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Cel­gene ex­ec jumps to head blue­bird bio ops in Eu­rope, where its $1.8M gene ther­a­py Zyn­te­glo is now avail­able

Days after shaking hands with German regulators over the launch and coverage of its beta-thalassemia gene therapy, bluebird bio has wooed a Celgene exec to lead its European operations.

Nicola Heffron, a biopharma vet with stints across Eli Lilly, GSK and Shire, jumps from a brief tenure overseeing marketing for Celgene’s myeloid portfolio in Summit, NJ. She will now be based in Zug, Switzerland.

Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, AP Images

War­ren and Klobuchar say they can low­er drug prices with­out Con­gress’ help

On Tuesday, two Democrats running for president promised to do — each by herself — what Washington has so far proven unable to do: lower the prices of prescription drugs.

Speaking during the last Democratic debate before the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said, if elected president, they would each act immediately to directly reduce the cost of certain drugs.

STUNG: Aduro CEO Stephen Isaacs reach­es for the bud­get ax — again — on the heels of their lat­est set­back with No­var­tis

A little less than a year ago, Aduro $ADRO CEO Stephen Isaacs started 2019 by whacking about a third of the staff. In what’s become an annual event now, he’s kicking off 2020 by eviscerating the remaining staff, laying off 51 staffers while cutting more than half the head count at the Bay Area biotech.

As SVB Leerink’s Daina Graybosch noted Thursday evening, the latest downsizing — which includes closing their sub in the Netherlands — comes after Novartis kicked loose their STING agonist ADU-S100.

William Heiden, AMAG

Cred­i­bil­i­ty shred­ded, AM­AG jet­ti­sons CEO and 2 drugs as it looks to re­or­ga­nize around a sal­vage plan

With its revenue numbers in a tailspin and a top drug under critical review at the FDA following a failed confirmatory study, AMAG is starting the new year with a new plan.

Out go two drugs for women’s health: the controversial Vyleesi approved last year to stimulate women’s sexual desire and Intrarosa for the relief of pain during sex. The biotech $AMAG plans to auction off those drugs to anyone game to try to market them. Also out: CEO William Heiden, once they find a successor for the helm.

Stan­ley and Rosanne Crooke stay fo­cused on an­ti-sense, steal­ing back pa­tients from dis­ease with N-of-1 tech

A little over a year after a Boston Children’s Hospital neurologist used anti-sense technology to create what may be the world’s first fully bespoke therapy, two of the oldest and biggest names in anti-sense have launched a charity to make those treatments possible to far more patients – and free of charge.

The husband-and-wife team of longtime Ionis CEO Stanley Crooke and longtime Ionis researcher Rosanne Crooke are launching the n-Lorem foundation. The couple will personally contribute $1.5 million to the project, with Ionis adding another $1.5 million and Biogen $1 million. Stanley Crooke stepped down from Ionis’ helm last year.

'Burn­er' phones and Ari­ad se­crets: Gold­man Sachs banker pleads guilty for his role in glob­al in­sid­er trad­ing ring

A former Goldman Sachs banker has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit securities fraud as another member of the global biotech insider trader ring stands trial in Manhattan.

Bryan Cohen admitted to stealing material, non-public information from the investment bank about corporate acquisitions, some of them related to companies listed on US exchanges. But unlike Telemaque Lavidas, who allegedly fed information about Ariad to New York businessman George Nikas, Cohen turned his intel over to “a securities trader based in Switzerland,” providing updates about how the deals were progressing over time.

Thomas Lynch, Endpoints News

Thomas Lynch finds a new home as leader of the Fred Hutch — and he’s stay­ing fo­cused on can­cer break­throughs

Thomas Lynch didn’t last long in the pressure-packed R&D world of Big Pharma R&D, but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the spotlight. Lynch, former head of research at Bristol-Myers Squibb, will now vault to the top of the Fred Hutch in Seattle, one of the most notable research institutions in the world.

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Neil Woodford (file photo)

As in­vestors soured on his bets, records show Wood­ford paid him­self hand­some div­i­dends

Ahead of the implosion of his flagship fund and his reputation as one of the UK’s most savviest stock pickers, Neil Woodford paid himself and his business partner £13.8 million in dividends in the year leading up to the impasse.

For the period between April 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019 — Woodford Investment Management made a post-tax profit of about £16.3 million, records posted on Companies House on Monday show. The company paid Woodford Capital, an unlimited company owned by Woodford (with a 65% stake) and his business partner Craig Newman (with the remaining 35% stake) £13.8 million in dividends (£9 million and £4.8 million, respectively).

'U snooze u lose': Judg­ment day for $100M biotech in­sid­er trad­ing scheme looms as son of for­mer Ari­ad di­rec­tor stands tri­al

A criminal trial that begins today in Manhattan promises to unravel a global insider trading ring that profited off of non-public information about multiple biotechs — beginning with the son of a former board director at Ariad Pharmaceuticals.

Telemaque Lavidas is the first defendant to appear in front of a jury among six charged for the scheme. He was indicted for providing George Nikas, a businessman who owned a Greek restaurant chain in New York, with insider information from his father, Athanase Lavidas. Nikas was allegedly at the center of the whole conspiracy, chumming up with investment bankers and a securities trader to enrich himself.

Enrique Conterno, via Eli Lilly

As ques­tions swirl around lead drug, Fi­bro­Gen (and As­traZeneca) find a new cham­pi­on from Big Phar­ma

Two months after Enrique Conterno left his high-profile post as the head of Lilly Diabetes and Lilly USA, the 27-year pharma vet is back in the game — this time as the newly appointed CEO of a closely-watched biotech.

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