The Enterprisers

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.

  • Prometic: New Tech Harvests Orphan Treatments
    Prometic: New Tech Harvests Orphan Treatments

    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.

  • Cytokinetics: Keeping Its Sights On Independence
    Cytokinetics: Keeping Its Sights On Independence

    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.

  • CohBar:  Producing Mitochondria Medicine
    CohBar: Producing Mitochondria Medicine

    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?

  • Novavax: Scouting Past The Long Trail To Market
    Novavax: Scouting Past The Long Trail To Market

    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.”)

  • How Rebiotix Avoids The Typical Biopharma Startup Missteps
    How Rebiotix Avoids The Typical Biopharma Startup Missteps

    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.

  • RespireRx: Life Science Leadership In Action
    RespireRx: Life Science Leadership In Action

    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.

  • InVivo Therapeutics: Taking On Spinal-Cord Injury
    InVivo Therapeutics: Taking On Spinal-Cord Injury

    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.

  • Amarantus: Risen From The Ashes
    Amarantus: Risen From The Ashes

    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.

  • Codagenix: A Tiny Start-Up Ready To Take On The Goliaths Of The Vaccine Industry
    Codagenix: A Tiny Start-Up Ready To Take On The Goliaths Of The Vaccine Industry

    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.

  • ContraVir: Mapping A Circuitous Route To Value
    ContraVir: Mapping A Circuitous Route To Value

    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.

  • Velocity Pharmaceutical Development: A Novel Start-Up Model
    Velocity Pharmaceutical Development: A Novel Start-Up Model

    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.

     

  • Agile Therapeutics: Reengineering Innovation
    Agile Therapeutics: Reengineering Innovation

    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.

More From The Enterprisers

BEYOND THE PRINTED PAGE

  • Daniel Skovronsky – From Grad Student, To CEO, To Big Pharma

    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.

  • Does The Biopharmaceutical Industry Need To Broaden Its Horizons?

    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.”

  • What Might Be The Best Predictor Of Future Performance At Axovant Sciences?

    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.

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