Bill Anderson, incoming Bayer CEO (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bay­er taps Roche's Bill An­der­son to lead phar­ma gi­ant as CEO

We now know where Roche’s ex-phar­ma chief Bill An­der­son is go­ing.

Ger­man phar­ma gi­ant Bay­er an­nounced Wednes­day that An­der­son will be tak­ing on the role as CEO, less than six weeks af­ter An­der­son stepped down from his perch at Roche as head of the group’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal di­vi­sion.

Roche an­nounced back in De­cem­ber that An­der­son would de­part on Dec. 31 to “pur­sue op­por­tu­ni­ties out­side of Roche.” His re­place­ment, Genen­tech vet and Roche’s cur­rent head of glob­al prod­uct strat­e­gy, Tere­sa Gra­ham, will start her role in March.

Bay­er said that its su­per­vi­so­ry board ap­point­ed An­der­son to be­come CEO, which will take ef­fect on June 1, join­ing Bay­er’s man­age­ment board on April 1. Cur­rent CEO Wern­er Bau­mann, who has worked at Bay­er for the last three-plus decades and helmed the com­pa­ny for the past sev­en years, will be re­tir­ing from the con­glom­er­ate in May.

Bay­er al­so said that An­der­son and Bau­mann will be work­ing close­ly with each oth­er to en­sure a “smooth tran­si­tion” be­fore Bau­mann leaves his post.

An­der­son was elect­ed CEO in a unan­i­mous vote af­ter Bay­er start­ed search­ing for a new CEO some­time in the mid­dle of 2022, per a press re­lease.

An­der­son, who has a back­ground in chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, start­ed out in the biotech world at Bio­gen, mak­ing his way up to VP and gen­er­al man­ag­er of the biotech’s neu­rol­o­gy busi­ness unit. Start­ing in 2006, he joined Genen­tech, work­ing up the lad­der be­tween Genen­tech and Roche un­til he be­came CEO of Genen­tech in late 2016.

Af­ter two years in that po­si­tion, he then switched to helm Roche Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, suc­ceed­ing cur­rent Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day.

Bay­er’s su­per­vi­so­ry board chair Nor­bert Winkeljo­hann said in a state­ment that An­der­son “is the ide­al can­di­date to lead Bay­er to­geth­er with the team in­to a new, suc­cess­ful chap­ter at a time of a dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion cy­cle in bi­ol­o­gy, chem­istry and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.”

An­der­son said in a state­ment Wednes­day that Bay­er’s “lead­ing R&D in­vest­ments in agri­cul­ture, med­i­cines and con­sumer health hold the promise for ad­di­tion­al break­throughs.”

An­der­son will join Bay­er in the mid­dle of a year pre­vi­ous­ly ex­pect­ed to face the full brunt of in­fla­tion, akin to what Bau­mann said on Bay­er’s Q3 earn­ings call last year. While the im­pact of in­fla­tion was not strong­ly felt in the midst of Bay­er’s op­er­a­tions last year, he said to “ex­pect the full cost in­fla­tion ef­fects across the val­ue chain to ac­tu­al­ly ma­te­ri­al­ize” in 2023.

Forge Bi­o­log­ics’ cGMP Com­pli­ant and Com­mer­cial­ly Vi­able Be­spoke Affin­i­ty Chro­matog­ra­phy Plat­form

Forge Biologics has developed a bespoke affinity chromatography platform approach that factors in unique vector combinations to streamline development timelines and assist our clients in efficiently entering the clinic. By leveraging our experience with natural and novel serotypes and transgene conformations, we are able to accelerate affinity chromatography development by nearly 3-fold. Many downstream purification models are serotype-dependent, demanding unique and time-consuming development strategies for each AAV gene therapy product1. With the increasing demand to propel AAV gene therapies to market, platform purification methods that support commercial-scale manufacturing of high-quality vectors with excellent safety and efficacy profiles are essential.

Stéphane Bancel, Moderna CEO (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Mod­er­na so­lid­i­fies deal with Kenya to build mR­NA man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty

The mRNA player Moderna is further cementing its presence on the African continent.

Moderna announced on Thursday that it has finalized an agreement with Kenya’s government to partner up and bring an mRNA manufacturing facility to the east African nation. The new facility aims to manufacture up to 500 million doses of vaccines annually. Moderna also said the new facility will have the ability to spike its production capabilities to respond to public health emergencies on the continent or globally.

CSL CEO Paul McKenzie (L) and CMO Bill Mezzanotte

Q&A: New­ly-mint­ed CSL chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul McKen­zie and chief med­ical of­fi­cer Bill Mez­zan­otte

Paul McKenzie took over as CEO of Australian pharma giant CSL this month, following in the footsteps of long-time CSL vet Paul Perreault.

