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10
Aug
2015

‘Pharmaphobia’ Pushes Back Against Anti-Industry Crusade, But Comes Up Short

Piles of books, journal articles, and newspaper exposes have been written about corrupt relationships between drug companies and physicians. The attacks have taken a toll. Big Pharma’s reputation is somewhere in the gutter with Big Tobacco. While I see much admirable public-service journalism in exposing wrongdoing in science and medicine, this result strikes me as an overreaction. Pharma and biotech companies often...
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4
Aug
2015

Molecular Information Companies, One Way or Another, Find Value in Genomics

Way back in the day, the late 1990s, companies ran around saying, ‘Holy mackerel, we’re gathering all this cool genomic information. It’s valuable. We’ll sell it and make a bundle.” Almost 20 years later, next-generation sequencers are exponentially better, faster, and cheaper. They pump out vast amounts of genomic information. There are many more companies gathering data, slicing it up...
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24
Jul
2015

The Amgen Seattle Alumni: Where Are They Now?

One year ago, Amgen said it was shutting down R&D operations in Washington. This was not an ordinary mass layoff. Amgen’s cost-cutting move freed up 660 people in the Seattle biotech cluster, many of whom had rare and valuable skills gained while working on successful drugs like Enbrel and Xgeva. These people had good pay, good benefits, and a beautiful...
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21
Jul
2015

The Non-Compete Chill Has Passed: Bristol-Myers, MedImmune Settle Over I-O Star

There’s good news today for the biotech labor market. AstraZeneca’s MedImmune biologics unit said today that David Berman has joined the company as a senior vice president and head of its Oncology Innovative Medicines unit (iMED). Berman spent the previous decade at Bristol-Myers Squibb, becoming a key player inside the company during its rise to prominence in the hot field...
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21
Jul
2015

How Are Biotech VCs Performing in the Boom? You’d Be Surprised (Part 2)

Yesterday, I published the first half of a two-part series on biotech venture fund performance in the boom. That story included data from venture funds backed by public employees in three states–Pennsylvania, California, and Hawaii. Today, I’m following up with more disclosures from funds in Washington and North Carolina, plus the big California fund that invests retirement savings for schoolteachers.
20
Jul
2015

How Are Biotech VCs Performing in the Boom? You’d Be Surprised

The biotech boom has been good to many people, but especially to venture capitalists. Many can point to winners in their portfolios. They have seized the moment to raise new funds, collect even bigger management fees, and double down on more cool science and technology companies. As I reported here in March, a few firms, such as The Column Group...
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17
Jul
2015

Forget Price Controls – Value-Based Pricing is the New Threat to Drug Development

Election season is here, and every day brings a parade of presidential hopefuls, staking out positions along the political spectrum.  And, if the early rhetoric is any indication, one of the defining themes of the election will be wealth and income disparity. In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Hillary Clinton said that, although she generally supported the Affordable...
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9
Jul
2015

Happy (Belated) Independence Day! Timmerman Report is Here to Stay

Every day, I think about creating excellent, original journalism for biotech readers who subscribe to Timmerman Report. This isn’t some hopelessly romantic idea. This is a business with legs. For those unfamiliar with what Timmerman Report is about, it’s like making artisanal cheese or fine wine. Considerable craftsmanship goes into creating stories for avid biotech readers who are willing to...
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7
Jul
2015

Pay Cut? That’s OK: Wall Street Veterans Find New Purpose in Biotech

Last month, I wrote about how Big Pharma executives are migrating into biotech like wildebeest across the Serengeti. They aren’t the only big game animals moving in this direction. More than a dozen well-known Wall Street investment bankers and analysts, in the last couple boom years, have quit to join biotech companies. This isn’t exactly unprecedented. The CEOs of Amgen...
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2
Jul
2015

Q&A With Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov on Becoming More ‘Biotech-Like’

Shire has been around for almost 30 years, and last year was probably its biggest in the news. The narrative wasn’t about drugs that help people, but was about corporate tax-avoidance. North Chicago, Ill.-based AbbVie bid $54 billion to acquire U.K.-based Shire, at least partly to re-incorporate in Britain and avoid U.S. taxes through an “inversion.” Public opposition emerged, the...
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29
Jun
2015

LinkedIn Is Integral to Biotech, But Some Still Don’t Get It

The sci-fi writer William Gibson once said, “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” That rings true with LinkedIn, at least in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Some of the most powerful and best-connected people in the business gathered last week in Greece for the annual private summit organized by industry legend Stelios Papadopoulos. This is...
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25
Jun
2015

The Cubist Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Cubist Pharmaceuticals was a rare company. It found a way to succeed when the prevailing market winds were blowing in its face. When Big Pharma companies abandoned the field of antibiotics, complaining about regulatory and reimbursement challenges, Cubist stuck to its guns. The Lexington, MA-based company, founded in 1992, grew to be the largest independent developer of antibiotics in the...
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