Week in review: Clinton over Trump; the hubs have it; we'll always have Paris
Endpoints assesses the big biopharma R&D stories of the week, with a little added commentary on what they mean for the industry.
Poll says…Clinton over Trump
In our first snap poll of readers, one message came through loud and clear. A large majority of subscribers to Endpoints News are less than enthusiastic about the idea of a Donald Trump presidency. That’s not a big surprise, if you consider the kind of college-educated group of industry readers we have in Boston, the Bay Area and Europe. This is not Trump’s base. Hillary Clinton, as expected, does well. But the 20% of responders, out of more than 500, who said there’s no difference between the two also underscores just how disenchanted many US voters are this year. Our endorsement? Anybody but Trump, and Clinton has the only viable shot at being that person.
The hubs have it
AstraZeneca has sent out the message to its far-flung R&D groups in the Bay Area that it’s developing a brand new campus for the bunch. This is just the latest in a years-long migration to global biotech hubs, as Big Pharma takes up residence in the very center of the most active spots for drug development. The concentration of forces will increase the emphasis on a handful of key universities, where cutting edge work promises to revolutionize pharmaceuticals in the next 10 years. That’s a trend we can support.
GSK: We’ll always have Paris
The big hubs gains are the rest of the world’s losses. While AstraZeneca was continuing the trend to its two designated hubs, GSK was pulling out of the Paris suburbs. In order to get rid of its facility there the pharma giant had to subsidize the payroll for several years. That’s evidently the best deal you can get for a French unit. There are some very interesting biotechs working in France, but aside from Sanofi — which has often reluctantly had to rely on its French R&D operations — don’t expect France to be on anyone’s hub list. That’s the way the world works, and you can’t deny it.
Gilead can do better
The heat is mounting on Gilead execs to take its big cache of cash and do something big with it. This week Geoffrey Porges at Leerink piled on, noting that the licensing deals it’s done so far have fallen far short of what the big biotech needs to do. We’d like to lend our voice to that push. Gilead’s exec team needs to follow the leaders and get engaged in some serious M&A work if it expects to keep investors content. The clock is ticking.