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Brad Lon­car­'s AS­CO18 pre­view: Past AS­COs point to the top drugs that will soon el­bow for the Os­cars of can­cer R&D

To pre­pare for the fu­ture, it helps to look back on what has hap­pened in the past. AS­CO is a great bench­mark for do­ing that. Drug de­vel­op­ment does not hap­pen overnight. A pat­tern of re­al progress emerges if you view things in the con­text of two “AS­COs” ago, or five, or ten. I al­ways try to ap­proach it from this macro per­spec­tive as I pre­pare for the con­fer­ence be­cause it helps set the stage for how to­day’s new de­vel­op­ments might fit in.

For­get about greed, Pres­i­dent Trump: the vil­lain re­spon­si­ble for high drug prices is in­ef­fi­cien­cy

“I have di­rect­ed my ad­min­is­tra­tion to make fix­ing the in­jus­tice of high drug prices one of my top pri­or­i­ties.” – Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump
2018 State of the Union ad­dress

→ Writ­ten by David Grainger, Co-Founder & Chair­man of Rx­Cel­er­ate. Want to learn more about Rx­Cel­er­ate’s drug de­vel­op­ment plat­form? Read John Car­roll’s ar­ti­cle about our re­cent ex­pan­sion here. You can al­so con­tact Lau­ra Hamil­ton at lau­ra@rx­cel­er­ate.com.

Phar­ma's bro­ken busi­ness mod­el — Part 2: Scrap­ing the bar­rel in drug dis­cov­ery

Biotech Voic­es is a con­tributed col­umn from se­lect End­points News read­ers. Com­men­ta­tor Kelvin Stott reg­u­lar­ly blogs about the ROI in phar­ma. You can read more from him here.

In Part 1 of this blog, I in­tro­duced a sim­ple ro­bust method to cal­cu­late Phar­ma’s In­ter­nal Rate of Re­turn (IRR) in R&D, based on­ly on the in­dus­try’s ac­tu­al his­toric P&L per­for­mance.  Fur­ther, I showed that Phar­ma’s IRR has fol­lowed a rapid and steady lin­ear de­cline over 20 years, which is con­sis­tent with re­cent es­ti­mates from BCG and De­loitte, and can be ful­ly ex­plained by the Law of Di­min­ish­ing Re­turns as a nat­ur­al and un­avoid­able con­se­quence of pri­or­i­tiz­ing a lim­it­ed set of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties while each new drug rais­es the bar for the next.  Fi­nal­ly, I showed that a sim­ple ex­trap­o­la­tion of this ro­bust lin­ear trend means that Phar­ma’s IRR will hit 0% by 2020, which im­plies that the in­dus­try is now on the brink of ter­mi­nal de­cline as it en­ters a vi­cious cy­cle of neg­a­tive growth with di­min­ish­ing sales and in­vest­ment in­to R&D.

Ele­phants can't jump? IDEA's Mike Rea says some Big Phar­ma play­ers are crush­ing old be­liefs

This is an in­dus­try that typ­i­cal­ly says ‘in­no­va­tion’ when what it means is ‘in­ven­tion.’ In­no­va­tion, as most purists will ar­gue, is about re­turn on in­ven­tion, an abil­i­ty to de­rive val­ue from pipeline. That is what our Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal In­no­va­tion In­dex mea­sures — a com­pa­ny’s abil­i­ty to launch suc­cess­ful­ly, to add more val­ue to pipeline mol­e­cules than an­oth­er com­pa­ny would. It is ob­jec­tive, and about how well the past 5 years have gone, re­gard­less of how well the sto­ry has been spun.

On this Rare Dis­ease Day, let's all com­mit to help­ing rec­og­nize the life and work of biotech gi­ant Hen­ri A. Ter­meer

