Centes­sa gives An­toine Yver a new role, brings his old col­league on board; Pre­lude to a change: Jane Huang sets up her next move

An­toine Yver

Centes­sa looked to Dai­ichi Sankyo to fill the CMO post with An­toine Yver back in May 2021, and now that Yver has gar­nered a new ti­tle, why mess with a good thing?

Yver has been in­stalled as chair­man of de­vel­op­ment, and Centes­sa is go­ing back to the En­her­tu well again by ap­point­ing Javad Shahi­di as CMO. While Yver was head of on­col­o­gy R&D at Dai­ichi Sankyo, Shahi­di was the glob­al team leader for En­her­tu at the As­traZeneca part­ner. “I look for­ward to work­ing with Javad again as we con­tin­ue to grow Centes­sa with this in­cred­i­ble port­fo­lio of as­sets and come clos­er to bring­ing im­pact­ful new med­i­cines to pa­tients,” Yver said in a state­ment.

Shahi­di al­so led clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of Al­im­ta and Por­traz­za dur­ing a three-year run at Eli Lil­ly.

Jane Huang

End­points News dis­cussed Jane Huang’s res­ig­na­tion as CMO of hema­tol­ogy at BeiGene last week, and her des­ti­na­tion has been con­firmed: Start­ing April 4, Huang will be pres­i­dent and CMO of Wilm­ing­ton, DE-based Pre­lude Ther­a­peu­tics, the Or­biMed-backed can­cer biotech whose shares have tak­en a nose-dive since its Sep­tem­ber 2020 Nas­daq de­but in the midst of the IPO-palooza. Huang, one of our Women in Bio­phar­ma R&D hon­orees for 2021, worked on such rec­og­niz­able drugs as Rit­ux­an, Avastin and Kad­cy­la at Genen­tech be­fore spend­ing a year with Ac­er­ta Phar­ma as head of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and lat­er join­ing BeiGene in 2016.

J&J has named Wendy Suss­man head of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for US fed­er­al af­fairs, who piv­ots to the phar­ma gi­ant af­ter four years at EMD Serono as VP & head, US health­care gov­ern­ment & pub­lic af­fairs. Suss­man, the ex-VP of pub­lic af­fairs for No­var­tis’ gener­ics crew at San­doz, will al­so be pri­ma­ry li­ai­son to PhRMA. Last week J&J notched a win with reg­u­la­tors for its BC­MA CAR-T along­side its part­ners at Leg­end, and a win in the court­room in­volv­ing its “Texas two-step” bank­rupt­cy case.

→ Part­ner­ing with Ei­sai on drug dis­cov­ery for such dis­eases as Parkin­son’s and de­men­tia with Lewy bod­ies — and chaired by Ra­dius Health’s top dog Kel­ly Mar­tin — UK-based neu­ro biotech Wren Ther­a­peu­tics has tapped Bart Hen­der­son as CEO. The founder and ex-pres­i­dent of Rhythm Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Mo­tus Ther­a­peu­tics, Hen­der­son’s al­so been chief ex­ec­u­tive at what’s now known as Reper­toire Im­mune Med­i­cines from 2017-19. Af­ter Reper­toire’s name change from Torque, Hen­der­son was an op­er­at­ing part­ner at Flag­ship Pi­o­neer­ing.

Gi­na Con­syl­man

→ Ac­cord­ing to a Form 8-K, Gi­na Con­syl­man is on her way out as blue­bird bio’s CFO ef­fec­tive April 2, while CBO Ja­son Cole is set to re­place her. Once the belle of the gene ther­a­py ball, blue­bird’s mount­ing fi­nan­cial quandary is such that it “raise[s] sub­stan­tial doubt re­gard­ing its abil­i­ty to con­tin­ue as a go­ing con­cern,” which doesn’t seem to square with CEO An­drew Oben­shain’s de­c­la­ra­tion of 2022 as a “land­mark year” in the same re­lease. For that to hap­pen, blue­bird needs to quit shoot­ing it­self in the foot with PDU­FA de­lays and clin­i­cal holds in ad­di­tion to find­ing a rem­e­dy to the cash prob­lems. Con­syl­man had on­ly been CFO since last Au­gust and came to blue­bird af­ter serv­ing as fi­nance chief of Iron­wood Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Al San­drock

