Two Au­rinia ex­ecs are out — and CRISPR’s op­er­a­tions chief is­n't far be­hind; Bio­gen MS leader jumps to Eli Lil­ly part­ner

Robert Huizin­ga

Ac­cord­ing to an SEC fil­ing, Au­rinia’s EVP of re­search Robert Huizin­ga and CMO Neil Solomons are both walk­ing away by Hal­loween, and while no ex­pla­na­tions are giv­en, de­tails of their sev­er­ance pack­ages were pro­vid­ed. Huizin­ga had spent the last nine years at Au­rinia af­ter the Isotech­ni­ka merg­er: first as VP, clin­i­cal af­fairs, then as EVP, cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment be­fore his lat­est pro­mo­tion in 2020. Solomons co-found­ed Au­rinia a decade ago and used to be VP of R&D with Vi­for Phar­ma. The Pe­ter Green­leaf-led Au­rinia just launched its “Get Un­com­fort­able” ad cam­paign, urg­ing lu­pus nephri­tis pa­tients to sched­ule check­ups with their doc­tor.

Lawrence Klein

CRISPR Ther­a­peu­tics COO Lawrence Klein will not re­turn next year “to pur­sue ex­ter­nal op­por­tu­ni­ties,” but he’ll stay un­til this year draws to a close. Klein was orig­i­nal­ly ap­point­ed VP, strat­e­gy in Feb­ru­ary 2016, even­tu­al­ly re­ceiv­ing pro­mo­tions to CBO in 2019 and COO a year lat­er. The search be­gins for a re­place­ment as CRISPR and Ver­tex make their case to the FDA for exa-cel, a once-and-done treat­ment for sick­le cell dis­ease and trans­fu­sion-de­pen­dent be­ta-tha­lassemia, af­ter get­ting lapped by blue­bird bio with Zyn­te­glo.

Nathalie Franchi­mont

→ Pair­ing up with Eli Lil­ly on AMPK ac­ti­va­tors a cou­ple of weeks ago in a deal that al­most reach­es the $500 mil­lion mark, Nim­bus Ther­a­peu­tics has poached Nathalie Franchi­mont from Bio­gen, nam­ing her CMO. Franchi­mont had re­cent­ly led the mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis and im­munol­o­gy de­vel­op­ment unit and she held a cor­nu­copia of oth­er po­si­tions in her 10 years with Bio­gen, which is pin­ning its Alzheimer’s hopes on lecanemab af­ter the Aduhelm de­ba­cle. At Am­gen, she worked in med­ical af­fairs and clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, specif­i­cal­ly with the bone drug deno­sum­ab (now mar­ket­ed as Xge­va and Pro­lia).

Serge Stankovic

Serge Stankovic is set to re­tire as pres­i­dent of Aca­dia Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals at the end of the year. A for­mer clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment ex­ec with Te­va and Alk­er­mes, Stankovic was named head of R&D at Aca­dia in 2015 and pres­i­dent in 2018, help­ing guide the San Diego biotech to its on­ly ap­proved drug in April 2016. The FDA gave the OK to Nu­plazid for Parkin­son’s dis­ease psy­chosis, but Aca­dia’s been shoot­ing bricks late­ly in oth­er in­di­ca­tions, with CRLs in back-to-back years for de­men­tia- and Alzheimer’s-re­lat­ed psy­chosis. Up­on his re­tire­ment, Stankovic will move in­to a part-time ad­vi­so­ry role.

Ar­turo Moli­na

Ar­turo Moli­na’s time is wind­ing down as CMO of an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate de­vel­op­er Sutro Bio­phar­ma, and Peer Re­view will keep its eyes peeled for his next des­ti­na­tion af­ter he leaves on Nov. 4. Sutro CEO Bill Newell will stand in for him un­til a per­ma­nent suc­ces­sor is found. Moli­na was VP of on­col­o­gy sci­en­tif­ic in­no­va­tion at J&J’s Cal­i­for­nia In­no­va­tion Cen­ter be­fore he joined Sutro, which struck an ADC deal with Astel­las for $90 mil­lion up­front in late June.

