Lisa Sellers, Vector Laboratories

Vec­tor Labs de­cou­ples from Mar­a­vai, pop­ping up shop with pri­vate cap­i­tal, new CEO on board

Vec­tor Lab­o­ra­to­ries has been in busi­ness since the 1970s, de­vel­op­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­tein de­tec­tion to help study tis­sues and cells. Af­ter Tues­day, the team will do so as a stand-alone com­pa­ny flush with pri­vate cap­i­tal and head­ed by a new CEO.

Vec­tor an­nounced a $124 mil­lion cash buy­out backed by pri­vate eq­ui­ty firm Thomp­son Street Cap­i­tal Part­ners on Tues­day to fund its ex­pan­sion in pro­tein de­tec­tion. The mon­ey will help Vec­tor with fu­ture merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions, and help com­mer­cial­ize its la­bel­ing and de­tec­tion tech­nol­o­gy in its pipeline.

Be­fore, the com­pa­ny was a part of Mar­a­vai Life­Sciences, which ac­quired the group in 2016.

New CEO Lisa Sell­ers comes in­to the role af­ter be­ing a part of Vec­tor for the past year. She comes from 10X Ge­nomics, where she was the VP of mar­ket­ing, and be­fore that, Ther­mo Fish­er Sci­en­tif­ic, where she served as the se­nior di­rec­tor of mol­e­c­u­lar di­ag­nos­tics li­cens­ing. She spent years work­ing with poly­merase chain re­ac­tion, and has watched as her years of work on the tech­nol­o­gy has gone main­stream, as PCR tests are now a house­hold name, thanks to the pan­dem­ic.

The buy­out gives Vec­tor the flex­i­bil­i­ty of a well-fund­ed start­up, with an es­tab­lished pipeline in its back pock­et, that’s known to aca­d­e­mics and re­searchers al­ready.

“There’s go­ing to be so much more in­no­va­tion in this space in the next 50 years,” Sell­ers said. “Be­cause our prod­ucts are trust­ed, they’re al­ready in­te­grat­ed in­to (our cus­tomers) com­mer­cial prod­ucts …We’re not leav­ing our core, but we’re go­ing to in­vest in a great op­er­a­tional part­ner.”

In a state­ment, Thomp­son Street said:

We’re de­light­ed to have sup­port­ed Lisa and her team through this trans­ac­tion. The pro­tein de­tec­tion mar­ket has nev­er been so im­por­tant and in such de­mand. This is why we be­lieve that Vec­tor Lab­o­ra­to­ries is bet­ter po­si­tioned as a stand-alone pri­vate com­pa­ny. Now, it can ful­ly fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing and com­mer­cial­iz­ing new prod­ucts at a ve­loc­i­ty that can match the pace of de­mand in this mar­ket.

MedTech clinical trials require a unique regulatory and study design approach and so engaging a highly experienced CRO to ensure compliance and accurate data across all stages is critical to development milestones.

In­no­v­a­tive MedTech De­mands Spe­cial­ist Clin­i­cal Tri­al Reg­u­la­to­ry Af­fairs and De­sign

Avance Clinical is the Australian CRO for international biotechs providing world-class clinical research services with FDA-accepted data across all phases. With Avance Clinical, biotech companies can leverage Australia’s supportive clinical trials environment which includes no IND requirement plus a 43.5% Government incentive rebate on clinical spend. The CRO has been delivering clinical drug development services for international biotechs for FDA and EMA regulatory approval for the past 24 years. The company has been recognized for the past two consecutive years with the prestigious Frost & Sullivan CRO Best Practices Award and a finalist in Informa Pharma’s Best CRO award for 2022.

His­toric drug pric­ing re­forms pass; Pfiz­er ac­quires GBT; The long search for non-opi­oid pain drugs; 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.

