No Myth: CEO of ADC up­start calls it quits; Bris­tol My­ers vet Jon Wig­gin­ton scales new heights at Bright Peak

Alex Nichols

→ When Myth­ic Ther­a­peu­tics CEO Alex Nichols spoke to End­points News last De­cem­ber about the biotech’s $103 mil­lion Se­ries B, he and fel­low co-founder Bri­an Fiske em­pha­sized safe­ty, say­ing that they’re “re­al­ly work­ing on try­ing to over­come what has been one of the most his­tor­i­cal­ly chal­leng­ing ob­sta­cles to re­al­iz­ing the full po­ten­tial of AD­Cs.” But Myth­ic will have to look for some­one else to take up that man­tle.

Gilles Gal­lant

Nichols has moved on from the Waltham, MA-based biotech “in or­der to pur­sue new op­por­tu­ni­ties,” while Fiske re­mains CSO. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, Myth­ic’s new chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer is Dai­ichi Sankyo vet Gilles Gal­lant, who knows AD­Cs well from his work with En­her­tu as glob­al head of on­col­o­gy clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Gal­lant came to Dai­ichi Sankyo in 2017 from Bio­Marin, where he was VP, on­col­o­gy clin­i­cal sci­ences, and he al­so held sev­er­al on­col­o­gy posts at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb from 1991-2002.

Fiske, Gal­lant and COO San­dra Poole will run the com­pa­ny un­til a CEO is found.

Jon Wig­gin­ton

→ Tak­ing aim at IL-2 and IL-18, Ver­sant up­start Bright Peak Ther­a­peu­tics has tapped Jon Wig­gin­ton as pres­i­dent of R&D. At Bris­tol My­ers, he ran ear­ly clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment of an I/O port­fo­lio that pro­duced the Op­di­vo/Ver­voy com­bo ther­a­py — which went on to col­lect mul­ti­ple ap­provals af­ter his de­par­ture. The CMO of Macro­Gen­ics from 2013-20 and a 15-year vet of the Na­tion­al Can­cer In­sti­tute, Wig­gin­ton then took off for Cul­li­nan On­col­o­gy, first as med­ical chief and lat­er as se­nior ad­vi­sor and chair­man of its sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board. Un­like many oth­er biotechs that are strug­gling to scale crag­gy fi­nan­cial moun­tains, Bright Peak isn’t strapped for cash af­ter a $107 mil­lion Se­ries B in June 2021.

Thomas Willem­sen

→ As Am­ber Tong told you at the start of the week, Thomas Willem­sen will take over as CEO of Sin­ga­pore’s Tes­sa Ther­a­peu­tics on Oct. 1. Sev­er­al chief ex­ec­u­tives have shut­tled in and out of the CAR-T biotech, in­clud­ing Jeff Buchal­ter, An­drew Khoo, and act­ing chief John Ng, who will slide in­to the role of chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer. Willem­sen winds down his three-year run at Take­da, where he was SVP, Asia-Pa­cif­ic, and he held mul­ti­ple lead­er­ship posts in Chi­na and Tai­wan with­in a 10-year pe­ri­od at GSK. His con­nec­tion to the Asia-Pa­cif­ic re­gion be­gan at Mer­ck KGaA, but he end­ed his time at the multi­na­tion­al as head of its Ger­man on­col­o­gy busi­ness unit in 2009.

Curt Her­berts

→ An­oth­er week, an­oth­er big Kriya Ther­a­peu­tics ap­point­ment: This time, the gene ther­a­py joint led by Shankar Ra­maswamy has re­cruit­ed Curt Her­berts as pres­i­dent and COO. Her­berts breaks away from Tim Lu’s crew at Sen­ti Bio­sciences, where he jug­gled the CFO and CBO posts from 2018-21 and had been COO since last year. He al­so had an eight-year run at Sang­amo, as­cend­ing to busi­ness chief in 2016. Kriya wel­comed Pe­dro Huer­tas just last week as CMO of its rare dis­ease di­vi­sion.

