David Sabatini (MIT)

NYU con­sid­ers hir­ing for­mer MIT sci­en­tist David Saba­ti­ni af­ter sex­u­al ha­rass­ment probe — re­port

It’s been less than a month since sex­u­al ha­rass­ment al­le­ga­tions forced promi­nent biotech founder and re­searcher David Saba­ti­ni to re­sign from his tenured spot at MIT. Now, re­ports have emerged that he could soon wind up at an­oth­er no­table uni­ver­si­ty.

The New York Uni­ver­si­ty Gross­man School of Med­i­cine is con­sid­er­ing bring­ing Saba­ti­ni on­to its fac­ul­ty, ac­cord­ing to a re­port out Mon­day from Sci­en­ceIn­sid­er. 

“Dr. Saba­ti­ni’s work and sci­en­tif­ic ac­com­plish­ments are wide­ly rec­og­nized, and any de­ci­sion about a po­ten­tial role at NYU Gross­man School of Med­i­cine would be sub­ject to care­ful and ex­ten­sive due dili­gence and con­sul­ta­tion with a broad group of stake­hold­ers,” NYU said in a state­ment emailed to End­points News. 

Saba­ti­ni stepped down from MIT in the first week of April, fol­low­ing an ex­ter­nal probe that found he vi­o­lat­ed the sex­u­al ha­rass­ment poli­cies of MIT’s White­head In­sti­tute. He had pre­vi­ous­ly been oust­ed from the White­head, but wait­ed to leave MIT al­to­geth­er.

“Pro­fes­sor Saba­ti­ni en­gaged in a sex­u­al re­la­tion­ship with a per­son over whom he held a ca­reer-in­flu­enc­ing role, he did not dis­close the re­la­tion­ship at any time to his su­per­vi­sors, and he failed to take any steps to re­lin­quish his men­tor­ing and ca­reer-in­flu­enc­ing roles, as the pol­i­cy re­quires,” MIT pres­i­dent L. Rafael Reif wrote in an open let­ter ear­li­er this month.

The out­side probe in­to Saba­ti­ni’s con­duct was prompt­ed by a March 2021 sur­vey as­sess­ing the in­sti­tute’s cul­ture, which “iden­ti­fied is­sues of par­tic­u­lar con­cern in the Saba­ti­ni lab,” White­head di­rec­tor Ruth Lehmann said at the time.

NYU fac­ul­ty and oth­ers in the in­dus­try have spo­ken out against the re­ports, in­clud­ing in Twit­ter posts.

“To say that I am dis­ap­point­ed in@nyu­lan­gone@nyu­gross­man is a vast un­der­state­ment. Fac­ul­ty and stu­dents there are speak­ing up to voice their op­po­si­tion, and I hope they raise their voic­es and are heard by the school’s lead­er­ship,” wrote Ni­na Gray, an as­sis­tant vice provost for re­search plan­ning and analy­sis at NYU.

Anne Car­pen­ter, a sci­en­tist at the Broad In­sti­tute of Har­vard and MIT, wrote on Twit­ter that she de­clined last week to sign a let­ter of­fer­ing sup­port for Saba­ti­ni, or­ga­nized by cur­rent and for­mer lab mem­bers.

“Uni­ver­si­ties con­sid­er­ing hir­ing him have asked for this. I will not sign,” she wrote. “I just have to won­der how a sup­port­ive let­ter signed by some lab mem­bers is rel­e­vant, in light of 3 in­sti­tu­tions con­clud­ing poli­cies were bro­ken, and in the ab­sence of any route for dis­sent­ing lab mem­bers to pro­vide in­put.”

Oth­ers have drawn con­nec­tions be­tween the Saba­ti­ni fam­i­ly and NYU, where his fa­ther, David D. Saba­ti­ni, spent more than 40 years as chair of NYU’s cell bi­ol­o­gy de­part­ment.

M&A: a crit­i­cal dri­ver for sus­tain­able top-line growth in health­care

2021 saw a record $600B in healthcare M&A activity. In 2022, there is an anticipated slowdown in activity, however, M&A prospects remain strong in the medium to long-term. What are future growth drivers for the healthcare sector? Where might we see innovations that drive M&A? RBC’s Andrew Callaway, Global Head, Healthcare Investment Banking discusses with Vito Sperduto, Global Co-Head, M&A.

