Irish life science investment company Malin reshuffles its executive board and gives its former director, Kelly Martin, the new CEO position. The Ex-Elan chief will further push investments in British biotechs.
Kelly Martin takes over as CEO of Malin and will balance opportunities and risk in the company’s investments, as well as running day to day business. The former Merrill Lynch & Co executive spent a decade at Irish biotech Elan, where he was labelled as the worst biotech CEO of the year from TheStreet’s Adam Feuerstein. Elan’s stock declined by about 70% after high promises of an Alzheimer’s drug never came to fruition. However, Martin arranged to sell Elan for $8.6Bn to Perrigo 5 years later.
Martin will take up the position from former Milan CEO Adrian Howd, who will then go on to be chief investment officer. Howd’s role will be to assess the underlying science, technology and clinical progression of the assets, after having completed two major investments in the US in his final actions as CEO. The first investment – between $15M to $20M – will pour into North Carolina based Hatteras Venture Partners. It will allow the company Malin to extend its network without having to build its own infrastructure. Another $1 million was submitted to Jaan Health, a privately held New York e-health company.
Despite the fact that Malin’s new CEO will be based in the US, the company will remain strongly committed to European biotechs. Its plan will be to further close in on the UK – around which Marlin is already centralised. Approximately 25% of the company’s capital has been commited to UK based companies. Among these was the investment in Immunocore, which was Europe’s largest private life sciences investment ever. Together with Woodford Investment Management, Malin also led the €44.4M investment into the British Biotech Kymab. In both cases, Kelly Martin joined the boards of the companies.
In support of the rising UK projects, the company will open an office in Cambridge within the next month, where former CEO Adrian Howd will be based. With committed investors such as Malin or Woodford, it seems like the UK can look forward to a further boom in its biotech industry.