→ The Maraganore Me­ter is back in work­ing or­der as ex-Al­ny­lam chief John Maraganore be­comes strate­gic ad­vi­sor to the su­per­vi­so­ry board at Pro­QR, a start­up that need­ed some good news af­ter its lead as­set se­po­farsen bel­lyflopped in a Phase II/III tri­al for Leber con­gen­i­tal amau­ro­sis last month.

Mean­while, Al San­drock has yet to catch up with Maraganore in the ap­point­ment de­part­ment, but he can prob­a­bly hold his own as he joins the board of di­rec­tors at Ata­lan­ta Ther­a­peu­tics, the neu­ro-fo­cused siR­NA biotech part­ner­ing with Genen­tech and San­drock’s old com­pa­ny, Bio­gen. This fur­ther adds to the op­por­tu­ni­ties that have opened up for San­drock af­ter his de­par­ture as Bio­gen’s R&D chief, in­clud­ing board seats at Voy­ager and Verge Ge­nomics.

Jonathan Javitt

Jonathan Javitt has re­tired as CEO of NRx (short­ened from Neu­roRx) but he won’t wan­der off too far, tak­ing on a con­sul­tan­cy gig as “chief sci­en­tist.” “Dr. Javitt will re­main on the Board of Di­rec­tors,” the re­lease states, “but will no longer be re­spon­si­ble for com­pa­ny op­er­a­tions or day-to-day man­age­ment.” Head of op­er­a­tions and chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Robert Besthof, a long­time Pfiz­er vet, takes on the role of in­ter­im CEO as NRx wages a court bat­tle with Re­lief Ther­a­peu­tics over the Covid-19 drug they part­nered on, avip­tadil.

Serge Messer­lian

Serge Messer­lian has left Big Phar­ma be­hind to lead a com­pa­ny of his own, grab­bing the CEO job at GPCR up­start Teon Ther­a­peu­tics out of San Fran­cis­co. Messer­lian — the ex-pres­i­dent of Acte­lion and a 17-year vet of Bax­ter and Bax­al­ta — breaks away from J&J’s Janssen, where he was pres­i­dent of the US on­col­o­gy unit. He re­places co-founder and act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive Lina Yao as she slides in­to the role of CSO. Messer­lian talked to End­points ear­li­er this week about the “fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­ni­ty to join the team and help cat­alyze the ef­fort there.”

Sid­dhartha Ka­dia

Berke­ley Lights start­ed the year off by re­as­sign­ing CEO Er­ic Hobbs, who’s of­fi­cial­ly the pres­i­dent of an­ti­body ther­a­peu­tics now that the dig­i­tal cell bi­ol­o­gy out­fit has lined up Sid­dhartha Ka­dia as the next chief ex­ec­u­tive. A board mem­ber at Berke­ley Lights since Sep­tem­ber, Ka­dia was pres­i­dent and CEO of EAG Lab­o­ra­to­ries from 2014-18 and al­so has board seats at Iso­Plex­is and Nu­Va­sive, among oth­ers. Berke­ley Lights will al­so be search­ing for a new CFO, as Kurt Wood an­nounces his de­par­ture “to pur­sue his ex­pressed in­ter­est in a role out­side of the biotech in­dus­try” ef­fec­tive April 1.

