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25
Feb
2015

The Tularik Alumni: Where Are They Now?

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,...
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23
Feb
2015

Who Is Poised To Go Public in 2015, and Who Isn’t?

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...
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20
Feb
2015

Five Things to Watch at Next Week’s Big Genomics Show

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...
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13
Feb
2015

How’s It Going at the Biotech Journalism Startup? Much Better Than Expected

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...
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12
Feb
2015

Video: Alnylam’s John Maraganore and Canaan’s Julie Papanek at BIO CEO

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...
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9
Feb
2015

Cellular Dynamics Tracks Down ‘Superdonors’ for Cell Therapy

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)...
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6
Feb
2015

Q&A: Affymetrix Founder Stephen Fodor Resurfaces at Cellular Research

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...
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5
Feb
2015

Former Dendreon CEO Lures Ex-Amgen Scientists to Immunotherapy Startup

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...
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2
Feb
2015

The Merck Exodus: Where Are the Talented People Going?

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...
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2
Feb
2015

Implications of the Biotech Boom on the Business and Science of R&D

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...
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