In­sti­tu­tion­al re­search is flawed. I'm team­ing with End­points to help de­moc­ra­tize it

As some­one who con­sumes a lot of re­search, it has be­come in­creas­ing­ly clear to me that this is an in­dus­try reach­ing on­ly a frac­tion of its full po­ten­tial. The re­search mar­ket is ripe for dis­rup­tion.

Con­sid­er the fol­low­ing:

  • Sell-side re­search (Wall Street re­search) is not al­ways in­de­pen­dent and can be in­flu­enced by bank­ing re­la­tion­ships a firm has with the com­pa­nies it cov­ers.
  • Most re­search is on­ly avail­able to in­vestor clients of the spe­cif­ic bank. Many po­ten­tial con­sumers are be­ing shut out. Com­pa­nies with no bank­ing needs, foun­da­tions, and oth­er in­sti­tu­tions want ac­cess to first-rate re­search as well. Those who don’t trade stocks and gen­er­ate re­sult­ing fees need not be left out.
  • There are many in­de­pen­dent KOL’s who bring unique ex­per­tise to a spe­cif­ic re­search top­ic that would be valu­able if shared wide­ly. How­ev­er, most do not have the dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work avail­able to make it pos­si­ble.
  • The re­search busi­ness is go­ing through im­por­tant fun­da­men­tal change. A new law im­ple­ment­ed in Eu­rope re­quires that clients pay for re­search di­rect­ly rather than through trad­ing fees. This means that the con­sump­tion of re­search and the val­ue placed on it in the fu­ture will be more close­ly aligned with the qual­i­ty of con­tent (as it should be). It al­so means that by tak­ing the trad­ing desk re­la­tion­ship out of the equa­tion, the brand name of the in­sti­tu­tion be­hind it mat­ters much less…if at all. Con­tent is king.

All of this can be done a bet­ter way. That is why I want­ed to team up with an in­de­pen­dent me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tion like End­points News to cre­ate a plat­form that can de­moc­ra­tize and change the re­search busi­ness. End­points is a first-class pub­lish­er with a unique fo­cus on biotech who shares this vi­sion of chang­ing re­search for the bet­ter.

Vis­it End­points Ex­change

To­geth­er via End­points Ex­change, we will make it pos­si­ble for any­one with unique ex­per­tise to cre­ate ex­cel­lent re­search for in­sti­tu­tion­al con­sump­tion and get it in the hands of all who are will­ing to pay. For con­sumers out there, all are wel­come here…no bank­ing re­la­tion­ship re­quired. We are re­mov­ing the in­ef­fi­cien­cies and bi­as­es of the cur­rent sys­tem out of the equa­tion and de­moc­ra­tiz­ing it on both sides. This will be re­search by the biotech com­mu­ni­ty for the biotech com­mu­ni­ty.

If you are an ex­pert in a par­tic­u­lar field, please reach out to us if you would like to share your in­sights with the biotech world. We want to help max­i­mize your ex­po­sure and im­pact. How­ev­er, End­points Ex­change will have a rig­or­ous eval­u­a­tion process and ac­cep­tance pol­i­cy. We cur­rent­ly plan to make avail­able on­ly one re­port at a time be­cause our goal is to show­case on­ly the best of the best. This il­lus­trates our qual­i­ty com­mit­ment to con­sumers and will al­so ben­e­fit pub­lish­ers who make the cut by giv­ing them the strongest spot­light pos­si­ble.

And if you are one of those un­der­served con­sumers, we hope you en­joy what our ex­perts have to share. Hav­ing the high­est stan­dards and a rig­or­ous qual­i­ty fil­ter­ing process is a top pri­or­i­ty. We will be very thought­ful about what re­ports find a home here so you can be con­fi­dent that this will be a place of ex­cel­lence. Our com­mit­ment to you is that any re­port that makes End­points Ex­change will be wor­thy your valu­able at­ten­tion.

We hope you en­joy End­points Ex­change and that it will be­come a valu­able new as­set for the biotech com­mu­ni­ty. Please al­ways let us know how we can im­prove this plat­form over time to bet­ter fit your needs.

Brad Lon­car is an in­de­pen­dent biotech­nol­o­gy in­vestor and an­a­lyst. He can be reached on Twit­ter at @brad­lon­car.
Brent Saunders [Getty Photos]

UP­DAT­ED: Ab­b­Vie seals $63B deal to buy a trou­bled Al­ler­gan — spelling out $1B in R&D cuts

Brent Saunders has found his way out of the current fix he’s in at Allergan $AGN. He’s selling the company to AbbVie for $63 billion in the latest example of the hot M&A market in biopharma.

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Sanofi/Re­gen­eron mus­cle ahead of a ri­val No­var­tis/Roche team, win first ap­proval in key rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis field

Re­gen­eron and their part­ners at Sanofi have beat the No­var­tis/Roche team to the punch on an­oth­er key in­di­ca­tion for their block­buster an­ti-in­flam­ma­to­ry drug Dupix­ent. The drug team scored an ac­cel­er­at­ed FDA ap­proval for chron­ic rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis with nasal polyps, mak­ing this the first such NDA for the field.

An­a­lysts have been watch­ing this race for awhile now, as Sanofi/Re­gen­eron won a snap pri­or­i­ty re­view for what is now their third dis­ease in­di­ca­tion for this treat­ment. And they’re not near­ly done, build­ing up hopes for a ma­jor fran­chise.

