Baxter Forms New Biotech Spin-off

Baxter Ventures, the venture arm of Baxter International Inc., the Mayo Clinic, and Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC (VPD) have announced the formation of Vitesse Biologics, LLC, to focus on the development of antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology, and oncology. Following the spin-off of Baxter BioScience as Baxalta Incorporated, anticipated to take place by mid-2015, the Vitesse relationship will be managed by the planned venture arm, Baxalta Ventures, for the new company.

The collaboration model, which represents a new method of drug development, was designed to incent each partner to advance promising therapies quickly through the development process. Each partner will provide its recognized expertise to enhance the target selection, target optimization, expression and product-development process. Baxter BioScience will provide global commercialization, antibody, and protein development and manufacturing capabilities. Mayo Clinic researchers will execute the Phase I clinical trials; VPD will be responsible for target identification, selection of early-stage drug candidates and will lead the design and execution of pre-clinical and clinical protocols.

Vitesse will develop treatments in the fields of hematology, oncology and immunology, which aligns strongly with Baxter BioScience’s therapeutic focus. This model enables Baxter to serve as a hands-on partner in the pursuit of innovative treatments, as Baxter BioScience will be involved in the early-stages of development for all products identified by Vitesse and has an exclusive option to acquire each such product following the completion of the applicable Phase I trials. Vitesse Biologics, LLC, a Delaware Corporation based in South San Francisco, California, develops antibody and protein-based therapeutics in the areas of immunology, hematology, and oncology.

Source: Baxter

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