Banned from Twit­ter, Mar­tin Shkre­li whips up a new on­line tirade in re­sponse to a mock­ing dig from PhRMA chief

Mar­tin Shkre­li

Up un­til a cou­ple of weeks ago, if any­one went af­ter Mar­tin Shkre­li, the price goug­ing ex-CEO of Tur­ing (and Retrophin be­fore that), he would im­me­di­ate­ly take to Twit­ter to fire off his pro­fan­i­ty-laced coun­ter­at­tacks. But then the for­mer biotech ex­ec, await­ing tri­al on fraud charges this sum­mer, was banned from Twit­ter for a se­ries of creepy tweets about his “love” for Lau­ren Duca, a Trump crit­ic who had spurred his in­stant-ire per­sona in­to ac­tion.

But no one banned Mar­tin “The Most Hat­ed Man in the World” Shkre­li from the In­ter­net and YouTube.

So when PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl mocked him on CN­BC to­day, say­ing that we were in need of few­er hood­ies — what Shkre­li wore for his perp walk a few months back — and more lab coats, he whipped up an in­stant web site at phar­maskele­ and then nar­rat­ed his blow­back on YouTube.

“Steve, what I want­ed to tell you, as CEO of PhRMA, you are a Wash­ing­ton lob­by­ist piece of s@$t,” said Shkre­li. “You have done noth­ing for phar­ma. You’re not an evan­ge­list. You don’t know any­thing about phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. We need to drain the swamp of id­iots like you…. I’ve done what it takes to build a bil­lion-dol­lar phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­ny…What the f!*ck do you think you know about phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals?”

On the web site, Shkre­li writes:

Tur­ing is a small com­pa­ny re­search­ing drugs for rare dis­eases that no one else wants to. All of your mem­ber com­pa­nies, with a few hu­mor­ous ex­cep­tions, have bil­lions of dol­lars and don’t need price in­creas­es. I’m sor­ry if my com­pa­ny’s and pa­tients’ sur­vival is in­con­ve­nient to your gi­gan­tic in­come streams.

Look in the mir­ror. This web­site took me half an hour to make, just ‘mem­ber­ing a few mo­ments from the past. Phar­ma is a won­der­ful in­dus­try that does great things, but try­ing to throw me un­der the bus is fool­ish. Let me re­mind you 90% of your mem­bers’ CEOs could not hold a can­dle to me in sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge, achieve­ments or wealth and en­tre­pre­neur­ial achieve­ments.

And so on.

Stephen Ubl

Ubl was on CN­BC to tout the in­dus­try lob­by­ing group’s plans for a ma­jor ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign that aims to shore up pub­lic opin­ion at a time that the drug in­dus­try is stuck with one of the worst rep­u­ta­tions of any in­dus­try shy of used car sales — and that’s a maybe. Trump’s re­cent tirade against phar­ma in­clud­ed the com­ment that drug com­pa­nies have been “get­ting away with mur­der” on drug prices.

There’s no love lost be­tween Shkre­li and bio­phar­ma. BIO kicked Tur­ing and Shkre­li out of the or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter his 5000-plus% hike on the old gener­ic Dara­prim, which al­so earned a quick di­a­tribe from the young phar­ma dude. (We’ve al­so had a few ex­changes, in which Shkre­li likes to tell me I’m a mo­ron who can’t write. But then Shkre­li gets along with few jour­nal­ists.) He’s al­so not a big fan of most mem­bers of Con­gress, who re­cent­ly spelled out the biotech ex­ec’s plan to scam a quick bil­lion off of the Dara­prim play.

This time, Shkre­li was so an­gry he went on a rant against a whole laun­dry list of PhRMA mem­bers for var­i­ous in­frac­tions of one kind or an­oth­er. Shkre­li’s bot­tom line: Tur­ing is just a small-time play­er com­pared to com­pa­nies like Al­ler­gan, Pfiz­er, etc., etc.

The in­dus­try’s lead­ers would prob­a­bly love to see Shkre­li hauled in front of a judge and ju­ry, though he’ll nev­er face charges on price goug­ing. That’s le­gal in the US. And that’s al­so not in PhRMA’s nar­ra­tive.

