BioSpace BioPharm Exec
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
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Ok, So It's Hillary

Ok, So It's Hillary

I'm so eager for this endless, awful election cycle to be over that I'm going to just pretend that it is. So congratulations, President Hillary Clinton, on your historic victory (and also thanks to the majority of voters for preventing an unprecedented national disaster)...More...
Alkermes' ALKS-5461 for major depression looked like a major long shot. In two of three pivotal trials to date, the drug had failed to reach its endpoint. But third time may be the charm. Management was holding out hope based on a positive trend they were seeing in earlier studies, and tweaks to the final study seem to have produced positive results.

Alnylam, on the other hand, is giving investors some serious doubts after discontinuing development of its lead drug revusiran. The company is suggesting that the old chemistry used for this drug—since improved for everything else in the pipeline—may be the culprit. But it's also possible that lowering serum levels of TTR, as this drug does, simply doesn't work for this cohort of patients. If that's the case, things don't look good for Alnylam's second most-advanced drug, patisiran. It also doesn't help that just a few weeks earlier, the company dropped another program from development. -KT
Alkermes (ALKS) Rockets as Depression Drug Aces Key Late-Stage Trial

Bay Area Exelixis' (EXEL) Cabometyx Beats the Pants Off Pfizer (PFE)'s Sutent in Mid-Stage Kidney Cancer Study

Tesaro (TSRO) Jumped on PARP Ovarian Cancer Win Vs. AstraZeneca (AZN), AbbVie (ABBV)

Alnylam (ALNY) Stock Craters After Deaths Cause Clinical Trial to End

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) Stock Hammered After Revealing Mixed Results for Rucaparib

More Bench To Clinic News
President Hillary Clinton is an inevitability at this point, and while many pharma execs may not be entirely thrilled, the vast majority certainly think she's better than the alternative. That shows in a recent survey, but it also showed in donations given to the candidates throughout the election cycle. Clinton was particularly favored among pharma employees. -KT
Despite Bashing the Pharma Industry, More Than Half of Biotech Execs Surveyed Still Support Hillary Clinton

Former Novartis (NVS) CAR-T Scientist Jumps to TxCell to Lead CAR-Treg Research Programs

Pfizer (PFE) Retracts 5 Articles Authored by Top Cancer Researcher Who Has Since Left the Company

Embattled Theranos to Shut Down All Labs and Testing Centers, Cuts About 40% of Workforce

Novartis (NVS) Shakes it Up Again, Moving Singapore Facility to the Bay Area and Will Create New R&D Ops in Massachusetts and Basel

More Career Track News
Sarepta is wasting no time trying to flesh out its pipeline of Duchenne muscular dystrophy candidate—which makes sense since it's unclear whether the recently approved Exonsdys-51 will prove effective enough to remain on the market long-term. Summit, on the other hand, is looking at modulating utrophin—and chemical functionally and structurally similar to dystrophin. If this works, it should work for all forms of DMD. -KT
Tiny Crescendo Biologics Hammers Out $790M Immuno-Oncology Deal With Biotech Giant Takeda (TKPYY)

Biotech Giant Amgen (AMGN) Forges $410M R&D Pact With Tiny Nuevolution

Sarepta (SRPT) Goes for a New DMD Combo With New $562M+ Deal With Summit Therapeutics

Serial Biotech Bestie Celgene (CELG) Takes Out Swiss Biotech EngMab for $600M

SoCal's Arrowhead Pharma (ARWR) Just Snagged a $673.5M Heart Deal With Amgen (AMGN)

More Golden Handshakes News

Top Jobs
• Biotech Bay (Emeryville, California)

VP, Clinical Operations & Development
Candidate is responsible for the strategic planning, starting, executing, managing, and completing one or multiple oncology clinical development programs. Candidate should have significant experience interacting with cross-functional leaders from Translational Sciences, CMC, Clinical Development, and Finance.

