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Brent Saunders (Richard Drew, AP Images)

OcuWho? Star deal­mak­er turned aes­thet­ics czar Brent Saun­ders flips back in­to biotech. But who’s he team­ing up with now?

Brent Saunders went on a tear of headline-blazing deals building Allergan, merging and rearranging a variety of big companies into one before an M&A pact with Pfizer blew up and sent him on a bout of biotech drug deals. That didn’t work so well, so under pressure, he got his buyout at AbbVie — which needed a big franchise like Botox. And it was no big surprise to see him riding the SPAC wave into a recent $1 billion-plus deal that left him in the executive chairman’s seat at an aesthetics outfit — now redubbed The Beauty Health Company — holding a big chunk of the equity.

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Josh Bilenker, Endpoints JPM 2020

Josh Bilenker and Jeff En­gel­man bun­dle a moth­er lode of cash for their stealthy start­up, at­tract­ing a who's who of biotech in­vestors

Josh Bilenker and Jeff Engelman won’t be worrying about money for their stealthy startup anytime soon.

Late last week the pair filed a Form D for their new biotech Treeline Biosciences outlining a $212 million raise for their new company — which Bilenker founded around the time he ejected from his top position at Eli Lilly’s oncology group.

Their plan is to top out the raise at $220 million, but with Bilenker’s list of marquee investors on board for his latest creation, that won’t be much of a stretch.

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

Now reimag­in­ing home, of­fice sched­ules: No­var­tis CEO Vas Narasimhan sees a new nor­mal in the post-Covid era

It’s not just small biotechs that are looking to completely reevaluate their need for office space in a post-Covid world. It turns out Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan is also reimagining the Big Pharma footprint in the commercial real estate world.

“We’ve all learned from the pandemic that we can work from home and work from the office, and it will always be a combination going forward,” Narasimhan told Bloomberg Television in an interview.

Michel Vounatsos, Biogen CEO (Biogen via YouTube)

Damn the crit­ics, Bio­gen CEO Vounatsos or­ders full speed ahead on prep­ping a con­tro­ver­sial ad­u­canum­ab launch as FDA de­ci­sion looms

Right now one of the most interesting parlor games on Wall Street is offering odds on Biogen’s chances of getting an FDA OK on their controversial Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab.

For most objective players, it looks about like a coin toss, maybe a little worse than 50/50, as the Street balances the bull case of a full, mega blockbuster approval, a restricted approval or a disastrous order to go back to the clinic and mount a new Phase III. That last option was clearly the guidance most of the outside experts in the panel review offered the agency, as the industry is still puzzling out the question of whether or not the FDA is getting tougher in its oversight of drug development.

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A top an­a­lyst sees Pfiz­er and Mod­er­na seiz­ing a $38B prize as safe­ty frets side­line glob­al vac­cine play­ers

While the wrangling over the relative safety of new, virally vectored Covid vaccines from J&J and AstraZeneca appears to be unending, analysts aren’t waiting around to see how the market will play out for the leaders.

As far as Bernstein’s Ronny Gal is concerned, the fight for market share in the developed world is over, and Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are the big winners, divvying up $38 billion in mega-blockbuster money.

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Chris Gibson (Photo By Vaughn Ridley/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)

Re­cur­sion founders gin for­tunes as IPO back­ers show­er $436M on one of the biggest boasts in AI — based on some very small deals

In the AI drug development world, boasting often comes with the territory. Yet few can rival Recursion when it comes to claiming the lead role in what company execs like to call the industrialization of drug development, with promises of continued exponential growth in the number of drugs it has in the pipeline.

On Friday, the Salt Lake City-based biotech translated its unicorn-sized boasts into a killer IPO, pricing more than 24 million shares at the high end of its range and bringing in $436 million — with a large chunk of that promised by some deep-pocket backers.

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Ac­tivist in­vestor grabs a multi­bil­lion-pound stake in Glax­o­SmithK­line, trig­ger­ing buzz about a loom­ing show­down at the list­less gi­ant

Murmurs of investors’ growing unease about GlaxoSmithKline’s struggling revival strategy spilled out into the public on Thursday as the Financial Times reported that activist hedge fund Elliott Management has built up a multibillion-pound stake in the pharma giant, portending a high profile showdown over CEO Emma Walmsley’s reign.

Shares had been down 14% since Walmsley became CEO and brought in Hal Barron to spur a makeover in the pipeline. Now, the FT reports, some of the unhappy investors are making unfavorable comparisons between Walmsley and Pascal Soriot, the CEO credited with a major turnaround at that other UK pharma giant — AstraZeneca.

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Biren Amin (Immuneering)

Can he pick them? A high-pro­file Wall Street an­a­lyst jumps in­to biotech as CFO of an on­col­o­gy up­start

After spending the last decade building his rep as a biotech analyst at Jefferies, Biren Amin dropped word earlier in the week that he’s surfaced in a new job as CFO of a small, and still private, preclinical oncology biotech called Immuneering.

Amin has had plenty to say over the years about the oncology class of biotechs, a particularly hot property on Wall Street — especially during the boom IPO era we’ve been seeing in recent years. Now he’s making a flip over to a company where he’ll have a lot to say to insiders about the internal numbers.

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Roger Perlmutter, Merck

Roger Perl­mut­ter’s lat­est ‘re­tire­ment’ gig opens a door to the bustling Chi­na biotech scene

Roger Perlmutter will be doing some globetrotting for the next chapter in his long-running biopharma bio — though the actual travel part may be on hold through the pandemic.

Earlier in the week, we learned that Perlmutter, who stepped down from his post as head of R&D at the start of this year, has signed on as a science adviser to the Shanghai-based CBC group, a prominent investment group that’s been fostering some of the big new biotech startups in Asia.

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Brett Haumann, Theravance

A de­part­ing CMO pens a sad farewell as he heads back to the UK bio­phar­ma scene

We’re seeing the C-suites of a whole group of biotech and pharma companies in flux this week as leadership groups evolve and top execs hunt bigger and better things for their careers. Most of this news is encapsulated in short, dry remarks reserved for SEC filings.

But the departing CMO at Theravance $TBPH, Brett Haumann, clearly wanted it widely known that he’s making a reluctant exit at the company after a 7-year stint. His 8-K this week notes he’s going to change scenes and move to the UK as much for family reasons as anything else. And the note quotes him directly.