K.C. Lam is a very good lawyer.
He chose an unusual boss to follow, through much of his career, though.
Mr. Lam worked for the Ex-GC of Schering-Plough, both at Schering-Plough, and before that, at Baxter Healthcare Corporation. In fact, both of them worked as lawyers together, in the Renal division of Baxter, from early 1995 to 1997. Then Mr. Lam's boss became the GC of Baxter's public parent, while Mr. Lam stayed on, in that division. Later he became a business development guy at the US domestic operating level, inside Baxter, just north of Chicago.
So, a working relationship that spanned at least 15 years, has now ended. For the first time -- the "Lamb" (pun intended) has declined to follow the legacy Schering-Plough Ex-GC, as the latter moved on to United Airlines, in Chicago. Instead, Mr. Lam has moved to Texas -- to join Caris Life Sciences. And it turns out that involves another "small world" story -- also connected to Baxter. How so?
Well. . . interestingly, the current Chairman of Caris sold a prior public pharmacy benefit management services company he led (which was ultimately renamed "Advance PCS"), to Caremark. Caremark, in turn of course, was created as a public company by Baxter -- in a $1.2 billion spin-off, back in 1992. Caremark has rolled up numerous of these sorts of benefit/manager companies, over the past two decades or so.
One additional footnote: oddly, Caris's Chairman is apparently personally funding a hard right Christian religious publishing entity in Texas, through a Caris-named investment partnership. What's most unusual is that he is using the Caris imprint and trademark to label this investment. I naturally wonder about whether there is to be any benefit, here, to Caris Life Sciences (and its various shareholders)? I just dunno.
So, that religious publishing entity is called Worthy Media -- its website recites the motto as "Helping People Experience the Heart of God". With the return of Mr. Lam to that fold (pun again intended), the "small world" that is life sciences companies -- um, just got a little smaller. Here is a portion of this morning's Caris Life Sciences press release, in any event, for the record:
. . . ."Caris is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on several trends driving the healthcare market, including increasing partnerships and collaborations, as well as healthcare agenda-setting," said David D. Halbert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "KC Lam's legal acumen and business counsel will be invaluable, as we explore related opportunities both domestically and in global markets."
Mr. Lam brings 25 years of experience providing strategic business development direction and legal guidance to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. He joins Caris Life Sciences from Schering-Plough Corporation, where he was most recently the Group Vice President & Associate General Counsel for the global pharmaceutical business. . . .
Prior to Schering-Plough, he led business development functions at. . . Baxter Healthcare Corporation. . . .
It immediately struck me that the part of that release (bolded, above) that mentioned Caris's capitalizing on "healthcare agenda setting" sounds decidedly more like a PAC, or political action committee quip, than it does a straight-ahead BioScience-business quip. And so, often, the water carrier does return to the well. This seems no exception. Another odd choice -- for a very-bright lawyer.
[I'll be largely off the grid for a few days, both travelling and potentially deal-making.]