Plexxikon’s Glaub: personalized medicine is ‘the wave of the future’

News | 10. 07. 2011


October 7, 2011

They came from all parts of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and several of them from far beyond, to hear the story of how a small biotechnology company developed a breakthrough cancer treatment, blazed a path for future development of personalized medicine treatments and was purchased in a deal valued at $935 million — the biggest venture-backed acquisition this year.

The company is California biotech Plexxikon. And one of its investors was Durham, North Carolina-based Pappas Ventures, which saw a return greater than 10 times its original investment. Plexxikon President Kathy Glaub was the guest speaker at a packed house for Pappas Ventures’ annual life sciences symposium. Pappas was one of Plexxikon’s early investors, pumping money into the company shortly after its 2001 launch. Art Pappas, founder and managing partner of the firm, said the investment was as much in founder and CEO Peter Hirth as it was in the science. Pappas said he thought Hirth could do with Plexxikon what he had done with previous company Sugen, whose cancer drug Sutent is now a blockbuster drug for Pfizer (NYSE:PFE).