An in­tro­duc­tion to the End­points 100

John Car­roll, Ed­i­tor

I’m well in­to a new project at End­points that I’d like to tell you about. It’s called the End­points 100. (Up­date: List of ex­ec­u­tives is at the bot­tom of this ar­ti­cle.)

For the 14 or so years that I’ve cov­ered biotech on a dai­ly ba­sis, I’ve seen some dra­mat­ic shifts in biotechs’ ac­cess to cap­i­tal, at­ti­tudes about reg­u­la­to­ry con­di­tions for new drug ap­provals (on both sides of the At­lantic), views on gen­der di­ver­si­ty, along with a whole new fo­cus on drug pric­ing and the fu­ture of the in­dus­try. Usu­al­ly, these trends and at­ti­tudes are all tracked in ret­ro­spec­tive analy­ses.

The End­points 100 is aim­ing at keep­ing a fin­ger on the pulse of the in­dus­try, to de­tect changes — pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive — as they oc­cur.

Over the last 10 days I’ve reached out to about 50 biotech CEOs who have agreed to par­tic­i­pate. By the end of the month, I’ll have the rest of the group in place; an in­vi­ta­tion-on­ly af­fair that will bring to­geth­er a broad cross sec­tion of top in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives from small and large com­pa­nies. They’ll be ge­o­graph­i­cal­ly di­verse, though you can ex­pect a lot of East Coast/West Coast, UK and con­ti­nen­tal ex­ecs in the mix. The vast ma­jor­i­ty, though not all, will be CEOs.

From this group I plan to gath­er re­spons­es for a quar­ter­ly con­fi­dence sur­vey on biotech, of­fer­ing a col­lec­tive ex­pres­sion on the mood of the in­dus­try as we jour­ney through one of the most crit­i­cal pas­sages faced in drug de­vel­op­ment. It’s al­so a re­source for me to get some di­rect feed­back on End­points as my part­ner Ar­salan Arif and I craft this niche biotech news com­pa­ny over the com­ing year. And I’ll be ask­ing a month­ly poll ques­tion for the group.

There is one re­quire­ment: End­points 100 mem­bers need to be reg­u­lar End­points read­ers. That doesn’t mean read­ing every­thing from top to bot­tom (who does that with any pub­li­ca­tion?). But in or­der to par­tic­i­pate, you’ll need to be con­ver­sant with our cov­er­age. (Here’s our ded­i­cat­ed sub­scrip­tion page. There’s nev­er any cost to re­ceive End­points. We’re look­ing for in­volve­ment, not cash.)

If you’d like to nom­i­nate some­one, drop me a line. Just re­mem­ber, though, that many are called, few are cho­sen. It’s go­ing to take some bal­anc­ing to get the right group to­geth­er.

Look for the first sur­vey in Sep­tem­ber. And if you have any ques­tions, you can find me at: john@end­

– John Car­roll

Up­date: Here is the list of cur­rent End­points 100 ex­ec­u­tives.

