Has Goldman Sachs' Drug-Funding Idea Been Shelved Already?

Includes: GS, NVS
by: Derek Lowe

Late last year, I wrote about a possible new way to fund drug discovery, a private-equity model that seemed to be in the works at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). The driving force behind the idea seemed to be Jon Symonds, former CFO at AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN).

Well, as the InVivoBlog noted Wednesday, Symonds has suddenly decamped to Novartis (NYSE:NVS). He’s press-released as their new CFO (after the current one retires), which makes you wonder what’s happened to that drug funding plan. Given the current environment for new financing schemes, and for banking in general (not to mention the current environment at Goldman Sachs), has the whole idea just been shelved?

As the InVivo folks go on to say, financing clinical candidates in this way isn’t necessarily a bad idea – it just might be a bad time to try it out. There are a lot of issues to be worked out, but it’s looking more and more like no one’s going to be working them out any time soon...