A Conversation with Barry Frankel, MetrioPharm’s new Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development
Do you remember first hearing about MetrioPharm?
Yes, I do remember. I have a friend, who told me to take a look at this company. I reviewed their data and the first thing I liked was the unique profile of the MP1032 platform. The data showed surprisingly good efficacy as an anti-inflammatory as well as an extraordinary safety profile. The self-regulatory mode of action (MoA) indicates that it is highly unlikely to overdose this molecule.
So it was the scientific data that sparked your interest?
It was the scientific data, but also the business model that struck me as bold and visionary. This company is aiming at a broad patient population and it has a pricing strategy that will actually make this viable in the healthcare markets. MetrioPharm has a disruptive, yet realistic business model.
What was the next step?
I liked the data and I liked the business model but the most important factor for developing companies is the management team. It is not unusual for small companies with good science to fail because they don’t have the right people. So, I met with the Board, with the CEO and with the senior management team and I was struck by their level of expertise. Besides I found one other important thing: A wonderful level of commitment to the same mission. The MetrioPharm team has a truly unique blend of professionalism and passion.
You started consulting MetrioPharm and earlier this year you joined the team. Where do you see the company right now?
MetrioPharm is at a pivot point. The company used its first years very efficiently to develop the ideal version of its lead compound MP1032, secure intellectual property, to conduct preclinical trials, find possible indications and understand the MoA. Now all the basic questions have been answered. The company is ready for a breakout strategy with a high level of confidence and a low level of risk.
Your new title is Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development. What will be your role at MetrioPharm?
I will be involved in answering the following questions: First, what is our overall strategy in terms of development? We have more than ten promising indications for MP1032, so which are the ones we want to focus on? The second of question is: How can we commercialize our product; How can we make the right deals with the right partners? Are we looking for global deals, or do we want to make regional, geographic deals with different pharmaceutical companies?
And where do you see MetrioPharm going in the next 15 to 20 months?
With MP1032 we have an enormous potential and we want to make the most of it. To increase the value of the company in the coming negotiations, we want to raise money now und use it to accelerate our development program. I was talking to the Board just the other day and I said: This company is ready to explode in terms of opportunity.
That sounds great. We wish you all the best. Thank you for taking your time.
Pleasure. I have to say: I have been working in the life science industry for more than 40 years and I have very rarely come across a company with this kind of potential.
Barry Frankel is the founder of Frankel Group LLC, a global life science strategy consulting firm with offices in New York NY, Cambridge MA and Tel Aviv. He served as a Director of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and as a Senior Research Officer of Citibank Investment Management Group, responsible for investment recommendations in the life science industry. Mr. Frankel was also a partner and president of SJ Weinstein Associates Inc, a healthcare advertising and marketing strategy firm.