End­points News is now 5 years old. Here's how you can sup­port us for the next phase of growth

End­points News turned five years old over the week­end. I want­ed to mark the hap­py oc­ca­sion by ex­tend­ing our deep­est grat­i­tude to End­points’ pre­mi­um sub­scribers while out­lin­ing sev­er­al oth­er ways to sup­port us as we go broad­er and get big­ger this year and be­yond.

Same as any busi­ness, we’ve got to cre­ate val­ue and get paid for de­liv­er­ing it. So if you de­pend on End­points to stay abreast on bio­phar­ma de­vel­op­ments, we de­pend on you too.

The best way to sup­port us is by up­grad­ing to a pre­mi­um sub­scrip­tion. It’s our most im­por­tant source of rev­enue be­cause it ties our ed­i­to­r­i­al in­cen­tives di­rect­ly to read­er ex­pec­ta­tions — fo­cus­ing on qual­i­ty over quan­ti­ty. We work to de­liv­er some­thing worth pay­ing for every day. Not just an­oth­er email clog­ging your in­box.

We have two plans: In­sid­er for in­di­vid­u­als ($225/year) and En­ter­prise for com­pa­nies ($1,000/year). Both of them un­lock the com­plete End­points ex­pe­ri­ence and con­tent li­brary. The En­ter­prise plan is a flat rate that cov­ers all em­ploy­ees, and you don’t need to ne­go­ti­ate rates with us or pick who on your team gets ac­cess. Every­one does. Check out our en­tire pre­mi­um cat­a­log here.

And if you have ques­tions, our cus­tomer ser­vice team is quick to re­spond — you can chat with them here.

This year we launched three new ti­tles. End­points FDA+ and End­points Man­u­fac­tur­ing — spear­head­ed by se­nior ed­i­tor Zachary Bren­nan and man­ag­ing ed­i­tor Kyle Blanken­ship, re­spec­tive­ly — is your one-stop look at the most crit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in those fields and what they mean for bio­phar­ma. And se­nior ed­i­tor Am­ber Tong is be­hind our new End­points Week­ly, which re­caps the busy week in bio­phar­ma every Sat­ur­day morn­ing. You can add these ti­tles to your sub­scrip­tion by vis­it­ing your Read­er Pro­file, or if you’re new to End­points, via our sign-up page.

If a pre­mi­um sub­scrip­tion isn’t in the cards yet, but you’d still like to sup­port us, please help spread the word and share End­points with your col­lab­o­ra­tors. Noth­ing is bet­ter than re­fer­rals, and it’s where we get most of our new sub­scribers. Just share our URLs and for­ward our email re­ports to your col­leagues. Most End­points cov­er­age is free to read, with no pay­ment re­quired for a ba­sic sub­scrip­tion.

We’ve al­so spent the past five years op­ti­miz­ing our ad­ver­tis­ing prod­ucts. So for mar­ket­ing lead­ers who need to reach ei­ther a large or tar­get­ed au­di­ence in the life sci­ences, we’d love to talk.

End­points is dif­fer­ent in that we in­ten­tion­al­ly keep ad­ver­tis­ing space tight. That helps pop the brand ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns on our site. It re­duces spon­sor­ship fa­tigue from the read­ers and in­creas­es con­ver­sions. Our chief rev­enue of­fi­cer Mike Peck has built a sales team where re­la­tion­ships mat­ter most. We’re in­ter­est­ed in get­ting more from clients who see ex­cel­lent re­sults with us, not milk­ing every deal for pen­nies. And End­points’ cus­tomer ser­vice, led by our tal­ent­ed COO Shelly Whit­field, is sec­ond-to-none. Her team works to ex­e­cute cam­paigns for 200+ ad­ver­tis­ing clients, and they do great work.

Af­ter five years in busi­ness, we’ve grown to 32 full-time em­ploy­ees with more on the way. 100,000+ in­dus­try pros get our news di­rect­ly in their in­box dai­ly. Dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, our vir­tu­al events at­tract­ed 32,000 at­ten­dees. And yet, End­points’ mis­sion hasn’t changed since day one: In­form and con­nect the bio­phar­ma world with re­lent­less dai­ly re­port­ing.

To all of our cur­rent pre­mi­um sub­scribers who’ve di­rect­ly fund­ed our growth: Thank you. Get­ting to this mile­stone was im­pos­si­ble with­out your sup­port. To every­one who is con­sid­er­ing get­ting one to­day for them­selves or their com­pa­ny: We’ll work hard to con­tin­ue earn­ing your sup­port every day.

Biotech Half­time Re­port: Af­ter a bumpy year, is biotech ready to re­bound?

The biotech sector has come down firmly from the highs of February as negative sentiment takes hold. The sector had a major boost of optimism from the success of the COVID-19 vaccines, making investors keenly aware of the potential of biopharma R&D engines. But from early this year, clinical trial, regulatory and access setbacks have reminded investors of the sector’s inherent risks.

RBC Capital Markets recently surveyed investors to take the temperature of the market, a mix of specialists/generalists and long-only/ long-short investment strategies. Heading into the second half of the year, investors mostly see the sector as undervalued (49%), a large change from the first half of the year when only 20% rated it as undervalued. Around 41% of investors now believe that biotech will underperform the S&P500 in the second half of 2021. Despite that view, 54% plan to maintain their position in the market and 41% still plan to increase their holdings.

David Livingston (Credit: Michael Sazel for CeMM)

Renowned Dana-Far­ber sci­en­tist, men­tor and bio­phar­ma ad­vi­sor David Liv­ingston has died

David Livingston, the Dana-Farber/Harvard Med scientist who helped shine a light on some of the key molecular drivers of breast and ovarian cancer, died unexpectedly last Sunday.

