George Golumbeski's first stop out of Cel­gene: Grail; Roivant taps Genen­tech vet Myr­tle Pot­ter for op­er­a­tions role

→ Three months af­ter qui­et­ly slip­ping out the back door at Cel­gene, George Golumbes­ki has tak­en up the pres­i­dent role at the can­cer de­tec­tion start­up Grail in a sim­i­lar­ly dis­creet man­ner. The for­mer BD chief — not­ed for his cen­tral role in a se­ries of deals for the big biotech — re­places Ken Drazan, who has been in the role for a year af­ter serv­ing as chief busi­ness of­fi­cer. Golumbes­ki joins at a time Grail is shak­ing up its C-suite un­der CEO Jen­nifer Cook: On­aiza Cadoret-Manier, who used to man­age Genen­tech’s res­pi­ra­to­ry fran­chise, joins as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer; Roche vet Fred Kohler will be­come VP of peo­ple; and ex-Googler An­gela Lai will rise from the VP rank to chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer.

→ An­oth­er ex­ec has ex­it­ed what has be­gun to look like a set of re­volv­ing doors at Hu­man Longevi­ty (HLI). For­mer CFO and COO Ni­no Fan­lo has been lot go, Fierce­Biotech first not­ed, af­ter be­ing em­broiled in a scan­dal in­volv­ing be­hav­ioral is­sues and sex­u­al ha­rass­ment at his pri­or com­pa­ny. He is no longer list­ed on the com­pa­ny web­site, with CTO Scott Sorensen now dou­bling as COO (though there’s no men­tion of a CFO). Such ad hoc arrange­ments have be­come com­mon at the an­ti-ag­ing com­pa­ny ever since Cyn­thia Collins un­ex­pect­ed­ly stepped down from the helm af­ter on­ly a year; founder J. Craig Ven­ter quick­ly grabbed back the reins, on­ly to re­sign sev­er­al months lat­er. Sev­er­al oth­er ex­ecs re­signed dur­ing that time.

Myr­tle Pot­ter (via YouTube)

→ The tal­ent mag­net that is Vivek Ra­maswamy’s Roivant Sci­ences has at­tract­ed a biotech vet­er­an to over­see op­er­a­tions of the ever-grow­ing Vant king­dom. Myr­tle Pot­ter, a for­mer pres­i­dent and COO of Genen­tech, has been named Vant op­er­at­ing chair. The role grants her an au­to­mat­ic board mem­ber­ship at each of Roivant’s 12 biotech sub­sidiaries, where she is ex­pect­ed to as­sist the (of­ten high-pro­file) CEOs and “en­sure op­er­a­tional ex­cel­lence.”Pot­ter had a sto­ried run in Big Phar­ma that be­gan with 14 years at Mer­ck, help­ing cre­ate the busi­ness that would lat­er be­come As­traZeneca. She lat­er moved to Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb, even­tu­al­ly helm­ing its car­dio­vas­cu­lar and meta­bol­ic busi­ness and over­see­ing sev­er­al cru­cial drug launch­es — a skill she con­tin­ued to hone at Genen­tech, where un­der her watch block­buster drugs like Avastin and Xo­lair came to be known.

PCI Phar­ma Ser­vices has in­stalled Sal­im Haf­far as CEO to lead its out­sourc­ing op­er­a­tions, which span drug man­u­fac­tur­ing, clin­i­cal tri­al ser­vices, and com­mer­cial pack­ag­ing. His pre­de­ces­sor, Bill Mitchell, will con­tin­ue guid­ing the com­pa­ny he’s led for six years in the po­si­tion of ex­ec­u­tive co-chair­man. Cur­rent­ly the pres­i­dent of drug de­liv­ery sys­tems com­pa­ny Ap­tar Phar­ma, Haf­far comes to the job with more than two decades of ex­pe­ri­ence in the phar­ma-ad­ja­cent space.

