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Richard Francis, new Teva CEO (Novartis via Facebook)

Up­dat­ed: Te­va picks for­mer San­doz head as new CEO to re­place Kåre Schultz

Teva has tapped the former CEO of Sandoz, Richard Francis, to lead the Israeli generics giant, replacing current CEO Kåre Schultz.

Francis led Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, for five years from 2014 to 2019, leaving as Novartis began making plans to spin out the unit. It’s been a challenging several years for generics companies, which have seen supply chains disrupted, pressure on how much they can charge for drugs, and stock prices in decline.

Gun­ning for first chikun­gun­ya vac­cine OK, Val­ne­va raids GSK for a sea­soned com­mer­cial chief

Valneva may be downsizing in the wake of its Covid-19 setback, but it’s also adding expertise where it needs.

The French vaccine maker has appointed Dipal Patel as chief commercial officer, a new position it recently created as it gears up for market entry of its chikungunya vaccine candidate. In Patel, Valneva nabs an 18-year GSK veteran who’s managed commercial operations in multiple countries. Most recently, she was the global lead for Shingrix, GSK’s shingles vaccine.

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Emily Leproust, Twist Bioscience founder and CEO

Scor­pi­on Cap­i­tal goes af­ter Twist Bio­science as lat­est syn­bio tar­get, com­par­ing biotech to Ther­a­nos

The infamous short seller who went after Ginkgo Bioworks last year has a new target in its sights.

Scorpion Capital released a 236-page report Tuesday morning focused on Twist Bioscience, the synbio startup led by Emily Leproust that’s trading down $TWST more than 27%. The release wiped hundreds of millions of dollars in market capital and almost 67% since January 1.

Francis deSouza, Illumina CEO (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Il­lu­mi­na be­comes the lat­est domi­no in lay­offs trend, cut­ting around 5% of its work­force

The third quarter blues are hitting biopharma hard as the past weeks have seen both big pharmas and smaller biotechs axing portions of their staff, and now another big name is following that trend.

According to an SEC filing, Illumina has started a “headcount reduction” of around 5% of its global staff, which numbers close to 10,000 employees. In the filing, Illumina states that it is “proactively realigning Core Illumina operating expenses” to better reflect the current economic environment while focusing on innovation and longer-term growth.

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Gerrit Klaerner, Tricida CEO (Nasdaq)

First came the news of strate­gic re­view. Now Tri­ci­da is let­ting more than half of its staff go in wake of PhI­II flop

As the decisive defeat of its lead and sole drug continues to reverberate, Tricida is laying off 57% of its workforce while it searches for ways to cash out.

The cuts come in the wake of Tricida’s disclosure earlier this month that the board of directors had authorized a “thorough review of strategic options,” including a sale of the company or just its assets, and certain measures to lower operating expenses. At the end of last year, Tricida reported 57 full-time staffers.

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Kristi Jones, NexImmune CEO

Sev­er­al biotechs con­tin­ue trend of lay­offs, pipeline culls as third quar­ter re­ports roll in

Over the past several weeks, small and large companies alike have resorted to cost-cutting measures, bringing the hammer down on employees or cutting pieces from the development pipeline. That trend is only accelerating in the latest batch of Q3 reports, as another six companies either laid off staff or cut from the pipeline early this week.

Starting with the Bay Area-based penny stock Harpoon Therapeutics $HARP, the biotech is looking to only focus on three of its assets and is reducing its workforce by 45% in primarily its research and support functions. According to its SEC report, Harpoon had 99 employees as of February. The move will look to extend Harpoon’s cash into 2023.

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Ramkumar Rayapureddy, Viatris chief information officer

SEC snatch­es Vi­a­tris in­for­ma­tion chief in $8M in­sid­er trad­ing scheme via cash pay­ments in In­dia

The Securities and Exchange Commission again showed its ability to find insider traders wherever they may go, as late last week it filed charges against generic drug company Viatris’ chief information officer for tipping off a close friend who made $8 million from the insider info and shared some of those profits with the chief information officer via cash payments in India.

Pittsburgh-based Ramkumar Rayapureddy, 54, rose to the rank of global CIO in January 2016 and, at least from fall 2017 to summer 2019, tipped his friend and former colleague, Dayakar Mallu, material nonpublic information about Mylan’s unannounced FDA drug approval, financial results, and an impending merger with Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, to create Viatris.

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Matt Gline, Roivant Sciences CEO (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for GLG)

Roivant cuts 12% of staff in cost-sav­ing move

Roivant Sciences cut 12% of its workforce on Thursday, the company told Endpoints News, making it the latest biotech to trim staff amid an industry downturn.

The job cuts were announced internally and affect about 100 people across the 891-person organization. Roivant plans to provide further detail on the layoffs when it announces quarterly financial results Monday morning.

“It was a difficult decision, and we are working to help all the impacted employees,” CEO Matt Gline said to Endpoints in a statement. The job reductions follow similar moves across the industry, with many smaller, private companies making reductions amid a challenging market for raising new funds.

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Lay­off trend con­tin­ues as three more biotechs an­nounce re­duc­tions in staff

As several biotech and pharma companies commit to layoffs, another handful brought down the axe late this week.

A WARN notice from the state of Massachusetts’s Department of Career Services said that Sumitomo Pharma America Holdings, Inc/Sunovion Pharmaceuticals is engaging in layoffs at its headquarters in Marlborough, MA. The action will affect 360 employees at Sunovion, with it planning to go into effect on January 13 of next year.

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Elon Musk (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke-Pool/Getty Images)

Elon Musk's pay-for-play Twit­ter sows chaos as fake Eli Lil­ly ac­count pro­claims in­sulin is free

Elon Musk’s plan to overhaul Twitter’s verification system roiled the social media site Thursday, with dozens of politicians, celebrities and brands becoming prime targets for impersonation. Chief among those targets was pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.

A little after 1:30 pm Eastern time Thursday, a fake Lilly Twitter account posted a message pretending the company had made insulin completely free. The account, which paid for Twitter’s hallmark blue checkmark through Musk’s new $8 per month subscription service, spawned a litany of other impersonators across the site, most of which posted crude or politically sensitive messages.

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