Annaliesa Anderson (Pfizer via YouTube)

Long­time Pfiz­er vet tapped to re­place leg­endary vac­cine re­searcher Kathrin Jansen

Kathrin Jansen, the leg­endary vac­cine re­searcher who spear­head­ed Pfiz­er’s work on its his­toric Covid-19 shot, an­nounced last month that she’s hang­ing up her lab coat. On Wednes­day, the phar­ma gi­ant re­vealed that it isn’t go­ing far for her re­place­ment.

Kathrin Jansen

Pfiz­er is tap­ping An­naliesa An­der­son, known most re­cent­ly for her work on the Covid-19 an­tivi­ral Paxlovid, to fill Jansen’s role as se­nior VP and head of vac­cine R&D. An­der­son most re­cent­ly served as VP and CSO for bac­te­r­i­al re­search and hos­pi­tal with­in the com­pa­ny’s vac­cine R&D unit.

Though the tran­si­tion won’t be of­fi­cial un­til Au­gust, An­der­son said in a state­ment that she’s ready to “con­tin­ue de­liv­er­ing break­throughs for pa­tients.”

The 15-year Pfiz­er vet first joined the com­pa­ny via Wyeth back in 2007. How­ev­er, she orig­i­nal­ly hails from Mer­ck Re­search Lab­o­ra­to­ries, where she found­ed its prokary­ot­ic bio-com­bi­na­to­r­i­al en­gi­neer­ing lab­o­ra­to­ry and launched a bac­te­r­i­al vac­cine pro­gram.

At Pfiz­er, her team worked on bac­te­r­i­al vac­cine pro­grams de­signed to pre­vent dis­eases due to Strep­to­coc­cus pneu­mo­ni­ae, Group B Strep­to­coc­cus, Neis­se­ria menin­gi­tidis, Staphy­lo­coc­cus au­reus, and Clostrid­i­um dif­fi­cile.

Mikael Dol­sten

“An­naliesa is a world-class sci­en­tist with a track record of de­liv­er­ing both vac­cines and ther­a­peu­tics in pi­o­neer­ing new ar­eas of sci­ence and where there is ur­gent un­met need. I am con­fi­dent she will work with pas­sion, in­ge­nu­ity, and ded­i­ca­tion to lead Pfiz­er’s Vac­cine R&D or­ga­ni­za­tion and con­tin­ue to ad­vance our strong pipeline,” Pfiz­er CSO Mikael Dol­sten said in a news re­lease.

An­der­son has some big shoes to fill. Jansen an­nounced her re­tire­ment last month, cap­ping off an il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer at 64 years old. The vac­cine re­searcher al­so land­ed at Pfiz­er by way of Wyeth and went on to over­see the well-known Pre­vnar pro­gram, steer­ing the ini­tial Pre­vnar 13 to ap­proval. Be­fore that, she was at Mer­ck, where Gar­dasil was ap­proved un­der her tenure to pro­tect against the hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus.

It’s like­ly that Jansen is best known, how­ev­er, for help­ing shape Pfiz­er’s col­lab­o­ra­tion with BioN­Tech around its mR­NA vac­cine Comir­naty, which reaped more than $36 bil­lion in 2021.

She told End­points News back in 2020 that her ca­reer has been guid­ed by prob­lems that need solv­ing.

“I al­ways say, I’m al­ways look­ing for the prob­lems,” she said. “The so­lu­tions will come — I’m sure about this. I’m wor­ried about the prob­lems, and where do we run in­to prob­lems.”

“I want to thank Kathrin for her tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tion to our sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty and the world at large. She leaves Pfiz­er’s Vac­cine R&D group stronger than ever and poised to con­tin­ue to de­liv­er in­no­v­a­tive sci­ence,” Dol­sten said.

MedTech clinical trials require a unique regulatory and study design approach and so engaging a highly experienced CRO to ensure compliance and accurate data across all stages is critical to development milestones.

In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

Gold for adults, sil­ver for in­fants: Pfiz­er's Pre­vnar 2.0 head­ed to FDA months af­ter Mer­ck­'s green light

Pfizer was first to the finish line for the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine in adults, but Merck beat its rival with a jab for children in June.

Now, two months after Merck’s 15-valent Vaxneuvance won the FDA stamp of approval for kids, Pfizer is out with some late-stage data on its 20-valent shot for infants.

