Insmed Incorporated was founded upon pharmaceutical research performed at the University of Virginia. The technology, developed by Dr. Joseph Larner while he was Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology, was licensed to the company and focused on therapeutics for Type II adult onset diabetes.
Intersouth was introduced to the founders of Insmed when the company went in search of venture capital. Other interested investors were located in Boston and on the west coast, and Insmed was interested in having a local investor who would be closer to the company. Intersouth co-led the first institutional round of funding, which was concurrent with the naming of CEO Dr. Geoffrey Allan.
Several subsequent rounds of financing followed, with Intersouth helping to bring together a strong syndicate each time. The company continued to make progress in its trials, moving its portfolio of drug candidates through discovery and each phase of clinical trials. In June 2000, Insmed’s board of directors led the company through a reverse merger into a publicly-traded company, Celtrix Pharmaceuticals. The merger was immediately followed by a secondary offering, bringing the company’s value to a peak market capitalization of $1.3 billion.
Throughout the deal, Intersouth provided a balancing presence for management and the board of directors. Today, Insmed continues to focus on the discovery and development of drug candidates for the treatment of metabolic diseases and endocrine disorders.
“Entrepreneurial companies require creativity to determine the most successful possible path,” said Dennis Dougherty, who served on the Insmed board of directors for Intersouth. “A unique plan is necessary to bring the greatest benefit to the company, its management team, its employees and its investors. Insmed was an exciting company to work with throughout its growth and particularly during its exit, because it pushed those creative barriers.”