Sarah Grant

Cel­sius Ther­a­peu­tics has ap­point­ed Sarah Grant as CMO. Grant joins from No­var­tis, where she most re­cent­ly served as chief of staff and strate­gic as­sis­tant for the head of glob­al drug de­vel­op­ment. Her oth­er roles at No­var­tis in­clud­ed head of res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­cov­ery with­in trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine and roles in the pul­monary and im­munol­o­gy in­di­ca­tions. Pri­or to her ca­reer at No­var­tis, Grant was with Har­vard Med­ical School and Brigham and Women’s Hos­pi­tal.

Liz Mc­K­ee An­der­son

Liz Mc­K­ee An­der­son has left the board of di­rec­tors at mon­key­pox vac­cine mak­er Bavar­i­an Nordic to take a board seat at GSK. Mc­K­ee An­der­son round­ed out her 11-year tenure with Janssen in 2014 as the world­wide VP and com­mer­cial leader in in­fec­tious dis­eases and vac­cines, and she sits on the boards of Bio­Marin, Rev­o­lu­tion Med­i­cines, In­smed and Aro Bio­ther­a­peu­tics. Dana-Far­ber pres­i­dent and CEO Lau­rie Glim­ch­er will step down from the board on Oct. 13, an an­nounce­ment that was made dur­ing a busy few months at the phar­ma gi­ant that have in­clud­ed the Sier­ra On­col­o­gy buy­out, the wob­bly start to the con­sumer health spin­off Ha­le­on, and an ADC deal with Mer­sana Ther­a­peu­tics.

Lar­ry Mer­lo

→ Ex-CVS Health CEO Lar­ry Mer­lo will chair what’s cur­rent­ly known as J&J’s New Con­sumer Health Com­pa­ny, which will be helmed by Thibaut Mon­gon. The an­nounce­ment comes af­ter Math­ai Mam­men shock­ing­ly split the scene as the phar­ma gi­ant’s R&D chief a cou­ple weeks ago, with William Hait — J&J’s EVP, chief ex­ter­nal in­no­va­tion, med­ical safe­ty and glob­al pub­lic health of­fi­cer — pinch-hit­ting in the in­ter­im. The con­sumer health split is slat­ed to take ef­fect next year.

Cary Clai­borne

→ Against the back­drop of last month’s Phase III dud with its al­co­hol use dis­or­der drug AD04, Adi­al Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has ap­point­ed Cary Clai­borne as CEO while William Stil­ley — Adi­al’s chief ex­ec­u­tive since 2010 — be­comes CEO of the Vir­ginia biotech’s sub­sidiary Purnovate. Clai­borne joined Adi­al last De­cem­ber as COO, and he’s made sev­er­al stops as a CFO with such com­pa­nies as In­di­v­ior, Su­cam­po Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Osiris Ther­a­peu­tics. One oth­er snip­pet of Adi­al in­fo: Kevin Schuyler, a board mem­ber since 2016, has been named chair­man.

Eleanor de Groot

→ In wait-and-see mode af­ter the FDA im­posed an is­la­travir-re­lat­ed hold on HIV can­di­date BRII-732, Brii Bio­sciences has wel­comed Eleanor de Groot as chief tech­nol­o­gy of­fi­cer and Alek­san­dar Skuban as CNS dis­eases ther­a­py area head. A for­mer Helsinn ex­ec, de Groot was with Alaunos Ther­a­peu­tics (known as Zio­pharm un­til Jan­u­ary) since 2015 and had served as EVP of op­er­a­tions for al­most a year. Af­ter a hand­ful of posts in a sev­en-year pe­ri­od with Ot­su­ka, Skuban head­ed to Alex­ion as ex­ec­u­tive med­ical di­rec­tor in its oph­thal­mol­o­gy ther­a­peu­tic area. Since last No­vem­ber, he had been SVP of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Bet­ter Ther­a­peu­tics.

Anne-Vir­ginie Eggi­mann

→ No soon­er had the gene ther­a­py drug Zyn­te­glo been ap­proved for trans­fu­sion-de­pen­dent be­ta tha­lassemia than Anne-Vir­ginie Eggi­mann was out of the pic­ture at blue­bird bio. Two days re­moved from the Zyn­te­glo tri­umph, she’s now the chief reg­u­la­to­ry of­fi­cer at Flag­ship gene writ­ing out­fit Tessera Ther­a­peu­tics af­ter a year in the same po­si­tion at blue­bird and 11 years over­all. And De­r­i­ca Rice, who had a 27-year ca­reer with Eli Lil­ly be­fore join­ing CVS Health, has been elect­ed to Tessera’s board of di­rec­tors. Kyle LaHu­cik has more about this move at Tessera, cur­rent­ly run by for­mer Ab­b­Vie ex­ec Michael Sev­eri­no.

