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Eli Lil­ly ax­es 163 Der­mi­ra staffers, shut­ters Men­lo Park site as it clos­es in around Dupix­ent ri­val le­brik­izum­ab

Eli Lilly made it clear when it shelled out $1.1 billion for Dermira that lebrikizumab is really what it wanted to buy. One year in, the pharma giant is completing its cleavage of the rest.

Days after unveiling the sale of Qbexza — Dermira’s only approved product, a piece of cloth to block excessive sweating — Lilly revealed plans to close down the biotech’s Menlo Park facility, putting 163 jobs on the chopping block. The San Francisco Business Times first reported on the WARN notice filed in early April.

Voting in the 2020 election (AP Images)

The right to vote is fun­da­men­tal — a let­ter from biotech­nol­o­gy in­dus­try lead­ers

Biotech Voices is a collection of exclusive opinion editorials from some of the leading voices in biopharma on the biggest industry questions today. Think you have a voice that should be heard? Reach out to senior editors Kyle Blankenship and Amber Tong.

We oppose all attempts to introduce laws that reduce the rights of US citizens to vote or that restrict them from exercising that right. The right to vote is fundamental to democracy. States that have enacted, or are proposing to enact, legislation to restrict voting are undermining our democracy and posing a threat to our nation. As leaders of the life sciences industry, we stand for what we believe is right for our country, our enterprises, our employees and those who benefit from our work. We join the first groups of business leaders who have challenged these laws and will continue to make our collective voices heard on this matter.

Anand Shah (FDA)

For­mer head of FDA’s med­ical and sci­en­tif­ic af­fairs on Covid: ‘FDA has nev­er been test­ed like this’

Anand Shah has served the American public in a unique way, crisscrossing over the last two administrations between serving as an attending radiation oncologist focused on prostate cancer at NIH, serving as CMO at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, and most recently, leading the FDA’s operations on medical and scientific affairs from within the commissioner’s office.

Shah, who stepped down from the FDA in January, caught up with Endpoints News in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon, offering his thoughts on the agency’s latest decision to pause the J&J vaccinations in the US, and reflecting on his time at an agency during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.

Pankaj Bhargava, MPM executive partner

Pankaj Bhar­ga­va was a cen­tral fig­ure in the group fash­ion­ing Gilead’s on­col­o­gy strat­e­gy. Now he’s jumped to the VC side and the next-gen game at Dana-Far­ber

Over the past 3 years, Pankaj Bhargava played a key role at Gilead as therapeutics area head of oncology, which put him in the dead center of one of the busiest pipeline makeovers in the industry.

“When I joined (the big biotech), there was a clear realization that Gilead had missed the first boat with immuno-oncology,” he tells me. “We hadn’t gone into the PD-1s, the checkpoints, etc. They had just bought Kite and the question was how do we get into oncology.”

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John Thero (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Amarin CEO John Thero pass­es ba­ton to Eu­rope com­mer­cial chief as M&A hopes con­tin­ue to de­flate

As Amarin breaks into the European market, John Thero is heading out.

After steering the ship for 7 years, Thero is handing the CEO job to Karim Mikhail, who came on board earlier this year to head the commercialization of Amarin’s fish oil pill in Europe. Mikhail’s appointment is effective Aug. 1, when Thero will officially retire and transition to an advisor role until the end of 2021.

Since joining Amarin in 2009, Thero has been credited for a slate of achievements that gave investors lots to be excited about. Under his watch, Vascepa — the pharmaceutical grade omega-3 fatty acid product first approved in 2012 — was cruised to a positive Phase III data readout despite some controversy, spurring an impressive reduction in risk of cardiovascular events that led to a quick FDA add-on approval.

Patrizia Cavazzoni, new CDER director

Pa­trizia Cavaz­zoni named per­ma­nent di­rec­tor of CDER, adding to ques­tions around where Wood­cock will end up

Patrizia Cavazzoni on Monday became the permanent director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which puts to rest the idea that Janet Woodcock, Cavazzoni’s predecessor, might return to lead CDER if she isn’t made permanent commissioner.

Woodcock, who’s currently serving as acting commissioner and principal medical advisor to the commissioner, a position she was detailed to last year, may not make the move to permanent commissioner because of lingering questions from Senate Democrats. She previously served as director of CDER since 1994. Cavazzoni took over as acting director of CDER when Woodcock moved over to Operation Warp Speed to run the therapeutics side of the Trump-era program.

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Jeff Leiden (L) and Reshma Kewalramani (Vertex)

UP­DAT­ED: The num­bers are in, and new Ver­tex CEO Resh­ma Ke­wal­ra­mani took home half of what pre­de­ces­sor Jeff Lei­den did in his last year on the job

Despite an up year for Vertex, which celebrated a nearly 50% increase in product revenue, the company’s new CEO Reshma Kewalramani made just half of what former chief executive Jeff Leiden did in his last full year on the job.

Kewalramani’s compensation package in her first year as CEO amounted to $9.11 million — significantly smaller than Leiden’s $16.47 million total for 2020, and about half the size of his $18.79 million package in 2019.

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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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Stéphane Bancel at the Endpoints #JPM20 breakfast panel in San Francisco, January 2020 (Photo: Jeff Rumans, Endpoints News)

The CHIC in­ter­view: Stéphane Ban­cel on Mod­er­na's overnight trans­for­ma­tion, the new time­line on vac­cine de­vel­op­ment and his one re­gret in 2020

The China Healthcare Investment Conference — better known as CHIC — took place last week in Shanghai at the Ritz-Carlton Pudong. Endpoints partnered with CHIC this year in an effort to highlight the global nature of drug development, and John Carroll conducted two virtual “fireside chats” that was broadcast to attendees. We’ll be sharing both with the Endpoints Premium audience, and first up is a one-on-one interview with Moderna’s Stéphane Bancel.

John Carroll has been covering Moderna and Bancel since the very beginning. He started their conversation by noting it was the first time he’s taken a drug from a company he’s covered from its inception. They go on to discuss how Moderna is being transformed by cash-flow earlier than expected, Bancel’s one big regret in 2020, and much more.

Their conversation is below, and we hope you enjoy.

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Sangeeta Bhatia (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Fe­male en­tre­pre­neurs have long been un­der­rep­re­sent­ed in biotech. An MIT team de­cid­ed to find out why

In the male-dominated world of biotech, it’s an unspoken fact that gender plays a big role in whose science eventually becomes a winner. But to what degree are male scientists favored in terms of entrepreneurial opportunity? An MIT-focused working group sought to find out.

At MIT alone, the lack of opportunities given to women has resulted in at least 40 fewer companies founded, a report published in the MIT Faculty Newsletter by the Boston Biotech Working Group found. The report’s biggest takeaway? This is not a pipeline problem. Women in the sciences are equally capable of launching their own companies given the same amount of opportunity, according to Sangeeta Bhatia, one of the report’s authors.