→ As Re­cur­sion marks the clear­ance of the first IND for a drug de­vel­oped us­ing their AI-based plat­form, the biotech has poached a tech­ni­cal ex­pert from Achao­gen to head up its op­er­a­tions. Tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions will be at the core of Tina Lar­son’s job as COO — es­pe­cial­ly its au­to­mat­ed screen­ing plat­form — but she will al­so over­see more ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks such as hir­ing and hu­man re­sources, in ad­di­tion to “over­all op­er­a­tional ma­tu­ri­ty.” Ex­ecs of the young com­pa­ny are think­ing long-term, point­ing to her all-round­ed skill set in ex­pand­ing R&D ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ex­e­cut­ing clin­i­cal pro­grams, and launch­ing com­mer­cial prod­ucts de­vel­oped dur­ing her long tenure at Roche.

Syn­tim­mune’s long search for a per­ma­nent CMO has led them to Mario Saltarel­li, a sea­soned de­vel­op­ment ex­ec most re­cent­ly in charge of ear­ly de­vel­op­ment and neu­rol­o­gy in Ver­tex. Hav­ing han­dled port­fo­lios of dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes — he worked at Pfiz­er and Shire be­fore mov­ing to more se­nior roles at An­nex­on Bio­sciences and Mallinck­rodt Phar­ma — he is now tasked with steer­ing Syn­tim­mune’s pipeline of ear­ly-stage drugs, fo­cused on the neona­tal Fc re­cep­tor, through clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. He re­places Don­ald Johns, the Bio­gen vet who will now be­come EVP of med­ical and sci­en­tif­ic af­fairs.

No­var­tis vet Christi­na Cough­lin is the new CMO at Penn spin­out Tmu­ni­ty, where she will rekin­dle a work­ing re­la­tion­ship with Carl June, the famed CAR-T pi­o­neer be­hind the mega-start­up. A for­mer physi­cian-sci­en­tist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, Cough­lin stud­ied pa­tient re­spons­es to tu­mor anti­gens un­der June be­fore jump­ing in­to med­ical po­si­tions at Pfiz­er, Mor­photek (Ei­sai), No­var­tis and most re­cent­ly, Im­muno­core. It’s still ear­ly days at Tmu­ni­ty, now fo­cused on two sol­id tu­mor pro­grams in Phase I and sev­er­al more of its next-gen T cell im­munother­a­pies in pre­clin­i­cal mode — per­fect for Cough­lin to flex her re­search and trans­la­tion­al mus­cles. She will al­so be re­spon­si­ble for reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs.

→ Ben­e­fit­ting from the stream of ex-staffers out of a post-ac­qui­si­tion Juno Ther­a­peu­tics, Seat­tle’s Im­mu­soft has scooped up Ja­son Fontenot to be their CSO. Fontenot spent two years run­ning ex­plorato­ry re­search and man­ag­ing ear­ly-stage col­lab­o­ra­tions at the CAR-T biotech af­ter leav­ing his long­time role in im­munol­o­gy dis­cov­ery at Bio­gen. His back­ground in im­munol­o­gy will still play a promi­nent role in this new ap­point­ment giv­en Im­mu­soft’s fo­cus on the im­mune sys­tem and mod­i­fied B cell ther­a­py. “We ex­pect his con­tri­bu­tions to help us rapid­ly ad­vance our cur­rent pro­grams and ex­tend our plat­form,” said CEO Sean Ainsworth.

→ Em­ma Walm­s­ley’s re­make of the ex­ec­u­tive round­table at GSK is near­ing com­ple­tion. To­day the phar­ma gi­ant not­ed that gen­er­al coun­sel Dan Troy is leav­ing the com­pa­ny af­ter 10 years. He’s be­ing re­placed by James Ford, cur­rent­ly SVP and gen­er­al coun­sel for Glob­al Phar­ma.

G1 Ther­a­peu­tics $GTHX may be nowhere near com­mer­cial­iza­tion yet, but that doesn’t stop them from plan­ning for it. The on­col­o­gy biotech has re­cruit­ed chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer John De­ma­ree and gen­er­al coun­sel Still­man Han­son to their of­fice at Re­search Tri­an­gle Park, NC. Hav­ing helped launch a slate of can­cer drugs and led busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at the likes of No­var­tis and Ab­bott, De­ma­ree has re­cent­ly built a mar­ket­ing team from the ground up as a VP at Astel­las Phar­ma — some­thing he’s ex­pect­ed to repli­cate here. Han­son had a sim­i­lar test run as as­so­ciate gen­er­al coun­sel at IQVIA, which he joined back when it was still known as Quin­tiles­IMS (start­ing on the Quin­tiles side to be ex­act). Like De­ma­ree, he is fill­ing a new­ly cre­at­ed role.