Known as Prevnar 20 for adults, Pfizer’s 20vPnC will head to the FDA by the end of this year for an approval request in infants, the Big Pharma said Friday morning. Discussions with the FDA will occur first and more late-stage pediatric trials are expected to read out soon, informing the regulatory pathway in other countries and regions.

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images)

Sen­ate Fi­nance Chair con­tin­ues his in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to phar­ma tax­es with re­quests for Am­gen

Amgen is the latest pharma company to appear on the radar of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is investigating the way pharma companies are using subsidiaries in low- or zero-tax countries to lower their tax bills.

Like its peers Merck, AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyden notes how Amgen uses its Puerto Rico operations to consistently pay tax rates that are substantially lower than the U.S. corporate tax rate of 21%, with an effective tax rate of 10.7% in 2020 and 12.1% in 2021.

FDA ap­proves sec­ond in­di­ca­tion for As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi's En­her­tu in less than a week

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu scored its second approval in less than a week, this time for a subset of lung cancer patients.

Enhertu received accelerated approval on Thursday to treat adults with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, and who have already received a prior systemic therapy.

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J&J to re­move talc prod­ucts from shelves world­wide, re­plac­ing with corn­starch-based port­fo­lio

After controversially spinning out its talc liabilities and filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to settle 38,000 lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is now changing up the formula for its baby powder products.

J&J is beginning the transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, the pharma giant announced on Thursday — just months after a federal judge ruled in favor of its “Texas two-step” bankruptcy to settle allegations that its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. An appeals court has since agreed to revisit that case.

CSL is gathering its four business units under a unified brand identity strategy (Credit: CSL company site)

CSL brings Se­qirus, Vi­for un­der par­ent um­brel­la brand in iden­ti­ty re­vamp

CSL is gathering its brands under the family name umbrella, renaming its vaccine and newly acquired nephrology specialty businesses with the parent initials.

CSL Seqirus and CSL Vifor join CSL Plasma and CSL Behring as the four now uniformly branded business units of the global biopharma. The Seqirus vaccine division was formed in 2015 with the combination of bioCSL and its purchase of Novartis’ flu vaccine business. CSL picked up Vifor Pharma late last year in an $11.7 billion deal for the nephrology, iron deficiency and cardio-renal drug developer.

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Pharma brands are trying to figure out new ways to better reach patients and doctors, but also measure results. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Do phar­ma TV and so­cial ads work? Phar­ma mar­ket­ing agen­cies adopt­ing new tech so­lu­tions to find out

It’s a timeworn advertising question — is my ad campaign working? In pharma, that can be an especially difficult question to answer in part because of privacy regulations, but also because the brands spend a lot of money on TV commercials where viewers can’t directly click on an ad.

Healthcare marketing services companies like Lasso and CMI Media Group are trying to change that with new measurement methods and partnerships that aim to get closer to patients’ and physicians’ actions.

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Corey McCann, Pear Therapeutics CEO

Pear Ther­a­peu­tics touts Q2 growth while scal­ing back full-year goals and chop­ping 9% of staff

Pear Therapeutics set some ambitious goals back in March, predicting a five-fold boost in revenue and a surge in new prescriptions for its digital therapeutics. Now the company is scaling back those estimates and chopping 9% of its workforce — an all-too-common occurrence in biotech lately.

CEO Corey McCann unveiled Pear’s Q2 numbers on Thursday, touting a 20% quarter-over-quarter revenue growth totaling $3.3 million. That’s more than double what the company made in Q2 2021, and McCann thinks the team could see a nearly four-fold jump in revenue this year, falling in the range of $14 million to $16 million.

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Seagen interim CEO Roger Dansey and Daiichi Sankyo CEO Sunao Manabe

Paving the way for Mer­ck­'s buy­out, Seagen los­es ar­bi­tra­tion dis­pute with Dai­ichi over ADC tech

As Seagen awaits a final buyout offer from Merck that could be in the territory of $40 billion, Seagen revealed Friday afternoon that it lost an arbitration dispute with Daiichi Sankyo relating to the companies’ 2008 collaboration around the use of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology.

But that loss likely won’t matter much when it comes to Merck’s deal.

After breaking off its pact with Daiichi in mid-2015, the two companies battled over “linker” tech — a chemical bridge between an ADC’s antibody component and the cytotoxic payload — that Seagen claims Daiichi would improve upon and implement in its current generation of ADCs.

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