Lynne Mur­ray

Miro­Bio, the Ox­ford spin­out helmed by first-year CEO and No­var­tis alum Car­olin Barth, has in­stalled San­jay Keswani as CMO and pro­mot­ed Lynne Mur­ray to CSO. Keswani, the ex-Roche SVP and glob­al head of neu­ro­science, oph­thal­mol­o­gy and rare dis­eases re­search and ear­ly de­vel­op­ment, and the for­mer VP, ex­plorato­ry and clin­i­cal trans­la­tion­al re­search with Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, had been CMO for An­nex­on Bio­sciences since June 2019. Mur­ray joined Miro­Bio in Oc­to­ber 2020 as SVP of R&D af­ter she was head of re­gen­er­a­tion at As­traZeneca’s ear­ly res­pi­ra­to­ry & im­munol­o­gy de­part­ment.

William Shen

Or­na Ther­a­peu­tics, the apt­ly named MPM-seed­ed start­up de­vel­op­ing cir­cu­lar RNA (oR­NA) pro­grams, has wel­comed William Shen as CBO. Shen, the for­mer head of M&A and in­ter­im head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at Bio­gen, had re­cent­ly been COO of Vir­tu­oso Ther­a­peu­tics for a brief pe­ri­od and was an M&A lead dur­ing his five years at Bris­tol My­ers, which jumped on the Or­na band­wag­on with such big names as NI­BR, Kite and Astel­las for the com­pa­ny’s Se­ries A in Feb­ru­ary 2021. Else­where at Or­na, ex-No­var­tis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals CEO Thomas Ebel­ing has been added to the board of di­rec­tors.

Soo­jin Kim

In­ozyme, the de­vel­op­er of en­zyme re­place­ment ther­a­pies from the IPO Class of 2020, has added two mem­bers to its ex­ec­u­tive team: San­jay Sub­ra­man­ian has tak­en over as CFO, and Soo­jin Kim has been ap­point­ed SVP and chief tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions of­fi­cer, a po­si­tion for­mer­ly held by Steven Jun­gles, who has an­nounced his re­tire­ment. Pri­or to join­ing In­ozyme, Sub­ra­man­ian served as CFO and head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment at Ocu­gen. Kim most re­cent­ly served as SVP and site head of the bio plant com­plex at Han­mi Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal.

→ One of Jen­nifer Doud­na’s CRISPR star­tups, Alame­da, CA-based Scribe Ther­a­peu­tics, has cor­ralled David Par­rot as CFO and George Man­ning as con­troller. Par­rot hails from Bar­clays, where he was a man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and head of West Coast life Sci­ence in­vest­ment bank­ing. Pre­vi­ous­ly at Al­lo­gene, Man­ning was se­nior di­rec­tor and as­sis­tant con­troller be­fore turn­ing the page at Scribe, which was al­so co-found­ed by Ben­jamin Oakes, Brett Staahl and David Sav­ageand racked up $100 mil­lion in a Se­ries B last March. Con­cur­rent with the raise, Be­hzad Ag­haz­adeh from Avoro and Carl Gor­don of Or­biMed be­came mem­bers of Scribe’s board of di­rec­tors.

Robert Ho

Launched last month with ex-Au­dentes chief Na­tal­ie Holles at the con­trols and rak­ing in a new nine-fig­ure round of fund­ing to push its lead can­di­dates for chron­ic ur­ticaria in­to the clin­ic, Third Har­mon­ic Bio has se­lect­ed Robert Ho as CFO. The Mor­gan Stan­ley vet had held the same post at Ne­oleukin Ther­a­peu­tics the past two years and he’s al­so been se­nior fi­nance di­rec­tor for DaVi­ta.

Su­san Cata­lano

→ Gene ther­a­py de­vel­op­er Co­da Bio­ther­a­peu­tics, Mike Narachi’s lat­est project af­ter sell­ing Orex­i­gen that fo­cus­es on neu­ro con­di­tions like neu­ro­path­ic pain and epilep­sy, has ap­point­ed Su­san Cata­lano as CSO. Cata­lano co-found­ed Cog­ni­tion Ther­a­peu­tics in 2007 and was chief sci­en­tist for the Alzheimer’s biotech, which land­ed on Nas­daq in Oc­to­ber 2021 with a noth­ing-fan­cy IPO. Pri­or to Cog­ni­tion, the Roche and Rigel alum was di­rec­tor of dis­cov­ery bi­ol­o­gy at Acu­men Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. A cadre of in­vestors led by Paci­ra Bio­Sciences put up $28 mil­lion of fi­nanc­ing in De­cem­ber as Co­da made Paci­ra CEO David Stack a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors.

