RARECast: The Attraction of Being a Rare Disease Drug Company

June 5, 2015

Bellus Health was originally formed around technology seen as the basis for promising therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease, but the company also pursued rare disease opportunities as well. Despite encouraging results, the financial crisis made it difficult for the company to advance its potential Alzheimer’s therapy. With a new CEO put in place, the company overhauled its strategy, out licensed its alzheimer’s drug and embraced its identity as a rare disease drug company. We spoke to Roberto Bellini, CEO of Bellus Health, about the transformation of the company, the changing environment for orphan drugs, and why being a rare disease drug company is an attractive business model today.

RARECast is a weekly series by Daniel S. Levine. Levine is an award-winning business journalist who has reported on the life sciences, economic development, and business policy issues throughout his 25-year career. He founded Levine Media Group in 2013, which produces The Bio Report and RARECast podcasts. Read his full bio here. 

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