Lindsay Rosenwald on Selling Cougar Biotechnology for $1 Billion

Since the 1990s, Lindsay Rosenwald has founded and developed multiple successful biotechnology companies. Cougar Biotechnology, one of his successful companies, eventually sold for approximately one billion dollars to Johnson and Johnson. Today, he is well-known as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Fortress Biotech Inc, which has become one of the most successful and prominent biotechnology companies in the world.

Lindsay Rosenwald

Lindsay Rosenwald: A history of biotech success

For the past 25 years, Lindsay Rosenwald has continually grown his career as a successful entrepreneur in the field of biotechnologies. His previous endeavors include managing direct investments, assets, venture capital, and investment banking within biotechnology. In the mid-1990s he quickly gained ground in developing effective strategies for discovering and advancing the best upcoming pharmaceutical drugs.

After graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in finance and then earning his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, he began his career as a private practitioner. In the 1990s, his biotechnology career really took off. Early on, he recognized the need for a better business model for the professional development of pharmaceuticals. 

Selling Cougar Biotechnologies

Rosenwald went on to found Cougar Biotechnologies, a Los Angeles-based company, utilizing a business plan which proved to be exceedingly successful — eventually leading to the development of Zytiga, which is the most used drug for prostate cancer worldwide. Johnson and Johnson purchased Cougar Biotechnologies for around 1 billion dollars in May of 2009. The development and sale of this company set the stage for Rosenwald’s future success. 

In his 25 years in the field, he has founded, co-founded, or assisted with the development of over 50 biotechnology companies. Currently, he is the Executive Chairman for Avenue Therapeutics, Inc, and he holds positions on the boards of multiple other biotech companies such as Helocyte Inc., Cellvation, Inc., and Mustang Bio, Inc. 

Success in Biotech

Historically, biotechnology is a clunky and difficult-to-navigate field. The process of finding, developing, testing, and approving pharmaceutical drugs for public use can take many years. Every year, there are hundreds of promising projects that will go undeveloped. Getting drugs approved takes large sums of upfront money, but these upfront investments can pay off in the long run if the drug proves effective. The current model requires recognizes the risk of failed drugs and established criteria for choosing and testing only viable projects

Rosenwald developed a seamless business model to efficiently take drugs from the initial development stage to the patient. The process is relatively simple in theory. After identifying potential drugs, the biotech company in-licenses drugs, meaning they take over the process entirely from the parent company. Then, they utilize partner companies that have the expertise to develop the drug, test it, and get it out to patients. 

Today, he has found great success through his company’s strong relationships and partners, many of which he oversees personally. Part of his success could be attributed to a willingness to spread to any and every area of medicine and to partner with some of the largest and most trusted biotechnology research centers and testing facilities. They have over 25 current drug candidates that are in the preparatory stages. He has enlisted a team of trained professionals to seek promising drugs from all over the world that meet the company’s criteria. He has developed strong relationships with dozens of research facilities, hospitals, and drug production companies. 

Though he is worth approximately $2.69 million, Lindsay Rosenwald often highlights the difference that his work makes in the lives of fellow human beings instead of the financial success of his companies. Through strong effective partnerships, Rosenwald utilizes an incredibly efficient business model through Fortress Biotech for providing the world with life-saving drugs.