Aaron Tward

→ Hear­ing gene ther­a­py com­pa­ny Ak­ou­os is bring­ing in Aaron Tward as CSO. Tward joined the Boston-based com­pa­ny in 2018 as part of its sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board. Tward served as an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of oto­laryn­gol­o­gy — head and neck surgery at UCSF and pre­vi­ous­ly had a 6-year stint at the Broad In­sti­tute.

Re­neo Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals rolled on­to Nas­daq in April 2021 be­fore a bear mar­ket squelched the de­sire for more com­pa­nies to do the same, and this week the mi­to­chon­dr­i­al dis­ease biotech has pro­mot­ed Michael Cruse to COO and Jen­nifer Lam to prin­ci­pal fi­nan­cial and ac­count­ing of­fi­cer. Cruse, the for­mer SVP of cor­po­rate op­er­a­tions at Re­neo since De­cem­ber 2020, has held se­nior po­si­tions be­fore at Avanir Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Ele­don Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals (back when it was Ot­ic Phar­ma and then Novus Ther­a­peu­tics). Lam just be­came VP of fi­nance and ac­count­ing at Re­neo six months ago af­ter her posts at Am­plyx, where she was con­troller and then VP of fi­nance at the com­pa­ny Pfiz­er bought last April.

Monique Bobadil­la

Monique Bobadil­la has signed on to be chief peo­ple and cul­ture of­fi­cer with Chris Var­ma-led Fron­tier Med­i­cines, the South San Fran­cis­co up­start striv­ing for the next big thing in KRAS af­ter the ap­proval of Am­gen’s Lumakras. Be­fore set­ting off for Fron­tier — which net­ted $88.5 mil­lion for those KRAS am­bi­tions with a Se­ries B last Ju­ly — Bobadil­la held the same ti­tle at En­cod­ed and al­so spent more than a decade in hu­man re­sources at Genen­tech.

→ Cell ther­a­py start­up Clade Ther­a­peu­tics has poached Derek Hei from Ver­tex, nam­ing him chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer. For the last year, Hei had been Ver­tex’s SVP of pre­clin­i­cal and clin­i­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing, cell and gene ther­a­pies, and from 2017-21 he was a man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­ec at Blue­Rock Ther­a­peu­tics. Clade, es­tab­lished by Sana and CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics co-founder Chad Cow­an, en­tered the iP­SC fray with a $87 mil­lion Se­ries A back in No­vem­ber.

Marie McAvoy

→ UK-based biotech NanoSy­rinx, which touts it­self as “the first com­pa­ny to en­gi­neer pro­tein ‘nanosy­ringes’ as a cell-se­lec­tive non-vi­ral pep­tide and pro­tein de­liv­ery sys­tem,” has brought on Marie McAvoy as CSO. Pri­or to join­ing NanoSy­rinx, McAvoy was se­nior di­rec­tor of the on­col­o­gy cell ther­a­py re­search unit as Glax­o­SmithK­line. She has al­so served as GSK’s di­rec­tor, head trans­la­tion­al re­search, cell and gene ther­a­py.

Scott Say­well

Cerev­el schiz­o­phre­nia part­ner Herophilus has re­cruit­ed Scott Say­well as CBO. Say­well be­gan his tenure at Ther­a­vance Bio­phar­ma in 2015 as se­nior di­rec­tor, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, get­ting el­e­vat­ed to VP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment and strat­e­gy in 2019 be­fore head­ing to Herophilus, a San Fran­cis­co biotech that al­so no­tably hired CSO Sharath Hegde from Re­cur­sion and head of chem­istry Brad Savall from Plex­i­um.

