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Protecting your IP: Checklist

In biotechnology you cannot get very far without solid IP. For a startup company, having a solid IP strategy is an essential requirement to maximizing value. Muna Abu-Shaar, PhD, Founder of Biospark Intellectual Property Law, presented core elements to protecting IP during Biotech Startup Day in Boston. Here is what we learned: (more…)

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Top tips from investors on pitching your company from BioPharm America™ 2016


A group of seasoned biotech investors gathered this week at BioPharm America™ to meet with innovative biotech companies, and to participate in “The Perfect Pitch: Do you have what it takes to win over investors?” as pitch judges. The session gave participants the opportunity to give a 30-second elevator pitch to win a one-to-one meeting with a leading life science private equity investor.


Doug MacDougall of MacDougall Biomedical Communications moderated the session, and seven investor judges sat on the panel, including: Sinclair Dunlop of Epidarex Capital; Carolyn Green of Pfizer Worldwide R&D, ERDI; Sam Hall of Appletree Partners; Rick Jones of Broadview Ventures; Dennis J. Purcell of Aisling Capital; Jeremy Springhorn of Flagship Ventures; and David Steinberg of PureTech.


Michael Winlo and Simon Scott of Linear Clinical Research Limited

The winner of the competition was Michael Winlo, CEO of Linear Clinical Research Limited who pitched on his Perth, Australia-based dedicated early phase clinical trials facility.


But Winlo is not the only winner, since the best tips from the investors are provided here for you, below: (more…)

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Finance through the lifecycle


Today at BioPharm America, a high profile panel of biotech financiers encompassing traditional and corporate VCs tried to agree on a model for funding newer companies, and getting to a successful exit point. Editas participated in this panel playing the part of poster child for raising huge amounts of money and having a successful IPO. (more…)

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Companies to Watch: Biotech IPOs, where do we go from here?


One constant thread that runs through most biotech financing conversations these days centers on the biotech IPO market. After a tsunami of biotech offerings crashed into Wall Street from early 2013 to well into 2015, the wave inevitably crashed in a classic bear market reckoning.


But that doesn’t mean the biotech IPO window was shut. Instead, we’ve continued to see a reduced flow of new IPOs, and recently there have been some upbeat signs that investors may be regaining some of their old appetite for these risky affairs. (more…)

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Report reveals critical role of partnering for future big pharma pipelines

A close look at projected changes in the Top 10 drugs by revenue between 2015 and 2023 reveals a significant downward trend in combined revenue. From 2015 to 2023 the combined revenue of the current Top 10 drugs will fall by 34% from USD 83 billion to USD 56 billion. The new Top 10 drugs in 2023 are expected to have a combined revenue of USD 68 billion, considerably less than today’s combined Top 10. In fact by 2023 a drug will only need revenue of USD 4 billion to make it into the Top10 vs USD 5 billion today. (more…)

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Getting orphan drugs approved and to the patient is what drives Tim Coté, CEO of Coté Orphan

Tim Coté, CEO,Coté Orphan

Dr. Tim Coté is a no-nonsense guy. The principal and chief executive officer of Coté Orphan is as passionate about orphan drug filings as he is pragmatic. Ask him about lofty theoretical viewpoints on curing disease and you might get a short answer. But ask him about how to get your orphan drug designation application through the FDA to approval and you will unleash the inspiration behind his boutique full-service regulatory group laser focused on orphan drugs, Coté Orphan.


Tell me about Coté Orphan and your objective.


I was the former Director of the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD), and in that capacity signed off 1,400 orphan drug indications, awarding designations to 800 and withholding approval of 600. I saw 150 orphan drugs go all the way to market approval. I started this consultancy four to five years ago at my kitchen table. Someone asked if I could write one a regulatory filing and then the floodgates opened. Now we have 25 employees, many with PhDs, and we do work here and in Europe. Business is booming for orphans, business is hot. (more…)

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PsiOxus positions its next-gen oncolytic virus as competition heats up


John Carroll’s series on biotechs to watch turns to the Golden Triangle in the UK, anchored by London, Oxford and Cambridge. Some of the world’s top scientists are clustered here, and they’ve helped advance a new oncolytic virus pipeline at PsiOxus which promises to surpass the pioneering therapy now on the market.


Back in 2013, Oxford-based PsiOxus put out a statement giving Amgen a thumbs-up on a new batch of positive data for their oncolytic virus cancer therapy T-Vec. For an infinitely smaller, rival biotech at a much earlier stage of development in the same field, that might have been viewed at the time as a bit cheeky—a kind of willful disregard for the realities of a David-and-Goliath matchup. But from where we’re sitting now in 2016, it looks far more like a casual nod to a pioneering validation point for PsiOxus, which plans to do much, much better with what it has in the clinic. (more…)

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Hey big spender: Top paid CEO’s ready to splash the cash


It’s an interesting facet of the Top 10 highest-paid CEOs that only three of them are leading a Top 10 pharma company by revenue. On closer inspection this makes sense, as remuneration is more heavily linked to shareholder return and big pharma today aren’t in aggressive growth mode as compared to some of the names on this list. (more…)

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Second Genome’s new CEO looks to neighboring Genentech as a model for pioneering a new field

NEWJohn Carroll Series

To get down to the bottom of what makes Second Genome tick, you have to start with Todd DeSantis and his bioinformatics team.


DeSantis is a co-founder of Second Genome and a 17-year veteran of his field, analyzing the database Second Genome has gathered on the microbiome, that infinitely complex array of microbes that play a big role in orchestrating human health.


DeSantis has served as an analyst for the NIH Human Microbiome Project and worked on cataloguing microbial diversity. Before he helped found the company, he was a software developer at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he focused on the microbiome. And for years now, his biotech company has been able to fund part of its operations by putting that tech platform to work for clients. (more…)

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A look into Intellia’s strategy for “fixing the broken gene”
© Bryce Vickmark. All rights reserved. 617.448.6758

Jennifer King, Vice President Business Development, Intellia Therapeutics Inc.

The field of genome editing is hot and growing. Despite legal battles over key patents on the CRISPR technology, the important work of genome editing goes on. Even the layperson can understand the potential to change medicine and human health as we know it. There are still hurdles to be overcome, both scientific and practical, from minimizing off-target effects to regulation and safety issues. Insight recently spoke with Jennifer King, Vice President Business Development at Intellia Therapeutics Inc., a genome editing company, about their ambitious mission to develop curative therapeutics using a recently developed biological tool known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system.  Founded in 2014, Intellia has gone from founding to IPO in just under two years, and has grown from two employees to 83 in that time.


Insight: What is unique about Intellia’s strategy?


King: The simplest way to think about it is we are using genome editing to fix the broken gene. Our mission is to bring therapies to patients with no other hope. For the first time, we have the opportunity to go to the root cause of the disease and really transform patients’ lives. (more…)

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