Two of the biggest stories in biotech this week, Flexus Biosciences and NGM Biopharmaceuticals, had something in common. They were both led by entrepreneurs who cut their teeth years ago at Tularik. That company name from the past is dotted all over the employment histories of the people now running Flexus Biosciences and NGM Biopharmaceuticals. For those who missed it,... Read More
This is the greatest bull market ever for biotech IPOs, which everyone reading this surely knows. If Dr. Seuss were around, he’d ask something like: “How long can it go? Nobody knows.” Renaissance Capital counted 102 healthcare IPOs last year, more than one-third of all the new stock offerings in the U.S. An infusion of more than $9 billion flowed to... Read More
This is the cold, dreary, snowy time of year when all the geeky kids in genomics flock to a remote island off the Florida Gulf Coast. The boys, and they are mostly boys, will hear a lot of marketing hype about the whiz-bang new tools being developed for biology. They’ll hear a few nitty-gritty technical talks from scientists doing exciting... Read More
Black people suffer from all kinds of health disparities compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Yet diseases that mainly hit African Americans seldom get to the top of the R&D priority list. Global Blood Therapeutics is one of the rare companies that could build a big business and put a dent in a stubborn societal problem.
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Jamie Topper was a cardiologist. He hasn’t had many chances over the past decade to invest in the field he knows best. Only the deepest pockets of Big Pharma could develop successful new heart drugs. But this time, Topper sees things differently at a little company called Laguna Pharmaceuticals.
People want quality biotech journalism. The response from subscribers in the first two weeks of Timmerman Report has exceeded my most optimistic expectations. A half-dozen journalists covered the debut. Wade Roush at the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at MIT and Theral Timpson at Mendelspod deserve special thanks. Readers who know what kind of beating traditional journalism has taken over the... Read More
Biotech is undoubtedly one of the most volatile businesses on the planet. John Maraganore of Alnylam knows that well. The CEO of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has been there for the whole classic biotech roller coaster ride. Back in the early 2000s, scientists were electrified by the possibilities to treat the untreatable with RNA interference drug technology. Then, pharma companies ran for... Read More
Intelligent MDx, the Waltham, Mass.-based maker of several molecular diagnostic tests for infectious disease that run on instruments from Abbott Laboratories, has laid off its staff and is winding down operations, the Timmerman Report has learned from sources close to the situation.
Questions and comments have been pouring in here at Timmerman Report headquarters ever since the site debuted on Feb. 2. The early days have been nothing short of spectacular in my view. I’ll have more to say about that shortly. But for now, there are some of answers to the questions that keep popping up: Q: What do you cover?
One of the big bugaboos in transplant medicine is immune rejection. Whether you’re talking about bone marrow, liver, or kidneys—getting a genetic match to avoid immune rejection is generally not trivial, and it’s critical to making a transplant successful. It could get easier. There are a small number of people on earth who have the right HLA (human leukocyte antigen)... Read More
The guy who helped popularize the gene chip is at it again. Stephen Fodor, whose work on DNA microarrays in the 1990s enabled the large-scale analysis of gene expression–the extent to which genes are turned on or off in a sample—is imaging new ways to take samples and extract more information out of them. Last month, Fodor, 61, stepped down... Read More
Dendreon is in bankruptcy, but the people who once worked at the trailblazer of cancer immunotherapy keep finding gainful new opportunities. Former Dendreon CEO Mitch Gold has a new company up and running with a couple of ex-Amgen scientists. The startup, Alpine Immune Sciences, has secured $1.3 million from Gold’s Alpine Bioventures investment vehicle. News of the funding was disclosed... Read More
Christopher Boerner, the head of sales and marketing at the cancer drugmaker Seattle Genetics, has left for a big promotion to become president and U.S. head at Bristol-Myers Squibb, the Timmerman Report has learned.
One of the great talent migrations in pharmaceutical R&D history is going on right now. Merck, the drugmaker with a proud scientific tradition, has seen a huge wave of departures from its senior R&D ranks the past two years. The exodus has turned into a recruiting bonanza for a range of biotech startups, venture firms, consultancies, and competitors. The exits flung open... Read More
It is exciting to see the remarkable influx of capital into the biopharmaceutical industry over the past couple of years. More than just refilling depleted coffers, strategic investors are putting more money to work in excellent companies after a long period of relative scarcity. Capital can favorably change the risk profile of a biopharmaceutical company through its effective deployment in... Read More