The highly controversial Martin Shkreli was named the new head of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals after he led a large group of investors to invest into said company.
Martin Shkreli has gained notoriety due to his heavily, and I mean HEAVILY, criticized decision to bump the price of the malaria combating drug Daraprim from 13.50 dollars a pill to a staggering 750$ when the privately owned company named Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to said drug. Martin Shkreli was the head of Turing at the time, which is why he gathered an enormous amount of hatred from basically everyone on the planet.
Even though Turing Pharmaceuticals has promised to lower the price, this hasn’t happened up to this day. Because of this, a San Diego pharmaceutical company has promised to make a pill similar to Daraprim, but with the low cost of one dollar a pop.
The company named KaloBios underwent some difficult times since its failed clinical testing of a drug that was supposed to treat cystic fibrosis, a disease that occurs in one of every 3.000 people and almost 4% are carrying it without being infected. Because of this, shares of the company dropped a staggering 70% when the test’s failure was announced in January and continued to drop afterward. This November only 11 people were still employed at KaloBios Pharmaceuticals.
The company was helped through this takeover with an equity investment of over 3 million dollars from Shkreli and a 10 million equity financing facility. After the takeover was complete, with Martin Shkreli being named CEO and Board Chairman, the shares of KalBios have grown over 400%, up to 10.40$. Speculations have arisen if this is because of Shkreli’s notoriety or just some other factor.
The future plans that both Martin Shkreli and the senior management of the company currently hold revolve around the creation of the lenzilumab treatment for various rare orphan diseases. Lenzilumab works by neutralizing GM-CSF (soluble granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor) through its properties as a monoclonal antibody. GM-CSF is the main cause of leukocyte inflammation, autoimmunity, and differentiation, and is the root of CMML, or Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia, a disease which has a 20% survival rate over a 3 year period and is not covered by the FDA due to various reasons.
Because of these plans we cannot clearly know if the news that Martin Shkreli was named the new head of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals is either good or bad. We can only wait and see if Martin is capable of another Daraprim-like fiasco or if things will simply run smoothly.