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

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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”
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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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Ten key tips for presenting your biotech company to investors and pharma

Biotech Startup Day

Obtaining critical funding for your biotech startup or research project can be a daunting enterprise. To increase your odds of success, follow these top ten tips from biopharma industry leaders on how to give a high quality and effective company pitch.


  1. “Good science isn’t enough to attract investment or partnership opportunities, you have to have a good business plan, and you need to be able to demonstrate a market for the technology you are developing.” –  Angus McQuilken, VP, Marketing and Communications, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC)
  2. “Do your homework before going out to pitch to demonstrate that you know your potential target audience as well as possible. Use your network to get a personal introduction, know a little about people’s background before meeting with them, and determine ahead of time if they are currently interested in investing in your area.” – Tom Luby, Senior Director, New Ventures, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston (more…)
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Praveen Tipirneni puts his management ideas to work booting up Morphic Therapeutic


John Carroll ENDPOINTS

John Carroll ENDPOINTS

It’s early days at Morphic Therapeutic, in more ways than one. Launched quietly as a stealth company last summer, the Waltham, MA-based biotech completed a major USD 51.5 million A round just a couple of months ago. It has 15 staffers now and likely a two to three year run of preclinical work before it can expect to get into the clinic with the first of its new oral integrins.

Steering this small but growing group — look for a staff twice its size by the end of next year — is CEO Praveen Tipirneni. He spent 13 years running corporate development and strategy at Cubist after the MD got his MBA from Wharton. During that time, he played a key role in seeing Cubicin through to an approval and final label, learning a lot about antibiotics along the way. And then, early last year, after the Merck buyout came through, he spent some months thinking about what he wanted to do next, exploring some different opportunities. (more…)

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The Digital Medicine Crystal Ball: Unlocking the Future of Real-Time, Precise, Effective Healthcare


This exclusive report due out the week of August 22 will highlight the tremendous potential digital medicine has to influence healthcare and its unique role in reshaping the traditional roles of key players in the life science ecosystem. It will also examine the regulatory and operational challenges facing digital medicine stakeholders today as they work to deliver clinically impactful and economically viable digital medicine solutions in a saturated yet still-emerging business environment.


Themes include:

  • Defining “digital medicine”—separating the toys from the tools
  • The future of digital medicine’s regulatory environment, including issues in privacy and insights on current and future FDA practices
  • Demonstration of digital medicine product value, economically and clinically
  • Revealing the future of pharma’s strategy and new roles, partnership models emerging in digital medicine


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Biotech venture capital pulls its weight in slim market share


Venture capitalists are in the know that biotech has been one of the hottest sectors over the past few years, but why? According to Bruce Booth, partner at Atlas Venture, a biotech-focused early stage venture capital firm, strong IPO and M&A markets have kept the sector moving upward since 2012.


Booth’s recent article published in Forbes states that, “robust investment activity has enabled a wave of well-funded biotechs to mature with a lower cost of capital than a decade ago.”


Here are some of the top insights from Booth’s article: (more…)

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12 Serial Entrepreneurs Who’ve Created Value in Biotech Over, and Over, Again

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Guest post by Luke Timmerman, founder and editor of the Timmerman Report, and a regular contributor to Forbes and STAT News.


Scientific entrepreneurs get the glory. Someone has to enter a highly ambiguous situation in the early days of a biotech company, when a million things can go wrong. A million paths may seem viable. Someone has to find a clear way forward to create value.


But if you look closely at biotech entrepreneurs, they come in many different species. (more…)

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Companies to watch: Biotech startups get trendy
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John Carroll, Editor and Co-founder of Endpoints

Over the past few years we’ve seen a remarkable swell in the amount of money that’s been coursing through the biotech industry. Last year the US and other hubs racked up record amounts of venture cash being injected into startups as the IPO boom reached a crescendo. And even after the market swooned, we’re still seeing a steady stream of life science companies lining up to go public while venture investing continues at only a slightly slower pace.


For biotech’s top hubs—places like Boston/Cambridge, the Bay Area, and the Golden Triangle in the UK—there’s never been a better time to line up funding and tackle a new drug. And some new regions, like New York and Shanghai, are making a serious bid to join the list of emerging hubs. Experienced teams, some led by serial entrepreneurs or the execs leaving big pharma and biotech, can be recruited and fielded in a matter of months. (more…)

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Relationship-centric care: The power of digital health to transform and improve clinical trials

Digital Medicine Connect 2016

We have all pondered the million-dollar question: In what way can healthcare and digital technology converge that will bring about lasting, clinically and economically impactful change to the effectiveness of therapeutics?


The answer might not lie exclusively in the physician-to-patient realm. Digital health applications have the power to not only improve monitoring between routine checkups, but also help us reimagine a much earlier phase in the healthcare innovation pipeline: clinical trials. (more…)

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Industry experts weigh in on Brexit situation and implications for the life science sector


partnering360® recently spoke with Alasdair Stamps, Chairman of the Advisory Board and co-Founder of BioPartner UK, and Dr. Claire Skentelbery, Network Manager of Council of European BioRegions and researcher for Scientists for EU, to get their opinions on Brexit and its potential effects on life science collaborations in the EU. BioPartner UK is an independent, accredited trade organization that promotes international partnering for trade, investment and collaborations with UK life science companies. Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) is a network of clusters across Europe, while Scientists for EU is a group campaigning for UK science during the referendum, with over 136,000 members.


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