→ As Mitchel Sa­yare claims a more ac­tive role at Al­tim­mune $ALT as ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, the com­pa­ny has brought on José Ochoa to aid him in one of his three fo­cus ar­eas. As CBO, Ochoa is ex­pect­ed to play a key role in get­ting the word out for the Phase II an­thrax and in­fluen­za pro­grams. Sa­yare, who came on the board through Al­tim­mune’s merg­er with Phar­mA­th­ene last year, will al­so re­vamp the strate­gic fo­cus and fi­nanc­ing ef­forts.

→ Bone dis­or­der drug­mak­er Clemen­tia Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals $CM­TA has hired Steve Forte, for­mer­ly of Ap­tal­is Phar­ma, as CFO, re­plac­ing Michael Singer.

Lau­ra Shawver is build­ing out the lead­er­ship team at Syn­thorx, the syn­thet­ic bi­ol­o­gy up­start she took over a few months ago: Enoch Kar­iu­ki, an in­vestor and banker by train­ing, joins as SVP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment; Ex-Igny­ta ex­ec Chris­t­ian Kuhlen will be the gen­er­al coun­sel;  and Charles Win­ter will take charge of all things chem­istry, man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­trols re­lat­ed, lever­ag­ing his streak of sim­i­lar jobs at Gilead, JHL Biotech and then De­nali.

→ What­ev­er Scott Drey­er been do­ing as Col­legium Phar­ma’s SVP of sales, mar­ket­ing and train­ing, the pain man­age­ment com­pa­ny must be lov­ing it — as he’s get­ting pro­mot­ed to the C-suite af­ter just six months in the job. It marks his first ap­point­ment as CCO, adding to a slate of se­nior roles at The Med­i­cines Com­pa­ny, Bio­gen and Mer­ck. Can­ton, MA-based Col­legium cur­rent­ly mar­kets two ex­tend­ed re­lease drugs, Xtam­pza (oxy­codone) and Nucyn­ta (tapen­ta­dol).

Gilead’s Kite Phar­ma has poached Michael Amoroso from Ei­sai to be its head of world­wide com­mer­cial, cell ther­a­py. Re­port­ing di­rect­ly to Gilead chief John Mil­li­gan, Amoroso has a broad man­date to run the whole com­mer­cial show rang­ing from sales, mar­ket­ing, mar­ket ac­cess, to health­care provider and pa­tient ser­vices. He ar­rives at a time Gilead is in­creas­ing­ly loud about its am­bi­tions in cell ther­a­py, pour­ing mon­ey in­to R&D and man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties around the globe to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of new treat­ments to fol­low its pi­o­neer­ing CAR-T Yescar­ta.

→ Hav­ing just moved out of a shared JLabs fa­cil­i­ty and in­to its new digs in South San Fran­cis­co, Nkar­ta Ther­a­peu­tics is fol­low­ing up the mo­men­tum by an­nounc­ing two new hires: Nadir Mah­mood as SVP of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment, and Ralph Bran­den­berg­er as head of process de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing. That’s a move in­tend­ed to bol­ster Nkar­ta’s busi­ness and tech­ni­cal pow­ers while grow­ing its nat­ur­al killer cell-based can­cer R&D op­er­a­tions. Mah­mood moves from Sec­ond Genome, his sec­ond job in the front­lines of biotech af­ter some stints as a con­sul­tant and an­a­lyst. Bran­den­berg­er most re­cent­ly held a sim­i­lar tech­ni­cal role at Neu­rona Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ Prep­ping sev­er­al Phase III tri­als on its drugs for my­opia and chron­ic an­gle-clo­sure glau­co­ma, Eye­n­ovia $EYEN has named Michael Rowe its VP of mar­ket­ing. The plan is to com­mer­cial­ize two prod­ucts in the next 18 months and po­si­tion the com­pa­ny for the late-stage tri­als sched­uled for mid-2019. None of this will be new for Rowe, who dur­ing his long tenure at Al­ler­gan drew up strate­gies for its glau­co­ma fran­chise be­fore tak­ing up a top oph­thal­mol­o­gy role at Aerie Phar­ma.

