Pfiz­er reshuf­fles top ranks with Al­bert Bourla as COO; In­tra-cel­lu­lar nabs No­var­tis vet An­drew Satlin as CMO

Al­bert Bourla

Pfiz­er has pro­mot­ed its In­no­v­a­tive Health chief Al­bert Bourla to the new role of chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, where he’s been giv­en a spe­cial man­date to over­see the day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ty around prod­uct de­vel­op­ment, sales and strat­e­gy. This has been in­ter­pret­ed as CEO Ian Read’s way of anoint­ing his suc­ces­sor, al­though that is far from cer­tain. The move, which be­comes of­fi­cial on Jan­u­ary 1, trig­gered a reshuf­fle in the top ranks at Pfiz­er. John Young, who heads Pfiz­er Es­sen­tial Health, takes Bourla’s old job, while An­gela Hwang suc­ceeds Young.

→ New York-based In­tra-Cel­lu­lar Ther­a­pies has brought on An­drew Satlin as chief med­ical of­fi­cer. The biotech spe­cial­iz­ing in cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem dis­or­ders man­aged to raise $150 mil­lion ear­ly Oc­to­ber part­ly to fund the pre-launch and com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties for lu­mate­per­one, their lead drug in schiz­o­phre­nia, claim­ing that safe­ty con­cerns brought up in March have been cleared. That’s great tim­ing for Satlin to join, they say, as the No­var­tis vet brings in­sight from be­ing the glob­al head of med­i­cine cre­ation strat­e­gy, neu­rol­o­gy busi­ness group at Ei­sai.

→ Dual Flag­ship Pi­o­neer­ing and Alex­ion vet Je­re­my Spring­horn has tak­en on the chief busi­ness of­fi­cer role at Cam­bridge, MA based Sy­ros Ther­a­peu­tics. As one of the in­ven­tors of Soliris, Sp­ing­horn will be re­spon­si­ble for busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and strate­gic plan­ning across the biotech’s $SYRS wide-ranged pipeline.

Macro­Gen­ics $MGNX, the biotech de­vel­op­ing mon­o­clon­al an­ti­body-based ther­a­peu­tics that just out-li­censed a PD-1 check­point drug to In­cyte, has named J&J re­tiree Jay Siegel to its board of di­rec­tors. Siegel spent the first two decades of his ca­reer as a reg­u­la­tor with the FDA’s Cen­ter for Bi­o­log­ics Eval­u­a­tion and Re­search be­fore join­ing the Big Phar­ma in 2003, even­tu­al­ly tak­ing up R&D and reg­u­la­to­ry af­fairs roles.

→ In a boost to their con­sult­ing prac­tice, con­tract re­search or­ga­ni­za­tion Parex­el has re­cruit­ed three reg­u­la­to­ry/drug de­vel­op­ment staffers as their new vice pres­i­dents: Robert Is­er, VP of reg­u­la­to­ry con­sult­ing ser­vice; Bob (Bhard­waj) De­sai, VP of con­sult­ing, tech­ni­cal (on­col­o­gy); and Chang Lee, VP of con­sult­ing, APAC. To­geth­er, the trio brings ex­pe­ri­ence from the FDA and in­dus­try gi­ants such Pfiz­er and Ab­b­Vie — key sell­ing points as the CRO tries to prove it has much to of­fer out­side the lab.

Bay­er’s $BAYN head of con­sumer health Er­i­ca Mann is de­part­ing next March, and the com­pa­ny has tapped a long­time Nestlé ex­ec­u­tive to fill her shoes. Heiko Schip­per, who led the in­fant nu­tri­tion di­vi­sion while serv­ing as deputy ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of Nestlé, will al­so join Bay­er’s board of man­age­ment.

Tony de Fougerolles, for­mer­ly chief sci­en­tif­ic of­fi­cer at Abl­ynx, is the new CEO of Ox­ford, UK-based Evox Ther­a­peu­tics. He takes over from co-founder Per Lundin, who will now fo­cus on be­ing COO. The young biotech aims to cre­ate a plat­form tech­nol­o­gy uti­liz­ing ex­o­somes — “foun­da­tion­al trans­porters in the hu­man body” — to cre­ate bio­ther­a­peu­tics, and fig­ures it could use some help from de Fougerolles, who has al­so helped ad­vance pipelines for Mod­er­na and Al­ny­lam.

