Drug vets launch new firm
Bradley's founder, son return with a startup
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
BY JEFF MAY
When Bradley Pharmaceuticals founder Daniel Glassman tried to take the company private last year, he set in motion the law of unintended consequences.
The directors of the specialty pharmaceuticals business, based in Fairfield, began actively shopping the business. They ultimately accepted a $346 million offer from Swiss drugmaker Nycomed -- which, insult added to injury, represented a lower bid than one from an investment group led by Glassman and his son, Bradley, the marketing chief and namesake of the company. The purchase was completed in late February this year.
Now, the Glassmans are back with a new business, which looks a lot like the old one.
It's a drug company that focuses on dermatology and podiatry products, Bradley's core franchise, and has virtually the same top management. Its offices also are in a familiar place.
"I could walk out the front door, throw a baseball and hit the window where I used to sit," Bradley Glassman, who will be chief executive of the new company, told The Star-Ledger yesterday. "It's literally within yards of (the old) company."
The only things different are the name -- Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals -- and the relatively small staff of 11 people that befits a startup. Bradley Glassman said the team began planning the new business within days of the sale of the old company.
"All of us really enjoy working," he said. "We enjoy developing teams of people. We enjoy growing brands. When you take that all away, you get excited about doing something similar."
Daniel Glassman, who founded Bradley in 1985, will be chairman of Medimetriks. Bradley's chief financial officer, Brent Lenczycki, will hold the same position with the new company. Alan Goldstein will be head of corporate development, his old role with Bradley.
The four men together collected some $3.7 million in cash from severance agreements, plus immediate vesting of stock options and other perks when the Bradley deal closed, according to a proxy filing. Some of that formed the financial seed corn of the new business.
All four executives had 12-month, no-compete clauses in their employment agreements with Bradley, but those were voided once a "change in control" -- Nycomed's takeover -- went into effect.
Medimetriks hopes to have its first product, a topical skin cream, on the market in 120 days, said Bradley Glassman. The company is also pursuing licensing opportunities for compounds in Phase II clinical trials.
The new company has a ways to go, however, before it can match Nycomed, which has some $450 million in annual sales from its dermatology business alone. A Nycomed spokeswoman, Mindy Kirsch, declined comment about Medimetriks.
Since the Bradley acquisition, Nycomed has moved remnants of the former company's staff to Florham Park -- where its PharmaDerm division is based -- and laid off 196 people who worked in Fairfield.