Come join me dur­ing my round-the-world biotech ad­ven­ture in Oc­to­ber, with events in Lon­don and Shang­hai — plus

A few years ago I had a chance to do a half-day event in Lon­don with a top group of biotech ex­ecs, and I’ve been mean­ing to get back to the Gold­en Tri­an­gle for a re­turn event ever since.

Now, with the Great Around the Biotech World Trip I’m plan­ning for Oc­to­ber, that time has ar­rived.

On Oc­to­ber 10, I’m bring­ing to­geth­er a great group of lead­ers in the biotech com­mu­ni­ty for the first an­nu­al End­points News UK Bio­phar­ma Re­search & De­vel­op­ment Sum­mit, host­ed at the Sil­i­con Val­ley Bank au­di­to­ri­um in Lon­don. 

We’ll be cov­er­ing key is­sues like fi­nanc­ing trends, the ROI of drug de­vel­op­ment and new in­no­va­tion, and how top can­cer drug de­vel­op­ers in the coun­try are nav­i­gat­ing the huge burst of new stud­ies that has swelled the pipeline in re­cent years.

Mene Pan­ga­los

My pan­elists in­clude Mene Pan­ga­los, the EVP of In­no­v­a­tive Med­i­cines, at As­traZeneca; Tim Haines

Kate Bing­ham

from Abing­worth; Kate Bing­ham at SV Health In­vestors; John Pot­tage, CSO at Vi­iV; Nooman Haque at SVB; David Grainger at Medicxi; Jack­ie Hunter from Benev­o­len­tAI; Mike Rea from IDEA; Mal­colm Weir, CEO at Hep­tares; Niall Mar­tin, CEO from Ar­tios and David Chiswell, the leg­endary CAT co-founder who now helms Kymab.

Plus a few we have yet to name.

You can read all about the half-day agen­da here. If you want­ed me to sum up the ob­jec­tive here, I’d say I’m look­ing for a clear up­date on the Gold­en Tri­an­gle’s place in this fast-chang­ing biotech world, with in­vestors act­ing more bull­ish­ly than I’ve ever seen. And I’d like to show the bio­phar­ma world what it looks like from the per­spec­tive of some of the bright­est peo­ple in the field.

We have a lim­it­ed num­ber of seats avail­able for an event that will be record­ed for a lat­er broad­cast. And I’m look­ing for an au­di­ence as great as the pan­elists who are ap­pear­ing to dis­cuss cur­rent biotech events at the sum­mit. Bio­phar­ma ex­ecs look­ing to get in­to the con­ver­sa­tion are hearti­ly wel­come. Plus, we have a beer and wine mix­er at the end, which should be fun.

It’s a good thing that we are near­ly squared away on Lon­don, be­cause af­ter a quick trip to Mu­nich for ES­MO, I’ll be head­ed out to Shang­hai for a 2-day event we’re man­ag­ing with our part­ners in Chi­na, Pharm­Cube: US-Chi­na Bio­phar­ma In­no­va­tion & In­vest­ment Sum­mit. We’re still bring­ing to­geth­er the pan­els for this, but we have head­line events planned with en­tre­pre­neur Saman­tha Du, CEO of Zai Labs, Vivek Ra­maswamy from Roivant, John Oyler, the CEO at BeiGene, Jonathan Wang from Or­biMed Asia and Fa­heem Has­nain, co-founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Gos­samer, who you may re­call arranged the $7.2 bil­lion sale of Re­cep­tos to Cel­gene and re­cent­ly raised $330 mil­lion for his new ven­ture. 

Plus, we have lots and lots more ex­ecs who will be join­ing us.

We’re go­ing to be talk­ing deals, dol­lars and ren­min­bi at a cru­cial in­ter­sec­tion for US, Chi­nese and Eu­ro­pean play­ers. So why are we ask­ing you to join us? By in­ter­min­gling key play­ers on both sides of the Pa­cif­ic — as well as from Eu­rope — we’d like to spark some new talks on col­lab­o­ra­tions, de­vel­op­ment deals and fi­nanc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. Chi­na’s fast-grow­ing in­dus­try is chang­ing every­thing about the glob­al in­dus­try, and this is the time to ful­ly ex­plore it and make some con­nec­tions.

Fi­nal­ly, I’ll be head­ed down to Aus­tralia to keynote the an­nu­al Aus­Biotech gath­er­ing, which I’m re­al­ly look­ing for­ward to. And then I plan to sleep on the en­tire trip back to Ver­mont.

You may have no­ticed that our mot­to here is End­points News: The bio­phar­ma world is here. We weren’t kid­ding around.

BiTE® Plat­form and the Evo­lu­tion To­ward Off-The-Shelf Im­muno-On­col­o­gy Ap­proach­es

Despite rapid advances in the field of immuno-oncology that have transformed the cancer treatment landscape, many cancer patients are still left behind.1,2 Not every person has access to innovative therapies designed specifically to treat his or her disease. Many currently available immuno-oncology-based approaches and chemotherapies have brought long-term benefits to some patients — but many patients still need other therapeutic options.3

Pfiz­er’s Doug Gior­dano has $500M — and some ad­vice — to of­fer a cer­tain breed of 'break­through' biotech

So let’s say you’re running a cutting-edge, clinical-stage biotech, probably public, but not necessarily so, which could see some big advantages teaming up with some marquee researchers, picking up say $50 million to $75 million dollars in a non-threatening minority equity investment that could take you to the next level.