Lau­ren Sabel­la

Lau­ren Sabel­la is out as COO of Acor­da Ther­a­peu­tics, which sent pink slips to 15% of its staff near­ly a year ago and has felt the bud­get crunch be­fore. With the res­ig­na­tion, ef­fec­tive Sept. 30, SVPs Sofia Ali and Su­san Way will be split­ting COO du­ties. Sabel­la spent six years with Boehringer In­gel­heim and was Acor­da’s chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer for 11 years be­fore she was named op­er­a­tions chief in Sep­tem­ber 2021, when the re­cent round of job cuts took hold at the In­bri­ja mak­er.

→ The res­ig­na­tions don’t stop there: Acerus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals CEO Robert Motz will ex­it stage left, but it won’t take ef­fect un­til Nov. 20, which buys some time for the Toron­to-based men’s health com­pa­ny to find a suc­ces­sor. Motz had han­dled fi­nances at Acerus since Oc­to­ber 2018.

Tra­cy Lawhon

Bio­th­eryx has en­list­ed Tra­cy Lawhon as chief de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, the lat­est C-suite move at the San Diego pro­tein degra­da­tion shop af­ter CFO Jeff Car­avel­la’s ap­point­ment in April. For the last year and change, Lawhon was VP of strate­gic de­vel­op­ment and clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions with Flag­ship’s Va­lo Health. She’s al­so held posts at Eli Lil­ly, No­var­tis and Scher­ing-Plough Re­search In­sti­tute.

Swetha­jit Biswas

→ Swiss I/O start­up CDR-Life, which hit pay­dirt with a $76 mil­lion Se­ries A from RA Cap­i­tal, Jeito Cap­i­tal and Omega Funds in April, has in­stalled Swetha­jit Biswas as CMO. At Adap­ti­m­mune, Biswas was the de­vel­op­ment leader for MAGE-A4, the type of T cell en­gager that CDR-Life is hop­ing to push in­to the clin­ic first with CDR404. He was al­so a clin­i­cal di­rec­tor in on­col­o­gy drug de­vel­op­ment dur­ing his five years with GSK.

Je­re­mi­ah Hanes

→ An­oth­er com­pa­ny that notched a Se­ries A round in April — Bay Area start­up Ansa Biotech­nolo­gieshas re­cruit­ed Je­re­mi­ah Hanes as SVP of R&D. Hanes spent the last 13 years at Pa­cif­ic Bio­sciences, start­ing as a se­nior sci­en­tist and work­ing his way up to VP of reagents R&D in 2020. North­pond Ven­tures led the group of in­vestors that con­tributed to the $68 mil­lion round for Ansa, built on CEO Daniel Lin-Ar­low’s as­ser­tion that it has the “best DNA syn­the­sis method in the world.”

Hen­ri­ette Wen­nicke

→ Nov. 1 will be Hen­ri­ette Wen­nicke’s first day as CFO of Zealand Phar­ma, the Dan­ish biotech that has suf­fered from lack­lus­ter sales with Ze­ga­logue and chopped 90% of its US staff while chang­ing CEOs. Wen­nicke spent a decade with No­vo Nordisk be­fore jump­ing to GN Group, where she’s now VP and head of in­vestor re­la­tions and trea­sury at hear­ing aid mak­er GN Store Nord. In May, Zealand whis­tled a dif­fer­ent tune with Ze­ga­logue af­ter hit­ting its pri­ma­ry end­point in a Phase III tri­al for chil­dren aged 7 days to 12 months with con­gen­i­tal hy­per­in­sulin­ism.

Wade Smith

→ To the beau­ti­ful state of Utah we go — Peer Re­view rec­om­mends a vis­it to any one of its na­tion­al parks — as Salt Lake City-based El­e­var Ther­a­peu­tics pro­motes Wade Smith to CFO. Smith had been head of US in­sti­tu­tion­al com­mer­cial/fi­nance at Vi­a­tris be­fore piv­ot­ing to El­e­var as VP of fi­nance in Jan­u­ary. El­e­var has con­tin­ued to as­sem­ble its C-suite with the ad­di­tions of chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Paul Friel, CMO Jan Van Tornout, and chief reg­u­la­to­ry of­fi­cer Gor­don Schoo­ley af­ter bring­ing in Al­ny­lam vet Sae­ho Chong as CEO in March.