An­drea Pfeifer AC Im­mune
Ron Co­hen Acor­da
Rick Orr Ad­ynxx
Mary Szela Aege­ri­on Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals
David Schenkein Agios
Richard Pops Alk­er­mes
Alex­ey Mar­golin Al­lena Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals
John Maraganore Al­ny­lam
John Crow­ley Am­i­cus
Mike Grey Am­plyx
Hamza Suria Anap­tys­Bio
Nor­bert Riedel Aptinyx
Joe Payne Arc­turus Ther­a­peu­tics
Tim Van Hauw­er­meiren Ar­genx
Bruce Booth At­las Ven­ture
Tito Ser­afi­ni Atre­ca
Na­tal­ie Holles Au­dentes Ther­a­peu­tics, Inc.
Jay Lichter Aval­on Ven­tures
Carmine N. Sten­gone Ave­las Bio­sciences, Inc.
Robert Con­nel­ly Ax­cel­la (Pronu­tria)
Howard Liang BeiGene
Jean-Jacques Bi­en­aimé Bio­Marin Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal
Jef­frey Al­bers Blue­print Med­i­cines
An­drew J. Phillips C4 Ther­a­peu­tics
Gregg San­do Cell Med­ica
Prab­ha­vathi Fer­nan­des Cem­pra
Art Krieg Check­mate Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals
Jeff Stein Cidara
Lau­ra Shawver Cleave Bio
Doug Williams Co­di­ak
Kei­th Dionne Con­stel­la­tion Phar­ma
Yu­val Co­hen Cor­bus Phar­ma
ROBERT I. BLUM Cy­to­ki­net­ics, Inc.
Sean Mc­Carthy Cy­tomX Ther­a­peu­tics
Steve Holtz­man Deci­bel Ther­a­peu­tics
Ryan Watts De­nali
Kevin Ju­dice DiCE Mol­e­cules
An­nal­isa Jenk­ins Di­men­sion Ther­a­peu­tics
Geral­dine Hamil­ton Em­u­late
Tim Mayleben Es­pe­ri­on
David Giljo­hann Ex­i­cure
Alexan­der Pas­teur F-Prime Cap­i­tal Part­ners
John Hau­rum F-star
Greg Ver­dine Fog Phar­ma
Sander Slootweg For­bion Cap­i­tal Part­ners
Steve Tre­gay For­ma Ther­a­peu­tics
Michael Pelli­ni Foun­da­tion Med­i­cine
Robert Gould Ful­crum Ther­a­peu­tics
Mark Vel­le­ca G1 Ther­a­peu­tics
Pier­lui­gi Parac­chi GENEN­TA Sci­ence
Chip Clark Geno­cea Bio­sciences
He­len Tor­ley Halozyme
Mal­colm Weir Hep­tares
Rich Hey­man Hey­man Biotech
Rus­sell Hern­don Hy­dra Bio­sciences
Eliot Forster Im­muno­core
Hervé Hop­penot In­cyte
Nes­san Berming­ham In­tel­lia Ther­a­puet­ics
Pe­ter Hecht Iron­wood
Kim Cobleigh Drap­kin Jounce Ther­a­peu­tics
Cameron Dur­rant Kalo­Bios
Arie Bellde­grun Kite Phar­ma
Troy Wil­son Ku­ra On­col­o­gy
Paul Sekhri Lyc­era Corp.
Kees Been Lyso­so­mal Ther­a­peu­tics
Denise Scots-Knight Mereo Bio­phar­ma
An­na Pro­topa­pas Mer­sana Ther­a­peu­tics
Ju­lia Owens Mil­len­do
Chuck Baum Mi­rati Ther­a­peu­tics
Stephane Ban­cel Mod­er­na
Praveen Tipir­neni Mor­phic Ther­a­peu­tic
Tas­sos Gi­anakakos MyoKar­dia
George P. Vla­suk Nav­i­tor Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, Inc.
David Mott NEA
Jeff Jonker NGM Bio
Don Nichol­son Nim­bus Ther­a­peu­tics
Jon Con­gle­ton Ni­valis Ther­a­peu­tics
Clif­ford J. Stocks On­coRe­sponse
Je­re­my Levin Ovid Ther­a­peu­tics
Bernard Coulie Pli­ant Ther­a­peu­tics
Kevin Bit­ter­man Po­laris Part­ners
Dale Schenk Prothena
John Bea­dle PsiOxus
Alan Auer­bach Puma
Dou­glas Tre­co Ra Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals
Robert Ward Ra­dius
Olav Helle­bø ReNeu­ron Group plc
Robert Cof­fin Replimune
Clay Sie­gall Seat­tle Ge­net­ics
Glenn Ned­win Sec­ond Genome
Wern­er Cautreels Se­lec­ta
An­toine Pa­piernik Sofinno­va
Ar­mon Sharei SQZ Ther­a­peu­tics
Glyn Ed­wards Sum­mit Ther­a­peu­tics plc
Detlev Bin­iszkiewicz Sur­face On­col­o­gy
Kate Bing­ham SV Life Sci­ences
Nan­cy Si­mon­ian Sy­ros Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals
Lon­nie Moul­der Tesaro
Mary Lynne Hed­ley Tesaro
Ed­uar­do Bra­vo Tigenix, SAU
Max­ine Gowen Treve­na
Niclas Stiern­holm Tril­li­um Ther­a­peu­tics
Bernat Olle Vedan­ta
Lau­rence Reid Warp Dri­ve Bio
Steve Yang WuXi AppTec
Rachel King Gly­coMimet­ics

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

Pfiz­er’s Doug Gior­dano has $500M — and some ad­vice — to of­fer a cer­tain breed of 'break­through' biotech

So let’s say you’re running a cutting-edge, clinical-stage biotech, probably public, but not necessarily so, which could see some big advantages teaming up with some marquee researchers, picking up say $50 million to $75 million dollars in a non-threatening minority equity investment that could take you to the next level.

Doug Giordano might have some thoughts on how that could work out.