One of the senior leaders at Dana-Farber during his nearly half century of work there, Livingston was credited with shedding light on the genes that regulate cell growth, with insights into inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations that helped lay the scientific foundation for targeted therapies and earlier detection that have transformed the field.

Man­u­fac­tur­ing woes for No­vavax’s Covid jab bad­ly dis­rupt plans for roll­out to the poor — re­port

Production problems at a Novavax facility in Maryland have led to delays in the Covax vaccine sharing program. Now, a shortage of 1 billion doses is expected, as the supplier tries to navigate producing a shot up to regulators’ standards, Politico reported Tuesday.

The company has run into trouble with the purity of the vaccine. Novavax has had trouble proving it can produce a shot consistently up to standards, and it has caused significant delays in the rollout to low- and middle-income countries. This follows several delays at Novavax that has put the executive crew on the defensive.

No­vo CEO Lars Fruer­gaard Jør­gensen on R&D risk, the deal strat­e­gy and tar­gets for gen­der di­ver­si­ty

 

I kicked off our European R&D summit last week with a conversation involving Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen. Novo is aiming to launch a new era of obesity management with a new approval for semaglutide. And Jørgensen had a lot to say about what comes next in R&D, how they manage risk and gender diversity targets at the trendsetting European pharma giant.

John Carroll: I’m here with Lars Jørgensen, the CEO of Novo Nordisk. Lars, it’s been a really interesting year so far with Novo Nordisk, right? You’ve projected a new era of growing sales. You’ve been able to expand on the GLP-1 franchise that was already well established in diabetes now going into obesity. And I think a tremendous number of people are really interested in how that’s working out. You have forecast a growing amount of sales. We don’t know specifically how that might play out. I know a lot of the analysts have different ideas, how those numbers might play out, but that we are in fact embarking on a new era for Novo Nordisk in terms of what the company’s capable of doing and what it’s able to do and what it wants to do. And I wanted to start off by asking you about obesity in particular. Semaglutide has been approved in the United States for obesity. It’s an area of R&D that’s been very troubled for decades. There have been weight loss drugs that have come along. They’ve attracted a lot of attention, but they haven’t actually ever gained traction in the market. My first question is what’s different this time about obesity? What is different about this drug and why do you expect it to work now whereas previous drugs haven’t?

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Sur­geons suc­cess­ful­ly at­tach pig kid­ney to a hu­man for the first time, us­ing tech from Unit­ed's Re­vivi­cor

In a first, researchers reportedly successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human without triggering an immediate immune response this week. And the technology came from the biotech United Therapeutics.

Surgeons spent three days attaching the kidney to the patient’s blood vessels, but when all was said and done, the kidney appeared to be functioning normally in early testing, Reuters and the New York Times were among those to report. The kidney came from a genetically altered pig developed through United’s Revivicor unit.

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Break­ing: Bio­gen sells just $300K worth of Aduhelm in Q3, as ques­tions on long term vi­a­bil­i­ty re­main

Barely anyone is accessing Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s treatment, with the company reporting just $0.3 million in Aduhelm sales in the third quarter. Although investors will be looking to the longer term, when CMS may decide to cover the drug and open the floodgates for more coverage, use of the drug is currently stalled.

Since June, when the FDA first signed off on the drug under its accelerated pathway, Biogen said Wednesday that it’s sold a total of $2 million worth of Aduhelm. The total sales numbers indicate that likely about 100 Alzheimer’s patients have so far received the drug, which is priced at $56,000 annually.

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Bill Gates at the Global Investment Summit in London, Oct. 19, 2021 (Leon Neal/Pool via AP Images)

Gates Foun­da­tion pledges $120M to ramp up gener­ic sup­ply of Mer­ck­'s Covid-19 pill while ac­tivists blast Pfiz­er's dis­pro­por­tion­ate pow­er

Merck’s molnupiravir may not be officially authorized anywhere in the world yet, but who will get access to it has shaped up to be a huge issue. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now stepping up to ensure lower-income countries won’t be left behind — and calling on others to follow its lead.

The oral antiviral pill, which was shown to dramatically cut the risk of severe Covid-19 disease and death in a Phase III study, is the latest rallying symbol in the battle against not just the coronavirus but the inequality it’s exposed.

Raymond Stevens, ShouTi Pharma CEO

A new Schrödinger-backed start­up emerges from the sci­en­tist who mapped the first hu­man GPCR

One of the most popular targets in drug development, representing about a third of existing drugs, are G-protein coupled receptors — the tiny but integral membrane proteins responsible for recognizing things like light, taste, smell, hormones and pain.

But due to challenges in mapping their structure, the protein family remains largely unexplored.

A slate of companies has emerged over the last few years to change that. If one can figure out the structure of these elusive membrane receptors, it might be possible to create small molecule drugs that overcome the limitations of, say, biologic and peptide therapies. That promise is what gets serial entrepreneur Raymond Stevens out of bed in the morning.

Carl June (Brian Ach/Getty Images for TIME 100 Health Summit)

Carl June lends 'wings' to Chi­nese CAR-T start­up led by for­mer post­doc, pur­su­ing off-the-shelf ap­proach with CRISPR fla­vor

Carl June still has plenty of energy to bring forth new iterations of CAR-T technology — wherever they’re coming from.

Adding another role to his already lengthy list of titles, June is joining the scientific advisory board at Nanjing Bioheng Biotech, where he will serve as chairman.

The appointment, if slightly out of the ordinary, is both a testament to the fruitfulness of June’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania and China’s increasing appeal to biotech entrepreneurs educated overseas.