15 LGBTQ lead­ers in bio­phar­ma; Paul Stof­fels’ Gala­pa­gos re­vamp; As­traZeneca catch­es up in AT­TR; and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

A return to in-person conferences also marks a return to on-the-ground reporting. My colleagues Beth Synder Bulik and Nicole DeFeudis were on-site at Cannes Lions, bringing live coverage of pharma’s presence at the ad festival — accompanied by photos from Clara Bui, our virtual producer, that bring you right to the scene. You can find a recap (and links to all the stories) below.

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David Loew (Ipsen)

Ipsen snags an ap­proved can­cer drug in $247M M&A deal as an­oth­er bat­tered biotech sells cheap

You can add Paris-based Ipsen to the list of discount buyers patrolling the penny stock pack for a cheap M&A deal.

The French biotech, which has had plenty of its own problems to grapple with, has swooped in to buy Epizyme $EPZM for $247 million in cash and a CVR with milestones attached to it. Epizyme shareholders, who had to suffer through a painfully soft launch of their EZH2a inhibitor cancer drug Tazverik, will get $1.45 per share along with a $1 CVR tied to achieving $250 million in sales from the drug over four consecutive quarters as well as an OK for second-line follicular lymphoma by 1 Jan. 2028.

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AstraZeneca's new Evusheld direct to consumer campaign aims to reach more immunocompromised patients.

As­traZeneca de­buts first con­sumer cam­paign for its Covid-19 pro­phy­lac­tic Evusheld — and a first for EUA drugs

AstraZeneca’s first consumer ad for Evusheld is also a first for drugs that have been granted emergency use authorizations during the pandemic.

The first DTC ad for a medicine under emergency approval, the Evusheld campaign launching this week aims to raise awareness among immunocompromised patients — and spur more use.

Evusheld nabbed emergency authorization in December, however, despite millions of immunocompromised people looking for a solution and now more widespread availability of the drug.

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Joe Papa (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Joe Pa­pa re­signs as chair of Bausch Health as bil­lion­aire John Paul­son takes over

Joe Papa, chair of Bausch Health, officially resigned on Thursday and the board appointed billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson as the new chair, effective immediately.

The specialty pharma company sought to make clear that Papa’s abrupt departure “was not due to any dispute or disagreement with the Company, its management or the Board on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices.”

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De­spite a slow start to the year for deals, PwC pre­dicts a flur­ry of ac­tiv­i­ty com­ing up

Despite whispers of a busy year for M&A, deal activity in the pharma space is actually down 30% on a semi-annualized basis, according to PwC’s latest report on deal activity. But don’t rule out larger deals in the second half of the year, the consultants said.

PwC pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting solutions leader Glenn Hunzinger expects to see Big Pharma companies picking up earlier stage companies to try and fill pipeline gaps ahead of a slew of big patent cliffs. Though a bear market continues to maul the biotech sector, Hunzinger said recent deals indicate that pharma companies are still paying above current trading prices.

Joe Wiley, Amryt Pharma CEO

Am­ryt Phar­ma sub­mits a for­mal dis­pute res­o­lu­tion to the FDA over re­ject­ed skin dis­ease drug

The story of Amryt Pharma’s candidate for the genetic skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, or EB, will soon enter another chapter.

After the Irish drugmaker’s candidate, dubbed Oleogel-S10 and marketed as Filsuvez, was handed a CRL earlier this year, the company announced in a press release that it plans to submit a formal dispute resolution request for the company’s NDA for Oleogel-S10.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images)

Phar­ma-friend­ly sen­a­tor calls on FDA for a third time to show patent pro­tec­tions should­n't be blamed for high drug prices

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis made a name for himself in the 2020 election cycle as the darling of the pharma industry, accepting hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions, even from the likes of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Those contributions have led Tillis to attempt to re-write patent laws in pharma’s favor, a move which failed to gain steam in 2019, and request for a third time since January that the FDA should help stop “the false narrative that patent protections are to blame for high drug prices.”

EMA signs off on 3 drugs re­cent­ly re­ject­ed by FDA, in­clud­ing Bio­Mar­in's new he­mo­phil­ia gene ther­a­py

The EMA’s human medicines committee on Friday recommended three new drugs for approval or conditional approval, even as their US counterparts have rejected these three for various reasons.

In a major move, CHMP offered a thumbs-up to a conditional marketing authorization for the first gene therapy to treat severe hemophilia A, although the agency cautioned that it’s so far unknown how long the effects of infusion will last.

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