Am­gen vet Lau­ra Hamill takes com­mer­cial reins at Gilead amid ex­ec­u­tive shake­up

Lau­ra Hamill

In the lat­est move in a reshuf­fle of se­nior ex­ecs among the biggest play­ers in bio­phar­ma, Gilead has tapped long­time Am­gen vet Lau­ra Hamill to head its com­mer­cial team.

Hamill fills a po­si­tion va­cat­ed by the re­tire­ment of James Mey­ers, whose ca­reer tra­jec­to­ry was quite sim­i­lar to hers: He joined Gilead in 1996 as a re­gion­al sales di­rec­tor, climb­ing all the way up to EVP, com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions. Hamill had been with Am­gen since 2002, most re­cent­ly serv­ing as SVP, US busi­ness op­er­a­tions.

Her new role gives her broad au­thor­i­ty over Gilead’s mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy and prod­uct launch­es around the world.

John Mil­li­gan

“Over the past sev­er­al months, we have con­duct­ed an ex­ten­sive search for a new leader and we be­lieve that Lau­ra brings to Gilead the kind of op­er­a­tional rig­or and or­ga­ni­za­tion­al ex­pe­ri­ence that will help us as we seek to build on our po­si­tion of strength in ex­ist­ing ther­a­peu­tic ar­eas and in­tro­duce prod­ucts in new ones,” said John Mil­li­gan, pres­i­dent and CEO of Gilead. “She has re­peat­ed­ly demon­strat­ed an abil­i­ty to trans­form in­fra­struc­ture and ca­pa­bil­i­ties to dri­ve in­no­va­tion and busi­ness per­for­mance.

Hamill joins Gilead at a time the big biotech is un­der­go­ing a ma­jor soul search­ing amidst a C-suite ex­o­dus. CEO Mil­li­gan and chair­man John Mar­tin, who to­geth­er made biotech his­to­ry by de­vel­op­ing a pain­less he­pati­tis C cure and build­ing a gi­ant in the HIV space, are both step­ping down at the end of the year. R&D chief Nor­bert Bischof­berg­er — who spent 30 years with the com­pa­ny — left for a start­up in May; An­drew Cheng, new­ly ap­point­ed chief med­ical of­fi­cer in the wake of Bischof­berg­er’s de­par­ture, hand­ed in his own no­tice days ago.

Hamill’s move al­so comes a day af­ter Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb an­nounced it has pro­mot­ed Christo­pher Boern­er to its top sales job, re­plac­ing Mur­do Gor­don, who re­cent­ly jumped ship to be­come com­mer­cial chief at Am­gen.

BiTE® Plat­form and the Evo­lu­tion To­ward Off-The-Shelf Im­muno-On­col­o­gy Ap­proach­es

Despite rapid advances in the field of immuno-oncology that have transformed the cancer treatment landscape, many cancer patients are still left behind.1,2 Not every person has access to innovative therapies designed specifically to treat his or her disease. Many currently available immuno-oncology-based approaches and chemotherapies have brought long-term benefits to some patients — but many patients still need other therapeutic options.3

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Almost exactly three years after Shanghai-based Legend came out of nowhere to steal the show at ASCO with jaw-dropping data on their BCMA-targeted CAR-T for multiple myeloma, the little player with Big Pharma connections is taking a giant step toward making it big on Wall Street. And this time they want to seal the deal on a global rep after staking out a unicorn valuation in what’s turned out to be a bull market for biotech IPOs — in the middle of a pandemic.

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Len Schleifer (left) and George Yancopoulos, Regeneron (Vimeo)

Eyes on he­mo­phil­ia prize, Re­gen­eron adds a $100M wa­ger on joint de­vel­op­ment cam­paign with In­tel­lia

When George Yancopoulos first signed up Intellia to be its CRISPR/Cas9 partner on gene editing projects 4 years ago, the upstart smartly ramped up its IPO at the same time. Today, Regeneron $REGN is coming back in, adding $100 million in an upfront fee and equity to significantly boot up a whole roster of new development projects.

And they’re highlighting some clinical hemophilia research plans in the process.

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IPOs abound in the time of coro­n­avirus, as For­ma Ther­a­peu­tics pen­cils in $150M Nas­daq de­but

The IPO engine is thriving, never mind the rampage of the coronavirus crisis on R&D timelines.

On Friday, along with synthetic lethality-focused biotech Repare Therapeutics, another Bristol Myers partner Forma Therapeutics also unveiled its plans to vault on to the Nasdaq — penciling in a target of $150 million.

The Watertown, Massachusetts-based company — which poached senior Genentech executive Frank Lee to take over the reins last year after more than a decade under founder Steve Tregay — raised a plump $100 million late last year, while shepherding its sickle cell disease (SCD) drug through an early-stage trial.

Covid-19 roundup: Did in­sid­ers cash in on pos­i­tive news re­port about Gilead be­fore pub­li­ca­tion?

A series of bullish trades on Gilead options just before the release of a favorable news story is raising questions among regulatory experts, Reuters reported.

On April 16, just hours before STAT published anecdotes from a Chicago hospital that served as one of the clinical sites to test Gilead’s remdesivir in Covid-19 patients, the California-based company’s shares were trading at around $75. Four large blocks of options were purchased for about $1.5 million each, betting that the stock would rise beyond that to as much as $87.5 by mid-August.

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Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

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Jean-Jacques Bienaime, BioMarin chairman and CEO

Bio­Marin holds the line on bleeds with 4-year val­rox up­date on he­mo­phil­ia A — but what's this about an­oth­er de­cline in Fac­tor 8 lev­els?

BioMarin has posted some top-line results for their 4-year followup on the most advanced gene therapy for hemophilia A — extending its streak on keeping a handful of patients free of bleeds and off Factor VIII therapy, but likely stirring fresh worries over a continued drop in Factor VIII levels.

We just don’t know how big a drop.

We’ll see more data when the results are presented at the World Federation of Hemophilia in a couple of weeks. But in a statement out Sunday night, BioMarin $BMRN reported that none of the patients required Factor VIII treatment, adding:

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Roche nabs front­line OK for Avastin/Tecen­triq in com­mon liv­er can­cer, best­ing an old Bay­er drug

For the first time in 12 years, the FDA has approved a new frontline treatment for the most common form of liver cancer.

The agency okayed a combination of Roche’s anti-VEGF antibody Avastin and their immunotherapy Tecentriq for patients with unresectable or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The approval comes two weeks after Roche and their big biotech sub Genentech published Phase III results showing the combo improved both progression-free survival and, crucially, helped patients live longer than the long-running standard-of-care, Bayer’s Nexavar.

Ver­sant-backed, Bris­tol My­ers-stamped Re­pare Ther­a­peu­tics guns for $100M IPO

With a Bristol Myers Squibb endorsement in tow, Versant-backed cancer drug developer Repare Therapeutics has set its sights on a Nasdaq debut.

On Friday, the Montreal-based company with operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts that is yet to enter the clinic, unveiled plans for a $100 million IPO, banking on its “synthetic lethality” platform.

The basic idea is to target the genetic basis of tumors, a common idea across precision oncology medicines. But instead of targeting the perpetrator mutation directly, the compound is designed to go after the other gene in the gene pair. The rationale is based on the decades-old genetic principle that indicates two mutations are lethal only when combined together.