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Turns out, Rudy Tanzi did­n't see much of a sto­ry about a hid­den link be­tween En­brel and Alzheimer's ei­ther

The Wash­ing­ton Post man­aged to whip up the quick­est in­dus­try con­sen­sus I’ve ever seen that one of its re­porters was pur­vey­ing overblown non­sense with a sto­ry that Pfiz­er was sit­ting on da­ta sug­gest­ing that En­brel could be an ef­fec­tive treat­ment for Alzheimer’s. 

In cov­er­ing that bit of an­ti-Big Phar­ma fan­ta­sy — there are lots of rea­sons to go af­ter phar­ma, but this piece was lu­di­crous — I not­ed com­ments in the sto­ry from some promi­nent peo­ple in the field crit­i­ciz­ing Pfiz­er for not pub­lish­ing the da­ta. I sin­gled out Rudy Tanzi at Har­vard and then ap­plied some added crit­i­cism for the things he’s done to hype — in my opin­ion — high­ly ques­tion­able as­sump­tions. You can see it in the link. 

J&J gains an en­thu­si­as­tic en­dorse­ment from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump for their big new drug Spra­va­to

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has lit­tle love for Big Phar­ma, but there’s at least one new drug that just hit the mar­ket which he is en­am­ored with.

Trump, ev­i­dent­ly, has been read­ing up on J&J’s new an­ti-de­pres­sion drug, Spra­va­to. And the pres­i­dent — who of­ten likes to break out in­to a full-throat­ed at­tack on greedy drug­mak­ers — ap­par­ent­ly en­thused about the ther­a­py in a meet­ing with of­fi­cials of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, which has long grap­pled with de­pres­sion among vet­er­ans.

Roche cat­a­pults Thomas Schi­neck­er to chief of di­ag­nos­tics unit

One day af­ter the FDA sanc­tioned the ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval of Roche’s lat­est an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate, the Swiss drug­mak­er has un­veiled the new head of its $13 bil­lion di­ag­nos­tics unit.

Roche’s di­ag­nos­tics arm gen­er­at­ed CHF 12.9 bil­lion ($13 bil­lion) in sales last year. It sells a myr­i­ad of tests for blood, HPV, can­cer and di­a­betes and is dri­ven by its cen­tral­ized and point of care so­lu­tions busi­ness. The head of this well-per­form­ing unit — Thomas Schi­neck­er — is be­ing pro­mot­ed to CEO of Roche Di­ag­nos­tics, and will be­gin his tenure from Au­gust 1, the com­pa­ny said on Tues­day.

Sanofi re­cruits No­var­tis' top phar­ma ex­ec Paul Hud­son as its new CEO — so what hap­pens now?

Sanofi’s board has turned to some­one who’s not French to be its next CEO.

The Paris-based phar­ma gi­ant named No­var­tis phar­ma chief Paul Hud­son — a British phar­ma ex­ec­u­tive with an in­ter­na­tion­al pedi­gree — to the top post as cur­rent CEO Olivi­er Brandi­court heads off to an ear­ly “re­tire­ment.”

In a care­ful­ly or­ches­trat­ed re­sponse, No­var­tis CEO Vas Narasimhan con­grat­u­lat­ed Hud­son and named Marie-France Tschudin, a Swiss cit­i­zen who’s head­ing up the re­cent­ly ac­quired can­cer group Ad­vanced Ac­cel­er­a­tor Ap­pli­ca­tions, as Hud­son’s re­place­ment. In do­ing so, he im­me­di­ate­ly po­si­tioned Tschudin — who speaks 6 lan­guages — as a top can­di­date for any fu­ture Big Phar­ma CEO open­ing.

Ex-Juno chief Hans Bish­op takes the helm at can­cer test­ing start­up Grail in a shake­up as IPO ru­mors per­co­late

There’s a shake­up un­der­way at the high-fly­ing can­cer test­ing start­up Grail which is bring­ing in one of the best known biotech ex­ecs in the in­dus­try.

Thurs­day evening Men­lo Park, CA-based Grail an­nounced that ex-Roche ex­ec Jen­nifer Cook is step­ping down from her post as CEO for fam­i­ly health rea­sons and hand­ing the helm to Hans Bish­op, best known for steer­ing Juno Ther­a­peu­tics to a $9 bil­lion buy­out by Cel­gene.

Clock starts tick­ing on Leif Jo­hansson's re­tire­ment from As­traZeneca chair­man role — re­port

Af­ter sev­en event­ful years marked by a takeover bid, a turn­around mis­sion and some po­lit­i­cal tur­moil, As­traZeneca might be part­ing ways with its chair­man, Leif Jo­hans­son.

The British drug­mak­er’s board is be­gin­ning to plan Jo­hann­son’s suc­ces­sion as a cap on his tenure looms, Sky News re­port­ed. Sources said there was no for­mal time­line but some ac­tion from As­traZeneca’s nom­i­na­tion and gov­er­nance com­mit­tee.

Ned Sharp­less weighs in on gene ther­a­py pric­ing de­bate, sug­gest­ing 'the mes­sag­ing got lost'

PHILADEL­PHIA — You know the drug pric­ing de­bate has reached a new height when the act­ing FDA com­mis­sion­er starts to chime in on a pub­lic fo­rum.

In re­sponse to a ques­tion on gene ther­a­pies posed dur­ing a fire­side chat at the an­nu­al BIO con­ven­tion, Ned Sharp­less ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tance of dis­cussing cost — though it doesn’t fall un­der the FDA’s purview — but said he’s “a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed” in the cov­er­age of the re­cent ap­proval of No­var­tis’ spinal mus­cu­lar at­ro­phy treat­ment, Zol­gens­ma. The treat­ment was priced at $2.12 mil­lion spread out over a 5-year in­stall­ment.

Bris­tol-My­ers bumps off chief sci­en­tist in an­oth­er big shake­up, bring­ing in Cel­gene and No­var­tis ex­ecs

Just 2 years af­ter Tom Lynch stepped from the board room to the top sci­en­tif­ic po­si­tion at Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, he’s out.

The phar­ma gi­ant re­port­ed Wednes­day morn­ing that Lynch will leave his post as CSO in four months, mov­ing Cel­gene R&D ex­ec Ru­pert Vessey in­to the top re­search po­si­tion af­ter the big merg­er while re­cruit­ing No­var­tis on­col­o­gy de­vel­op­ment head Samit Hi­rawat for chief med­ical of­fi­cer with com­mand of the de­vel­op­ment group.

Neil Wood­ford force­ful­ly stems in­vestor out­flow by sus­pend­ing his be­lea­guered main fund

Mounting woes at Neil Woodford’s flagship investment fund has culminated in a drastic decision to block investors from pulling out.

The suspension of the issue, cancellation, sale, redemption and transfer of shares in the Woodford Equity Income Fund comes days after it was downgraded by the investment research firm Morningstar. Plagued by an exodus of disappointed investors, the fund has shrunk from £10.2 billion to £3.7 billion in just 2 years, the Guardian reported.

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Add one fa­tal flaw to Jiankui He's litany of mis­takes in CRISPR ba­by de­ba­cle

Sci­en­tists the world over have found plen­ty of rea­sons to con­demn their Chi­nese col­league Jiankui He’s ex­per­i­ment with the world’s first CRISPR ba­bies late 2018: The al­leged med­ical need to con­fer HIV im­mu­ni­ty was un­found­ed, the con­sent process seemed du­bi­ous, the ac­tu­al gene edit­ing ap­peared spot­ty, just to name a few. But a new re­search pa­per may have un­cov­ered the most stag­ger­ing of them all.