AVM Biotech­nol­o­gy is lock­ing in Bri­an An­der­sen as CCO and Pearl Chan as CFO. An­der­sen joins with ex­pe­ri­ence from his times at Vi­dara Ther­a­peu­tics (co-founder), Phar­ma­cia, Den­dreon and Hori­zon Ther­a­peu­tics un­der his belt, while Chan has served as CFO at Pic­Mon­key and Net­Mo­tion Soft­ware among oth­ers.

Is­abelle Lefeb­vre

→ Wa­ter­town, MA-based Eye­point Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has ap­point­ed Is­abelle Lefeb­vre as chief reg­u­la­to­ry of­fi­cer, tak­ing over the po­si­tion from John Weet, who had been SVP, reg­u­la­to­ry since Au­gust 2018. Most re­cent­ly, Lefeb­vre was VP, head of reg­u­la­to­ry sci­ence at Hen­grui USA, and she’s al­so held se­nior reg­u­la­to­ry po­si­tions at Lund­beck, Bausch Health Com­pa­nies and Bris­tol My­ers.

Gau­rav Shah’s team at Rock­et Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals is go for launch with Jessie Ye­ung as VP of in­vestor re­la­tions and cor­po­rate fi­nance. Ye­ung was head of cor­po­rate fi­nance and in­vestor re­la­tions for Leg­end, and she al­so brings fi­nan­cial ex­pe­ri­ence from JP Mor­gan and Bank of Amer­i­ca Mer­rill Lynch. The Phase I tri­al for Rock­et’s drug RP-A501, a gene ther­a­py for Danon dis­ease, is in full swing again af­ter the FDA lift­ed a clin­i­cal hold in Au­gust 2021.

Bill Ringo

→ Can­cer out­fit Sen­sei Bio­ther­a­peu­tics has tapped Bill Ringo as chair­man of the board. Ringo, who al­so chairs the board for John McHutchi­son at As­sem­bly Bio­sciences, is a 30-year Eli Lil­ly vet who was Pfiz­er’s SVP of strat­e­gy and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment from 2008-10. Not in­clud­ed in the re­lease is the ar­rival of SVP of can­cer im­munol­o­gy Hanspeter Wald­ner, who’s held se­nior im­munol­o­gy lead­er­ship roles at Blue­Rock Ther­a­peu­tics and CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ Not long af­ter Har­lan Wak­sal as­sumed the role of chair­man, Lyra Ther­a­peu­tics has made room for one-time Bio­gen CEO Jim To­bin on the board of di­rec­tors. To­bin be­came CEO of Boston Sci­en­tif­ic for 10 years af­ter his stint as Bio­gen chief from 1997-99.

Di­ana Brainard

Di­ana Brainard has made her way to the board of di­rec­tors at Affinia, the sec­ond move in­volv­ing the AAV gene ther­a­py com­pa­ny in as many weeks af­ter co-founder Robert John­son be­came CEO of Adres­tia. Brainard, the for­mer vi­rol­o­gy chief at Gilead, has been CEO at AlloVir for al­most a full year.

→ San Diego-based Jan­u­ary Ther­a­peu­tics has signed on Christo­pher LeMas­ters to its board of di­rec­tors. LeMas­ters just fin­ished a stint as COO of Am­plyx, where he helped lead the afore­men­tioned sale of the com­pa­ny and its lead an­ti­fun­gal to Pfiz­er. Pri­or to that, LeMas­ters was EVP and CBO of Mi­rati Ther­a­peu­tics.

Corinne Le Goff

→ Ex-Mod­er­na chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Corinne Le Goff is say­ing yes to a board ap­point­ment as in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor at Paris-based Ac­ti­cor Biotech. Le Goff has quite a few stints un­der her belt in­clud­ing roles at Aven­tis, Pfiz­er, Mer­ck, Roche and Am­gen.

Arti­va Bio­ther­a­peu­tics, which ex­e­cut­ed the 1-2 punch of a CAR-NK pact with Mer­ck and a nine-fig­ure Se­ries B with­in weeks of each oth­er in ear­ly 2021, has added Lau­ra Bessen to the board of di­rec­tors. Bessen was head of US med­ical to cap off a 15-year tenure at Bris­tol My­ers.

