Pioneering the “Built-to-Buy” Structured Exit
Backdrop: As large pharma companies compress their R&D budgets, high-quality assets in research portfolios often lose momentum. Atlas identified a promising, first-in-class therapeutic for chronic migraine in Eli Lilly’s pipeline and negotiated an externalization and buy-back option, creating Arteaus Therapeutics to develop the asset through key value inflection points in a creatively structured virtual model.
Atlas’ Role: Dave Grayzel served as founder and chief executive officer, incubating the company within Atlas and leading the Series A. Under his leadership, and with only two full-time employees, Arteaus moved from IND submission through a successful randomized Phase 2 clinical trial in less than three years, demonstrating proof-of-concept for migraine prevention.
Today: Lilly re-acquired Arteaus for the pre-negotiated upfront payment after Arteaus achieved its pre-determined milestones 2.5 years after its formation. Lilly has since initiated four clinical trials and Atlas is eligible for future milestones and royalties.