Com­mu­ni­cat­ing the val­ue of pre­ci­sion med­i­cine

By Natasha Cowan, Content Marketing Manager at Blue Latitude Health.
Many stakeholders are confused by novel precision medicines, including patients and healthcare professionals. So, how can industry help them to navigate this complexity?

Precision medicine represents a new paradigm in healthcare. It embodies the shift from treating many patients with the same therapy, to having the tools to identify the best treatment for every patient.

Mer­ck buys a fledg­ling neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive biotech spawned by an old GSK dis­cov­ery al­liance. What’s up with that?

Avalon Ventures chief Jay Lichter has a well-known yen for drug development programs picked up in academia. And what he found in Haoxing Xu’s lab at the University of Michigan pricked his interest enough to launch one of his umbrella biotechs in San Diego.
Xu’s work laid the foundation for Avalon to launch Calporta, which has been working on finding small molecule agonists of TRPML1 (transient receptor potential cation channel, mucolipin subfamily, member 1) for lysosomal storage disorders. And that pathway, they believe, points to new approaches on major market neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS and Alzheimer’s.

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GSK's asth­ma bi­o­log­ic Nu­cala scores in rare blood dis­or­der study

GlaxoSmithKline’s asthma drug Nucala, which received a resounding FDA rejection for use in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) last year, has shown promise in a rare blood disorder.

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Spe­cial re­port: Twen­ty ex­tra­or­di­nary women in bio­phar­ma R&D who worked their way to the top

What differentiates a woman leader in biopharma R&D from a man?

Not much, except there are fewer of them in senior posts. Data suggest women are not more risk-averse, family-oriented or less confident than their male counterparts — indeed the differences between the two sexes are negligible. But a glance at the top R&D positions in Big Pharma leaves little doubt that upward migration in the executive ranks of biopharma R&D is tough.

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The stakes don’t get much higher, with analysts saying a win this week for Amarin could lead to billions in new sales — provided the agency stamps it with an OK. And investors liked what they say in the FDA review this morning, bumping the stock $AMRN 17%.

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FDA puts Sol­id Bio’s lead gene ther­a­py pro­gram on hold — again — af­ter an­oth­er pa­tient is hurt by SGT-001

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Close to 18 months after the gene therapy biotech was able to quickly shed an FDA hold on their lead Duchenne muscular dystrophy program for SGT-001, regulators have stepped back in to force another halt after another patient was hit hard by a set of serious adverse events remarkably similar to the first set.

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FDA slaps a hold on an AML tri­al as Mark­er scraps a fail­ing ovar­i­an can­cer pro­gram, sink­ing shares

The FDA has placed a hold on a Phase II AML trial from the small immuno-oncology biotech Marker Therapeutics. Marker disclosed the issue two weeks after responding to FDA concerns, adding it to the Q3 release Tuesday. The company also announced it was scrapping a Phase II ovarian cancer program it determined was unlikely to succeed.

The agency’s concern centers around two reagents used in manufacturing for their trial for acute myeloid leukemia patients who have received a stem cell transplant. The reagents are from third parties and not present in the final product, Marker said.

Eli Lil­ly-backed biotech grabs $100M to dis­patch an­ti­body-oligonu­cleotide con­ju­gates af­ter mus­cu­lar dy­s­tro­phy

Hold up your hand. Make a fist. Now open it. And again.

If you can do it fully and with ease, then the proteins in your hand are likely working properly. If you can’t then they may not be. In people with myotonic muscular dystrophy, something more atomic is going on.

In those folks, the problem is RNA. Certain base pairs repeat far beyond normal, up to 11,000 superfluous letters in some cases. The extended strands form “clumps.” Proteins misform and can’t function properly. They often allow one movement but not the reverse, a condition called myotonia that gives the dystrophy its name.

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After fumbling in its first late-stage lupus study, AstraZeneca disclosed that a second pivotal trial testing its experimental drug, anifrolumab, had met the main goal, in August. Earlier this week, the British drugmaker broke out the numbers from its successful study.

Last year, anifrolumab failed to meet the main goal of diminishing disease activity in the 460-patient TULIP I study, a 52-week trial that tested two doses of the drug versus a placebo. But in the 373-patient TULIP II study, the higher dose (300 mg) was compared to patients given a placebo — patients in both arms were on baseline standard care.