Eu­gene Kennedy has been pro­mot­ed from VP of clin­i­cal and med­ical af­fairs to chief med­ical of­fi­cer at NewLink Ge­net­ics $NLNK, the biotech best known for its IDO in­hibitor that has gar­nered (though some­times lost) in­ter­est from big part­ners. His new role is an ex­pan­sion of his pre­vi­ous job, in­volv­ing the start of en­roll­ment in­to NewLink’s piv­otal tri­al of in­dox­i­mod com­bos for ad­vanced melanoma.

→ The small crew at Mus­tang Bio has found a new mem­ber in Bri­an Achen­bach, their new VP of fi­nance and cor­po­rate con­troller who will as­sume re­spon­si­bil­i­ties pre­vi­ous­ly held by in­ter­im CFO David Horin. His fi­nance and ac­count­ing ex­per­tise, last ex­er­cised at Ameri­gen af­ter stints at Con­va­Tec and My­lan, will be need­ed as the tiny biotech tries to tack­le gi­ants in the CAR-T field.

Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb’s Mike Burgess is leav­ing Big Phar­ma be­hind and be­com­ing pres­i­dent of re­search and de­vel­op­ment at Cana­da’s Turn­stone Bi­o­log­ics, where he will lead all R&D ac­tiv­i­ties. The role builds up­on Burgess’ ex­pe­ri­ence at BMS head­ing trans­la­tion­al re­search and can­cer de­vel­op­ment, af­ter stints at Roche and Eli Lil­ly. In a state­ment, Burgess ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the on­colyt­ic con­tender’s two-in-one can­cer vac­cine, which got a boost from Ab­b­Vie just last month: “Turn­stone Bi­o­log­ics is unique­ly po­si­tioned to de­liv­er break­through vi­ral-based im­munother­a­pies for pa­tients with can­cer. … I look for­ward to work­ing close­ly with Turn­stone’s ex­pe­ri­enced team and founders, who are dri­ven by sci­ence and in­no­va­tion, to bring these break­through med­i­cines to pa­tients.”

→ The Med­i­cines Com­pa­ny $MD­CO has brought Pfiz­er vet Geno Ger­mano on­to its board. Ger­mano most re­cent­ly was pres­i­dent of In­trex­on but left af­ter a short stint. Chair­man Fredric Es­hel­man, mean­while, is be­ing bumped up to ex­ec­u­tive chair­man.

CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics an­nounced that Michael Tom­sicek, for­mer­ly of med­ical im­plant man­u­fac­tur­er Abio­med and Mer­ck-ac­quired phar­ma Cu­bist, will be­come its CFO. The news came on the same day the Swiss gene edit­ing com­pa­ny $CR­SP said it will team up with Cure­Vac to de­vel­op im­proved Cas9 mR­NA con­structs for in vi­vo gene edit­ing, to­geth­er with its joint ven­ture Case­bia.

Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Getty Images)

Sanofi CEO Paul Hud­son has $23B burn­ing a hole in his pock­et. And here are some hints on how he plans to spend that

Sanofi has reaped $11.1 billion after selling off a big chunk of its Regeneron stock at $515 a share. And now everyone on the M&A side of the business is focused on how CEO Paul Hudson plans to spend it.

After getting stung in France for some awkward politicking — suggesting the US was in the front of the line for Sanofi’s vaccines given American financial support for their work, versus little help from European powers — Hudson now has the much more popular task of managing a major cash cache to pull off something in the order of a big bolt-on. Or two.

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The Avance Clinical leadership team: CEO Yvonne Lungershausen, Sandrien Louwaars - Director Business Development Operations, Gabriel Kremmidiotis - Chief Scientific Officer, Ben Edwards - Chief Strategy Officer

How Aus­tralia De­liv­ers Rapid Start-up and 43.5% Re­bate for Ear­ly Phase On­col­o­gy Tri­als

About Avance Clinical

Avance Clinical is an Australian owned Contract Research Organisation that has been providing high-quality clinical research services to the local and international drug development industry for 20 years. They specialise in working with biotech companies to execute Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials to deliver high-quality outcomes fit for global regulatory standards.

As oncology sponsors look internationally to speed-up trials after unprecedented COVID-19 suspensions and delays, Australia, which has led the world in minimizing the pandemic’s impact, stands out as an attractive destination for early phase trials. This in combination with the streamlined regulatory system and the financial benefits including a very favourable exchange rate and the R & D cash rebate makes Australia the perfect location for accelerating biotech clinical programs.

As­traZeneca trum­pets the good da­ta they found for Tagris­so in an ad­ju­vant set­ting for NSCLC — but many of the ex­perts aren’t cheer­ing along

AstraZeneca is rolling out the big guns this evening to provide a salute to their ADAURA data on Tagrisso at ASCO.

