Trou­bled Te­va poach­es Lund­beck CEO Schultz with an of­fer he could­n't refuse, in­clud­ing $20M in cash

A lit­tle more than two years af­ter No­vo Nordisk heir ap­par­ent Kåre Schultz jumped ship for the top job at Lund­beck, he’s mov­ing on to take the helm at a storm-tossed Te­va Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal. Schultz will al­so re­main in the CEO spot at Lund­beck un­til the Dan­ish bio­phar­ma play­er can find a new CEO of its own.

Kare Schultz

And that’s not all. Co­in­ci­den­tal­ly chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer Staffan Schüberg is al­so leav­ing Lund­beck and tak­ing over at a pri­vate­ly-held com­pa­ny.

Te­va’s shares shot up more than 12% on the news, with Lund­beck stock tank­ing by the same amount.

Te­va’s re­volv­ing door out­side the ex­ec­u­tive suite has seen a num­ber of com­ings and go­ings in re­cent years. Now the com­pa­ny has been stag­gered by a sud­den drop in gener­ic prices right on the heels of a big deal with Al­ler­gan for their port­fo­lio of knock­offs.

Te­va al­so has a weak drug pipeline that has been blitzed by re­peat­ed set­backs as its flag­ship MS ther­a­py Co­pax­one is ex­pect­ed to lose ground to grow­ing gener­ic com­pe­ti­tion.

As a re­sult, Te­va has be­gun to get se­ri­ous about a long-await­ed re­struc­tur­ing of the com­pa­ny in an at­tempt to sal­vage a steadi­ly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing fi­nan­cial po­si­tion. A num­ber of the world’s top bio­phar­ma ex­ecs have been con­sid­ered for the job, in­clud­ing As­traZeneca CEO Pas­cal So­ri­ot and Jack­ie Fouse, who left a top job at Cel­gene and is now run­ning her own biotech com­pa­ny.

They re­port­ed­ly turned down the of­fers.

So the re­cruit­ment team, led by Chair­man Sol Bar­er, turned to Schultz, who has had a mixed record dur­ing his brief run at Lund­beck field­ing new drugs. No­vo Nordisk, mean­while, re­mains one of the most ad­mired com­peti­tors in the in­dus­try.

For CEOs in this cat­e­go­ry, the bulk of their in­come comes from stock awards. Schultz is start­ing with a base pay of $2 mil­lion, up to $4 mil­lion in bonus­es for hit­ting his goals, a $5 mil­lion chunk of stock as a sign-on bonus, an­nu­al eq­ui­ty in­cen­tives of $6 mil­lion, a $20 mil­lion sign­ing bonus and ad­di­tion­al eq­ui­ty awards, plus mon­ey for mov­ing to Is­rael. The ini­tial pack­age is worth around $44 mil­lion-plus, ac­cord­ing to the SEC fil­ing.

Schultz is mak­ing his move at a key point in bio­phar­ma’s his­to­ry. There’s been a wave of top-lev­el changes in the in­dus­try, with new CEOs at GSK, Eli Lil­ly, No­var­tis, Sanofi, Bio­gen, Alex­ion and more. And every new CEO brings their own new R&D and com­mer­cial strat­e­gy in­to play.

For Schultz, Te­va looks like the op­por­tu­ni­ty of a life­time.

“The out­look (at Lund­beck) is strong with high prof­itabil­i­ty and sol­id cash flow gen­er­a­tion many years ahead and I could eas­i­ly see my­self work­ing at Lund­beck for many years. I just got an of­fer that I couldn’t refuse, be­ing CEO at one of the biggest phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies in the world,” says Schultz in a state­ment.