Tom Van Blar­com

Tom Van Blar­com has stepped up to the plate as SVP, head of re­search at Kyver­na Ther­a­peu­tics, an au­toim­mune dis­ease biotech that gar­nered an $85 mil­lion Se­ries B round in Jan­u­ary for its syn­Reg ap­proach to CAR-T ther­a­pies. Van Blar­com, who suc­ceeds CSO and sci­en­tif­ic co-founder Jef­frey Greve, is a Pfiz­er alum who joined David Chang’s squad at Al­lo­gene as in­ter­im head of trans­la­tion­al sci­ences in 2020 and even­tu­al­ly be­came the CAR-T play­er’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, head of pro­tein en­gi­neer­ing and re­search op­er­a­tions.

Daniel Sipes

→ San Diego-based biotech Plex­i­um — which struck a deal with Ab­b­Vie in April — has wel­comed Daniel Sipes to the team as SVP, head of tech­nol­o­gy. Pri­or to his new role, Sipes was SVP, strat­e­gy and op­er­a­tions, site head San Diego at Stra­teos. Be­fore that, Sipes had gigs at No­var­tis Re­search Foun­da­tion, Ka­lyp­sys and Lig­and Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

→ Think­ing big pic­ture with its COPD drug en­sifen­trine af­ter pos­i­tive Phase III da­ta were the cat­a­lyst for a pub­lic of­fer­ingan ap­proach used by many a biotech these days — Verona Phar­ma has made two com­mer­cial hires with Matthew Cas­bon as VP of sales, mar­ket­ing and train­ing, and Matthew Rysavy as VP of mar­ket ac­cess and trade. Cas­bon and Rysavy were both at Sal­ix Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals at the same time, with Cas­bon as as­so­ciate VP of mar­ket­ing and Rysavy climb­ing up to the role of se­nior na­tion­al ac­count man­ag­er Cas­bon was re­cent­ly CBO of Tar­get RWE, and Rysavy had been head of mar­ket ac­cess and trade since 2018 at BioDe­liv­ery Sci­ences In­ter­na­tion­al.

Mark Di­zon

Mark Di­zon has left BeiGene to take on the role of gen­er­al coun­sel at Ab­b­Vie part­ner Fron­tier Med­i­cines, a pro­tein degra­da­tion play­er which is tar­get­ing the KRAS-G12C mu­ta­tion. Di­zon was BeiGene’s as­sis­tant gen­er­al coun­sel and chief com­pli­ance of­fi­cer since 2018, and the No­var­tis vet has al­so been a com­pli­ance ex­ec with Affy­max, Acte­lion, Re­lyp­sa and Prothena.

→ Irvine, CA-based AI medtech GATC Health has named Robert Sor­renti­no as CMO. Be­fore found­ing his own con­sult­ing firm, Sor­renti­no filled an ar­ray of AI roles, in­clud­ing chief med­ical sci­en­tist at the IBM Wat­son Re­search Cen­ter.

Stef­fany Cox

Al­lu­cent is pick­ing up Stef­fany Cox as chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer. Be­fore mak­ing her way to Al­lu­cent, Cox served in roles at Lab­corp (SVP of prod­uct man­age­ment and seg­ment growth), Co­v­ance and Eli Lil­ly.

Bio­sion has named Steven Knapp as chief reg­u­la­to­ry & qual­i­ty of­fi­cer. Most re­cent­ly, Knapp was SVP of glob­al reg­u­la­to­ry and qual­i­ty at Antares Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. Be­fore that, Knapp served at Valeant Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

Biorches­tra has signed on Gabriel Helm­linger as VP, head of trans­la­tion­al & clin­i­cal phar­ma­col­o­gy, tox­i­col­o­gy. Helm­linger has had stints at No­var­tis, As­traZeneca and Ob­sid­i­an Ther­a­peu­tics.

