516: Illuminating the Science for All to See | Usama Malik, CFO, Immunomedics

Listen to the Episode Below (00:32:48)

“It’s the economics, the finance,” says CFO Usama Malik, who quickly adds the words “and the accounting” to his short list of finance leader action items. Malik begins where most CFOs end–with the economics behind the business model. Everything else follows, he explains.  

“This role is about applying a broader lens to an entire industry and figuring out a competitive advantage,” adds Malik, who, while bullish on the science behind Immunomedics’ future offerings, makes clear his contention that it’s the economics that will ultimately determine the company’s fate.

“Historically, there have been fund-raising CFOs, operational CFOs, and strategic CFOs. … I’ve now started to combine these disciplines, and the culmination of these is really advancing the role,” explains Malik. –Jack Sweeney    

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Guest: Usama Malik, CFO

Company: Immunomedics (NASDAQ IMMU)

Headquarters: Morris Plains, New Jersey

Connect: www.immunomedics.com

CFOTL: What were your finance leader priorities when you first entered the CFO office?

Malik: When the new board two years ago took over the company–a company that at that point was 36 years old–it was highly undercapitalized, very local and parochial, and purely research-focused, with really no capabilities to scale the company or to bring the product to market. We fundamentally had to think through how to scale a company that was undercapitalized. How do we tell the story of the company, of the science? How do we build the capability? How do we attract capital and ultimately start to deliver on a set of goals that we think will impact patients in a positive way? And, importantly, that also gives a return on investment to investors in relation to other opportunities that they might have? You know, it’s been a period of understanding and reflection over the last two years, and we’ve done a number of raises since then.

We did a very large Royalty Pharma deal, with $250 million. In beginning of 2018, we did another capital market raise of close to $300 million, and then, recently, we did the Everest deal in China, which has $125 million up front, $810 million in milestone payments, and very attractive royalty rates. The ability to finesse and hone our story to convince investors of the science and technology that we have here, and ultimately to lead by demonstrating progress, has been a very important component of getting to where we are today. Fundamentally, always understanding what the needs of the business are, what the capital requirements are, and how we invest that capital have been important parts of our success today. jb