Roivant launches two new companies amid major restructure and staff layoffs

pharmafile | June 26, 2018 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development Roivant, pharma 

Roivant, the global biopharmaceutical firm spearheaded by founder and CEO Vivek Ramaswamy (pictured), has announced it is to undergo a major restructure and launch two new business units alongside a new startup – a move which will also see the company shed a considerable number of staff.

The two new units, named Roivant Pharma and Roivant Health, will focus on the acceleration the launch of new healthcare startups within the Vant family, including units centred on earlier-stage scientific platforms.

Roivant Pharma, lauded as an “end-to-end biopharmaceutical company creation in new therapeutic areas”, will be headed up by former Roivant Chief Business Officer, Dr Mayukh Sukhatme as President. Roivant Health, which will focus on launching companies which deliver to “emerging markets and improve the process of developing and commercializing new medicines through the application of technology”, will be helmed by Benjamin Zimmer, who served as Head of Special Projects at Roivant.

The organisation will also launch the new startup Altavant Sciences, which will be focusing on the development of RVT-1201, a therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension. This endeavour wil be led by Roivant Chief Development Officer William Symonds.

“The standard of care for PAH remains insufficient,” commented Dr Symonds. “I look forward to directing the newest member of the Roivant family as we develop RVT-1201 in a thoughtful, rigorous, and efficient manner that draws on best practices developed at Roivant in areas including patient engagement, the use of technology in trials, and the analysis of clinical trial results.”

As for the job cuts, Roivant has said it has let go around 10% of its total workforce, which a company spokesman indicated meant that 67 individuals were laid off. A larger sum will be reassigned, with the total thought to be over 100, to one of its many startups.

“I am excited to elevate several of Roivant’s talented leaders to new roles that will enable them to tackle new challenges,” commented CEO Ramaswamy. “Our goal is to deliver transformative innovation in healthcare. Going forward, we will expand the scope of our focus to include the advancement of potentially transformative assets into clinical development, even if they are at earlier stages of development than much of our pipeline to date. I look forward to providing additional updates at our first annual Pipeline Day next month.”

Matt Fellows

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