Topic

All

13
Apr
2015

The Big Boys Love Kendall Square. Let’s Hope They Don’t Squeeze The Life Out of It

Something magical has been happening in Cambridge’s Kendall Square for years. All kinds of biotech companies, big and small, have thrived on it. Now the big guys have to be careful not to squeeze the life out of it. The biotech real estate market in Kendall Square is about as hot as it gets. Genzyme is building a new headquarters along...
Read More
9
Apr
2015

Which Big Public Investors Are ‘Crossing Over’ Into the Private Arena?

Big-time money managers on Wall Street have all heard of biotech giants like Amgen, Biogen, Celgene, and Gilead Sciences. Those stocks are part of many diversified portfolios. But funds with really deep pockets, as one of my editors used to say, see the rest of biotech as “a bunch of little companies nobody has ever heard of.” Not anymore. As...
Read More
4
Apr
2015

Will We Just Give Up on Federal Funding for Research? I Sure Hope Not

Most people on the street have no idea where the money comes from to support basic research into diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, or diabetes. The issue only gets muddier when research centers complain about federal funding cuts, which sounds self-serving and whiny to many ordinary taxpayers This week, the folks at my local public radio station, KUOW in Seattle, asked...
Read More
3
Apr
2015

Sarepta’s Controversial CEO is Out, But Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy R&D is Rising

Sarepta Therapeutics is one of those rare biotech stories with Hollywood appeal. Its CEO was ousted this week, and it may never deliver the happy ending so many desperate parents are counting on for children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. But no matter what, the company has helped spark a renaissance of R&D for this crippling rare disease. To get a...
Read More
20
Mar
2015

NASH is the Next Monster Pharmaceutical Market. Here Are The Players

People in rich countries like the U.S. eat lots of junk food and sit around. That gives rise to some of the biggest opportunities that exist for pharmaceutical companies. Obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are the ones everyone knows about. A little over a year ago, another huge opportunity became clear. It’s called Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis, or NASH. New York-based Intercept Pharmaceuticals,...
Read More
18
Mar
2015

Third Rock’s Revolution Medicines Tears Apart Antifungals, Atom By Atom

Mother Nature has provided scientists with a lot of odd chemical structures that work as drugs, and offers inspirational templates for new drugs. But good drugs derived from scorpion venom, tree bark, and other strange sources aren’t easily cooked up in the lab. Now a group from the University of Illinois, backed by Third Rock Ventures, says it has hit...
Read More
16
Mar
2015

The Top 20 Early-Stage Biotech Investors (And 2 Resuscitated By the Boom)

It takes brains, nerves, absurd self-confidence, and above all, patience, to invest in early-stage biotech companies. In a world fixated on quick and easy returns, these venture investors—from the 15 or 20 firms that survived the Great Recession—are strange birds. But now that boom days are here, some of them are making big bucks, and fast. Lately, I’ve been wondering:...
Read More
12
Mar
2015

Antibiotic R&D Is Getting More Attention. Who’s Doing What?

Bacteria, when confronted with the same old antibiotics, find ways to survive and sometimes kill people. Drugmakers haven’t paid much attention in recent years. But now, after repeated warnings about the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and some new profit incentives, the industry is coming around to the fight against “superbugs.” Drugmakers have long seen bigger opportunities to make money elsewhere....
Read More
6
Mar
2015

Esperion Jockeys For Place Between Statins and the Next Big Class of Heart Drugs

Millions of people have been taking statins for years. These pills are cheap, simple to take, and effective at reducing heart attacks and strokes. They are a tough act to follow. Now here comes a new class of drugs that inhibit a molecular target called PCSK9. Elegant genetics, profound clinical trial results, and deep corporate pockets are all lined up...
Read More
2
Mar
2015

Margaret Hamburg: One of the Best Commissioners in FDA History

The one time I saw FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg speak was memorable only for its dullness. Firebrand liberal Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, woke everybody up before Hamburg put everyone to sleep. Nothing Hamburg said was even close to newsworthy. That sums up the brilliance of a public servant who will go down as one of the best food...
Read More
26
Feb
2015

How Pharma and Biotech Companies Can Compete for Talent in a Hot Job Market

Success in biotech, as in almost every industry, is all about the people. Build a team of A-players, and winning will almost certainly follow. But how to attract and retain those players — when more than 10,000 biotech companies around the world are now competing fiercely for them, not to mention big pharma, medical technology companies, and healthcare systems? What...
Read More