Topic

People

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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24
Jul
2015

The Amgen Seattle Alumni: Where Are They Now?

One year ago, Amgen said it was shutting down R&D operations in Washington. This was not an ordinary mass layoff. Amgen’s cost-cutting move freed up 660 people in the Seattle biotech cluster, many of whom had rare and valuable skills gained while working on successful drugs like Enbrel and Xgeva. These people had good pay, good benefits, and a beautiful...
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21
Jul
2015

The Non-Compete Chill Has Passed: Bristol-Myers, MedImmune Settle Over I-O Star

There’s good news today for the biotech labor market. AstraZeneca’s MedImmune biologics unit said today that David Berman has joined the company as a senior vice president and head of its Oncology Innovative Medicines unit (iMED). Berman spent the previous decade at Bristol-Myers Squibb, becoming a key player inside the company during its rise to prominence in the hot field...
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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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2
Jul
2015

Q&A With Shire CEO Flemming Ornskov on Becoming More ‘Biotech-Like’

Shire has been around for almost 30 years, and last year was probably its biggest in the news. The narrative wasn’t about drugs that help people, but was about corporate tax-avoidance. North Chicago, Ill.-based AbbVie bid $54 billion to acquire U.K.-based Shire, at least partly to re-incorporate in Britain and avoid U.S. taxes through an “inversion.” Public opposition emerged, the...
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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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25
Jun
2015

The Cubist Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Cubist Pharmaceuticals was a rare company. It found a way to succeed when the prevailing market winds were blowing in its face. When Big Pharma companies abandoned the field of antibiotics, complaining about regulatory and reimbursement challenges, Cubist stuck to its guns. The Lexington, MA-based company, founded in 1992, grew to be the largest independent developer of antibiotics in the...
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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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22
May
2015

The Genentech Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Genentech is almost 40 years old, and still has spring in its step. Through ups and downs, the company has never stopped attracting first-rate talent, and still develops people with the itch to do big things in healthcare. Last week, a trio of Genentech veterans came together to start a neuroscience company called Denali Therapeutics that raised initial financing of...
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15
Apr
2015

Who Should Biotech Pros Follow on Twitter?

Many people in biotech are still afraid of Twitter, even as it has accumulated more than 280 million users. Drug companies want to advertise to patients and doctors on social media, but they’re afraid the FDA will slap them for misleading promotions. They want to engage with investors, but they’re afraid someone (rightly or wrongly) will question their clinical trial...
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23
Mar
2015

Company Subscriptions: You Asked, and You Will Get

Timmerman Report is off to a fast start, more than halfway to the 1-year goal on subscriptions in the first six weeks. Subscriptions, at $99 a year for individual professionals, are rolling in every day. But one thing I’ve consistently heard is that many companies don’t want to buy subscriptions one at a time. So based on popular demand, I’m...
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