Driving Transformative Impact in the Biopharmaceutical Industry


Driving Transformative Impact in the Biopharmaceutical Industry


From developing transformative therapies for patients suffering from unmet medical needs to pioneering cutting-edge technologies that will improve patient outcomes and ultimately save lives, business leaders and entrepreneurs are raising the standards of healthcare through technology and innovation. What truly makes these path-breaking and passionate entrepreneurs unique are their undying perseverance, grit, and a never-give up-attitude to defy all the odds and relentlessly pursue their vision and pioneer it into success. Avidly exhibiting such traits, one such inspiring business leader who is not only making strides in the entrepreneurial world but also impeccably contributing to the evolution of the biotech and biopharma industries is Dr. Raphael Ribeiro-Pinaud, CEO and Chairman at Antharis Therapeutics.

Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud is a seasoned biotech executive with unique multi-disciplinary expertise at the intersection of science, regulatory affairs, finance, and business management, which is applied to the biotech and biopharma spaces. Prior to founding Antharis, he was the founder, President and CEO at GB, an in-vitro diagnostics company with offices in the USA and Brazil. Under his leadership, the company became the first GMP-certified facility in Latin America authorized to develop, locally produce and commercialize immunochemical diagnostic kits for the human health, agrivet and food safety markets. He was also a partner of Leste Global Investments, where he ran an event-driven portfolio of global biotech/pharma equities and derivatives for the company’s hedge fund. In addition, at Leste he also managed venture capital and private equity investments in the healthcare space. Prior to moving into financial markets and business management, he was an academic scientist and Professor, as well as an invited expert for multiple governmental agencies in the USA and abroad.

The Inception Story

Founded in 2020, Antharis Therapeutics is the brainchild of Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud. Notably, there were two key factors behind the launch of Antharis. Firstly, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud was driven by the belief that Antharis could lead scientific advancements and leverage state-of-the-art technologies to bridge the gap between developing innovative therapies and efficiently bringing them to market to benefit patients in need. Secondly, the launch was a strategic response to the trend of major pharmaceutical corporations acquiring smaller biotech companies to streamline their access to groundbreaking therapies. Recognizing the efficiency, focus, and agility of smaller companies, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud aimed to establish a company that exploits these advantages while incorporating cutting-edge science in developing a strategic portfolio of leading biotherapeutics.

Antharis Therapeutics: Aiming to Transform the Lives of Patients Through Cutting-Edge Therapies

Antharis Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing new treatments for unmet medical needs, in particular multiple types of cancer, by harnessing and unleashing the power of the immune system. The company utilizes cutting-edge science to develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates to provide solutions for patients suffering from diseases for which there are currently no satisfactory treatments. Moreover, the company’s paradigm-shifting approach to science holds unique promise to change the status quo for the development and use of targeted immunotherapies to fight diseases more successfully than ever before.

Advanced & Comprehensive Multi-Disciplinary Workflow

Antharis Therapeutics uses an advanced and comprehensive multi-disciplinary workflow to maximize success in obtaining therapeutically effective monoclonal antibodies for multiple diseases of interest. Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud states that their strategy encompasses various innovative approaches, including nucleotide-based immunization methods, as well as B-cell cloning and hybridoma technologies, aiming to develop high-affinity monoclonal antibodies against specific target proteins of interest in a more efficient manner. He also indicates that the company is increasingly using AI-based technologies in their antibody humanization efforts to further enhance Antharis’ capabilities.

Importantly, Antharis Therapeutics has an exceptional team of highly qualified scientists with complementary skills across multiple scientific domains that are essential to the seamless integration of this array of methodologies into a coherent and productive workflow. This has been the core of Antharis Therapeutics’ success in building the highly unique and prolific portfolio of products that it possesses today.

