Apellis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: APLS) achieved the third biggest life science IPO of 2017 with $150 million raised, yet the groundwork was laid well beforehand â beginning with its S-1 filing in 2015 and subsequent search for a CFO to manage the next steps. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, where experienced life science executives are in shorter supply, the company was advised by investor Morningside Ventures to consider an alternative: an engagement with Danforth Advisors to access the industryâs top talent on a flexible, part-time basis.
- Engaged an interim CFO who became an integral member of the companyâs leadership team in a strategic and operational role that spanned more than two years
- Provided advisory on business development and corporate strategy, handled staffing and employee compensation matters, regularly participated in board and staff meetings
- Oversaw companyâs financing strategy, including a Series D and a Series E capital raise, followed by an important $20 million loan agreement with Silicon Valley Bank
Under Danforthâs guidance, the company was able to secure the runway needed to ultimately achieve its goal of an IPO. We maintained a board role to assist with the now-public companyâs transition to an in-house CFO. âWe couldnât have found a better resource than Dan Geffken as interim CFO, whoâs the best at what he does in an industry that is ever-changing,â said Cedric Francois, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Apellis. âHis contributions were invaluable to a very important chapter of our growth story, and I wouldnât hesitate to call upon his expertise in the future.â