Topic

The Edge

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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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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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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15
Jun
2015

It’s Time to Re-Think Some Assumptions About Cancer R&D

This is a time to take a step back and re-think cancer treatment. The exciting new wave of immunotherapy is challenging many basic assumptions about the way cancer R&D gets done. It’s time to re-imagine some of the biology, how we measure success and failure, how investment dollars get spread, and how we ought to pay for the progress.
1
Jun
2015

Big Pharma Talent Is Flocking to Biotech Startups. Nobody’s Saying ‘Are You Nuts?’

Look at some of the high-science, high-risk, venture-backed companies in biotech and you’ll see something that wasn’t so common five years ago. The management teams of these startups are often stacked with people who quit high-paid, high-powered jobs in Big Pharma. Last week, the cancer immunotherapy startup Juno Therapeutics poached a chief scientific officer, Hyam Levitsky, from Roche. Microbiome drugmaker...
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26
May
2015

Long-Term Relationships May Not Count in Many Businesses, But They Do in Biotech

Cynicism runs through just about every business, if you read the news or follow pop culture. The Netflix show “House of Cards” portrays dirty politics of Washington, D.C. A new “Entourage” movie delves into Hollywood manipulation. Prosecutors in real life last week showed traders cackling about rigging interest rates that harm millions of people, so they can sail away on...
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11
May
2015

How Do VCs Divvy Up Their Pay?

Venture capitalists are notorious for keeping their performance a secret. But an even bigger mystery is who has the power inside firms, and how that gets reflected in their pay. Compensation is a sign of who’s who inside a firm, and what it values. It’s frequently the thing that tears apart firms in both bad times and good. While much...
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6
Apr
2015

Baseball Meets Biotech, Where Hope Springs Eternal

Baseball season is here, and I can’t wait. It’s time to draw some analogies between these two passions of mine. Plenty of writers have observed that baseball is basically a microcosm of life in all its messy glory, filled with hope and disappointment. This time of year, the old saying goes, “hope springs eternal.” Fans are optimistic, and maybe even...
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