This column offers a deeper look into especially innovative or entrepreneurial biopharma companies, individuals, or institutions through our special lens — lessons learned, actionable info, benchmarking, best practices, etc.
Always stick with your original goals, even when you reap another, off-the-scale success. Like many biopharma companies, Prometic invented a novel technology platform, initially to make new medicines available to unserved populations.
Can a biopharma company have a soul? If so, the soul should be one that endures. “The biology is the soul of our company,” says Robert Blum, president and CEO of Cytokinetics. “We have pioneered an area of biology — muscle activation — proven to offer a compelling pharmacology.
Why shouldn’t our mitochondria want us to live long, prospering in good health? Why shouldn’t they — as symbiotic microbes turned cellular organelles with their own mini-genomes — carry genes that help ensure our healthful survival?
Clinical challenges lurk all along the pathway for any company developing new vaccine candidates and technology — and that goes at least twice for Novavax. As we go to press with this, the company is dealing with an anxious investment community about the “failed” Phase 3 trial of its RSV F vaccine in older adults, for protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). (See “Press-Time Thunder.”)
Lee Jones, the CEO and cofounder of Rebiotix, describes building the company in an “of course, this is how you do it” manner. The larger issue — whether the company’s Microbiota Restoration Therapy (MRT) platform will succeed in a somewhat besieged field — can only be resolved over time. But it will most likely be biology that decides the matter, not the typical lack of clear direction or organization that plagues so many biopharma startups.
Suffocation seldom gets the credit it deserves for causing death in so many conditions — from sleep apnea to heart failure to drug overdose. But if you view the large variety of those cases at a higher resolution, you will see “respiratory failure” as the common final, fatal effect.
I have never seen such a bold and ambitious approach to treating, dare I say healing, one of the worst injuries anybody can sustain — a spinal cord injury. The story of InVivo’s development of a tiny scaffold inserted into the injury site merits attention in “The Enterprisers” both for its ambitious goal and its means for reaching it.
A simple twist of fate is all it takes to knock you off your original track. In the case of the company that would be reborn as Amarantus, it was another company’s bad luck in the clinic that ended its first push for partnering and funding.
What if a company had a technology that could sharply lower CoG (cost of goods) and ensure the highest possible availability and effectiveness of an influenza vaccine — even though the company were a David up against the flu-shot Goliaths? Codagenix believes it is that company.
If a person can be a legend, a company should be a saga. ContraVir contains both dramatic elements — a personal path through Big Pharma to small biopharma and an extended quest through a thick forest of data to find undiscovered treasure among some overlooked compounds.
Does every company developing a drug actually need its own dedicated management team? That question invokes a novel answer from Velocity Pharmaceutical Development: The only nonexpendable asset is the drug itself.
The top management team at Agile Therapeutics reflects an atypical bounty of experience and expertise for a small life sciences company. That was no accident, though it came of necessity following a near calamity. The attributes of the relatively new team proved essential in helping the company survive a key clinical trial setback that might have otherwise derailed it.
Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., is the SVP of clinical and product development at Eli Lilly and Company. But prior to taking on this role, he held the title of CEO of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals — a company he founded in Philadelphia while still a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. This article explores some of the differences between this executives past and present roles, and is a good prequel to the upcoming article that explores how he went about building a $300 million company.
When I interviewed Axovant Sciences CEO David Hung, one of the questions posed was sparked by our discussion of his experience at Pro-Duct Health and his invention of a microcatheter for early detection of ductal breast cancer in women. As he explained his medical device invention, Hung commented, “I don’t want to be just medicines, or just devices, or anything like that.”
Chief Editor Rob Wright recently conducted an in-person interview with David Hung, formerly of Medivation and current CEO of Axovant Sciences. Though many may credit the FDA’s approval of Medivation’s Xtandi (enzalutamide) as being the primary driver behind Hung’s rise, Wright argues that there are a number of other predictors that should be evaluated when anticipating future success.
Today we stand on the precipice overlooking a new frontier — the century of biology, and businesses of all kinds need to be prepared to not only embrace what is coming, but have a strategy for how to leverage biology for the betterment of their businesses and the good of the planet.
Life Science Leader Chief Editor Rob Wright is cochairing the 2018 BIO educational program planning committee. In this blog he talks about why this was the earliest the planning committee has ever met and what you can do to submit interesting and novel session proposals that will get the attention of the committee.