• Biotech Bay (South San Francisco, California)

Five Prime
Executive Director, Intellectual Property
Seeking an ambitious and seasoned patent attorney to join the Legal team. This position will regularly counsel and interact with the research and development organizations and management to provide strategic legal advice to achieve business objectives.

• Biotech Beach (San Diego, California)

Head of Biology
The candidate will be responsible for leading a team of about 40 scientists to develop and execute on biological strategies to support drug discovery programs.

• Pharm Country (North Brunswick, New Jersey)

VP/Sr. Director/Director, Business Development
Will focus on creation of new business development opportunities and client management for Ascendia. The geographical scope of the position is primarily the United States, although ex-US opportunities will be explored as they arise.

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CRISPR isn't exciting investors quite as much as it once did—not because the technology looks any less promising, but because the intellectual property situation is incredibly confused. But plenty of other interesting startups are finding cash. Science 37 is aimed a decentralized or even at-home clinical trials, while Zymergen is enlisting robots to help engineer bacteria that can in turn produce industrial chemicals. Perhaps most interesting is the funding that just went to antibody-drug conjugate startup ADC Therapeutics. Far from being overlooked in favor of immunotherapeutics, there is a lot of interest in ADCs as a complementary technology. -KT
CRISPR (CRSP) IPO Brings Home $56M, Half of What Its Rival Took in Earlier This Year

With Ties to the Bay Area, ADC Therapeutics Pulls in $105M

Bay Area Biotech Startup Zymergen Just Nabbed $130M, and the Company Has a Robot Workforce

Tiny Bay Area Biotech True North Bags $45M, Bringing the Total to $142M

Backed by Sanofi (SNY) and Others, Science 37 Secures $31M to Bring Clinical Trials to the Home

More Money Talk News

Politics is dominating the news as we head into November. While Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's various leaks are being overshadowed by Donald Trump's behavior, they are nonetheless illustrative—and far more likely to be relevant a few weeks from now. Wikileaks material touches on FDA commissioner Robert Califf, drug pricing, and even how one high-ranking Democrat got into a clinical trial for Tysabri in 2008. Interesting, but nothing really devastating. Not to be outdone, Bernie Sanders is still tweeting—and his opinions on drug pricing were enough to take Ariad down a few notches. -KT
Newest WikiLeaks Dump of Clinton Emails Exposes Some Biopharma Chatter

The History Between a Biogen (BIIB) Drug and a High-Profile Democratic Party Fundraiser

Major Investor Sues Theranos Over 'Series of Lies' in $100M Suit

Anger Behind the Scenes When Valeant (VRX) Jacked Up Price by 2,700% for Lead Poisoning Drug

How One Tweet From Bernie Sanders Sent Ariad (ARIA)'s Stock Plunging

More Legal Briefs News
There was one new chemical entity approved in the last month: Eli Lilly's Lartruvo (olaratumab), to be used in combination with doxorubicin to threat soft tissue sarcoma (STS). Priority review got this through FDA on the basis of a small mid-stage study, and not a lot of analysts have modeled it. There are about 12,000 new cases of STS each year, but Lartruvo is limited to patients who can't get radiation or surgery, so it's unlikely to find a huge market, at least with the current label. -KT
PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) Tanks After the FDA Denies DMD Drug Translarna Again

Genentech's (RHHBY) Lung Cancer Drug Alecensa Gets 2nd FDA Breakthrough Status

FDA Approves Eli Lilly's (LLY) LARTRUVO (Olaratumab) In Combination With Doxorubicin For Soft Tissue Sarcoma

What You Missed: Nippon Fine Chemical Formed Human Barricade to Stop FDA Employee

FDA Slaps Partial Hold on Bay Area Firm Aduro Biotech's (ADRO) Cancer Vaccine Trial

More Rockville Files News

Karl Thiel is an analyst for The Motley Fool and a longtime follower of the biotech industry. He lives in Austin, Texas.

You may contact Karl Thiel at

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