Spearheading Successful M&As

In 2022, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud led the successful M&A of Antharis and Cassyni Biopharma in one of the year’s largest pre-clinical private transactions in the USA. Cassyni Biopharma, headquartered in San Diego, was dedicated to developing monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases and various inflammatory disorders. While Antharis initially focused on oncological and neurological diseases, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud’s interest in expanding towards new markets with robust potential has been constant, especially those where he felt their science could be transformational in creating therapies. Cassyni’s portfolio aligned with this expanded vision and presented an intriguing collection of antibodies in the early development stages. “The strategic acquisition of Cassyni in mid-2022 facilitated Antharis’ rapid entry into inflammatory and infectious disease domains and enabled us to obtain assets at an early enough stage for optimal integration into our scientific workflow”, asserts Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud.

However, the main obstacle in the way of Cassyni’s acquisition was Antharis’ insufficient capitalization at that particular stage. To overcome this hurdle, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud anticipated his plans, successfully executed Antharis’ robust series A financing round, and paired it with Cassyni’s acquisition. Under Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud’s leadership, despite facing hurdles joining these two processes, the issues were ultimately solved, the acquisition was successful, and the portfolios of both companies were seamlessly integrated, officially propelling Antharis Therapeutics into new disease domains.

Adding Another Feather in the Cap

In mid-2023, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud also led Antharis through the successful acquisition of Galileo Biotech, a move that brought GMP capacity, cost savings, enhanced productivity, in-vitro diagnostics capabilities, and further strategic advantages, facilitating Antharis’ path to become a clinical company in the very near future.

Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud, while discussing Antharis’ rapid growth after its latest acquisition, shares, “Over the past 1.5 years, since the completion of our series A financing, Antharis experienced substantial growth, surpassing a twofold expansion in its asset portfolio and further propelling its advanced assets towards the clinic. Despite initially positioning Antharis as a preclinical company, our notable progress to date has prompted us to reconsider our original strategy and transition it into a clinical company.”

The Role of Venture Capital & Private Equity in the Healthcare & Biotech Sectors

Drawing from his extensive experience gained in asset management, in particular venture capital and private equity, Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud reveals that these financial instruments serve as crucial catalysts for early-stage startups and established companies alike, providing the necessary funding to advance research, develop groundbreaking therapies, and ultimately bring transformative products to the market. This is because, in healthcare, where research and development are capital-intensive, venture capital and private equity investments become essential lifelines, enabling the translation of scientific discoveries into concrete solutions. Furthermore, these investment vehicles bring strategic guidance, industry expertise, and network access, fostering an ecosystem where promising ideas can flourish and contribute to the advancement of these sectors.

A Diverse Educational Journey

Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud obtained a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience (OHSU; USA), carried out Post-Doctoral training in Bioengineering/Proteomics (Duke; USA), earned an MBA in Economics and Strategic Business Management (FGV; Brazil), and is a graduate of the Finance Leadership program (Harvard; USA).

Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud feels that his extensive and diverse academic background provided him with critical theoretical and practical experiences required to maximize performance in biotechnology endeavors. The foundation in science equipped him with a deep understanding of biology and scientific processes and intricacies, enabling him to lead and navigate the complexities of biotechnological advancements. Simultaneously, the MBA provided him with a tactical business perspective crucial for effective strategic planning, decision-making, optimization of resource allocations, as well as risk management and mitigation. He believes this diverse educational journey uniquely positioned him to integrate scientific expertise with business acumen, facilitating the translation of innovative research into tangible successes within the dynamic landscape of biotechnology.

Words of Wisdom

Dr. Ribeiro-Pinaud advises individuals aspiring to navigate multiple domains in their careers to embrace a multi-disciplinary mindset. He suggests aspirants seek educational opportunities that both deepen and broaden their knowledge base beyond their primary field of expertise. Similarly, developing a strong network of professionals and advisors from diverse backgrounds is highly beneficial as this can foster valuable collaborative opportunities and mutual learning. Furthermore, being open to embracing challenging projects that enable the application and integration of one’s skills across diverse domains is equally important.

The Road Ahead

Moving forward, Antharis Therapeutics plans to advance its most promising assets into the clinic and aspires to expand even further its already extensive biotherapeutics portfolio, explore novel applications for these medications to address a broader gamut of disorders and bring them to the market to benefit patients globally.

Source: CXO Outlook, Published on January 25, 2024, URL: cxooutlook.com/driving-transformative-impact-in-the-biopharmaceutical-industry/


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