It was the fall of 2016 when I began pursuing the idea for this month’s cover feature: Interview a group of former CEOs to gain their perspectives on our industry’s extremely bright future balanced with its currently tarnished image. What advice might these mentors have for today’s current industry executives on drug pricing, corporate culture creation, and so much more? But on Friday, May 12, 2017, the project turned bittersweet as one of the participants, Henri Termeer (71), died after collapsing in his home in Marblehead, MA.
Find out what life is like after retiring from a pharma CEO role. These 6 leaders speak — unrestrained by corporate lawyers and PR teams — about the current state of the industry.
As usual, the BIO International 2017 Convention was a top-shelf event. This year’s show theme was, “breakthroughs.” And while I didn’t see a single breakthrough therapeutic take center stage at this year’s event, there were still a significant number of them worth noting. For example, in the first can’t-miss session listed in my pre-BIO blog, attendance nearly broke through the walls — literally. Not only was this session standing room only, it was the first time I experienced a non-keynote/non-super session have to utilize an overflow room so attendees could watch via live video.
Drug Sales Reel Amid Probe Into Charities. This was the headline of Jonathan Rockoff’s June 12, 2017, Wall Street Journal article that points out how sales for two U.S. “blockbuster prostate-cancer drugs” (i.e., J&J’s Zytiga and Pfizer’s Xtandi) were down (i.e., 14 and 11 percent respectively) for the first quarter from a year previous. Apparently there are two contributing factors that explain this drop in sales — a charitable-giving federal investigation, and how the companies have responded to patients in need.
In the July 2017, Life Science Leader magazine we will be publishing the article — Balancing Biopharma’s Bright Future Against Its Tarnished Image — 6 Retired CEOs Share Insights For Today’s Industry Leaders. The story features six former CEOs: Mike Bonney (Cubist); Hank McKinnell, Ph.D., (Pfizer); Francois Nader, M.D., (NPS Pharmaceuticals); David Pyott (Allergan); Stephen Sherwin, M.D., (Cell Genesys); and Henri Termeer (Genzyme). As each of these executive was gracious enough to give us an hour of their time, we encountered a slight problem — too many great insights to be included within all the pages of a print publication.
When Zoetis, the former animal health business unit of Pfizer, was spun off as an independent company via an IPO in February 2013 (see Life Science Leader’s June 2017 cover feature), overnight it became the world’s largest publically traded animal health company. And while no longer part of one of the largest human health companies in the world, this doesn’t mean that a company focused on developing products just for animals isn’t interested in collaborating with biopharmas dedicated to creating therapeutics for people. Scott Brown, D.V.M., Ph.D., is the executive responsible for brokering such collaborations. The VP of external innovation elaborates on some of the challenges faced by Zoetis post IPO in creating research collaborations, as well as why human-health oriented companies might want to consider collaborating with an animal–health-focused company like Zoetis.
The story of how Juan Ramón Alaix was groomed for his CEO role and how Zoetis turned into the world’s largest publicly traded animal health company.
If you follow the U.S. stock markets, then you will probably agree that they tend to be a bit over-reactionary. For example, in February, Under Armour, which had reported 26 straight quarters of 20 percent revenue growth, reported fourth quarter earnings of just 12 percent.
As we get closer to one of our industry’s biggest annual gatherings, the BIO International 2017 Convention in San Diego, June 19 – 22, I have begun to pin down my schedule for which educational sessions I plan to attend. For me, this has always been a challenge, as BIO has so much great educational content. And with many of the educational sessions overlapping, I find I have to pick and choose where I want to be, often with at least two options from which to pick.