Dave Hap­pel

→ As biotech stocks were go­ing sub­ter­ranean, it dawned on Sagimet Bio­sciences that an IPO wasn’t pru­dent for them in March. This week there’s a new sher­iff in town at the NASH-cen­tered biotech, with Dave Hap­pel tak­ing over for George Kem­ble as chief ex­ec­u­tive. Since 2020, Hap­pel had been pres­i­dent and CEO of Cog­noa, and in an ear­li­er role, he was EVP of com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment and strat­e­gy for Hori­zon. With Hap­pel in place, Kem­ble is slid­ing in­to the role of ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, suc­ceed­ing West­lake Vil­lage BioPart­ners man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Beth Sei­den­berg.

Robert Williamson

→ It didn’t take long for ex-Bio­th­eryx chief Robert Williamson to find his next gig, land­ing at T cell-fo­cused Tri­umvi­ra Im­muno­log­ics as pres­i­dent and CBO. Williamson was at the con­trols for Bio­th­eryx when the pro­tein degra­da­tion squad gar­nered a $92 mil­lion Se­ries E round in May 2021, and as we told you, he then be­came chief busi­ness and fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer at On­coMyx in March. Tri­umvi­ra says it’s con­struct­ing a new cell ther­a­py man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ty in South San Fran­cis­co for its lead pro­gram, TAC01-HER2, that should open by next year.

Patrick Finn

→ Let’s Twist again: Patrick Finn has been pro­mot­ed to pres­i­dent and COO of DNA syn­the­sis heavy­weight Twist Bio­science, which inked a $710 mil­lion an­ti­body dis­cov­ery deal with Boehringer In­gel­heim last year. Finn signed on as Twist’s SVP, com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions in Feb­ru­ary 2015 and was el­e­vat­ed to chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer in 2019. He’s al­so been VP of sales and mar­ket­ing for En­zy­mat­ics, now known as Qi­a­gen.

Sunitha Lak­sh­mi­narayanan

Po­si­tions are get­ting filled left and right at an­ti­body ra­di­a­tion-con­ju­gate (ARC) play­er Ac­tini­um: Jen­ny Hsieh (chief strat­e­gy of­fi­cer) was head of cor­po­rate strat­e­gy and op­er­a­tions with Im­munomedics as it was be­ing sold to Gilead for $21 bil­lion. In March, the large phar­ma hand­ed out pink slips to 114 staffers that worked out of Im­munomedics’ old HQ in Mor­ris Plains, NJ; Sunitha Lak­sh­mi­narayanan (head of CMC and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment) pre­vi­ous­ly took on the role of ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, cell ther­a­py process en­gi­neer­ing at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb; Stephen Dres­sel (VP, strate­gic fi­nance and analy­sis) had a 10-year ca­reer at Re­gen­eron and just spent a year and a half with Dew­point Ther­a­peu­tics as se­nior di­rec­tor, fi­nan­cial plan­ning & analy­sis; Pe­ter Bak­er (di­rec­tor, drug sub­stance/drug prod­ucts op­er­a­tions) helped man­u­fac­ture Lu­tathera and Plu­vic­to as head of pro­duc­tion at No­var­tisAd­vanced Ac­cel­er­a­tor Ap­pli­ca­tions; and Mic­ah Riskin (di­rec­tor, prod­uct stew­ard, man­u­fac­tur­ing sci­ences & tech­nol­o­gy) has Bris­tol My­ers ties and re­cent­ly led process de­vel­op­ment and MSAT for Im­vax.