Af­ter rais­ing $158M, this up­start's founders have star back­ers and plans to break new ground in gene ther­a­py

Back in 2014, Stephanie Tagliatela opted to take an early exit out of her PhD program after working in Mark Bear’s lab at MIT, where she specialized in the synaptic connections between neuronal cells in the brain. She never finished that PhD, but she and fellow MIT student Kartik Ramamoorthi — who was on the founding team at Voyager — came away with some ideas for a gene therapy startup.

Today, fully 5 years later, she and Ramamoorthi are taking the wraps off of a $104 million mega-round designed to take the cumulative work of their preclinical formative stage for Encoded Therapeutics into human studies. They’ve now raised $158 million since starting out in Illumina’s incubator in the Bay Area, and they believe they are firmly on track to do something unique in gene therapy.

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Novotech CEO Dr. John Moller

Novotech CRO Award­ed Frost & Sul­li­van Best Biotech CRO Asia-Pa­cif­ic 2019

Known in the in­dus­try as the Asia-Pa­cif­ic CRO, Novotech is now lead CRO ser­vices provider for the grow­ing num­ber of in­ter­na­tion­al biotechs se­lect­ing the re­gion for their stud­ies.

Re­flect­ing this Asia-Pa­cif­ic growth, Novotech staff num­bers are up 20% since De­cem­ber 2018 to 600 in-house clin­i­cal re­search peo­ple across a full range of ser­vices, across the re­gion.

Novotech’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties have been rec­og­nized by an­a­lysts like Frost & Sul­li­van, most re­cent­ly with the pres­ti­gious Asia-Pa­cif­ic CRO Biotech of the year award for best prac­tices in clin­i­cal re­search for biotechs for the fifth year. See oth­er awards here.

Richard Gonzalez testifying in front of Senate Finance Committee, February 2019 [AP Images]

Ab­b­Vie's $63B buy­out spot­lights the re­turn of ma­jor M&A deals — de­spite the back­lash

Big time M&A is back. But for how long?

Over the past 18 months we’ve now seen three major buyouts announced: Takeda/Shire; Bristol-Myers/Celgene and now AbbVie/Allergan. And with this latest deal it’s increasingly clear that the sharp fall from grace suffered by high-profile players which have seen their share prices blasted has created an opening for the growth players in big pharma to up their game — in sharp contrast to the popular bolt-on deals that have been driving the growth strategy at Novartis, Merck, Roche and others.

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Two biotech uni­corns swell pro­posed IPOs, eye­ing a $600M-plus wind­fall

We’ve been wait­ing for the ar­rival of Bridge­Bio’s IPO to top off the wave of new biotech of­fer­ings sweep­ing through Nas­daq at the end of H1. And now we learn that it’s been sub­stan­tial­ly up­sized.

Ini­tial­ly pen­ciled in at a uni­corn-sized $225 mil­lion, the KKR-backed biotech has spiked that to the neigh­bor­hood of $300 mil­lion, look­ing to sell 20 mil­lion shares at $14 to $16 each. That’s an added 5 mil­lion shares, re­ports Re­nais­sance Cap­i­tal, which fig­ures the pro­posed mar­ket val­u­a­tion for Neil Ku­mar’s com­pa­ny at $1.8 bil­lion.

No­var­tis holds back the copy­cat brigade's at­tack on its top drug fran­chise — for now

A fed­er­al judge has put a gener­ic chal­lenge to No­var­tis’ block­buster mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis drug Gilenya on hold while a patent fight plays out in court.

Judge Leonard P. Stark is­sued a tem­po­rary in­junc­tion ear­li­er this week, forc­ing My­lan, Dr. Red­dy’s Lab­o­ra­to­ries and Au­robindo Phar­ma to shelve their launch plans to al­low the patent fight to pro­ceed. He ruled that al­low­ing the gener­ics in­to the mar­ket now would per­ma­nent­ly slash the price for No­var­tis, even if it pre­vails. 

Top an­a­lyst finds a sil­ver lin­ing in Ab­b­Vie’s $63B Al­ler­gan buy­out — but there’s a catch

Af­ter get­ting beat up on all sides from mar­ket ob­servers who don’t much care for the lat­est mega-deal to ar­rive in bio­phar­ma, at least one promi­nent an­a­lyst now is start­ing to like what he sees in the num­bers for Ab­b­Vie/Al­ler­gan.

But it’s go­ing to take some en­cour­age­ment if Ab­b­Vie ex­ecs want it to last.

Ab­b­Vie’s mar­ket cap de­clined $20 bil­lion on Tues­day as the stock took a 17% hit dur­ing the day. And SVB Leerink’s Ge­of­frey Porges can see a dis­tinct out­line of an up­side af­ter re­view­ing the fun­da­men­tals of the deal.

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While Ako­rn works to re­vive its for­tunes, the FDA hits it with an­oth­er warn­ing let­ter

Ako­rn just can’t dig it­self out of its hole.

The spe­cial­ty gener­ic drug­mak­er has re­ceived yet an­oth­er warn­ing let­ter from the FDA this year. With­out dis­clos­ing any specifics, the Lake For­est, Illi­nois-based drug­mak­er on Wednes­day said the US reg­u­la­tor had is­sued the let­ter, cit­ing an in­spec­tion of its Som­er­set, New Jer­sey man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in Ju­ly and Au­gust of 2018. The com­pa­ny’s shares $AKRX dipped about 1.7% to $4.65 be­fore the bell.