The Endpoints Weekly has officially crossed the 60,000 mark on subscribers — thanks to all of your support. As the editorial team grows, we’ve been able to do a lot more, with many of those on display this week. Be sure to check out Lei Lei Wu’s deep dive on pain R&D. If you missed it, you may also rewatch her companion panel here.

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Gold for adults, sil­ver for in­fants: Pfiz­er's Pre­vnar 2.0 head­ed to FDA months af­ter Mer­ck­'s green light

Pfizer was first to the finish line for the next-gen pneumococcal vaccine in adults, but Merck beat its rival with a jab for children in June.

Now, two months after Merck’s 15-valent Vaxneuvance won the FDA stamp of approval for kids, Pfizer is out with some late-stage data on its 20-valent shot for infants.

Known as Prevnar 20 for adults, Pfizer’s 20vPnC will head to the FDA by the end of this year for an approval request in infants, the Big Pharma said Friday morning. Discussions with the FDA will occur first and more late-stage pediatric trials are expected to read out soon, informing the regulatory pathway in other countries and regions.

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No­var­tis re­ports two pa­tient deaths af­ter treat­ment with Zol­gens­ma

Two children with spinal muscular atrophy have died after receiving Novartis’ Zolgensma, a gene therapy designed as a one-time treatment for the rare fatal disease.

The deaths, which resulted from acute liver failure, occurred in Russia and Kazakhstan, Novartis confirmed in a statement to Endpoints News. Having notified health authorities across all the markets where Zolgensma is available, it will update the drug label “to specify that fatal acute liver failure has been reported,” a spokesperson wrote.

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House pass­es his­toric drug pric­ing re­forms, lin­ing up decades-in-the-mak­ing win for Biden and De­moc­rats

The US House of Representatives today voted along party lines (all Dems voted for it), 220-207 to pass new, wide-ranging legislation that will allow Medicare drug price negotiations for the first time ever, and cap seniors’ drug expenses to $2,000 per year and seniors’ insulin costs at $35 per month.

Setting up a major victory for President Joe Biden, representatives returned from their summer recess to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, even as many noted the bill would only modestly reduce inflation.

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Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) (Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images)

Sen­ate Fi­nance chair con­tin­ues his in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­to phar­ma tax­es with re­quests for Am­gen

Amgen is the latest pharma company to appear on the radar of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR), who is investigating the way pharma companies are using subsidiaries in low- or zero-tax countries to lower their tax bills.

Like its peers Merck, AbbVie and Bristol Myers Squibb, Wyden notes how Amgen uses its Puerto Rico operations to consistently pay tax rates that are substantially lower than the U.S. corporate tax rate of 21%, with an effective tax rate of 10.7% in 2020 and 12.1% in 2021.

Ab­bott pumps $450M+ in­to new Ire­land-based man­u­fac­tur­ing site project and hir­ing spree

As Ireland continues to see more investments and building projects from pharma companies, another contender is looking to place more investment in the Emerald Isle.

According to a report from The Irish Times on Friday, Abbott Laboratories is investing €440 million, or about $451 million, to build a new manufacturing plant in Kilkenny, located in the country’s southeast, to make more of its glucose monitors.

FDA ap­proves sec­ond in­di­ca­tion for As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi's En­her­tu in less than a week

AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s antibody-drug conjugate Enhertu scored its second approval in less than a week, this time for a subset of lung cancer patients.

Enhertu received accelerated approval on Thursday to treat adults with unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have activating HER2 (ERBB2) mutations, and who have already received a prior systemic therapy.

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J&J to re­move talc prod­ucts from shelves world­wide, re­plac­ing with corn­starch-based port­fo­lio

After controversially spinning out its talc liabilities and filing for bankruptcy in an attempt to settle 38,000 lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson is now changing up the formula for its baby powder products.

J&J is beginning the transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio, the pharma giant announced on Thursday — just months after a federal judge ruled in favor of its “Texas two-step” bankruptcy to settle allegations that its talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. An appeals court has since agreed to revisit that case.