Brent Saun­ders

Brent Saun­ders is mak­ing an ap­pear­ance on the board of di­rec­tors of GLO Phar­ma. Since his de­par­ture from Al­ler­gan, Saun­ders chairs the board at OcuTer­ra and is ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of The Beau­ty Health Com­pa­ny, a merg­er be­tween The Hy­draFa­cial Com­pa­ny and Ves­per Health­care Ac­qui­si­tion Corp.

Boast­ing a Phase III win for patisir­an to treat AT­TR amy­loi­do­sis with car­diomy­opa­thy, Al­ny­lam has re­served space for ex-Bris­tol My­ers CSO and R&D chief El­liott Si­gal on the board of di­rec­tors. Si­gal co-chairs the SAB at Am­gen and has a pletho­ra of board seats at Adap­ti­m­mune, Vir Biotech­nol­o­gy, Sur­face On­col­o­gy, Tessera Ther­a­peu­tics and Affinia Ther­a­peu­tics.

Pe­ter Green­leaf

→ With its lead drug for mem­bra­nous nephropa­thy in ear­ly-stage tri­als af­ter a $70 mil­lion Se­ries A in April 2021, Valen­z­aBio has elect­ed Au­rinia CEO Pe­ter Green­leaf to the board of di­rec­tors. The ex-Cere­cor chief has al­so been a board mem­ber at Antares Phar­ma, which was sold to Halozyme this spring for $960 mil­lion.

Jane Bell

Jane Bell has joined the board of di­rec­tors of Mesoblast, the Aus­tralian stem cell ther­a­py biotech that has been reel­ing from bro­ken Big Phar­ma part­ner­ships and late-stage flops. The deputy chair of Monash Health, Bell is al­so a board mem­ber at Mel­bourne-based Am­plia Ther­a­peu­tics.

→ Now part­ner­ing with Pfiz­er on an old As­traZeneca drug named RIST4721 af­ter ini­tial­ly strik­ing the deal with Are­na last sum­mer, Aris­tea Ther­a­peu­tics has added Po­sei­da Ther­a­peu­tics CEO Mark Ger­gen and No­vo Ven­tures part­ner Daniel O’Con­nell to the board of di­rec­tors. Michael Vin­cent, SVP and CSO of Pfiz­er’s in­flam­ma­tion and im­munol­o­gy re­search unit, will be a board ob­serv­er.

Se­qua­na Med­ical has ap­point­ed Alexan­dra Clyde to its board of di­rec­tors, tak­ing over for Erik Am­ble, who is step­ping down. Clyde is SVP of glob­al health eco­nom­ics, pol­i­cy and re­im­burse­ment for Medtron­ic.

Biotech in­vestors and CEOs see two paths to growth, but are they equal­ly vi­able?

The dynamic in the biotech market has been highly volatile in the last few years, from the high peaks immediately after the COVID vaccine in 2021, to the lowest downturns of the last 20 years in 2022. This uncertainty makes calling the exact timing of the market’s turn something of a fool’s errand, according to Dr. Chen Yu, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Crossover (TCG X). He speaks with RBC’s Noël Brown, Head of US Biotechnology Investment Banking, about the market’s road ahead and two possible paths for growth.

Dave Marek, Myovant CEO

My­ovant board balks as ma­jor­i­ty own­er Sum­it­o­mo swoops in with a $2.5B deal to buy them out

Three years after Sumitomo scooped up Roivant’s 46% stake in the publicly traded Myovant $MYOV as part of a 5-company, $3 billion deal, they’re coming back for the whole thing.

But these other investors at Myovant want more than what the Japanese pharma company is currently offering to pay at this stage.

Sumitomo is bidding $22.75 a share for the outstanding stock, which now represents 48% of the company after Sumitomo bumped its ownership since the original deal with Roivant. Myovant, however, created a special committee on the board, and they’re shaking their heads over the offer.

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Casey McPherson shows his daughters Rose (left) and Weston around Everlum Bio, a lab that he co-founded to spark a treatment for Rose and others with ultra-rare conditions. (Ilana Panich-Linsman)

Fa­ther starts lab af­ter in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty is­sues stymie rare dis­ease drug de­vel­op­ment

Under bright lab lights, Casey McPherson holds his 6-year-old daughter, Rose. His free hand directs Rose’s gaze toward a computer screen with potential clues in treating her one-of-a kind genetic condition.

