- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
This story first appeared in the Jan. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
If his studio ever falters, Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has a nice investment to fall back on. Thanks to the largest biotech IPO of 2014, Kavanaugh’s family foundation and investment arm, Knight Global, now has about $150 million worth of stock. The windfall comes from a small seed investment made in 2008 in ZetaRX, a pharmaceutical company acquired in 2013 by Juno Therapeutics. Juno is a clinical-stage immune-oncology company whose main product is a therapy that uses a patient’s own T-cells to develop cancer treatments specific to them. Juno went public Dec. 23, selling 12.7 million shares at $24 each (a $4 billion market cap). It since has doubled to more than $50 a share (as of Jan. 19).
Kavanagh’s Knight holds about 3 million shares, or a little less than 5 percent. ZetaRx was founded by Kavanaugh’s father, Dr. Jack Kavanaugh, who brought in collaborators including the City of Hope and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. After promising tests, what is now a division of Juno expects to begin clinical trials before year’s end (it is seeking accelerated FDA approval). “This could be the most important breakthrough in cancer we’ve witnessed,” says Kavanaugh, “and knowing my father’s hard work, dedication and goal to end cancer was a primary driver in creating this makes this a very special moment.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day