Bayer poaches newest early R&D head from Roche; GlaxoSmithKline earns expanded nod for Shingrix
Bayer has plucked its new head of research and early development from Roche’s pRED organization, where he was doing much the same thing before making the leap.
The German pharma company announced this morning that it had signed up Dominik Ruettinger for the post. Before Roche, Ruettinger had worked on the Micromet team, which put him on Blincyto, a pioneering bispecific approved in 2014.
“We are pleased to welcome Dominik Ruettinger who is a leader in oncology translational clinical research and therapeutic development and brings extensive experience that will help us to leverage science and innovative solutions to change medical practice and ultimately create superior outcomes for cancer patients,” said Christian Rommel, who heads up R&D at Bayer. — John Carroll
GlaxoSmithKline earns expanded nod for Shingrix
The FDA on Monday approved GlaxoSmithKline’s shingles vaccine Shingrix in immunocompromised patients 18 or older, vastly expanding the jab’s initial population of patients 50 years or older, the British drugmaker said.
The agency based its review on clinical data supporting Shingrix’s safety and efficacy in patients 18 and older undergoing treatment for hematological malignancies. Follow-on data included patients who were known to be or were expected to be immunodeficient due to a known disease or therapy, including HIV, solid tumors, and renal transplant, GSK said.
“Older age and being immunocompromised are the most common risk factors for shingles disease,” GSK Vaccines CMO Thomas Breuer said in a statement. “GSK is committed to this important patient population at increased risk for shingles disease and its complications by bringing them a vaccine option that can help prevent this painful condition.” — Kyle Blankenship
Amgen-backed Hummingbird seeking US IPO — report
A Singaporean biotech backed by Amgen is reportedly looking to make a jump to Nasdaq.
Hummingbird Bioscience is scouting out a potential IPO, per a report last week from Bloomberg, in which it’s looking for a raise between $200 million and $300 million. The IPO could take place before the end of the year, according to anonymous sources in the report.
If it doesn’t go through with an IPO, Hummingbird could seek alternatives like another private fundraising round, the report said.
Hummingbird’s last raise came in May, when it netted $125 million to push its lead program toward clinical proof-of-concept. The biotech is working on applying a small molecule approach to antibodies, generating four in-house antibodies on this platform. Its lead candidate targets HER3, with others hitting VISTA, BCMA-TACI and an undisclosed protein associated with lupus.
Novo Holdings led the last round, and Amgen has signed on for a discovery pact, reserving $100 million each for up to 12 projects. — Max Gelman
OrbiMed Founder seeks to revive defamation lawsuit against STAT News
Retired OrbiMed founder Sam Isaly is asking a federal court to revive a lawsuit against a STAT News reporter and the publication, claiming he was defamed.
Isaly filed the brief in the Second Circuit last week. He originally brought the case after a 2017 article reported on a toxic culture of sexual harassment at the hedge fund. STAT’s parent company, The Boston Globe, previously won a dismissal in September 2020. — Max Gelman