Steve Elms has been going to the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference for so long that he was there before it was even J.P. Morgan’s.
Back in 1995, he was a young banker at Hambrecht & Quist, the San Francisco-based boutique firm that hosted a clubby, annual gathering for a burgeoning biotechnology industry.
More than 20 years later, Elms was back at the event after making one of the bigger deals of his career. On Monday, Eli Lilly & Co. said it would buy Loxo Oncology Inc. for $8 billion in cash.
Elms, 55, is the chairman of Loxo’s board and his investment firm, Aisling Capital, is one of its largest shareholders. Aisling’s stake is worth about $480 million at the $235 per share deal price. Considering many of those shares were purchased for a fraction of that price in the company’s earliest funding rounds, suffice to say Elms and Aisling have done well.
“We’re very pleased with the outcome,” Elms said. “It really demonstrates that being a patient-focused company like Loxo can lead to very attractive shareholder benefits.”