DALLAS & NASHVILLE, Tenn.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Pharos Capital Group, LLC (“Pharos”), a private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, announced it has acquired Horizon Oncology (“Horizon”), headquartered in Lafayette, Indiana. The acquisition marks the launch of Verdi Oncology, Inc. (“Verdi”), an oncology practice and clinical research management company. Verdi will focus on aggregating high-quality oncology practices that participate or qualify to participate in the Oncology Care Model program, a value-based care payment program backed by CMS, and similar value-based care payment programs offered by commercial payors. Pharos is partnering with Wes Chapman, a seasoned executive in the oncology industry, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Verdi.
Founded in 2001 by Dr. Wael A. Harb, Horizon has four providers offering oncology and hematology services. Additionally, the practice offers cutting edge clinical trials opportunities for patients throughout the Midwest. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to launch Verdi and partner with the professionals at Pharos, who bring a wealth of financial and operational healthcare experience, and Dr. Harb at Horizon Oncology, a high-quality practice with a terrific clinical trials offering,” said Wes Chapman. “We have a talented team and will look to quickly execute on our vision of building a leading oncology platform dedicated to delivering patient-centered care in a value-based care environment.”
Mr. Chapman is a nationally recognized expert in healthcare operations, ACO Quality and value-based care programs, having worked in various roles with prominent community and academic oncology groups, including Tennessee Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and West Clinic, helping them with quality systems and innovative payment reform models. Previously, he spent 10 years as Chairman and CEO of medical device company M2S, Inc., and Mr. Chapman also has 15 years of experience in investment banking with Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Securities and Oppenheimer.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease, and accounts for nearly one of every four deaths. There are 1.7 million new cancer cases each year, and annual expenditures are ~$90 billion. Bob Crants, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Pharos, said, “We are excited to move into the oncology space with the creation of Verdi and to fuel the Company’s growth through additional acquisitions and internal growth. Cancer has an impact on just about everyone’s life, and we envision building a platform focused on best-in-class care for patients, while also helping solve the growing cost burden oncology presents in the US.”
Dr. Harb added, “I am excited to partner with Pharos and Verdi in this innovative venture. I believe the Verdi model will offer a significant advantage to patients, who can be assured of quality, cost-effective and compassionate care with access to leading medical advances. This is a revolutionary time in the fight against cancer with over a thousand drugs in the pipeline and many drugs getting approval every year. Even with accelerated approvals for new drugs, the process is too slow and cutting edge clinical trials are difficult to access. With this partnership we can grow our research program and extend novel therapies to patients in their own communities.”
This marks the eighth platform portfolio investment from Pharos III, a $545 million healthcare-focused private equity fund.