But wait, there’s more: Ac­tini­um has plucked Akash Na­har (VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment) from Mer­ck, where he served as glob­al prod­uct de­vel­op­ment lead for hema­tol­ogy; Elaina Haeu­ber (VP, head of clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions) is a vet­er­an of Sy­neos Health who had been VP of op­er­a­tions at WCG un­til May; fi­nal­ly, Mad­huri Vusirikala (VP, clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment, bone mar­row trans­plant and cel­lu­lar ther­a­py) and Pa­trik Brodin (VP, head of ra­di­a­tion sci­ences) round out the hir­ing bo­nan­za.

Tim Mor­ris

Cameron Dur­rant will be on the look­out for an­oth­er COO and CFO as Tim Mor­ris de­camps from both posts at Hu­mani­gen and be­comes fi­nance chief at Opthea, a reti­nal dis­ease biotech that will be all set fi­nan­cial­ly for the time be­ing with $170 mil­lion in fund­ing through Car­lyle and Abing­worth’s Launch Ther­a­peu­tics and an ad­di­tion­al $90 mil­lion pri­vate place­ment. The ex-CFO of Io­vance and Acel­Rx just took an­oth­er board seat at Aque­s­tive Ther­a­peu­tics over the sum­mer.

→ As they build a plan around WHIM syn­drome drug ma­vorix­afor, X4 Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals has re­cruit­ed Mark Baldry as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer. A for­mer com­mer­cial ex­ec at Shire, Bio­gen and Am­i­cus, Baldry has held this same post at Wave Life Sci­ences and Free­line Ther­a­peu­tics. The highs haven’t out­weighed the lows this year at X4, scor­ing a $55 mil­lion PIPE but cut­ting 20% of its staff and prun­ing the pipeline.

Al­i­son Long

→ There’s a batch of new ex­ecs at Anokion, while the Swiss au­toim­mune biotech al­so says that Stephan Kon­tos will re­lin­quish his CSO du­ties to chair the sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board. Al­i­son Long (CMO) once led clin­i­cal R&D at Spark and had been the med­ical chief with now-de­funct Kalei­do Bio­Sciences; Glenn Booma (chief strat­e­gy of­fi­cer) is a Gen­zyme alum who had worked as a life sci­ences con­sul­tant for the past nine years; and Stephanie Haller (SVP, clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions) on­ly needs to re­place three let­ters on her busi­ness card af­ter part­ing ways with Alex­ion, where she was se­nior di­rec­tor, clin­i­cal op­er­a­tions, ther­a­peu­tic area lead, nephrol­o­gy. Ad­di­tion­al­ly, Anokion pro­mot­ed Kristie Grebe from VP, clin­i­cal & trans­la­tion­al de­vel­op­ment to SVP, im­munol­o­gy & trans­la­tion­al med­i­cine. Pfiz­er in­vest­ed $35 mil­lion in­to Anokion’s celi­ac dis­ease ther­a­py KAN-101 last week.

→ The gly­co­pro­teomics spe­cial­ists at In­ter­Venn Bio­sciences have pro­mot­ed Er­win Es­ti­gar­rib­ia to pres­i­dent and COO. Es­ti­gar­rib­ia brought plen­ty of di­ag­nos­tics ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore com­ing to In­ter­Venn in 2019, with stints as an op­er­a­tions ex­ec at Car­dioDx and Ap­plied Pro­teomics — and fur­ther back, he had a se­ries of lead­er­ship roles with Ch­i­ron, No­var­tis and Geron.

Ed­ward Kim

→ We have all sorts of oth­er CMO ap­point­ments to dis­cuss, and Ed­ward Kim is first up at Swedish men­tal ill­ness and ad­dic­tion dis­or­der biotech Orexo. Kim steps away from Bio­haven, where he was head of med­ical af­fairs, and he’s a No­var­tis neu­ro alum who has fur­ther Big Phar­ma con­nec­tions as the for­mer schiz­o­phre­nia ther­a­peu­tic area leader at J&J’s Janssen.

