Sequana Therapeutics is founded in San Diego, CA by Jay B. Lichter Ph.D. and Kevin Kinsella of Avalon Ventures. The company focuses on using gene discovery technology to determine which genes are associated with certain diseases. In 1998 Seaquana Therapeutics was acquired by South San Francisco, CA based Arris Pharmaceuticals in a deal worth $166 million. Unlike most biotech mergers, Arris’ acquisition of Sequana was unique in that both companies were financially stable with no obvious signs of impending hardship. The merger is more of an effort to make drug development more efficient as Sequana’s gene discovery technology would greatly complement Arris’ pharmaceutical experience. The newly formed company is called AxyS Pharmaceuticals, which in turn is acquired by the Alameda, CA based Celera Genomics in 2001.
Dr. Lichter continues to be a powerful force in the pharmaceutical industry and has been involved in licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued more than of $1 billion. Kinsella, likewise, has also contributed to the development of over 100 companies, especially in but not limited to, the healthcare and biotech industries.
Source: Life Sciences Foundation