Roche’s Sophie Kornowski joins Chris Viehbacher at Gurnet Point; FDA will give Roche’s groundbreaking flu drug speedy review

Sophie Kornowski

→ We now know where Sophie Kornowski is headed. The top dealmaking exec at Roche left recently, leaving James Sabry with a chance to move up to the executive committee as he combines the business teams at Roche and its big subsidiary Genentech. Now we’ve learned that Kornowski is joining ex-Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher at Gurnet Point Capital. She’ll now concentrate on building up the portfolio with Ernesto Bertarelli’s investment money.

Genentech says it’s within 6 months of gaining a potential accelerated approval for its flu drug baloxavir marboxil, which its parent company Roche boasts would be the first new mechanism action deployed against flu in the past 20 years.

The FDA set a Christmas eve deadline on their decision, stamping the application with a December 24 PDUFA date. Researchers say that “baloxavir marboxil is designed to inhibit the cap-dependent endonuclease protein within the flu virus, which is essential for viral replication.”

“Baloxavir marboxil has been shown in clinical trials to decrease the duration of symptoms with one dose, and demonstrated a significant reduction in viral shedding in just one day,” said CMO Sandra Horning in a statement.

CStone Pharmaceuticals has nailed rights to develop and sell Agios’ IDH1 drug ivosidenib for China and surrounding markets. CStone paid $12 million upfront for the deal, with another $412 million in milestones on the table. Agios $AGIO CEO David Schenkein noted: “In addition to the clinical development activities that CStone will be leading, we also have the opportunity to leverage CStone’s network to expand our ongoing and future global clinical trials of ivosidenib into Greater China.”

Solid Bio’s $SLDB short, turbulent run now includes the quick departure of its president and co-founder, Gilad Hayeem, who’s resigned to”pursue other opportunities.” The biotech launched a quick and successful IPO before getting hit with a clinical hold, which was recently lifted.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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