Only a scant few years old, CRISPR gene editing technology already is heavily weighted with potential implications for human disease and health. It's already being used to more easily and precisely create genetically modified plants and animals. And for the first time last year, CRISPR was used to genetically modify a human embryo.
Olivier Brandicourt got his first shot at Sanofi's lead role in an annual investor day, and the reviews are not good. Brandicourt had a tough message to sell. The company's diabetes franchise is getting hammered, with the all-important Lantus business weakening, which means that R&D as well as SG&A are going to eat up a higher percentage of revenue for at least a couple of years.
Even after biotech endured a bearish downturn on Wall Street, optimism runs deep in the drug development field with a widespread belief that the good times aren't over.
The 5 finance experts gathered for the FierceBiotech Executive Summit: London found plenty of things to disagree about. But whenever talk turned to whether biotech faces an almighty hangover after three years of bubble-building partying, a consensus emerged. Sure, the nonstop IPO flow might slow, they said, but the fundamentals that underpinned the excitement of recent years are real.
He's been described as the most hated man in America. He's been kicked out of BIO, condemned by every biotech executive who's been queried by the media, lampooned on Saturday Night Live and subjected to the taunts of an online mob. But Martin Shkreli, the CEO of newborn Turing Pharmaceuticals, is still confident that he can turn it all around in his favor.
Is the long-running bull market for biotech dead? Or will it rebound later this year? Take the poll.
We're coming down to the wire for FierceBiotech's half-day executive conference in London next Monday, October 12, where I'll be moderating discussions on biotech financing, the IPO market (that should be interesting) and clinical trial design in an age of widespread collaborations between biotechs and Big Pharma.
Sean Parker is a very rich man. He has, according to Forbes, about $2.5 billion to his name, and he made most of it by investing in the likes of Napster, Facebook and Spotify. So it was a bit jarring to see the 35-year-old seated next to a pair of renowned cancer experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering and a writer who has won awards for her sober, cogent account of what it's like to be diagnosed with leukemia in your early 20s.
The industry now has to deal with the fact that drug pricing has taken center stage in presidential politics. And the story of Daraprim, Martin Shkreli and price gouging left a wound that will take some time to heal. Biotech is not Shkreli, of course, but it will have to prove it now with some sensible discussions on innovation and pricing.
In a moment of candor no doubt brought on by some personal animosity, Martin Shkreli let down his guard on Sunday and told me exactly why he hiked the price of a 62-year-old drug by more than 5000%.