The SVP of business development at the pharma giant has helped forge a new fund called the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative. And he has $500 million of Pfizer’s money to put behind 7 to 10 — or so — biotech stocks that fit that general description.

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Gilead re­leas­es an­oth­er round of murky remde­sivir re­sults

A month after the NIH declared the first trial on remdesivir in Covid-19 a success, Gilead is out with new results on their antiviral. But although the study met one of its primary endpoints, the data are likely to only add to a growing debate over how effective the drug actually is.

In a Phase III trial, patients given a 5-day dose of remdesivir were 65% more likely to show “clinical improvement” compared to an arm given standard-of-care. The trial, though, gave little indication for whether the drug had an impact on key endpoints such as survival or time-to-recovery. And in a surprising twist, a 10-day dosing arm of remdesivir didn’t lead to a statistically significant improvement over standard of care.

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Ken Frazier, AP Images

Why Mer­ck wait­ed, and what they now bring to the Covid-19 fight

Nicholas Kartsonis had been running clinical infectious disease research at Merck for almost 2 years when, in mid-January, he got a new assignment: searching the pharma giant’s vast libraries for something that could treat the novel coronavirus.

The outbreak was barely two weeks old when Kartsonis and a few dozen others got to work, first in small teams and then in a larger task force that sucked in more and more parts of the sprawling company as Covid-19 infected more and more of the globe. By late February, the group began formally searching for vaccine and antiviral candidates to license. Still, while other companies jumped out to announce their programs and, eventually and sometimes controversially, early glimpses at human data, Merck remained silent. They made only a brief announcement about a data collection partnership in April and mentioned vaguely a vaccine and antiviral search in their April 28 earnings call.

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Mark Genovese (Stanford via Twitter)

Gilead woos fil­go­tinib clin­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tor from Stan­ford to lead the charge on NASH, in­flam­ma­to­ry dis­eases

With an FDA OK for the use of filgotinib in rheumatoid arthritis expected to drop any day now, Gilead has recruited a new leader from academia to lead its foray into inflammatory diseases.

Mark Genovese — a longtime Stanford professor and most recently the clinical chief in the division of immunology and rheumatology — was the principal investigator in FINCH 2, one of three studies that supported Gilead’s NDA filing. In his new role as SVP, inflammation, he will oversee the clinical development of the entire portfolio.

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Stephen Isaacs, Aduro president and CEO (Aduro)

Once a high fly­er, a stag­ger­ing Aduro is auc­tion­ing off most of the pipeline as CEO Stephen Isaacs hands off the shell to new own­ers

After a drumbeat of failure, setbacks and reorganizations over the last few years, Aduro CEO Stephen Isaacs is handing over his largely gutted-out shell of a public company to another biotech company and putting up some questionable assets in a going-out-of-business sale.

Isaacs —who forged a string of high-profile Big Pharma deals along the way — has wrapped a 13-year run at the biotech with one program for kidney disease going to the new owners at Chinook Therapeutics. A host of once-heralded assets like their STING agonist program partnered with Novartis (which dumped their work on ADU-S100 after looking over weak clinical results), the Lilly-allied cGAS-STING inhibitor program and the anti-CD27 program out-licensed to Merck will all be posted for auction under a strategic review process.

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Hill­house re­casts spot­light on Chi­na's biotech scene with $160M round for Shang­hai-based an­ti­body mak­er

Almost two years after first buying into Genor Biopharma’s pipeline of cancer and autoimmune therapies, Hillhouse Capital has led a $160 million cash injection to push the late-stage assets over the finish line while continuing to fund both internal R&D and dealmaking.

The Series B has landed right around the time Genor would have listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to plans reported by Bloomberg late last year. Insiders had said that the company was looking to raise about $200 million.

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Fangliang Zhang (Imaginechina via AP Images)

The big mon­ey: Poised to make drug R&D his­to­ry, a Chi­na biotech un­veils uni­corn rac­ing am­bi­tions in a bid to raise $350M-plus on Nas­daq

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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No­var­tis chips in $10M for IPO-bound part­ner Pli­ant; Tenax shares soar on heart drug da­ta

Novartis is coming in with $10 million to help support the looming IPO of a partner. Pliant Therapeutics posted a new filing with the SEC showing that Novartis is buying the shares at $15, the mid-point of the range. It’s adding several million shares to the offering, bringing the total to around $135 million. Biotech companies have been enjoying quite a run on virtual Wall Street, with investors boosting new offerings to some big hauls.