Topic

Drugs

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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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.
11
Jun
2015

NEA, Polaris Bet $22M on Startup, Xtuit, to Break Down Tumor Microenvironment

Logic would say cancer drugs can’t work if something is keeping them out of the tumor. The latest startup from the Bob Langer/Polaris Partners factory floor just got $22 million to clear out some of the barriers around tumors, and make it easier for some of the exciting new immuno-oncology drugs to do what they do best. Cambridge, Mass.-based Xtuit Pharmaceuticals,...
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5
Jun
2015

Cancer is Hot, Diabetes is Not: Watch for Drug Safety and Cost Debates at ADA

The Internet was crackling this week with stories of progress against a disease that kills lots of people, and costs society billions in lost productivity. That was cancer. Don’t expect such hopeful scientific narratives this weekend, as physicians gather in Boston to discuss another common scourge—diabetes. Compared with innovation in cancer, diabetes is dullsville. This drug market is more about...
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21
May
2015

Why a Pfizer R&D Exec Joined Synlogic to Make ‘Therapeutic Synthetic Life’

One of Pfizer’s well-connected R&D leaders, Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, quit recently to run a startup with technology that’s just a little too early, a little too risky, for just about any Big Pharma company. JC, as he is commonly known, said today he has joined Cambridge, Mass.-based Synlogic as president and CEO. It’s a two-year-old company with $35 million in venture...
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15
May
2015

More than Moderna: Who’s Who in mRNA Therapeutics?

Biotech doesn’t usually make for must-see TV. It scares most people. Something must be up if a biotech company can get extended air time on television. Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna Therapeutics captured more than its share of attention this week when it succeeded Elon Musk’s Mars exploration company as the “No. 1 Disruptor” in corporate America by CNBC. Many in biotech...
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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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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,...
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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....
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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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