unite IQ tenants are expected to utilize the discovery, development, testing, and manufacturing capabilities of the Center for Breakthrough Medicines with seamless forward integration of processes and analytics, and seamless tech transfer from research lab to large scale production

The Emerging Field of Cell and Gene Therapy in Pennsylvania

The demand for clinical and commercial manufacturing capacity is acute and expected to remain that way. The current shortfall in manufacturing for cell and gene therapies is severely underserved with few approved products. There are currently approximately 1,100 advanced therapies in the pipeline pending FDA approval. This will greatly increase highly skilled manufacturing demand. Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, states, “what keeps me up at night is will we be able to manufacture these on a scale that will allow us to bring the benefit of these therapies to patients?” He further added that “if we can help see cost of goods and ability to manufacture reproducibly improve, I think that’ll be a big thing.” All of this adds up to a supply constrained market that The Center for Breakthrough Medicines aims to help address.

With the potential to treat and even cure disabling, and deadly diseases, gene and cell therapies are ushering in a new era of medicine. These therapies may eventually be able to cure genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia A, and a range of cancers. The Philadelphia area has become the epicenter for the flourishing field of gene and cell therapy. Research from CBRE currently ranks the market among the top biotech clusters for medical research and health services. The cluster has become known worldwide as “Cellicon Valley” for its leadership in research and development of this rapidly evolving field. The Discovery Lab’s suburban Philadelphia location offers a talent rich environment due to the area’s preponderance of large pharmaceutical companies and the Philadelphia region’s position boasting the top 10 universities and primary school systems in nation.

Over the past three years, multiple Philadelphia companies have received approvals for major breakthroughs in cell and gene therapy. In 2017, the U.S. FDA approved the first-ever CAR-T cell therapy, Novartis’s Kymriah, which originated at the University of Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, the FDA gave landmark approval for the first-ever gene therapy to treat a genetic blindness condition to Spark Therapeutics, a start-up founded by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These discoveries and others in the pipeline are attracting billions of dollars of venture capital. The Greater Philadelphia Region set a recent record in venture capital financing.

The Discovery Labs Center for Breakthrough Medicines joins more than 25 healthcare, life sciences and tech-enabled companies that already call The Discovery Labs King of Prussia home.

Contact Audrey Greenberg at [email protected] for more information about development services, manufacturing capacity, incubator space or leasing information at the property.

About The Discovery Labs

Part of MLP Ventures, The Discovery Labs is a global provider of world-class cGMP manufacturing, turnkey laboratory solutions, critical materials and office space that support therapeutic products and services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry so that groundbreaking medicines get to the patients that need them. The location in eastern King of Prussia is a prototype for a global rollout of The Discovery Labs, providing Big Pharma, emerging life sciences, consumer and technology companies flexible, end-to-end technical real estate and business infrastructure for the customer’s entire lifecycle from discovery to delivery, including manufacturing capacity. It is the first fully integrated environment that merges technology and life sciences under one roof to drive innovation.

About Deerfield Management

Deerfield is a healthcare investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.

Media Contact:
Tony DeFazio, DeFazio Communications
(o) 484-534-3306 (c) 484-410-1354
[email protected]

Karen Heidelberger, Deerfield Management Company
212-551-1600
[email protected]

Duke University and Deerfield Management Announce Four Points Innovation

Deerfield commits up to $130 million to accelerate drug discovery at Duke through a newly launched company

(Durham, NC and New York, NY, December 18, 2019)—Duke University and Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment firm, today announced the creation of a major translational research collaboration. Spearheaded by Duke University’s Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV), the alliance is expected to accelerate the preclinical development of new drugs for improved quality of life and cures for disease.

“This is an exciting day for Duke and the patients we serve,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. “This new partnership will help further Duke’s commitment to improve the lives of people in our own community and around the world by supporting and accelerating the translation of research into new therapies to treat and cure society’s most formidable healthcare challenges.”

By way of a newly launched company called Four Points Innovation, up to $130 million of initial funding will be made available by Deerfield to back the initiative for 10 years. Deerfield also will provide development expertise in support of Duke’s innovative drug research across a span of high-need therapeutic areas, as well as those targeting patients who suffer from hard-to-treat and rare diseases.

A private company wholly owned by affiliates of Deerfield, Four Points Innovation will support Duke R&D projects throughout preclinical stages of drug discovery and development. Beginning approximately in March 2020, Duke researchers will have the ability to submit proposals on projects for consideration by a Four Points Innovation committee comprised of scientific leadership representing both Duke and Deerfield.  

Accepted projects will include a development plan aimed at achieving Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. Deerfield will provide funding and operational support for accepted projects, and successful projects that achieve IND-enabled status may be eligible for additional capital from Deerfield.

Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures broke previous records last year with 354 invention disclosures, 120 agreements, and 32 exclusive agreements. Duke faculty and staff formed sixteen new start-up companies during the year, bringing the university’s total to over 140 new companies. Over the last two years, 29 of the university’s 32 start ups have chosen to stay in North Carolina.

