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.
To take the pulse of the biopharma industry, Life Science Leader tracked down four CEOs age 40 and under. These are the people at the forefront of innovation — something that is no easy task in a heavily regulated, patient-centered industry. Biotech is not tech. Heading up a company that is developing a pharmaceutical is a lot more challenging and riskier than starting one in your garage that is developing the next mobile phone app.
Astellas has placed a big emphasis on oncology this year, pointing to its many assets, particularly in targeted therapies that are later stage, but also focusing through partnerships on immuno-oncology (IO). A conversation with Drs. Steven Benner, head of oncology, and Peter Sandor, head of oncology marketing strategy, follows.
More thoughts and comments from cancer immunotherapy experts augment our 2017 immuno-oncology update.
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.
After the worldwide success of statins, no one expected the epic failure of a class of drugs designed by the biggest names in Big Pharma to double the reduction in cardiac risk seen with statins alone. Statins lowered LDL, the bad cholesterol. The new drugs, called cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors, would raise HDL, the good cholesterol. Taken together, the drugs would reduce risk of cardiovascular events by up to 80 percent — or at least that was the idea.
By some estimates, it costs about $10 million per year to operate a startup pharmaceutical company. Funding that traditional path usually involves obtaining nondilutive grant funding, then angel investment, followed by a Series A round, and, if all goes well with the science, a strategic partnership with a large pharmaceutical firm to develop the company’s lead compound. Increasingly, however, pharmaceutical entrepreneurs are creating new ways of skipping some of these steps — ones that cost time, money, and ownership stakes in their own companies.
When we started our series, “Combination Cancer Immunotherapy — A Virtual Roundtable,” in 2014, our basic assumptions were not the consensus view. We assumed immunotherapy, now more commonly called immuno-oncology (IO), would become the dominant form of cancer treatment and central target of academic and industry research in oncology. We assumed a single, backbone therapy would become the pillar around which combinations of therapeutics with complementary targets would form. And we assumed the IO field, especially in its combination approaches, would pose profound scientific and business challenges as it took over as the central focus of oncology in general. Our assumptions turned out to be correct. Now, all IO has to do is catch up with itself.
Alan Dunton, M.D., joined Purdue Pharma as the SVP of R&D back in November 2015. An executive with over 33 years of discovery and development experience, he has been responsible for the approval of more than 20 prescription and OTC products. But now he faces a new challenge. Purdue Pharma is a company whose name has become synonymous with pain management.
In 2012, Pfizer announced a big decision — It was spinning off its $4 billion animal health business. Life Science Leader will explore the difficult task of such an undertaking in our June 2017 issue. And while the article, How Pfizer And Zoetis Launched One Of The Most Successful Spinoffs — Ever, discusses a lot of the important business decisions that were made, one thing not covered in great detail was the opportunity for Zoetis to build a corporate culture of its own.