PaxMed­ica’s mod­est IPO may have been un­der the radar a cou­ple months ago, but the New York biotech has added some grav­i­tas to the staff with Big Phar­ma alum Ste­fan Schwabe as CMO. Schwabe spent more than a decade in neu­ro roles at J&J, No­var­tis and Sanofi, and since 2012 he had been CMO and EVP of R&D at Su­per­nus, get­ting out of Dodge not long af­ter the FDA threw cold wa­ter on the lat­est pitch for its Parkin­son’s drug SPN-830 ear­li­er this month. PaxMed­ica is ad­vanc­ing its lead as­set PAX-101 (in­tra­venous suramin) in autism spec­trum dis­or­der, with a pre­clin­i­cal study of the drug in the works for Frag­ile X-as­so­ci­at­ed tremor/atax­ia syn­drome (FX­TAS).

Mark Deeg

Mark Deeg has been named med­ical chief at Enve­da Bio­sciences, a Boul­der, CO start­up that chalked up the cash with a $51 mil­lion Se­ries A in June 2021. Deeg was once the chief med­ical and safe­ty of­fi­cer for Eli Lil­ly’s Cho­rus in his 10 years with the In­di­anapo­lis phar­ma, and the ex-Reg­u­lus CMO re­cent­ly over­saw glob­al clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Cull­gen. Else­where, Deeg earned a pro­mo­tion to VP of R&D at Pear Ther­a­peu­tics be­fore tak­ing the Cull­gen job last year.

→ As Rob Thom­son shed the in­ter­im la­bel this sea­son and is now bound for the World Se­ries as man­ag­er of the Philadel­phia Phillies, will we say the same some­day for in­ter­im CMO Richard Gray­don’s job sta­tus at Seat­tle breast can­cer biotech Atossa Ther­a­peu­tics? Gray­don worked on such drugs as Carvyk­ti (cil­ta-cel) and Im­bru­vi­ca as the se­nior di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for Janssen, and he has served as di­rec­tor of clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at Dai­ichi Sankyo.

Jens Würth­n­er has jumped on board as CMO of Am­s­ter­dam’s Scenic Biotech, which al­lied with Roche two years ago in a de­vel­op­ment deal in­volv­ing ge­net­ic mod­i­fiers and raised $31 mil­lion in March. Würth­n­er’s Big Phar­ma back­ground in­cludes stops at As­traZeneca, GSK and as a clin­i­cal pro­gram leader at No­var­tis be­fore piv­ot­ing to ADC Ther­a­peu­tics in 2016. He had led glob­al clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment at ADC since Jan­u­ary 2020.

Ed­ward Fang

→ To close this CMO loop, an­timi­cro­bial de­vel­op­er Adap­tive Phage Ther­a­peu­tics has tapped Ed­ward Fang for the po­si­tion. Fang has held this post be­fore at Ade­ni­um Biotech and US-Chi­na out­fit Mi­cuRx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals. In April, Adap­tive Phage topped off the cash tank from its Se­ries B from May 2021 to bring the to­tal to $61 mil­lion, and the fol­low­ing month it be­gan the Phase I/II tri­al for its di­a­bet­ic foot os­teomyelitis treat­ment.

Avi­va As­nis-Al­i­bozek

→ Ex-An­tios chief Greg Mayes is shoring up his lead­er­ship at Toron­to psy­che­delics play­er Re­union Neu­ro­science with Ed­ward Smith as CFO and Avi­va As­nis-Al­i­bozek as VP, med­ical af­fairs. Smith has held a string of CFO posts at La­va Ther­a­peu­tics, Mar­i­nus Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and Poly­Medix, and he’s a board mem­ber at Ben­itec Bio­phar­ma. A one-time med­ical af­fairs di­rec­tor at As­traZeneca, As­nis-Al­i­bozek was EVP of med­ical af­fairs dur­ing her six years at TRM On­col­o­gy.

