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Paul Hastings (Nkarta)

‘You have to get up on the podi­um’: In­com­ing BIO chair Paul Hast­ings on di­ver­si­ty, drug pric­ing and work­ing with the FDA

Paul Hastings’ day job as CEO of Nkarta has him talking about natural killer cells and their potential applications in cancer. But throughout the pandemic you’ll likely remember him in his other role: As vice chair of BIO, the biotech trade group, he would often sign his name right under chairman (and Ovid CEO) Jeremy Levin, calling for FDA independence, standing up for the right to vote, and encouraging others to speak out.

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Paul Burton, incoming Moderna CMO (J&J/file photo)

Look­ing be­yond the pan­dem­ic, Mod­er­na ap­points J&J vet­er­an Paul Bur­ton as new CMO

Moderna is turning to one of its Covid-19 vaccine competitors to fill its open CMO slot, but this time, it’s not the vaccine experience they’re after.

Paul Burton, who’s spent 16 years at J&J, most recently as chief global medical affairs officer of Janssen, will take over as Moderna CMO on July 6.

With an eye toward a future beyond the pandemic, the mRNA biotech went with Burton, who earned his MD and PhD degrees in London, as he offers experience on a range of therapeutic areas, as well as work as a cardiothoracic surgeon and leading tech projects with Apple.

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An ex­pen­sive watch, shell com­pa­nies and fake in­voic­es: How two Is­raeli traders tapped in­to a $100M glob­al biotech in­sid­er trad­ing ring

It appears that we have reached the end of the saga about the global insider trading ring that collectively reaped $100 million from placing “timely, profitable” trades in biotech stocks like Ariad, Pharmacyclics and Receptos.

Tomer Feingold and Dov Malnik — Israeli traders living in Switzerland — were the last out of eight to be charged as the SEC unraveled the scheme, which ran from 2013 through 2017. Together, according to a statement in March, the pair had pocketed more than $4 million.

Cit­ing 'ex­ces­sive' ex­ec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion, ad­vi­so­ry firms want a long­time Re­gen­eron board mem­ber oust­ed

Grumbles have grown louder at Regeneron in recent months over the pay packages received by top execs, and now two large advisory firms are recommending shareholders oust a board member over the issue.

Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services both said that Regeneron board member George Sing, who sits on the company’s compensation committee, should be voted out ahead of an upcoming shareholder meeting this Friday. Sing has been a director at Regeneron since the company’s founding in 1988. According to Glass Lewis, whose report was provided to Endpoints News, concerns were expressed over the “excessive” stock awards given to CEO Leonard Schleifer and CSO George Yancopoulos.

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Joel Perlmutter

Ad­comm mem­ber who warned about risk of ap­prov­ing Bio­gen's ad­u­canum­ab has re­signed fol­low­ing his­toric OK — re­ports

One of the 11 experts the FDA had convened to discuss Biogen’s aducanumab — before overriding their recommendation and approving the Alzheimer’s drug — has resigned from the panel, STAT News and Pink Sheet reported.

Joel Perlmutter, a neurologist at Washington University in St. Louis who’s been on the Peripheral & Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee roster since 2015, told STAT that he quit on Monday “due to this ruling by the FDA without further discussion with our advisory committee.”

Daniel O'Day, AP Images

Eliz­a­beth War­ren wants Gilead CEO Daniel O'­Day in the hot seat to talk drug pric­ing and com­pet­i­tive­ness

Given Gilead’s experience in developing storied new drugs for hepatitis C and Covid-19, and marketing them with hefty price tags, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) sent a letter on Friday to CEO Daniel O’Day, calling on him to testify before a subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee on “Promoting Domestic Competition and International Competitiveness.”

While noting that “the prohibitively high prices of Gilead’s drugs have made it hard for patients to access the lifesaving treatments they need, forced taxpayers to bear the brunt of high costs, and inhibited competition,” Warren said she’s offering O’Day “an opportunity to offer context on pharmaceutical competition and the burden of high drug prices on patients and the American public.”

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Amy Abernethy (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

For­mer FDA No. 2 Amy Aber­nethy re­joins Robert Califf at Google's Ver­i­ly, hop­ping aboard as clin­i­cal R&D head

Google’s life sciences company Verily on Thursday tapped former principal deputy FDA commissioner Amy Abernethy as president of its clinical research business.

The move means Abernethy, who left the FDA at the end of April, will join fellow FDA alum and former commissioner Robert Califf, who serves as head of Verily’s clinical policy and strategy. Both Abernethy and Califf also previously taught at Duke University.

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Birgit Girshick, Charles River

Q&A: Amid an M&A flur­ry at Charles Riv­er, long­time ex­ec Bir­git Gir­shick dis­cuss­es how Covid-19 has changed the game

Contract research and manufacturing has been running at a rapid clip amid the pandemic, and big players in the space have looked to leverage runaway cash flow to turbocharge their business. For CRO Charles River Laboratories, that means more of everything — including a big infusion into its manufacturing arm.

In mid-May, the company paid $292.5 million for Vigene Biosciences and its 52,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Rockville, MD. In February, the company bought Cognate and pledged to double capacity in Memphis and Europe. In early April, it teamed up with Valence Discovery to expand its AI platform for molecular property prediction.

Ma­gen­ta's R&D head hits the ex­it just weeks af­ter read­ing out mid-stage da­ta for lead ther­a­py, eye­ing clin­ic for an­oth­er

Cambridge, MA-based Magenta Therapeutics has had a mostly quiet few years as it steers its stem cell transplant hopefuls through early-stage human trials. For the past three years, that early clinical work was headed up by Pfizer veteran John Davis — but now, Davis is taking off right as the biotech’s lead drug preps for a late-stage test.

Davis, Magenta’s CMO and head of R&D, will leave the company as a full-time employee no later than July 30 for “family reasons,” leaving the biotech on the hunt for its next clinical lead, according to an SEC filing.

Tim Springer (Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Alise Re­icin re­cruits GNF vet Pe­ter Mc­Na­ma­ra to head re­search at Tim Springer's lat­est start­up

Alise Reicin has just made a key addition to her top team at Tectonic, the new Boston upstart kickstarted into existence by billionaire Harvard scientist Tim Springer.

Reicin has selected Peter McNamara for the first chief of research at the biotech, recruiting him from the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. At the GNF McNamara was head of biotherapeutics and biotechnology, responsible for a whole lineup of technologies ranging from GNF’s platform technologies in biotherapeutics discovery and optimization, to protein sciences, structural biology, functional genomics, high through-put screening, automation and engineering.

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