David Smith

→ For­mer Five Prime CFO David Smith has been tacked on to the board of di­rec­tors at Dan­ish IDO/PD-L1 can­cer vac­cine play­er IO Biotech, which hit Nas­daq last fall. Five Prime and its an­ti-FGFR2b an­ti­body be­mar­ituzum­ab were sold to Am­gen right around this time last year for $2 bil­lion.

→ A month af­ter Bernard Lam­bert took the chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer job at Curie Ther­a­peu­tics, the ra­dio­phar­ma play­er has elect­ed Karen Smith to the board of di­rec­tors. Smith is a Big Phar­ma vet from Bris­tol My­ers and As­traZeneca as well as the ex-CMO and glob­al head of R&D at Jazz Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

→ Hous­ton-based Mol­e­culin Biotech is tack­ing on Joy Yan to its board of di­rec­tors. This isn’t Yan’s first board ap­point­ment, as she cur­rent­ly serves as in­de­pen­dent board di­rec­tor at Check­mate Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Yan brings with her ex­pe­ri­ence from her times at Am­brx (CMO and mem­ber of the SAB), Bris­tol My­ers, Janssen and Bay­er.

Keno­ta Health is adding two new faces to its board of di­rec­tors with the ap­point­ments of Ruth Ab­dul­mas­sih and Den­nis Flan­nel­ly. Ab­dul­mas­sih is the CEO of Al­ter­na­tive Bio­med­ical So­lu­tions, while Flan­nel­ly is the head of pre­ci­sion med­i­cine for US on­col­o­gy at Mer­ck. Pri­or to his cur­rent role at Mer­ck, Flan­nel­ly was VP and gen­er­al man­ag­er of im­mun­odi­ag­nos­tics at PerkinElmer and glob­al head of mar­ket­ing for Ther­mo Fish­er Sci­en­tif­ic’s im­mun­odi­ag­nos­tics busi­ness.

Nan­cy Beesley

HCB Health pres­i­dent Nan­cy Beesley has pulled up a chair at the board of di­rec­tors of Der­ma­vant, the tap­inarof mak­er try­ing to stand out in the plaque pso­ri­a­sis mar­ket. Beesley joined HCB Health near­ly 20 years ago as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer and was named pres­i­dent in 2019.

Juhyun Lim has made her way to the board of di­rec­tors at Spec­trum Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, a com­pa­ny that elim­i­nat­ed a third of its work­force to start 2022 and will see its CFO Kurt Gustafson walk out the door. Lim is the pres­i­dent, glob­al strat­e­gy and plan­ning for Han­mi Sci­ence and Han­mi Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal.

The Big Phar­ma dis­card pile; Lay­offs all around while some biotechs bid farewell; New Roche CEO as­sem­bles top team; 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.

With earnings seasons in full swing, we’ve listened in on all the calls so you don’t have to. But news is popping up from all corners, so make sure you check out our other updates, too.

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Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/Politico via AP Images)

In­fla­tion re­bates in­com­ing: Wyden calls on CMS to move quick­ly as No­var­tis CEO pledges re­ver­sal

Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) this week sent a letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services seeking an update on how and when new inflation-linked rebates will take effect for drugs that see major price spikes.

The newly signed Inflation Reduction Act requires manufacturers to pay a rebate to Medicare when they increase drug prices faster than the rate of inflation.

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Af­ter 13 years, Ramy Mah­moud steps in­to CEO seat at Opti­nose; Ru­pert Vessey set to ex­it Bris­tol My­ers in Ju­ly

After 13 years as president and COO at Optinose, Ramy Mahmoud has stepped into a new role as its CEO. He is taking the place of Peter Miller, who stepped down earlier this week, though Miller is still staying with the company as a consultant.