→ Af­ter a ca­reer in Big Phar­ma, Tim­o­thy Cook is cross­ing over to biotech to play a big role at Athenex’s $AT­NX young and grow­ing com­mer­cial team. His of­fi­cial ti­tle will be SVP of glob­al com­mer­cial on­col­o­gy — but his du­ties will be some­what sim­i­lar to what he did as VP and COO of Lil­ly On­col­o­gy (a po­si­tion he re­tired from in 2017), build­ing out an on­col­o­gy busi­ness be­tween the US and Chi­na. Pro­vid­ed Athenex suc­ceeds in mak­ing IV chemother­a­pies in­to ap­prov­able oral drugs that can be more ef­fec­tive in treat­ing can­cer, of course.  

→ Look­ing to give its de­vel­op­ment pro­grams a boost, Sune­sis Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals $SNSS has ap­point­ed three ex­ecs to its man­age­ment. Deepali Suri, who pre­vi­ous­ly ran clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions for Phar­ma­cyclics (now an Ab­b­Vie sub­sidiary), will as­sume a sim­i­lar role; Sean Gharpurey will join as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, project man­age­ment; and VP of qual­i­ty as­sur­ance and com­pli­ance Stephen Na­va is of­fi­cial­ly adding “reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs” to his ti­tle. In­ter­est­ing­ly, Gharpurey — whose ca­reer has brought him to Roche, Genen­tech, J&J and Scher­ing — jumps from Jazz Phar­ma, where he briefly worked un­der Daniel Swish­er, the long­time Sune­sis chief who de­part­ed late last year.

→ Nim­bus, a small start­up in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts, has re­cruit­ed Gilead’s se­nior di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal re­search — Adri­an Ray — to serve as the com­pa­ny’s se­nior vice pres­i­dent of dis­cov­ery bi­ol­o­gy. You might re­mem­ber Nim­bus for the mas­sive NASH deal it inked with Gilead a cou­ple years back — earn­ing a re­mark­able $400 mil­lion up­front. Now, it’s snag­ging Ray, who’s worked at Gilead for the past 15 years, to help lead its own R&D. “Adri­an is an out­stand­ing ad­di­tion to our al­ready world-class team, who will strength­en our ca­pa­bil­i­ties in dis­cov­ery sci­ence root­ed in cut­ting-edge bi­ol­o­gy and hu­man ge­net­ics,” said Don Nichol­son, CEO at Nim­bus, in a state­ment. “Adri­an is a ca­pa­ble leader in tar­get dis­cov­ery through­out the meta­bol­ic-on­col­o­gy-im­munol­o­gy tar­get space, and in the trans­la­tion of these dis­cov­er­ies in­to ef­fec­tive clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment strate­gies. We’re thrilled to have him.”

Grant Blouse is re­turn­ing to Cat­a­lyst Bio­sciences $CBIO af­ter a six-year run at No­vo Nordisk, back at the trans­la­tion­al re­search work that laid the foun­da­tion for Cat­a­lyst’s he­mo­phil­ia pipeline. “He will be sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of our he­mo­phil­ia pro­grams and our re­search pipeline” CEO Nas­sim Us­man ex­plained in a state­ment. “We are con­fi­dent in his abil­i­ty to im­me­di­ate­ly con­tribute to our Fac­tor IX CB 2679d/ISU304 and Fac­tor VI­Ia marzep­tacog al­fa clin­i­cal pro­grams.” At No­vo, where he was prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist and project man­ag­er of the he­mo­phil­ia en­zy­mol­o­gy unit, Blouse gained ex­pe­ri­ence lead­ing both ear­ly and late stage projects.

→ Equipped with PhI­II mac­u­lar ede­ma tri­al re­sults that sent its stock fly­ing in March, Clear­side Bio­med­ical $CLSD has just re­cruit­ed Car­ol Hoang to sup­port its po­ten­tial piv­ot in­to com­mer­cial stage. Part of the team that launched Lu­cen­tis at Genen­tech, Hoang lat­er moved to No­var­tis co­or­di­nat­ing the med­ical strate­gies that go in­to drug brands. The com­pa­ny plans to sub­mit an NDA for its treat­ment, dubbed supra­choroidal CLS-TA, dur­ing the fourth quar­ter of this year.