Travis May’s health­care in­for­ma­tion up­start Data­vant — a rel­a­tive in the Vivek Ra­maswamy fam­i­ly of “vants” — has crunched the num­bers and se­lect­ed Mar­la Kessler as chief mar­ket­ing of­fi­cer. The Pfiz­er mar­ket­ing vet fol­lowed up her 13 years at IQVIA with a re­cent year­long stay at Ae­tion as chief cus­tomer of­fi­cer.

Di­ane Gomez-Thinnes

Things can on­ly get Bet­ter: J&J alum Di­ane Gomez-Thinnes has joined San Fran­cis­co-based Bet­ter Ther­a­peu­tics as chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer. Last year, Gomez-Thinnes fin­ished her 17-year tenure at J&J as the world­wide pres­i­dent of its medtech Men­tor, and from there she be­came the pres­i­dent of US op­er­a­tions for Gal­der­ma.

Klean­this Xan­thopou­los’ cell ther­a­py crew at Shore­line Bio­sciences has wel­comed Charles Calder­aro III as chief tech­ni­cal of­fi­cer. Calder­aro knows his way around the space from his days at Kite, where he was in charge of CAR-T man­u­fac­tur­ing as glob­al head of tech­ni­cal op­er­a­tions. Af­ter sev­er­al lead­er­ship po­si­tions in a 14-year pe­ri­od at Genen­tech, Calder­aro moved on to Bio­Marin as SVP, glob­al man­u­fac­tur­ing from 2016-19.

Ja­son Apter

→ CRO San­no­va An­a­lyt­i­cal has sad­dled up Ja­son Apter as CEO and Stephen Unger as CFO. This isn’t Apter’s first time run­ning things in the CEO seat, hav­ing called the shots pre­vi­ous­ly as CEO at John­son Matthey’s health di­vi­sion. Apter al­so has ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt from Mil­li­pore Sig­ma and Sig­ma-Aldrich. Mean­while, Unger hops aboard af­ter a stint as CFO at Quo­tient and Cir­cu­lo­gene Ther­a­nos­tics.

Genuv has named Jen­ny Choih pres­i­dent of its new Cam­bridge, MA-based sub­sidiary Genuv US. Choih joined Genuv in 2016, most re­cent­ly serv­ing as di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment. Ear­li­er in her ca­reer, Choih was a con­sul­tant at McK­in­sey.

John Leonard

In­tel­lia CEO John Leonard is join­ing the likes of Sean Park­er and John Con­nol­ly on the board of di­rec­tors at 3T Bio­sciences, a TCR start­up that pulled to­geth­er a $40 mil­lion Se­ries A led by chair­man Sean Harp­er and the folks at West­lake Vil­lage BioPart­ners. The Ab­bott and Ab­b­Vie alum is al­so a board mem­ber at IQVIA.

Chris­tine Lin­den­boom

→ As Re­don­da Miller ex­its from the board of di­rec­tors at In­vivyd, Chris­tine Lin­den­boom will step in dur­ing a time of tu­mult marked by last week’s lay­offs and ex­ec­u­tive de­par­tures af­ter Till­man Gern­gross bailed as CEO in Feb­ru­ary. An Am­gen and Pfiz­er vet, Lin­den­boom is Al­ny­lam’s SVP of in­vestor re­la­tions & cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

→ Fred Hutch’s Tom Lynch has sewn up a spot on the board of di­rec­tors at Flag­ship’s Foghorn Ther­a­peu­tics. Lynch’s ap­point­ment comes af­ter the FDA threw down the stop sticks with a full clin­i­cal hold on Foghorn’s blood can­cer drug FHD-286 in Au­gust. A par­tial hold was hand­ed out a few months be­fore.

Ray­mond Kelle­her

Ex­pan­sion Ther­a­peu­tics has elect­ed Ray­mond Kelle­her to the board of di­rec­tors at a time when drug­ging RNA con­tin­ues to at­tract in­ter­est. Kelle­her, a fac­ul­ty mem­ber at Mass­a­chu­setts Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal and Har­vard Med­ical School, is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Cor­morant As­set Man­age­ment.

