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Frank Reynolds (file photo)

Boston ju­ry finds biotech CEO guilty of fleec­ing in­vestors, ob­struc­tion of jus­tice

The biotech CEO who promised to end “thousands of years of morphine and opiate addiction” and allegedly told investors they could realize huge gains by investing in his company — which he said was worth $1 billion dollars before it rapidly ran out of cash — has been convicted of fraud by a Boston jury.

Frank Reynolds, CEO of PixarBio and former head of InVivo Therapeutics, was found guilty of lying to investors to drive up the stock price, Law360 reported. He was convicted on all counts, including securities fraud, manipulative trading and obstruction of justice.

Sridhar Ramaswamy. GV

Google’s ven­ture arm re­cruits a Har­vard/Tesaro vet to help plant the seeds for a sec­ond on­col­o­gy R&D rev­o­lu­tion

Oncology R&D has been exploding over the past 5 years, and now Google’s venture arm is preparing to place a few explosives to help with the revolution — relying on a new recruit in the Cambridge/Boston branch to assist in fostering the movement.

Eight months after the high-profile scientist and Agios founder David Schenkein started his third career act in biotech, teaming up with Krishna Yeshwant as a general partner in charge of the life sciences portfolio at GV, they’re bringing on board their second entrepreneur-in-residence to help strategize their approach to investing in cancer research. And he has some deep experience in the oncology field.

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Stephen Hahn speaks at an FDA and AACR workshop, February 2018 [via the American Association for Cancer Research]

As clock ticks, Trump will nom­i­nate Stephen Hahn as FDA com­mis­sion­er next week — re­port

Stephen Hahn is set to be nominated as the next FDA commissioner next week, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

With the clock ticking toward the November 1 deadline, President Donald Trump is cutting it close. But Hahn, the chief medical executive at Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, has emerged as the frontrunner to fill Scott Gottlieb’s seat — which Ned Sharpless has been serving in an interim capacity — as early as September. From previous reports, it appeared that Hahn was just one FBI background check away from the nomination.

EY vet set to re­place re­tir­ing Am­gen CFO Meline

Ahead of its third-quarter results next week, Amgen on Tuesday disclosed the planned retirement of David Meline, who has served as the company’s chief financial officer since 2014.

Meline will be replaced by Ernst & Young vet, Peter Griffith, as CFO come January 1, 2020 — but until then Griffith will serve as executive vice president, finance.

“Over the last 5 years at Amgen, Meline instituted many major changes that led to operational efficiencies and margin expansion while successfully returning cash to shareholders. Now that Amgen is on solid footing, it was a good time to step away,” Cowen’s Yaron Werber wrote in a note. “We do not anticipate any major changes to strategy or operations immediately due to this transition as Amgen is on solid footing.”

Eli Lil­ly’s USA, di­a­betes chief En­rique Con­ter­no is head­ing out af­ter 27 years, and he’s be­ing re­placed by a com­pa­ny in­sid­er

Close to 3 years after Eli Lilly CEO Dave Ricks added the title of president of the US operations to Enrique Conterno’s resume, which included his helmsmanship of the diabetes franchise, the Peruvian born exec is set to retire after a 27-year run at the pharma giant.

Lilly put out the news just as it was posting Q3 results, with a mix of upbeat and downbeat results in the latest set of numbers from Lilly.
Conterno — a grizzled, deeply experienced and sometimes gruff veteran of the pharma world — was a high-profile figure at Lilly, stepping up to expanded duties as the company was forced to deal with intense pricing pressure on the diabetes side of the business. He had replaced outgoing US president Alex Azar, who later popped up as head of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration.
As head of the diabetes unit, Conterno had to deal with an extraordinarily competitive field as payers demanded bigger discounts. Trulicity’s success helped generate new revenue for the company, but Q3’s miss on revenue had a lot to do with the need for discounting the drug ahead of Novo Nordisk’s rival therapy, Rybelsus, which was priced on the wholesale level at an almost identical rate.

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Pascal Soriot, Len Schleifer, Paul Perreault

So­ri­ot, Schleifer, Per­reault named top glob­al CEOs — but gone are phar­ma's gold­en years

CEOs of giant companies can be remembered for a plethora of things: the deals they strike, the people they hire and fire, the words they utter in interviews, and so on. But for the Street, it’s the financial performance that defines any tenure. The Harvard Business Review has just dropped the 2019 edition of its calculations on that while blending in a dash of the environmental, social and governance factors that have increasingly concerned investors.

Alice Shaw, Lung Cancer Foundation of America

Top ALK ex­pert and can­cer drug re­searcher Al­ice Shaw bids adieu to acad­e­mia, hel­lo to No­var­tis

Jay Bradner has recruited a marquee oncology drug researcher into the ranks of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Alice Shaw is jumping from prestigious posts intertwined through Mass General, Harvard and Dana-Farber to take the lead of NIBR’s translational clinical oncology group.

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Andrew Dickinson, Gilead

Gilead­'s chief strat­e­gy ex­ec gets a big pro­mo­tion af­ter or­ches­trat­ing multi­bil­lion-dol­lar deals

After gaining credit as the architect of Gilead’s $12 billion Kite buyout as well as the recent $5 billion partnership with Galapagos, chief strategy officer Andrew Dickinson is being promoted to the prestigious CFO post at the big biotech. And new CEO Daniel O’Day says the latest move completes his makeover of the top team.
Dickinson will remain in charge of strategy in his new post.
A 3-year veteran at Gilead, Dickinson joined the bellwether biotech after a lengthy stint at Lazard Frères & Co, where he was global co-head of healthcare investing. Before that, ironically enough, he had been at Myogen, which was bought out by Gilead in 2006. Now he’ll be primarily responsible for building confidence in the numbers at a company that has a strong foundation in HIV, a disappearing franchise in hep C and a CAR-T subsidiary in Kite that has a long way to go in establishing a new business.

Gilead vet Alessan­dro Ri­va steers Glen­mark's biotech spin­off on in­de­pen­dent course

Alessandro Riva turned heads when he left his oncology post at Gilead to front a new Glenmark venture. What was one of the industry’s top cancer execs doing at a generic drugs company?

“Nobody knew — or few people knew — that Glenmark had and has 400 people dedicated to innovation,” Riva told Endpoints News. 

The innovation arm is now trying to make its name known as it spins off from Glenmark and launches today as Ichnos Sciences. With a base in Paramus, New Jersey, a biologics wing in Switzerland and a new chemical entity research branch in India, Ichnos will clinically develop five molecules aimed at first in class treatments for cancer, auto-immune disorders and pain.

Neil Woodford. Woodford Investment Management via YouTube

Wood­ford fired from flag­ship fund — which won't re­open af­ter all

The debacle around Neil Woodford’s suspended flagship fund is coming to an abrupt end.

Link Fund Solutions, the authorized corporate director of the Woodford Equity Income Fund, is sacking the disgraced stockpicker from his namesake fund and winding it down. Beginning in January, the firm’s designated brokers will gradually sell off all assets in the portfolio to pay back the trapped investors — with the first installment due by the end of that month.