TAMPA, Fla. and NEW YORK, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- M2GEN today announced a significant new investment by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice ("CD&R") funds, the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund ("Merck GHI"), and McKesson Ventures to recapitalize M2GEN, a leading oncology data and informatics platform focused on transforming cancer care, in partnership with its existing shareholders. The financial terms of the transaction, which closed today, were not disclosed.
Merck GHI and McKesson Ventures invested alongside CD&R funds, collectively now the company's largest shareholder. Existing shareholders Moffitt Cancer Center, Hearst Healthcare, and The Ohio State University Foundation continue to hold a significant minority interest M2GEN. Proceeds from the transaction are expected to accelerate growth of M2GEN's consented, linked clinical and genomic data asset and advance the technology and informatics capabilities of the company. In conjunction with the recapitalization, Sandra E. Peterson, CD&R Operating Partner and former Group Worldwide Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, has assumed the role of Chair of the M2GEN board.
In conjunction with the transaction, M2GEN will bolster its existing senior management team led by President and CEO Helge Bastian, Ph.D., with two experienced executive hires: Todd Johnson, M.D., most recently Senior Vice President of Life Sciences Commercialization and Clinical Research Groups at Optum, as Chief Growth Officer, and Wilf Russell, a seasoned technology leader with experience from companies including Volvo, Nike, and Microsoft, as Chief Technology Officer.
M2GEN runs one the world's largest observational research studies in cancer, which tracks patients throughout their lifetime, links longitudinal clinical data with molecular information, and enables a deeper understanding of a patient's disease. M2GEN has established one of the largest and most comprehensive linked clinical and genomic databases in the country, empowering innovative, collaborative cancer research and supporting the development of novel oncology drugs by its biopharmaceutical partners.
M2GEN's data platform includes more than 300,000 patients across its alliance of leading cancer research centers, known as the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN®). ORIEN members benefit through collaborative research and shared data; M2GEN's biopharmaceutical partners benefit through access to the network and a dataset that supports clinical trial design, patient recruiting and new therapy development; and the ultimate beneficiaries are patients, as this process informs new drug treatment options.
"M2GEN is purpose-driven and patient-centric, and we believe it will impact healthcare for the next generation by connecting patients, providers, researchers, and pharma R&D to fundamentally change the way cancer is studied and treated," said Sarah Kim, CD&R Partner. "CD&R has spent significant time evaluating the real-world data market within pharma services and sees a tremendous opportunity to join forces with an exceptional group of shareholders to support M2GEN's next phase of growth, drive operational excellence, and further its mission to connect patients to a cure by accelerating the discovery, development and delivery of more personalized therapies."
"Merck GHI closely tracked M2GEN for many years through our research colleagues' collaborations first with Moffitt Cancer Center and then with M2GEN's spin-out from Moffitt," said David M. Rubin, Ph.D., Managing Director, Merck GHI. "This syndicated investment will support the build of scaled resources that have the potential to enable the development of new medicines and precision cancer care."
"McKesson Ventures is proud to support M2GEN's leading and comprehensive linked clinical and genomic data platform. Our investment directly reflects McKesson's broader commitment to advance and improve community oncology care through The US Oncology Network and Ontada, our innovative oncology technology and insights business," said Dave Schulte, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, McKesson Ventures.
Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to CD&R in connection with the transaction. Perella Weinberg Partners LP served as exclusive financial advisor and Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP acted as legal advisor to M2GEN. Green Shoots Consulting, LLC served as advisor and McDermott Will & Emery LLP acted as legal advisor to Merck GHI.
M2GEN is an oncology-focused health informatics solutions company that leverages clinical and molecular data to accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of personalized therapies. Founded in 2006 with a mission to enable a collaborative approach to the fight against cancer, M2GEN facilitates the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network® (ORIEN®), an alliance of leading cancer centers that participate in the HIPAA-compliant, IRB-approved protocol, Total Cancer Care®, to gather de-identified clinical and genomic patient data for research purposes. M2GEN currently has more than 300,000 total consented patients across a network of 18 cancer centers in 10 states. Learn more at www.m2gen.com.
About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $30 billion in 98 companies with an aggregate transaction value of more than $150 billion. CD&R has built a broad network across the biopharmaceutical market and has extensive experience with data-centric business models. Recent investments include Huntsworth (acquired 2020), a leading provider of specialty services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies; Huntsworth's December 2020 acquisition of Nucleus to create a global pharma commercialization leader; naviHealth (owned from 2018-2020), which leverages data to improve healthcare outcomes; and Covetrus (acquired 2015), a multi-channel integrated provider of pharmacy services, prescription management and data analytics for the animal health industry. The Firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.cdr-inc.com.
About Merck Global Health Innovation Fund
Merck Global Health Innovation Fund (Merck GHI) is evolving corporate healthcare venture capital globally by utilizing their healthcare ecosystem strategy. This investment strategy connects innovative companies with complementary technologies to develop integrated healthcare solutions. Merck GHI has $500M under management and provides growth capital to emerging healthcare technology companies worldwide while leveraging the vast R&D-based, global resources of Merck. With a vision that data will be the currency in healthcare, Merck GHI invests broadly in digital health. Merck GHI invests in platform companies with proven technologies or business models where Merck's expertise and perspectives can accelerate revenue growth and enhance value creation. Since late 2010, Merck GHI has made over 50 investments in Digital Health companies. www.merckghifund.com
About McKesson Ventures
McKesson Ventures is a strategic venture firm backed by McKesson Corporation focusing on early and growth stage digital health and tech-enabled healthcare services companies. McKesson Ventures targets companies that both catalyze and benefit from the key changes taking place in the U.S. healthcare landscape. McKesson Corporation is a healthcare services and information solutions company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. Visit www.mckessonventures.com to learn more.