With an eye on mRNA, and quickly commercializing its new, $3.5 million-per-shot gene therapy for hemophilia B, McKenzie and chief medical officer Bill Mezzanotte answered some questions from Endpoints News this afternoon about where McKenzie is going to take the company and what advances may be coming to market from CSL’s pipeline. Below is a lightly edited transcript.

Luke Miels, GSK chief commercial officer

GSK picks up Scynex­is' FDA-ap­proved an­ti­fun­gal drug for $90M up­front

GSK is dishing out $90 million cash to add an antifungal drug to its commercial portfolio, in a deal spotlighting the pharma giant’s growing focus on infectious diseases.

The upfront will lock in an exclusive license to Scynexis’ Brexafemme, which was approved in 2021 to treat a yeast infection known as vulvovaginal candidiasis, except in China and certain other countries where Scynexis already out-licensed the drug.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Mathai Mammen, FogPharma's next CEO

Math­ai Mam­men hands in J&J's R&D keys to lead Greg Ver­dine’s Fog­Phar­ma 

In the early 1990s, Mathai Mammen was a teaching assistant in Greg Verdine’s Science B46 course at Harvard. In June, the former R&D head at Johnson & Johnson will succeed Verdine as CEO, president and chair of FogPharma, the same month the seven-year-old biotech kickstarts its first clinical trial.

After leading R&D at one of the largest drugmakers in the world, taking the company through more than half a dozen drug approvals in the past few years, not to mention a Covid-19 vaccine race, Mammen departed J&J last month and will take the helm of a Cambridge, MA biotech attempting to go after what Verdine calls the “true emperor of all oncogenes” — beta-catenin.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Ribbon cutting ceremony for Thermo Fisher's new cell therapy manufacturing site in San Francisco

Ther­mo Fish­er moves on cam­pus with new cell man­u­fac­tur­ing site in San Fran­cis­co

Thermo Fisher Scientific is putting down more roots in the Bay Area.

The manufacturer opened the doors to a new cell therapy manufacturing facility next to the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center’s Mission Bay campus and on the university’s campus.

UCSF and Thermo Fisher have had a partnership since 2021, with the new site focusing on manufacturing cell therapeutics for certain cancers, including glioblastoma and multiple myeloma. The new site plans to use Thermo Fisher’s expertise in manufacturing services to help UCSF accelerate the development of cell therapies and eventually get them into the clinic, said Dan Herring, the general manager of cell therapy services at Thermo Fisher, in an interview with Endpoints News.

Feng Zhang (Susan Walsh/AP Images)

In search of new way to de­liv­er gene ed­i­tors, CRISPR pi­o­neer turns to mol­e­c­u­lar sy­ringes

Bug bacteria are ruthless.

Some soil bacteria have evolved tiny, but deadly injection systems that attach to insect cells, perforate them and release toxins inside — killing a bug in just a few days’ time. Scientists, on the other hand, want to leverage that system to deliver medicines.

In a paper published Wednesday in Nature, MIT CRISPR researcher Feng Zhang and his lab describe how they engineered these syringes made by bacteria to deliver potential therapies like toxins that kill cancer cells and gene editors. With the help of an AI program, they developed syringes that can load proteins of their choice and selectively target human cells.

Endpoints News

Keep reading Endpoints with a free subscription

Unlock this story instantly and join 163,900+ biopharma pros reading Endpoints daily — and it's free.

Boehringer re­ports ro­bust sales led by type 2 di­a­betes and pul­monary drugs, promis­es more to come high­light­ing obe­si­ty

Boehringer Ingelheim reported human pharma sales of €18.5 billion on Wednesday, led by type 2 diabetes and heart failure drug Jardiance and pulmonary fibrosis med Ofev. Jardiance sales reached €5.8 billion, growing 39% year over year, while Ofev took in €3.2 billion, notching its own 20.6% annual jump.

However, Boehringer is also looking ahead with its pipeline, estimating “In the next seven years the company expects about 20 regulatory approvals in human pharma.”

Man­u­fac­tur­ing roundup: Catal­ent to pro­duce low-cost ver­sion of nalox­one; CSL opens R&D site

Catalent will be manufacturing a low-cost version of the opioid overdose treatment naloxone as part of a contract with Harm Reduction Therapeutics.

Catalent plans to manufacture the treatment at its facility in Morrisville, NC. No financial details on the deal were disclosed.

Harm Reduction was granted priority review status for the NDA on its spray last year. The company has been working on a naloxone product since 2017. It is anticipating approval in July of this year and a US launch in early 2024.