IDT Corp. (IDT) Announces $10m Investment in Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals
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IDT Corporation (NYSE: IDT) today announced a strategic investment in Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company. IDT and a group of "A list" co-investors invested $10 million for a minority interest in the company, adding to a prior investment by IDT's Chairman, Howard Jonas. Under the investment agreements, IDT has board representation, and IDT and its co-investors have the right to acquire a majority interest in Cornerstone.
"Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals, with its impressive pipeline of oncology drugs, exemplifies the promise of the biotech sector, and we are proud to support the company's ground-breaking work," said Howard Jonas, IDT Chairman. "We view Cornerstone as a wise investment, as its success to date has been nothing short of remarkable. The company's lead compound, CPI-613, has generated encouraging preliminary results in early-stage trials in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and T-cell lymphoma. Those results have helped to attract an unmatched group of personnel, scientific advisors, investors and board members, strengthening Cornerstone's position as the company charts its path forward."
Biotechnology is an extremely well-positioned industry sector for growth and return. Annual global growth in the oncology drug market is expected to be 7.5 – 10.5 percent through 2020, reaching $150 billion. (IMS Health Data on file) IDT has long viewed the biotechnology sector as an attractive target for strategic investment, particularly in the area of oncology drug development, where numerous research initiatives are investigating agents with the potential to transform anticancer treatment. IDT's co-investors include:
- The Abramson Family Foundation: The foundation supports the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and Abramson Cancer Center, a world leader in cancer research, patient care, and education. The Center's preeminent position is reflected in its exceptional merit rating by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and continuous designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the NCI since 1973, one of 41 such Centers in the United States.
- Chetrit Brothers: The Chetrit brothers are highly disciplined and successful investors, focused primarily on real estate. Their holdings have at various times included buildings such as the Willis Tower and Sony building.
- Michael Steinhardt: Legendary hedge fund manager, financier, investor, newspaper publisher, and philanthropist; founded Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co. in 1967.
- Mortimer Zuckerman: Co-founder, executive chairman and former CEO of Boston Properties, one of the largest real estate investment trusts in the United States. Mr. Zuckerman is also the owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and the U.S. News & World Report, where he serves as editor-in-chief. He formerly owned The Atlantic and Fast Company. He also established the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University which is creating the most comprehensive brain science institute in the world.
"The science driving Cornerstone Pharmaceuticals has always been robustly innovative. Now, it is building the leadership and personnel necessary to deliver new cancer therapies to patients," said Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, Director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, who has agreed to chair Cornerstone's Scientific Advisory Board. "Supported by committed investors, the passion and dedication of Cornerstone's scientists and senior management will surely enhance our understanding of cancer cell metabolism as a therapeutic target for a host of innovative drug compounds, especially CPI-613."
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