Last May the Cam­bridge com­mu­ni­ty and en­tire bio­phar­ma in­dus­try suf­fered a tremen­dous loss with the un­ex­pect­ed pass­ing of Hen­ri A. Ter­meer. Hen­ri was a for­mer chair­man, pres­i­dent and CEO of Gen­zyme Cor­po­ra­tion for near­ly three decades pri­or to its ac­qui­si­tion by the French drug mak­er Sanofi. Re­tir­ing from Gen­zyme in 2011, af­ter his 28-year tenure, Hen­ri led the com­pa­ny’s growth from a small start-up of 20 to 12,000 em­ploy­ees glob­al­ly serv­ing pa­tients in more than 90 coun­tries all while es­tab­lish­ing Mass­a­chu­setts as the mec­ca of biotech. He was known for his ser­vice to the rare dis­ease com­mu­ni­ty and his un­sur­passed en­tre­pre­neur­ial lead­er­ship that spurred the rise of an in­dus­try ded­i­cat­ed to in­no­v­a­tive treat­ments for or­phan dis­eases. Hen­ri set a stan­dard, al­ways putting pa­tients first, and he forged the path for build­ing a sus­tain­able rare dis­ease busi­ness, with many – in­clud­ing Al­ny­lam – fol­low­ing his foot­steps.  He was a men­tor, a col­league, and a friend.

Phar­ma's bro­ken busi­ness mod­el: An in­dus­try on the brink of ter­mi­nal de­cline

Biotech Voic­es is a con­tributed ar­ti­cle from se­lect End­points News read­ers. Com­men­ta­tor Kelvin Stott reg­u­lar­ly blogs about the ROI in phar­ma. You can read more from him here.

Like many in­dus­tries, phar­ma’s busi­ness mod­el fun­da­men­tal­ly de­pends on pro­duc­tive in­no­va­tion to cre­ate val­ue by de­liv­er­ing greater cus­tomer ben­e­fits. Fur­ther, sus­tain­able growth and val­ue cre­ation de­pend on steady R&D pro­duc­tiv­i­ty with a pos­i­tive ROI in or­der to dri­ve fu­ture rev­enues that can be rein­vest­ed back in­to R&D. In re­cent years, how­ev­er, it has be­come clear that phar­ma has a se­ri­ous prob­lem with de­clin­ing R&D pro­duc­tiv­i­ty.

Vi­su­al­ize: Just how much did biotech uni­corn Mod­er­na re­ly on im­mi­grants to build the staff?

Over the last few weeks we’ve been run­ning a slide show il­lus­trat­ing in stark­ly graph­ic tones just how im­por­tant im­mi­grants are to biotech­nol­o­gy. That is­sue, which has be­come in­creas­ing­ly con­tro­ver­sial as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has sought to re­draw the rules gov­ern­ing im­mi­gra­tion, clear­ly struck a nerve at biotech uni­corn Mod­er­na. CEO Stéphane Ban­cel, a na­tive son of France, gath­ered with his big staff to il­lus­trate just how many staffers had a fam­i­ly tree root­ed in im­mi­gra­tion — or di­rect­ly con­nect­ed to it. Let’s let the pic­tures do the talk­ing, be­low.

Dear Kite: With 2300% up­side, we blazed an amaz­ing trail

With the $12 bil­lion Kite buy­out now signed, sealed and de­liv­ered, CEO Arie Bellde­grun has penned a thank-you note to every­one who helped along the way.

Here it is, in its en­tire­ty.

To My Kite Fam­i­ly –

For all of us, the Kite ex­pe­ri­ence has been more than just an in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ty or a step­ping stone in a pro­fes­sion­al ca­reer. Over the past eight years, Kite has be­come an in­te­gral part of our lives and a foun­da­tion from which hope be­came more than just an as­pi­ra­tion.

Vi­su­al­ize: What would these 11 biotech com­pa­nies look like with­out im­mi­grants?

Sev­er­al biotech col­leagues and I were in­spired by the Neu­ro­science Lab at Cold Spring Har­bor’s clever and strik­ing pro-im­mi­gra­tion GIF an­i­ma­tion. We thought a sim­i­lar pho­to wall on be­half of the biotech/life sci­ences com­mu­ni­ty would be a grip­ping state­ment that’s hard to look away. Here’s a su­per start.

Want to add your com­pa­ny to this col­lec­tion? Use the icon next to my by­line to send an email.

Can­did Truths From A Biotech IPO

Tak­ing a biotech com­pa­ny pub­lic is a com­pli­cat­ed jour­ney with nu­mer­ous chal­lenges. On the heels of Anap­tys­Bio’s suc­cess­ful IPO ear­li­er this year, John Car­roll asked me to share some can­did truths from the per­spec­tive of a biotech CEO that has lived through the twists and turns of the IPO process. Be­low are my first-hand ob­ser­va­tions, writ­ten as friend­ly ad­vice to any biotech CEO eye­ing the pub­lic mar­kets: