Chris Sheldon, AstraZeneca's former VP and head of investor relations

As­traZeneca files law­suit against for­mer ex­ec as he jumps to GSK

As­traZeneca and GSK are once again wran­gling over tal­ent.

The British phar­ma gi­ant has filed suit against for­mer VP and head of in­vestor re­la­tions Chris Shel­don as he pre­pares to start a new job at its ri­val next month. As­traZeneca ar­gued in a Lon­don court fil­ing that Shel­don would be vi­o­lat­ing a non-com­pete agree­ment, which he was paid more than $774,000 in shares to sign back in 2021, Bloomberg re­port­ed.

Shel­don worked at As­traZeneca for more than 18 years, start­ing as a re­search sci­en­tist back in 2004 and climb­ing to glob­al head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and li­cens­ing for on­col­o­gy R&D, and even­tu­al­ly, head of IR. He re­signed ear­li­er this month, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ate­ly, ac­cord­ing to Law360. 

A GSK spokesper­son con­firmed to End­points News on Tues­day that Shel­don’s head­ed there to be­come the next se­nior VP of its com­mer­cial port­fo­lio. While the com­pa­ny de­clined to com­ment on the As­traZeneca case, the spokesper­son added that GSK “com­mit­ted to lever­ag­ing busi­ness de­vel­op­ment as a tool to se­cure ac­cess to ex­ter­nal in­no­va­tion, help shape the port­fo­lio and fur­ther strength­en our late-stage pipeline.”

Luke Miels

Shel­don al­so de­clined to com­ment, though he added: “I de­ny what is al­leged or any wrong do­ing.”

As­traZeneca was not im­me­di­ate­ly avail­able for an in­ter­view.

This isn’t the first time As­traZeneca has tak­en a mat­ter like this to court. Back in 2017, the phar­ma gi­ant sued for­mer ex­ec Luke Miels, who was poached by GSK ear­li­er that year to head up its glob­al phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals busi­ness. Miels had worked with As­traZeneca CEO Pas­cal So­ri­ot for more than a decade at Aven­tis, Roche and As­traZeneca. He served as an ex­ec­u­tive VP at As­traZeneca for just over three years be­fore jump­ing to GSK, where he’s now chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer.

As­traZeneca and GSK set­tled in court, with Miels tak­ing a “gar­den­ing leave” (mean­ing he was or­dered to stay away from the com­pa­ny but re­mained on the pay­roll), un­til join­ing GSK in Sep­tem­ber 2017. How­ev­er, Miels ac­cused So­ri­ot of threat­en­ing him over his visa dur­ing the res­ig­na­tion dis­pute, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by The Times in Lon­don.

Gar­rett Rhyasen

Around the same time that GSK hired Shel­don, it al­so poached for­mer As­traZeneca ex­ec Gar­rett Rhyasen as its new VP of on­col­o­gy search and eval­u­a­tion.

So­ri­ot said on the com­pa­ny’s Q2 call a few weeks ago that he ex­pects the next cou­ple of years to be “ex­treme­ly rich in clin­i­cal re­sults,” with more than 20 Phase III read­outs slat­ed for next year.

The com­pa­ny re­cent­ly cel­e­brat­ed two new ap­provals for En­her­tu, as well as some pos­i­tive Phase III re­sults in pa­tients with HER2-pos­i­tive metasta­t­ic breast can­cer.

The Fac­tors Dri­ving a Rapid Evo­lu­tion of Gene & Cell Ther­a­py and CAR-T Clin­i­cal Re­search in APAC

APAC is the fastest growing region globally for cell & gene therapy trials representing more than a third of all cell & gene studies globally, with China leading in the region. 

APAC is the leading location globally for CAR-T trials with China attracting ~60% of all CAR-T trials globally between 2015-2022. The number of CAR-T trials initiated by Western companies has rapidly increased in recent years (current CAGR of about 60%), with multiple targets being explored including CD19, CD20, CD22, BCMA, CD30, CD123, CD33, CD38, and CD138.

The End­points 11; blue­bird's $3M gene ther­a­py; Bio­gen tout new neu­ro da­ta; Harsh re­views for can­cer drugs; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Reading about John Carroll’s pick of biotech’s most promising startups has become a treasured tradition. If you ever get curious about previous classes of the Endpoints 11, you can find all of them (plus a number of our other regular specials) here.