X4 Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has wooed Gen­zyme vet Mike Wyz­ga to chair its board of di­rec­tors. A one-time CEO — at Ra­dius Health — Wyz­ga will work with chief ex­ec­u­tive Paula Ra­gan (al­so a for­mer Gen­zyme staffer) in mat­ters of cor­po­rate gov­er­nance and man­age­ment as the com­pa­ny con­tin­ues to pur­sue its im­mune cell traf­fick­ing plat­form.

→ Still on sab­bat­i­cal af­ter an 8-year run as found­ing CSO of Nim­bus Ther­a­peu­tics, promi­nent biotech ex­ec Rosana Kapeller is spar­ing some time for board du­ties at Cedil­la Ther­a­peu­tics, an up­start found­ed by her for­mer col­leagues at Third Rock Ven­tures that lever­ages pro­tein sta­bil­i­ty mech­a­nisms for drug de­vel­op­ment.

Norbert Bischofberger. Kronos

Backed by some of the biggest names in biotech, Nor­bert Bischof­berg­er gets his megaround for plat­form tech out of MIT

A little over a year ago when I reported on Norbert Bischofberger’s jump from the CSO job at giant Gilead to a tiny upstart called Kronos, I noted that with his connections in biotech finance, that $18 million launch round he was starting off with could just as easily have been $100 million or more.

With his first anniversary now behind him, Bischofberger has that mega-round in the bank.

Once again Bischofberger and his old boss, former Gilead chief John Martin, added their own money to the new $105 million raise aimed at building up their R&D engine and the team who’s doing the drug discovery work — on both coasts. Also coming back is Arie Belldegrun, the biotech builder who sold Kite to Gilead for $12 billion, and now plays the role of global wheeler dealer who’s taking a shot at cracking the off-the-shelf CAR-T challenge at Allogene.

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Part club, part guide, part land­lord: Arie Bellde­grun is blue­print­ing a string of be­spoke biotech com­plex­es in glob­al boom­towns — start­ing with Boston

The biotech industry is getting a landlord, unlike anything it’s ever known before.

Inspired by his recent experiences scrounging for space in Boston and the Bay Area, master biotech builder, investor, and global dealmaker Arie Belldegrun has organized a new venture to build a new, 250,000 square foot biopharma building in Boston’s Seaport district — home to Vertex and a number of up-and-coming biotech players.

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Novotech CRO Ex­pands Chi­na Team as Biotech De­mand for Clin­i­cal Tri­als In­creas­es up to 79%

An increase in demand of up to 79% for clinical trials in China has prompted Novotech the Asia-Pacific CRO to rapidly expand the China team, appointing expert local clinical executives to their Shanghai and Hong Kong offices. The company is planning to expand their team by 30% over the next quarter.

Novotech China has seen considerable demand recently which is borne out by research from GlobalData:
A global migration of clinical research is occurring from high-income countries to low and middle-income countries with emerging economies. Over the period 2017 to 2018, for example, the number of clinical trial sites opened by biotech companies in Asia-Pacific increased by 35% compared to 8% in the rest of the world, with growth as high as 79% in China.
Novotech CEO Dr John Moller said China offers the largest population in the world, rapid economic growth, and an increasing willingness by government to invest in research and development.
Novotech’s 23 years of experience working in the region means we are the ideal CRO partner for USA biotechs wanting to tap the research expertise and opportunities that China offers.
There are over 22,000 active investigators in Greater China, with about 5,000 investigators with experience on at least 3 studies (source GlobalData).

H1 analy­sis: The high-stakes ta­ble in the biotech deals casi­no is pay­ing out some record-set­ting win­nings

For years the big trend among dealmakers at the major players has been centered on ratcheting down upfront payments in favor of bigger milestones. Better known as biobucks for some. But with the top 15 companies competing for the kind of “transformative” pacts that can whip up some excitement on Wall Street, with some big biotechs like Regeneron now weighing in as well, cash is king at the high stakes table.

We asked Chris Dokomajilar, the head of DealForma, to crunch the numbers for us, looking over the top 20 deals for the past decade and breaking it all down into the top alliances already created in 2019. Gilead has clearly tipped the scales in terms of the coin of the bio-realm, with its record-setting $5 billion upfront to tie up to Galapagos’ entire pipeline.