Ubiquigent has an­nounced that the com­pa­ny’s CSO Shee­lagh Frame has joined its board of di­rec­tors. Frame be­gan her ca­reer at Ubiquigent in 2018 as head of bi­ol­o­gy be­fore be­ing pro­mot­ed to her cur­rent po­si­tion last year. Pri­or to this role, Frame was with Cy­cla­cel and Onyx Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals.

TC Bio­pharm has fin­ished set­ting up its sci­en­tif­ic ad­vi­so­ry board, which now con­sists of: Blythe Sather (VP and head of re­search at Tune Ther­a­peu­tics), Erin Adams (pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go), Chris Bond (ex­pe­ri­ence from Genen­tech, On­coMed, Juno, Cel­gene and Kite), Is­abelle Riv­iere (di­rec­tor of the cell ther­a­py and cell en­gi­neer­ing lab­o­ra­to­ry at Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter), Daniel Olive (re­searcher at the Can­cer Re­search Cen­ter of In­sti­tut Paoli-Cal­mettes), and Uma Lak­sh­mi­pa­thy (head of patheon trans­la­tion ser­vices and cell ther­a­py R&D phar­ma ser­vices group at Ther­mo Fish­er).

Trin­i­ty Biotech is adding a fresh face to its board of di­rec­tors as two oth­ers hit the ex­it. Tom Lind­say joins as non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, hav­ing served pre­vi­ous­ly as pres­i­dent of Alere’s (now a part of Ab­bott) busi­ness in Africa and cur­rent­ly serves as a board mem­ber at Genedrive. At the same time, di­rec­tors Seon Kyu Jeon and Michael Sung Soo Kim are head­ing out the door.

Il­lus­tra­tion: Kim Ryu for End­points News

Up­dat­ed: FDA re­mains silent on or­phan drug ex­clu­siv­i­ty af­ter last year's court loss

Since losing a controversial court case over orphan drug exclusivity last year, the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development has remained entirely silent on orphan exclusivity for any product approved since last November, leaving many sponsors in limbo on what to expect.

That silence means that for more than 70 orphan-designated indications for more than 60 products, OOPD has issued no public determination on the seven-year orphan exclusivity in the Orange Book, and no new listings of orphan exclusivity appear in OOPD’s searchable database, as highlighted recently by George O’Brien, a partner in Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office.

Philip Tagari switch­es Am­gen's dis­cov­ery lab for in­sitro's ma­chine learn­ing tools; CEO Joaquin Du­a­to to chair J&J's board

In February, Philip Tagari will take a few days of retirement and then immediately return to industry. He won’t be leading the therapeutics discovery unit for a large biopharma, though.

He’ll trade in his Amgen hat for chief scientist at a machine learning startup that has reeled in hundreds of millions in capital to lay the groundwork for a much-hyped new model of drug discovery that aims to speed up the time to new clinical assets.

Thomas Gad, Y-mAbs Therapeutics founder and interim CEO

FDA re­jects Y-mAbs’ neu­rob­las­toma drug af­ter tak­ing is­sue with clin­i­cal tri­al de­sign

Uncertainty about clinical trial evidence has led the FDA to hand down a complete response letter for Y-mAbs’ neuroblastoma drug, casting a cloud on the future of a candidate that had gone through a long development journey in a rare pediatric cancer.

Y-mAbs said it’s disappointed “but not surprised” given that the agency’s oncology drug advisory committee had voted 16-0 against its drug’s approval a few weeks ago.

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Raul Rodriguez, Rigel Pharma CEO

Rigel Phar­ma scores FDA ap­proval for leukemia, kick­ing off show­down with Servi­er in IDH1

When Rigel Pharma bought olutasidenib from Forma Therapeutics, it acquired a drug that already secured a PDUFA date at the FDA — for February 2023. But regulators are ready to give their OK sooner than that.