Doug Giordano might have some thoughts on how that could work out.

The SVP of business development at the pharma giant has helped forge a new fund called the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative. And he has $500 million of Pfizer’s money to put behind 7 to 10 — or so — biotech stocks that fit that general description.

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Mark Genovese (Stanford via Twitter)

Gilead woos fil­go­tinib clin­i­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tor from Stan­ford to lead the charge on NASH, in­flam­ma­to­ry dis­eases

With an FDA OK for the use of filgotinib in rheumatoid arthritis expected to drop any day now, Gilead has recruited a new leader from academia to lead its foray into inflammatory diseases.

Mark Genovese — a longtime Stanford professor and most recently the clinical chief in the division of immunology and rheumatology — was the principal investigator in FINCH 2, one of three studies that supported Gilead’s NDA filing. In his new role as SVP, inflammation, he will oversee the clinical development of the entire portfolio.

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No­var­tis chips in $10M for IPO-bound part­ner Pli­ant; Tenax shares soar on heart drug da­ta

Novartis is coming in with $10 million to help support the looming IPO of a partner. Pliant Therapeutics posted a new filing with the SEC showing that Novartis is buying the shares at $15, the mid-point of the range. It’s adding several million shares to the offering, bringing the total to around $135 million. Biotech companies have been enjoying quite a run on virtual Wall Street, with investors boosting new offerings to some big hauls.

Stephen Isaacs, Aduro president and CEO (Aduro)

Once a high fly­er, a stag­ger­ing Aduro is auc­tion­ing off most of the pipeline as CEO Stephen Isaacs hands off the shell to new own­ers

After a drumbeat of failure, setbacks and reorganizations over the last few years, Aduro CEO Stephen Isaacs is handing over his largely gutted-out shell of a public company to another biotech company and putting up some questionable assets in a going-out-of-business sale.

Isaacs —who forged a string of high-profile Big Pharma deals along the way — has wrapped a 13-year run at the biotech with one program for kidney disease going to the new owners at Chinook Therapeutics. A host of once-heralded assets like their STING agonist program partnered with Novartis (which dumped their work on ADU-S100 after looking over weak clinical results), the Lilly-allied cGAS-STING inhibitor program and the anti-CD27 program out-licensed to Merck will all be posted for auction under a strategic review process.

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Gilead re­leas­es an­oth­er round of murky remde­sivir re­sults

A month after the NIH declared the first trial on remdesivir in Covid-19 a success, Gilead is out with new results on their antiviral. But although the study met one of its primary endpoints, the data are likely to only add to a growing debate over how effective the drug actually is.

In a Phase III trial, patients given a 5-day dose of remdesivir were 65% more likely to show “clinical improvement” compared to an arm given standard-of-care. The trial, though, gave little indication for whether the drug had an impact on key endpoints such as survival or time-to-recovery. And in a surprising twist, a 10-day dosing arm of remdesivir didn’t lead to a statistically significant improvement over standard of care.

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Fangliang Zhang (Imaginechina via AP Images)

The big mon­ey: Poised to make drug R&D his­to­ry, a Chi­na biotech un­veils uni­corn rac­ing am­bi­tions in a bid to raise $350M-plus on Nas­daq

Almost exactly three years after Shanghai-based Legend came out of nowhere to steal the show at ASCO with jaw-dropping data on their BCMA-targeted CAR-T for multiple myeloma, the little player with Big Pharma connections is taking a giant step toward making it big on Wall Street. And this time they want to seal the deal on a global rep after staking out a unicorn valuation in what’s turned out to be a bull market for biotech IPOs — in the middle of a pandemic.

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Bris­tol My­ers Squib­b's just-launched MS drug Zeposia makes the cut in key ul­cer­a­tive col­i­tis tri­al

In March, Zeposia became the third oral S1P modulator to secure US approval for multiple sclerosis. Now, the drug has succeeded in a key ulcerative colitis study.

The immunomodulator, akin to others in its class, controls lymphocyte trafficking by limiting the white blood cells to the lymphatic system, in the lymph nodes, and thwarting their ability to jam up lymph nodes — precluding their ability to penetrate the bloodstream and the central nervous system.

Hill­house re­casts spot­light on Chi­na's biotech scene with $160M round for Shang­hai-based an­ti­body mak­er

Almost two years after first buying into Genor Biopharma’s pipeline of cancer and autoimmune therapies, Hillhouse Capital has led a $160 million cash injection to push the late-stage assets over the finish line while continuing to fund both internal R&D and dealmaking.

The Series B has landed right around the time Genor would have listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, according to plans reported by Bloomberg late last year. Insiders had said that the company was looking to raise about $200 million.

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