Im­age cred­it: Shut­ter­stock

BiTE® Plat­form and the Evo­lu­tion To­ward Off-The-Shelf Im­muno-On­col­o­gy Ap­proach­es

Despite rapid advances in the field of immuno-oncology that have transformed the cancer treatment landscape, many cancer patients are still left behind.1,2 Not every person has access to innovative therapies designed specifically to treat his or her disease. Many currently available immuno-oncology-based approaches and chemotherapies have brought long-term benefits to some patients — but many patients still need other therapeutic options.3

Pfiz­er’s Doug Gior­dano has $500M — and some ad­vice — to of­fer a cer­tain breed of 'break­through' biotech

So let’s say you’re running a cutting-edge, clinical-stage biotech, probably public, but not necessarily so, which could see some big advantages teaming up with some marquee researchers, picking up say $50 million to $75 million dollars in a non-threatening minority equity investment that could take you to the next level.

Doug Giordano might have some thoughts on how that could work out.

The SVP of business development at the pharma giant has helped forge a new fund called the Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative. And he has $500 million of Pfizer’s money to put behind 7 to 10 — or so — biotechs that fit that general description.

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Gilead re­leas­es an­oth­er round of murky remde­sivir re­sults

A month after the NIH declared the first trial on remdesivir in Covid-19 a success, Gilead is out with new results on their antiviral. But although the study met one of its primary endpoints, the data are likely to only add to a growing debate over how effective the drug actually is.

In a Phase III trial, patients given a 5-day dose of remdesivir were 65% more likely to show “clinical improvement” compared to an arm given standard-of-care. The trial, though, gave little indication for whether the drug had an impact on key endpoints such as survival or time-to-recovery. And in a surprising twist, a 10-day dosing arm of remdesivir didn’t lead to a statistically significant improvement over standard of care.

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Fangliang Zhang (Imaginechina via AP Images)

The big mon­ey: Poised to make drug R&D his­to­ry, a Chi­na biotech un­veils uni­corn rac­ing am­bi­tions in a bid to raise $350M-plus on Nas­daq

Almost exactly three years after Shanghai-based Legend came out of nowhere to steal the show at ASCO with jaw-dropping data on their BCMA-targeted CAR-T for multiple myeloma, the little player with Big Pharma connections is taking a giant step toward making it big on Wall Street. And this time they want to seal the deal on a global rep after staking out a unicorn valuation in what’s turned out to be a bull market for biotech IPOs — in the middle of a pandemic.

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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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Len Schleifer (left) and George Yancopoulos, Regeneron (Vimeo)

Eyes on he­mo­phil­ia prize, Re­gen­eron adds a $100M wa­ger on joint de­vel­op­ment cam­paign with In­tel­lia

When George Yancopoulos first signed up Intellia to be its CRISPR/Cas9 partner on gene editing projects 4 years ago, the upstart smartly ramped up its IPO at the same time. Today, Regeneron $REGN is coming back in, adding $100 million in an upfront fee and equity to significantly boot up a whole roster of new development projects.

And they’re highlighting some clinical hemophilia research plans in the process.

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Covid-19 roundup: Did in­sid­ers cash in on pos­i­tive news re­port about Gilead be­fore pub­li­ca­tion?

A series of bullish trades on Gilead options just before the release of a favorable news story is raising questions among regulatory experts, Reuters reported.

On April 16, just hours before STAT published anecdotes from a Chicago hospital that served as one of the clinical sites to test Gilead’s remdesivir in Covid-19 patients, the California-based company’s shares were trading at around $75. Four large blocks of options were purchased for about $1.5 million each, betting that the stock would rise beyond that to as much as $87.5 by mid-August.

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Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, BioMarin chairman and CEO

Bio­Marin holds the line on bleeds with 4-year val­rox up­date on he­mo­phil­ia A — but what's this about an­oth­er de­cline in Fac­tor 8 lev­els?

BioMarin has posted some top-line results for their 4-year followup on the most advanced gene therapy for hemophilia A — extending its streak on keeping a handful of patients free of bleeds and off Factor VIII therapy, but likely stirring fresh worries over a continued drop in Factor VIII levels.

We just don’t know how big a drop.

We’ll see more data when the results are presented at the World Federation of Hemophilia in a couple of weeks. But in a statement out Sunday night, BioMarin $BMRN reported that none of the patients required Factor VIII treatment, adding:

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As­traZeneca trum­pets the 'mo­men­tous' 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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