In 2010, the two business partners joined Optinose to take it in a new direction, transforming it from a delivery platform to product company. They previously worked together at Johnson & Johnson, when Miller was president at Janssen and Mahmoud headed medical affairs. Miller said after he learned about Optinose, “I did what I always do, which is find people smarter than me to talk with about the idea. And the first person I called was Ramy … and I said, ‘Hey, Ramy, what do you think of this technology?’”

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Trodelvy notch­es a win in most com­mon form of breast can­cer

Following a promise last year to go “big and fast in breast cancer,” Gilead has secured a win for Trodelvy in the most common form.

The drug was approved to treat HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer patients who’ve already received endocrine-based therapy and at least two other systemic therapies for metastatic cancer, Gilead announced on Friday.

Trodelvy won its first indication in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer back in 2020, and has since added urothelial cancer to the list. HR-positive HER2-negative breast cancer accounts for roughly 70% of new breast cancer cases worldwide per year, according to senior VP of oncology clinical development Bill Grossman, and many patients develop resistance to endocrine-based therapies or worsen on chemotherapy.

Raymond Stevens, Structure Therapeutics CEO

Be­hind Fri­day's $161M IPO: A star sci­en­tist, GPCR drug dis­cov­ery and a plan to chal­lenge phar­ma in di­a­betes

What does it take to pull off a $161 million biotech IPO these days?

In Structure Therapeutics’ case, it means having a star scientist co-founder paired with the computational drug discovery company Schrödinger, $198 million in private funding from blue-chip investors, almost six years of research work on G protein-coupled receptors and a slate of oral, small-molecule drugs, with an eye on the huge and growing diabetes and weight-loss market.

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Te­va drops out of in­dus­try trade group PhRMA

Following in AbbVie’s footsteps, Teva confirmed on Friday that it’s dropping out of the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Teva didn’t give a reason for its decision to leave, saying only in a statement to Endpoints News that it annually reviews “effectiveness and value of engagements, consultants and memberships to ensure our investments are properly seated.”

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Sanofi CFO Jean-Baptiste de Chatillon (L) and CEO Paul Hudson (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi sees downtick in flu sales as it preps for launch of RSV an­ti­body

Sanofi expects its RSV antibody jointly developed with AstraZeneca will be available next season, executive VP of vaccines Thomas Triomphe announced on the company’s quarterly call.

Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, was approved in the EU back in November and is currently under FDA review with an expected decision coming in the third quarter of this year. The news comes as the FDA plans to hold advisory committee meetings over the next couple months to review RSV vaccines from Pfizer and GSK.

Christophe Weber, Takeda CEO (Photographer: Shoko Takayasu/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Take­da fo­cus­es on ‘di­verse’ pipeline prospects on heels of two ac­qui­si­tions

After a whopping $4 billion asset buy from Nimbus Therapeutics, along with a $400 million deal with Hutchmed for a colorectal cancer drug, Takeda executives touted pipeline optimism on its latest earnings call this week.

That’s because the TYK2 inhibitor for psoriasis Takeda is getting from Nimbus, along with the Hutchmed fruquintinib commercialization outside of China, are just two of what it reports are 10 late-stage development programs of promising candidates.

Regeneron CSO George Yancopoulos (L) and CEO Len Schleifer at a groundbreaking for its new Tarrytown, NY facility, June 2022 (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

In show­down with Roche, Re­gen­eron gears up for po­ten­tial Eylea ex­pan­sion amid Covid de­cline

Regeneron faced a substantial slump in overall revenue last year, but the focus still remains on some of its biggest blockbusters.

The pharma with several high-profile partnerships — Sanofi and Bayer among them — said Friday that Q4 revenue was down 31% for the quarter, and down 24% for the entire year. However, that won’t stop blockbuster expansion plans.

One of those is Eylea, the Bayer-partnered eye disease drug that has been in major competition with Roche’s Vabysmo. While Eylea is currently only approved in a 2 mg dose, the company recently filed for approval to give a 8 mg dose, in hopes of making a longer-lasting treatment.