“Duke University, with its vast research enterprise, world-class investigators and novel innovations, is a leader in biomedical discovery,” said James E. Flynn, Managing Partner at Deerfield Management. “We are excited about entering into this partnership with Duke, as we collectively seek to develop new medicines to save lives and address unmet medical needs.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Four Points Innovation would receive an option to license Four Points Innovation-funded intellectual property developed at Duke.

About Duke University

Duke is a private research university in Durham, N.C. with nearly 16,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The Duke School of Medicine is one of the nation’s leading centers for medical education, clinical care and biomedical research.

About Deerfield Management

Deerfield is a healthcare investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.

Women in Science

Launched in 2019, the Women in Science Translational Research Symposia were created to clarify the most targeted route to commercialization for female scientists and help advance their discoveries to market. The program is committed to addressing the gender gap in innovation and changing this paradigm through knowledge and network creation.

Operations Team

New and growing enterprises face the challenge of simultaneously executing complex business strategies, building world-class operating teams, creating partnerships, and a wide range of other critical functions with limited resources. The Deerfield Operations team partners with newly formed, and existing management teams, providing a suite of services designed to enhance company success and growth while reducing timelines to value-creating events and overall costs.  While many companies require significant support early in the life cycle, the Operations team is structured in a manner that allows Deerfield to be a long-term partner, offering services and assistance to businesses across all stages of maturity, from formation to a successful monetization event.

Services provided by the Deerfield Operations team, include:

  • Human Resources and Talent Acquisition
  • Accounting and Financial Management
  • Real Estate Sourcing and Negotiation
  • Risk Management
  • Information Technology
  • Sales, Marketing and Other Commercial Support
  • Business Strategy and Development
  • Contracting Support
  • Marketing/Branding/Public Relations
  • Investor Relations

Fellowships

Beginning in 2015, Deerfield started the Deerfield Fellows program, designed to attract students with interest in pursuing healthcare or finance fields from local NYC-area colleges and universities from diverse backgrounds for an immersive summer internship program. Successful summer interns are invited to stay through a yearlong Deerfield Fellowship program, with the most successful of those graduating to become Associates at Deerfield. We are extremely proud of the work our Associates do.

Deerfield Institute

Established in 2006, the Deerfield Institute delivers sophisticated and timely market research, which enhances the insights available to the investment team and its partners. The Institute develops and analyzes data to advance understanding of innovations and emerging products, and it also informs on trends within the healthcare market. It has published important scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals to extend learnings to the scientific community and benefit public health at large—and  ultimately patients in need. The Institute is guided by Deerfield’s core values: integrity, the pursuit of objective and unbiased research, commitment to excellence, precision and accuracy.

Deerfield Institute Capabilities: 

PUBLICATIONS
We publish research data to help advance healthcare and to enable researchers to have access to recent, relevant information.
View latest publications

Confidentiality

Deerfield Institute believes that market research is a valuable resource to the growing healthcare industry. A critical component of this research is assuring respondents that their information is being used properly and within standard industry guidelines. Individual responses from any market research effort are kept confidential and are reported without individual identifying information. During our research process, we collect, aggregate, and analyze information from respondents in various healthcare-related fields. We then prepare reports based on these answers for the purposes of understanding market level dynamics.

When participating in Deerfield Institute market research, respondents may be asked to provide personally identifiable information (such as name, email, and mailing address). This information will only be used to provide respondents with services or information that they have requested. When preparing reports or analyzing the results of our market research, personally identifiable information is always removed and will not be given or sold to a third party without the respondent’s consent.

All Deerfield Institute research is conducted in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

As part of our research process we seek the insight of key opinion leaders and other expert advisors in the healthcare field. Our compliance framework is designed to avoid the receipt by Deerfield Institute of confidential information and strict policies and procedures must be followed in the engagement of these advisors. All paid advisors are required to sign terms and conditions that clearly define their responsibility to not disclose information to which they have a duty of confidence.

All Deerfield participants in an advisor interaction are trained in our compliance procedures and are required to give compliance reminders to expert consultants prior to each interaction. These policies and procedures extend to all of our partners that facilitate access to our advisors.

Break into the Boardroom

Despite the high aptitude of this representative sample of female leaders, the stark reality is boards are only made up of 20% women. Deerfield and Oxeon founded the Break into the Boardroom program (BiB) based on a shared belief that their organizations are uniquely positioned to not only cultivate new female board candidates but to also connect these women with concrete governance opportunities.

Deerfield and Oxeon focus on identifying talent, building companies, and deploying capital within the healthcare ecosystem, which enables BiB to create the perfect intersection of supply and demand. This framework naturally mitigates the classic chicken and egg problem that has proven such an intractable obstacle to the goal of increasing female board representation.