The FDA has approved the IDH1 inhibitor as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia who have a susceptible IDH-1 (isocitrate dehydrogenase-1) mutation as detected by an FDA-greenlit test. Rigel will market it as Rezlidhia.

Tim Pearson, Carrick Therapeutics CEO

Pfiz­er backs $60M in­fu­sion in­to Car­rick, teams up on breast can­cer treat­ment

In a big week for Carrick Therapeutics, the company announced $60 million in funding for its lead breast cancer drug and development of a second program, as well as a collaboration with Pfizer for combo development.

The $35 million from Pfizer comes with an agreement under which Pfizer will support Carrick’s Phase II study of samuraciclib in combination with Pfizer’s Faslodex for advanced breast cancer. Along with the investment, Adam Schayowitz, vice president and development head of breast cancer, colorectal cancer and melanoma at Pfizer global product development, will join Carrick’s scientific advisory board.

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Paul Hudson, Sanofi CEO (Romuald Meigneux/Sipa via AP Images)

Sanofi and Am­gen are bring­ing cash to cov­er the ta­ble stakes for the Hori­zon M&A game

With the market cap on Horizon Therapeutics $HZNP pushed up to the $23 billion mark today, one of the Big Pharmas in the hunt for a major league buyout deal signaled it’s playing the M&A game with cash.

Paris-based Sanofi, where CEO Paul Hudson has been largely focused on some risky biotech acquisitions to win some respect for its future pipeline prospects, issued a statement early Friday — complying with Rule 2.12 of the Irish takeover rules — making clear that while the certainty or size of an offer can’t be determined, any offer “will be solely in cash.” And Amgen CEO Robert Bradway came right in behind him, filing a statement on the London Stock Exchange overnight that any offer they may make will “likely” be in cash as well.

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Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

As mon­ey pours in­to dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tics, in­sur­ance cov­er­age crawls

Talk therapy didn’t help Lily with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. But a video game did.

As the 10-year-old zooms through icy waters and targets flying creatures on the snow-capped planet Frigidus, she builds attention skills, thanks to Akili Interactive Labs’ video game EndeavorRx. She’s now less anxious and scattered, allowing her to stay on a low dose of ADHD medication, according to her mom Violet Vu.

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Eli Lil­ly’s Alzheimer’s drug clears more amy­loid ear­ly than Aduhelm in first-ever head-to-head. Will it mat­ter?

Ahead of the FDA’s decision on Eli Lilly’s Alzheimer’s drug donanemab in February, the Big Pharma is dropping a first cut of data from one of the more interesting trials — but less important in a regulatory sense — at an Alzheimer’s conference in San Francisco.

In the unblinded 148-person study, Eli Lilly pitted its drug against Aduhelm, Biogen’s drug that won FDA approval but lost Medicare coverage outside of clinical trials. Notably, the study didn’t look at clinical outcomes, but rather the clearance of amyloid, a protein whose buildup is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, in the brain.

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Lynn Baxter, Viiv Healthcare's head of North America

Vi­iV dri­ves new cor­po­rate coali­tion in­clud­ing Uber, Tin­der and Wal­mart, aimed at end­ing HIV

ViiV Healthcare is pulling together an eclectic coalition of consumer businesses in a new White House-endorsed effort to end HIV by the end of the decade.

The new US Business Action to End HIV includes pharma and health companies — Gilead Sciences, CVS Health and Walgreens — but extends to a wide range of consumer companies that includes Tinder, Uber and Walmart.

ViiV is the catalyst for the group, plunking down more than half a million dollars in seed money and taking on ringmaster duties for launch today on World AIDS Day, but co-creator Health Action Alliance will organize joint activities going forward. ViiV and the alliance want and expect more companies to not only join the effort, but also pitch in funding.

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