Gray specks on the screen show her cells that scientists reprogrammed with the goal of zeroing in on a custom medicine. McPherson co-founded the lab, Everlum Bio, to spark a treatment for Rose — and others like her. A regarded singer-songwriter, McPherson never imagined going into drug development.

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Vlad Coric, Biohaven CEO

Vlad Coric charts course for new Bio­haven with neu­ro­science push and Big Phar­ma vets on board

What’s Biohaven without its CGRP portfolio? That’s what CEO Vlad Coric is tasked with deciding as he maps out the new Biohaven post-Pfizer takeover.

Pfizer officially scooped up Biohaven’s CGRP assets on Monday, including blockbuster migraine drug Nurtec and the investigational zavegepant, for $11.6 billion. As a result, Coric spun the broader pipeline into an independent company on Tuesday — with the same R&D team behind Nurtec but about 1,000 fewer staffers and a renewed focus on neuroscience and rare disease.

In AstraZeneca's latest campaign, wild eosinophils called Phils personify the acting up often seen in uncontrolled asthma

As­traZeneca de­buts an­noy­ing pur­ple ‘Phil’ crea­tures, per­son­i­fied asth­ma eosinophils ‘be­hav­ing bad­ly’

There are some odd-looking purple creatures lurking around the halls of AstraZenca lately. The “Phil” character cutouts are purple, personified eosinophils with big buggy eyes and wide mouths, and they’re a part of AZ’s newest awareness effort to help people understand eosinophilic asthma.

The “Asthma Behaving Badly” characters aren’t only on the walls at AZ to show the new campaign to employees, however. The “Phils” are also showing up online on the campaign website, and in digital and social ads and posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Mar­ket­ingRx roundup: No­var­tis re­cruits NFL coach for Leqvio cam­paign; Pfiz­er pro­motes ‘Sci­ence’ merch on so­cial me­dia

Novartis is turning to a winning coach to talk about Leqvio and the struggles of high cholesterol — including his own. Bruce Arians, the retired NFL head coach of the Arizona Cardinals and Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is partnering with the pharma for its “Coaching Cholesterol” digital, social and public relations effort.

In the campaign, Arians talks about the potential for “great comebacks” in football and heart health. Once nicknamed a “quarterback whisperer,” he is now retired from fulltime coaching (although still a front-office consultant for Tampa Bay), and did a round of media interviews for Novartis, including one with People and Forbes.

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Amy West, Novo Nordisk head of US digital innovation and transformation (Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News)

Q&A: No­vo Nordisk dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion chief Amy West dis­cuss­es phar­ma pain points and a health­care 'easy but­ton’

Amy West joined Novo Nordisk more than a decade ago to oversee marketing strategies and campaigns for its US diabetes portfolio. However, her career path shifted into digital, and she hasn’t looked back. West went from leading Novo’s first digital health strategy in the US to now heading up digital innovation and transformation.

She’s currently leading the charge at Novo Nordisk to not only go beyond the pill with digital marketing and health tech, but also test, pilot and develop groundbreaking new strategies needed in today’s consumerized healthcare world.

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Benjamine Liu, TrialSpark CEO

Paul Hud­son and Tri­alSpark's mu­tu­al de­sire to speed up de­vel­op­ment con­verges in three-year, six-drug goal

A unicorn startup that originally set out to hasten clinical studies for biopharma partners dug further into its revised path of internal drug development by linking arms with Sanofi in a pact that the biotech’s CEO said originated from the top.

TrialSpark and the Big Pharma on Tuesday committed to in-licensing and/or acquiring six Phase II/Phase III drugs within the next three years.

“I’ve known Paul Hudson for a while and we were discussing the opportunity to really re-imagine a lot of different parts of pharma,” TrialSpark CEO Benjamine Liu told Endpoints News, “and one of the things that we discussed was this opportunity to accelerate the development of new medicines in mutual areas of interest.”

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Take­da to pull key hy­poparathy­roidism drug from the mar­ket af­ter years of man­u­fac­tur­ing woes

Takeda on Tuesday morning made an announcement that almost 3,000 people with the rare disease known as hypoparathyroidism were fearing.

Due to unresolved supply issues and manufacturing woes, Takeda said it will cut its losses and discontinue its hypoparathyroidism drug, known as Natpara (parathyroid hormone), halting all manufacturing of the drug by the end of 2024, but the entire inventory will be available until depleted or expired, a company spokesperson said via email.