Dokomajilar notes:

We’re going to need a ‘three comma club’ for the deals with over $1 billion in total upfront cash and equity. The $100 million-plus club is getting crowded at 164 deals in the last decade with new deals being added towards the top of the chart. 2019 already has 14 deals with at least $100 million in upfront cash and equity for a total year-to-date of over $9 billion. That beats last year’s $8 billion and sets a record.

Add upfronts and equity payments and you get $11.5 billion for the year, just shy of last year’s record-setting $11.8 billion.

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UP­DAT­ED: With loom­ing ‘apoc­a­lypse of drug re­sis­tance,’ Mer­ck’s com­bi­na­tion an­tibi­ot­ic scores FDA ap­proval on two fronts

Merck — one of the last large biopharmaceuticals companies in the beleaguered field of antibiotic drug development — on Wednesday said the FDA had sanctioned the approval of its combination antibacterial for the treatment of complicated urinary tract and intra-abdominal infections.

To curb the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the efficacy of the therapy, Recarbrio (and other antibacterials) — the drug must be used to treat or prevent infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible gram-negative bacteria, Merck $MRK said.

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John McHutchison in 2012. Getty Images

The $1.1M good­bye: Gilead CSO John McHutchi­son is out as Daniel O’Day shakes up the se­nior team

Just a little more than a year after John McHutchison grabbed a promotion to become CSO at Gilead in the wake of Norbert Bischofberger’s exit, he’s out amid a shakeup of the senior team that is also triggering the departure of two other top execs.

Gilead stated that McHutchison “has decided to step down” from the job as of August 2nd. And their SEC filing notes that he’ll be getting a $1.1 million check to settle up on his contract.

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Thomas Gajewski, David Steinberg. (CRI, Pyxis)

Bay­er, Long­wood back star re­searcher's deep dive in­to the tu­mor mi­croen­vi­ron­ment for new I/O tar­gets

From PD-1 targeting to the RAS pathway to the STING complex, Thomas Gajewski has spent the past two decades of his career decoding the various ways the immune system can be unleashed to defend against cancer. So when the University of Chicago professor comes around to putting all his findings into a new platform for finding new targets, VCs and pharma groups alike pay attention.

“He’s been studying T cells for 20 years, plus he’s one of the world’s leaders if not the world leader in the space,” David Steinberg, partner at Longwood Fund, said. “Furthermore, let me add he did a lot of the foundational research and also some of the seminal clinical trials in the existing set of I/O agents. He understands the space really well, he understands the current strengths, and I think he understood really well what was missing, so he knew where to look.”

Kamala Harris speaking yesterday at the Des Moines Register Iowa Presidential Candidate Forum [via Getty]

Who’s the tough­est on drug prices? A game of po­lit­i­cal one-up­man­ship is dri­ving the pol­i­cy de­bate in Wash­ing­ton

Earlier this week we got a look at Senator Kamala Harris’ position on drug prices. She’s proposing that HHS take an average price from single-payer systems like the UK, Germany and Canada — which leverage market access for lower prices — and use that to set the US price. Anything drug companies collect above that would be taxed at a rate of 100%.

And the rhetoric is scathing:
While families struggle to make it to the end of the month, pharmaceutical companies are turning record profits. They’re spending nearly as much on advertising as R&D. They’re manipulating their market power to hike prices on lifesaving generic drugs. They’re making twice the profit of the average industry in America and still increased drug prices by 10.5% over the past six months alone. Meanwhile, they are charging dramatically higher prices to American consumers.
That’s an escalation on Joe Biden’s plan, which includes drug importation from those cheaper markets as well as allowing Medicare to negotiate prices — something that virtually all Dems agree on now.

SJ Lee [File photo]

Go­ing in­side cells, Sung Joo Lee has sketched some big goals for his small — but glob­al — team of drug hunters

For a small biotech based in South Korea with a research arm in Cambridge, MA, Orum Therapeutics has sketched out some big goals aimed at developing antibodies for intracellular targets. And now they have a new $30 million round to push the work forward, aiming at a slate of currently undruggable quests.

Orum has been working on a platform tech out of Ajou University that relies on endocytosis to smuggle antibodies and their cargo inside a cell. They’ve published work in Nature that illustrates its preclinical potential in RAS mutations, and KRAS is on their list of targets. 

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