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EMA warns of short­ages of two Boehringer heart drugs due to a spike in de­mand

The EMA is putting EU member states on alert over the shortage of two drugs that counter heart attacks due to an uptick in demand.

On Friday, the EMA sent out a warning that two Boehringer Ingelheim drugs are experiencing a shortage: Actilyse and Metalyse. The drugs are used as emergency treatments for adults experiencing acute myocardial infarction, or a heart attack, by dissolving blood clots that have formed in the blood vessels.

The End­points 11: The top pri­vate biotechs in pur­suit of new drugs. Push­ing the en­ve­lope with pow­er­ful new tech­nolo­gies

Right around the beginning of the year, we got a close-up look at what happens after a boom ripples through biotech. The crash of life sciences stocks in Q1 was heard around the world.

In the months since, we’ve seen the natural Darwinian down cycle take effect. Reverse mergers made a comeback, with more burned out shells to go public at a time IPOs and road shows are out of favor. And no doubt some of the more recent arrivals on the investing side of the business are finding greener pastures.

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Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar

Should SCO­TUS hear Am­gen's Repatha case? So­lic­i­tor gen­er­al says no

Back in April, Amgen said it was encouraged by the solicitor general’s anticipated review of its Supreme Court petition to rehear a Repatha patent case. They’re likely much less optimistic about the outcome now.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in a recent 27-page brief that Amgen’s arguments “lack merit and further review is not warranted.”

The case traces back to a suit filed in 2014 against Sanofi and Regeneron’s Praluent, which ended up beating Amgen’s PCSK9 blockbuster Repatha to market by a month just a year later.

Wendy Lund, WPP chief client officer for health and wellness

WPP taps Organon chief com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Wendy Lund for new health and well­ness client role

Wendy Lund is going home – to WPP, that is. Lund is leaving the Merck women’s health spinoff Organon where she is chief communications officer for a newly created role as WPP chief client officer for health and wellness. Before Organon, Lund led GCI Group, a WPP healthcare communications agency, as CEO for 11 years.

Lund joins WPP’s group of global client leaders who act as a single point of contact or entry for clients with WPP brands and businesses inside the holding company. and in this case, for the WPP health and wellness business.

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Klick Health gath­ers biotech and phar­ma lu­mi­nar­ies to dis­cuss in­dus­try in­no­va­tions, in­vest­ments and fu­ture

At Klick Health’s first Ideas Exchange conference with biotech and pharma industry insiders since before the pandemic began, it was no surprise many conversations included Covid topics. Yet while vaccines and treatments were discussed, so too were the effects on drug development, federal responses, health inequities — and what to do now and next.

George Yancopoulos, chief scientist and cofounder of Regeneron, opened the conference responding to a question from Acorda CEO Ron Cohen about the spotlight on the industry during Covid and some of the “flak” biopharma has taken in the past.

FDA's out­side ex­perts vote in fa­vor of Fer­ring's fe­cal trans­plant for C. dif­fi­cile, set­ting the stage for Seres

FDA’s outside advisors voted in favor of Ferring Pharmaceuticals’ RBX2660, an experimental poop-based drug implant that the company says would be the first microbiota-based live biotherapeutic to receive an FDA green light.

That was a point repeatedly discussed during the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, or VRBPAC, meeting Thursday when evaluating Ferring’s fecal microbiota transplant, or FMT, for reducing the recurrence of Clostridioides difficile infection in adults who have received antibiotics. Multiple members brought up the need for a regulated product amid a landscape of unregulated FMTs already happening in clinical care.

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Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO (Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

No­var­tis un­veils 'US-first' strat­e­gy ahead of San­doz spin­off

Weeks after announcing the spinoff of generics arm Sandoz, Vas Narasimhan paints a picture of the new, slimmer Novartis — with a “US-first mindset,” he said at an investor event on Thursday.

The CEO unveiled ambitious plans to become a top-five player in the US by 2027 at Novartis’ “Meet the Management” event in Basel, Switzerland, which means ramping up clinical trials in the states and “building capability and talent, among other things.” The company’s also shooting for a top-three ranking in China.

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