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Paul Hudson (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images)

Sanofi's Ko­re­an union threat­ens a strike over pay as Big Phar­mas stare down glob­al de­mands

Sanofi is facing down a strike threat in Korea amid an increasing number of confrontations between Big Pharma and their labor unions over pay demands.

A Korean publication cites labor officials who have been unhappy over the company’s offer of a 1.5% increase in pay, in keeping with inflation. They cite their own inflation numbers as well as increases in Korean sales during the pandemic, originally seeking a 7% pay hike and then lowering the demand to 4%.

Paul Hastings, BIO chair

#BIO22: BIO chair Paul Hast­ings: 'I think peo­ple should speak their truth'

Paul Hastings doesn’t offer the usual biotech executive cliches. The ones endorsed by the media consultant crowd. And sometimes the Nkarta CEO doesn’t even wait for a question before jumping straight to his answers, his truth, as he likes to call it. And that was the way we started our conversation about his first year as chair of BIO, and how the next year is shaping up. Hastings will join our panel on managing a biotech during turbulent times, which will be available in a live setting in San Diego, or online. You can register for that — along with a lineup of virtual events — here. — John Carroll

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Adam Morgan of Velan Capital Investment Management (L) and Radius Health CEO Kelly Martin

Ac­tivist in­vestors at­tempt to change the course at Ra­dius Health, six months af­ter two dis­ap­point­ing read­outs

Following a disappointing data reveal and subsequent stock drop late last year, Radius Health is now facing an activist attack from two minority investors aiming to right the ship.

Velan Capital Investment Management and Repertoire Partners filed their proxy statements Tuesday morning in a bid to nominate a slate of three new board members at Radius’ annual shareholder meeting next month. The Velan-Repertoire group, which collectively owns a 7.7% stake, alleges Radius’ current directors have undertaken a bad commercial strategy for its one approved product and are unfit to serve because they own almost no shares in the company.

Kevin Marks (L) and David Schenkein, GV

Ex­clu­sive: GV’s David Schenkein turns to a fa­mil­iar face at No­var­tis for his lat­est re­cruit as en­tre­pre­neur-in-res­i­dence

David Schenkein has added a new member to GV’s still quite exclusive club of biotech CEOs-in-waiting. And this time the Google Ventures player is turning to someone he’d worked with for years at Agios, the company he built from a white sheet of paper.

Schenkein recruited Kevin Marks out of NIBR, where he’s been working as head of the oncology discovery group. But before joining Jay Bradner’s discovery crew in the fall of 2020, Marks had spent close to 12 years at Agios, including a broad swath of time that overlapped with Schenkein’s decade-long run as CEO, which was later superseded by an ongoing stretch as chairman of the board.

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Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca CEO (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Pas­cal So­ri­ot would­n't 'do any­thing dif­fer­ent­ly' in Covid-19 vac­cine de­vel­op­ment — re­port

While Moderna and Pfizer have taken much of the limelight when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, AstraZeneca’s boss is standing by his company’s development efforts.

In an interview with the BBC on Monday, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot claimed the company’s Covid-19 vaccine has managed to save a million lives despite facing setbacks. Soriot addressed studies linking the vaccine to rare blood clots, but in looking back on the vaccine’s development, he told BBC: “I don’t think I would do anything differently from what we did.

Ahmed Hamdy, Vincerx CEO

Bear mar­ket hits an­oth­er small cap biotech as Ahmed Hamdy's Vin­cerx cuts a third of staff

The biotech bear market continues to put pressure on small and mid-cap companies, with another startup undergoing a shift.

Cancer-focused biotech Vincerx revealed it would lay off 33% of its staff Monday afternoon as part of an effort to get its lead program through two Phase I studies. The move comes a little less than two years after Vincerx went public via a SPAC, and after its stock $VINC has fallen more than 80% in 2022.

Credit: Kyle LaHucik

#AS­CO22: Min­gling face-to-face stole the spot­light in re­union with '50,000 of your clos­est friend­s'

CHICAGO — This weekend, tens of thousands of physicians, clinical trial investigators, academics, R&D scientists and biopharma leaders descended upon Chicago for the first in-person ASCO meeting since the pandemic onset.

Being in-person was the “big thing,” as Foundation Medicine’s Brian Alexander told me. That remark was made before the Enhertu data drop.

“It’s such a fun place to be with 50,000 of your closest friends,” Zymeworks’ Kenneth Galbraith said outside one of the convention center’s multiple Starbucks.

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Karim Mikhail, Amarin CEO

Amarin CFO re­signs amid cost-cut­ting mea­sures, staff re­duc­tion of 40%

A year after a Supreme Court opinion put the final nail in the coffin for Amarin’s fish-oil heart drug, the biotech is making some changes to keep its doors open.

The Irish drugmaker announced early Monday that it will be cutting 65% of its US commercial staff, which will effectively result in a 90% drop from pre-pandemic levels and a 40% reduction in overall employee numbers. On top of that, it would also implement certain “reductions and reallocations in overall selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses as well as savings related to refining the Company’s R&D strategy to a more focused, stepwise approach for its FDC program.”

Yumanity chairman Tony Coles (L) and CEO Richard Peters

UP­DAT­ED: Fol­low­ing deep cuts, Yu­man­i­ty strikes a deal to sell drugs to J&J, hands the keys to Genen­tech-part­nered Kine­ta

Yumanity has found that “strategic alternative” it started searching for early this year as its share price shriveled, forcing deep staff cuts.

The suffering biotech has agreed to sell off most of its pipeline — including a partially-held Phase I Parkinson’s drug, dubbed YTX-7739, and unpartnered discovery-stage neuroscience product candidates — to J&J for $26 million in cash. And it’s executing a reverse merger with the private biotech Kineta, which will wind up with the public listing and Yumanity’s Merck-partnered ALS/frontotemporal lobar degeneration program.

Daniel Camardo, Athersys CEO (Horizon)

Days af­ter dis­clos­ing tri­al flop, stem cell ther­a­py de­vel­op­er ax­es 70% of work­force while search­ing for cash

When Daniel Camardo hosted his first quarterly investor call as CEO of Athersys, the picture he painted was all rosy: He’s joining to “complete the development, approval, launch and commercialization” of the biotech’s stem cell therapy. “With thoughtful and timely execution,” he said, Athersys “will be well-positioned to meet our long-term goals.”

But it looks like his tenure will first be defined by a very different task.

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