Please visit our website where you may submit inquiries regarding potential board roles or nominate a female executive from your organization to participate in our program.

CURE.

At CURE. — Deerfield’s innovation campus on 345 Park Avenue South — we’re transforming healthcare. Here, innovators from across the industry and around the world work shoulder to shoulder to develop treatments to eliminate deadly diseases and create new healthcare delivery models to lower cost and improve care for those in need.

For CURE. inquiries, please email us

Deerfield Management Brings Together Scientists, Entrepreneurs and Leading Companies to Form the New York-Based Healthcare Innovation Campus

$635 million in real estate and multi-disciplinary laboratory infrastructure will combine with multi-billion dollar investments in research to transform the battle against disease

NEW YORK, NY, September 26, 2019—In a major move, Deerfield Management Company, L.P.  is investing $635 million to create a transformative life sciences campus in New York City, designed to integrate the capabilities of innovators from academia, government, industry and the not-for-profit sectors to tackle unmet needs in healthcare. Deerfield additionally announced that it intends to commit more than $2 billion in research and seed funding by 2030 to develop much-needed new and innovative medicines and treatment solutions.  Deerfield expects this world-class infrastructure and funding to contribute to the prevention, cure or management of dozens of still deadly and debilitating diseases.  

As the foundation of this bold undertaking, Deerfield has acquired the 345 Park Avenue South property, which boasts more than 300,000 square feet. The site, designated a NYCLifeSci campus, will bring together scientists, entrepreneurs and leading organizations from around the world to work shoulder-to-shoulder to conceive of and develop new treatments and better ways to prevent and defeat disease. The campus will provide turnkey laboratories, and engineering and computing space, as well as other amenities and supportive services.  

“We are proud to be part of a community of people in New York who strive to save and extend lives. Creating an environment in which innovative thinking, ground-breaking advances in scientific discovery and where the development of new paradigms of patient care will occur every day is tremendously exciting,” said James Flynn, Managing Partner of Deerfield.  

“We are thrilled that our partnership with Deerfield will not only create quality jobs for New Yorkers but will also help provide a home for emerging companies to develop breakthrough scientific discoveries. New York City already has the best research institutions in the world. By investing in this Life Sciences campus to bring new lab space and programming for healthcare and early-stage biotech companies, we can strengthen the City’s position as a global leader in life sciences,” said NYCEDC President & CEO James Patchett.

The $540 million in financing for the acquisition and renovation of this world-class facility was led by Blackstone Real Estate, which has been a strong supporter of life sciences.  

Nadeem Meghji, Senior Managing Director, Head of Real Estate Americas at Blackstone said, “We are thrilled to finance this important project, which will advance life sciences research in New York City. With our investment in BioMed Realty, and elsewhere across our businesses, life sciences is among our highest priority investment sectors. We look forward to continuing to support the growing demand for research and innovation.”

The building construction and programming is being backed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Industrial Development Agency. It is expected to be in move-in ready condition for Deerfield and other innovators in healthcare by early 2021.

Due to obstacles, including a lack of capital and siloed approaches, promising new therapies and improvements in care management frequently fail to make it to patients. In addition to leveraging the value of public and private organizations in developing solutions, the Deerfield innovation campus will pursue all forms of technology, including digital, medical device and biotherapeutic approaches.  

“Many leaders have come together to build this incredible ecosystem, capable of accelerating the fight against disease. This campus should create the ideal backdrop to advance innovation,” said Alex Karnal, Partner and Portfolio Manager at Deerfield. “We are grateful to our partners, including the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Blackstone, as without them, this ambitious project might not have been possible.”

Having proven its ability to mobilize innovators in this space, MATTER, a healthcare focused incubator, in collaboration with Deerfield, will be supporting startups of all stages within the innovation campus.  MATTER has developed extensive specialized programs to train C-suite executives in the early stages of their career and to introduce young companies to established organizations for mentorship, collaboration and potential acquisition.  Combined with Deerfield’s operating support capabilities which extends to legal, finance, information technology, human resources, and market research, among other skillsets, companies formed within the campus will have unparalleled access to capabilities of the highest quality at low cost.

“Deerfield’s expertise and resources, combined with MATTER’s capabilities and experience, will create a healthcare and life sciences campus unlike any other,” said MATTER CEO Steven Collens. “We are thrilled to be a part of this endeavor to help entrepreneurs and innovators develop technologies and solutions that will improve the healthcare experience.”

Along with new educational programming being developed—and to complement the services provided by MATTER—Deerfield also announced that it will be growing its existing Deerfield LifeSci NYC Fellows and Break into the Boardroom programs. Deerfield additionally introduced a new initiative, Women in Science, focused on training women on how to commercialize their potentially lifesaving discoveries and create companies. The investment company has a rich history of developing and leading programs supporting diversity.

About Deerfield

Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy.

For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com

Contacts

Deerfield Management Company
Karen Heidelberger, 212-551-1600
[email protected]