NovoCure Ltd.

Case Solution

William A. Sahlman, Sarah Greene Flaherty
Harvard Business School ()

Venture capitalist William Doyle must raise $ 35 million for a portfolio company with a promising new cancer therapy as global capital markets implode in the fall of 2008. NovoCure, Ltd., has developed a therapy. based on electric fields called Tumor Treatment Fields to treat cancerous tumors. After a five-year trial phase in human patients, the therapy has shown significant efficacy without side effects. Doyle believes that NovoCure has the potential to become a major company with a great new cancer therapy platform, but it must complete phase III clinical trials and obtain FDA approval. Doyle’s venture capital firm, WFD Ventures, has invested $ 25 million in three rounds to fund pilot clinical trials for glioblastoma and other non-small cell lung cancers and the first pivotal clinical trial for glioblastoma. Additional funding is required for the second strategically important registry study. In the fall of 2008, Doyle was negotiating the final terms of an investment for two prominent hedge funds when the liquidity crunch prompted hedge funds to pull out of the transaction. Doyle must now reconsider his options to secure the necessary funding for this promising young company.

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