The billion-dollar pharma startup that Silicon Valley has totally missed
A Cincinnati native who studied biology at Harvard then earned a law degree from Yale, it was when Ramaswamy began working as an analyst in 2007 at the hedge fund QVT Financial in New York that he first observed the problem that defines his work today. He noticed that many big and small pharmaceutical firms abandon promising drugs for various reasons having nothing to do with their efficacy. Sometimes, it’s a strategic decision to focus elsewhere; sometimes, it owes to a lack of resources. Seeing an opportunity to complete the development of some of these abandoned late-stage drug candidates and get them to market quickly, Ramaswamy struck out on his own in 2014.
Having earned the trust of QVT was key. The firm, along with Dexcel Pharma, an Israeli firm that reviewed Ramaswamy’s work at QVT, provided Ramaswamy’s new holding company with just less than $100 million in capital — a feat, given that he was just 28 years old at the time.