Cancer R&D chief José Baselga calls the disease-free survival data for their drug in an adjuvant setting of early stage, epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated NSCLC patients following surgery “momentous.” Roy Herbst, the principal investigator out of Yale, calls it “transformative.”

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Pablo Legorreta, founder and CEO of Royalty Pharma AG, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Cap­i­tal­iz­ing Pablo: The world’s biggest drug roy­al­ty buy­er is go­ing pub­lic. And the low-key CEO di­vulges a few se­crets along the way

Pablo Legorreta is one of the most influential players in biopharma you likely never heard of.

Over the last 24 years, Legorreta’s Royalty Pharma group has become, by its own reckoning, the biggest buyer of drug royalties in the world. The CEO and founder has bought up a stake in a lengthy list of the world’s biggest drug franchises, spending $18 billion in the process — $2.2 billion last year alone. And he’s become one of the best-paid execs in the industry, reaping $28 million from the cash flow last year while reserving 20% of the cash flow, less expenses, for himself.

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Dan O'Day, Gilead CEO (Andrew Harnik, AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Gilead leas­es part­ner rights to TIG­IT, PD-1 in a $2B deal with Ar­cus. Now comes the hard part

Gilead CEO Dan O’Day has brokered his way to a PD-1 and lined up a front row seat in the TIGIT arena, inking a deal worth close to $2 billion to align the big biotech closely with Terry Rosen’s Arcus. And $375 million of that comes upfront, with cash for the buy-in plus equity, along with $400 million for R&D and $1.22 billion in reserve to cover opt-in payments and milestones..

Hotly rumored for weeks, the 2 players have formalized a 10-year alliance that starts with rights to the PD-1, zimberelimab. O’Day also has first dibs on TIGIT and 2 other leading programs, agreeing to an opt-in fee ranging from $200 million to $275 million on each. There’s $500 million in potential TIGIT milestones on US regulatory events — likely capped by an approval — if Gilead partners on it and the stars align on the data. And there’s another $150 million opt-in payments for the rest of the Arcus pipeline.

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No­var­tis jumps in­to Covid-19 vac­cine hunt, as Big Phar­ma and big biotech com­mit to bil­lions of dos­es

After spending most of the pandemic on the sidelines, Novartis is offering its aid in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

AveXis, the Swiss pharma’s gene therapy subsidiary, has agreed to manufacture the vaccine being developed by Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital. The biotech will begin manufacturing this month, while the vaccine undergoes further preclinical testing. They’ve agreed to provide the vaccine for free for clinical trials beginning in the second half of 2020, but have not disclosed financials for after.

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Roger Perlmutter, Merck R&D chief (YouTube)

UP­DAT­ED: Backed by BAR­DA, Mer­ck jumps in­to Covid-19: buy­ing out a vac­cine, part­ner­ing on an­oth­er and adding an­tivi­ral to the mix

Merck execs are making a triple play in a sudden leap into the R&D campaign against Covid-19. And they have more BARDA cash backing them up on the move.

Tuesday morning the pharma giant simultaneously announced plans to buy an Austrian biotech that has been working on a preclinical vaccine candidate, added a collaboration on another vaccine with the nonprofit IAVI and inked a deal with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on an early-stage antiviral.

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Bryan Roberts, Venrock

Ven­rock sur­vey shows grow­ing recog­ni­tion of coro­n­avirus toll, wan­ing con­fi­dence in ar­rival of vac­cines and treat­ments

When Venrock partner Bryan Roberts went to check the results from their annual survey of healthcare leaders, what he found was an imprint of the pandemic’s slow arrival in America.

The venture firm had sent their form out to hundreds of insurance and health tech executives, investors, officials and academics on February 24 and gave them two weeks to fill it out. No Americans had died at that point but the coronavirus had become enough of a global crisis that they included two questions about the virus, including “Total U.S. deaths in 2020 from the novel coronavirus will be:”.

Stymied by the pan­dem­ic, Im­munomedic­s' new CEO bows out, tak­ing a mil­lion bucks plus perks as he heads out the vir­tu­al ex­it

Just a little more than a month since taking over as the latest CEO to helm Immunomedics, $IMMU Harout Semerjian is exiting the company after being confronted by “logistical” obstacles thrown up by the pandemic that made it impossible for him to move from London to carry out the job. And he’s getting a little over a million dollars in cash plus perks to grease the skids on the way out.

Word of the changeup arrived right after the market closed Wednesday.

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