Don Dion

About the Author Don Dion

Don Dion is the owner and Chief Investment Officer of DRD Investments, LLC, based in Naples, FL. and Williamstown, MA., a family office focused on managing a long/short hedge fund, real estate assets and various other financial assets for the Dion family. Don no longer manages money for other families or institutions. Mr. Dion is also the trustee of the Dion Family Foundation which focuses on helping individuals with tuition assistance at Catholic Institutions for grammar school, high school and college education. The foundation also helps individuals by supporting health care institutions particularly Massachusetts General Hospital. Don is on two leadership and advisory committees at Massachusetts General Hospital, consults with Saint Dominic's Academy and serves as a trustee of Saint Michaels College. Mr. Dion is the retired publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser ( family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investor commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 30,000 subscribers in the United States and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes two monthly newsletters and one weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 16 years and reaches over 25,000 subscribers. Mr. Dion is also the sole founder and retired C.E.O. of Dion Money Management (, a fee-based investment advisory firm for affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he was responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Massachusetts and Naples, Fl., Dion Money Management managed over $900 million in assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries when he sold the company to Focus Financial Partners in September of 2007. Mr. Dion was the co-founder, Chairman and C.E.O. of Litchfield Financial Corp. "LTCH" a NASDAQ listed company which went public in 1992 and was acquired by Textron Corp. in 1995 for cash consideration. Don was also the Executive Vice President, C.F.O. and General Counsel for Bluegreen Corp. "BXG" a NYSE company from 1986 to 1988. Mr. Dion graduated with honors from Saint Michaels College in 1976 with a B.S. degree in Economics and Business Administration. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Maine Law School in 1979 and his LL.M. degree from Boston University Law School in 1982. After law school, Mr Dion was employed as a tax and estate planning lawyer with the Boston Law Firm of Warner and Stackpole from 1983 to 1985 and Ernst and Young as a C.P.A. from 1979 to 1983

Blueprint Medicines Corp (BPMC) IPO: Early For Stamp Of Approval, But Goldman Sachs Could Power It Up

Blueprint Medicines Corp (NASDAQ:BPMC) is a Cambridge-MA-based biotech firm working to develop cancer treatment therapies by analyzing kinase mutations in cells. (Kinases are enzymes essential to cellular activity.)

Blueprint has filed with the SEC to commence trading on Nasdaq on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. 7.2 million shares, with an underwriters’ overallocation of 1.07 million shares, are being offered between $15 and $17, for a total gross raise of $140 million. The offering is roughly 30% of the outstanding shares.

Goldman Sachs, Cowen and Co., Wedbush PacGrow and JMP Securities are the underwriters.

The use of proceeds is to commence Phase 1 trials for BLU-285 and BLU-554. A possible lung cancer treatment may also be in the works.

Company Summary

Blueprint Medicines was founded in 2008 as ImmunoCo by venture capital investor Third Rock Ventures and an internationally recognized research team. After two name changes and several additional private equity rounds via Fidelity Biosciences and Nextech Invest, the company managed to establish its kinase inhibitor genomic identification platform with approval for Phase 1 FDA trials.

The company has two lead products to-date: BLU-285 is an oral treatment designed to target gastrointestinal and bone marrow cancer tumors; and BLU-554 is designed to treat liver cancer.

The kinase inhibitor platform shows considerable promise for more streamlined and efficient genomic testing, helping identify treatments for cancer patients that can shave months off of the chemotherapy drug selection process.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALXN) is confident that the Blueprint platform may hold the key to accelerating its own research in treating rare diseases and genetic disorders. They recently signed a research contract, and Blueprint received a $15 million upfront payment.

Financial Overview: Still Pre-Revenue

As to be expected with a biotech company still in FDA trials for its initial products, the company is still running losses. Its 2014 numbers reported $39.7 million in operating expenses and no revenues, for a -$40.285 million loss.

Management Overview

Blueprint’s scientific trio, Nick Lydon, Brian Druker and Charles Sawyers, were part of the development team for imatinib, a landmark kinase-based treatment for several cancers, particularly leukemia. Third Rock Ventures brought in Alex Borisy as Blueprint’s interim CEO, before landing Jeffrey Albers with over 20 years’ experience and a former president of Algeta before its acquisition by Bayer last summer. Third Rock and Albers have engineered a number of savvy strategic moves with additional private equity rounds and the Alexion deal to enable Blueprint’s IPO filing.

Conclusion: Consider Caution At Early Stage

The biotech IPO market is still moving along, despite some disappointments. XBiotech Inc (NASDAQ:XBIT), Aduro Biotech Inc (NASDAQ:ADRO) and Cidara Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:CDTX) all went public in April, raising ~$200 million.

Although Blueprint is technically pre-revenue, its scientific team and management cooperation have shown their ability to raise private funds; as well as partners such as Alexion.

We are also encouraged by Goldman Sachs being behind the small bio IPO. At this stage, however, with a pipeline still in early trials, we are only recommending this puppy for aggressive growth investors. We tend to like small Goldman IPO deals. Look for it to pop out of the gate.


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