It’s the time of year when we all get a little sentimental. We’re wrapping up work so we can shift to wrapping presents for under the tree. At Fierce Biotech, it’s no different.
If you don’t know me, I’m Fierce Biotech's Senior Editor Annalee Armstrong. I joined the Fierce crew in April and have been among the excellent team of journalists churning out the biotech news you need week after week.
I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done in 2021, the second year of the ongoing and seemingly never-ending pandemic. Most of us are still working from our home offices to bring you the essential stories that keep you up to date.
I wanted to share some of our best for the year. In 2021, we dug deeper than ever before into some of the biggest issues facing the biotech industry. The stories below were some of my favorites to write, edit and read. I hope you’ll enjoy a look back at our work, and I promise we have even bigger and better plans ahead for 2022.
The stories featured here were written by Kyle LaHucik, Ben Adams, Amirah Al Idrus, Arlene Weintraub and myself. They are listed in chronological order because I couldn't pick favorites—at least not objectively.
Happy holidays to our faithful Fierce Biotech readers.
1. The discovery of Lumakras
Not all scientists are great at breaking down the discovery process and chemistry behind drug development, but Amgen’s vice president of research, Margaret Chu-Moyer, Ph.D., sure was. This will go down as one of my favorite interviews of the year.
2. Aduhelm Editor's Corner
This was a deeply personal piece from Ben, who detailed his family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease in the context of the Aduhelm approval.
3. Biogen's phase 4
Another Aduhelm story, which looked at the new ground Biogen would have to cover as it tries to get a phase 4 confirmatory study off the ground. Amirah talked to ethicists and others to navigate the complicated issues to come.
4. Virtual World series
This one escalated quickly. What started out as a quick interview with Novartis ballooned into a multipart series the likes of which we’d never seen before at Fierce Biotech. I’d like to, again, thank the very patient PRs who stood by as we made sure this one was perfect. We ended up with a package of seven stories. I’ve linked the main ones here, and you can see the rest on the navigation bar in each piece.
5. Psychedelics series
This was a fun Fierce Biotech/Fierce Biotech Research mash-up on the wild world of psychedelics. Need I say more?
6. What's next in mRNA
We all know about BioNTech and Moderna. But what else is out there for mRNA, the technology that brought us the COVID-19 vaccines? I set out to explore the companies in this groundbreaking field.
7. JAK inhibitors
When the FDA slapped new restrictions and labels on a suite of approved JAK inhibitors, the attention was understandably on Pfizer's Xeljanz, AbbVie’s Rinvoq and Eli Lilly’s Olumiant. But what about the new ones, and similar classes of drugs that could also have the same safety issues? Kyle dug into what's next for JAKs to come.
8. Rotten Tomatoes
This special report, always a staff favorite, made its triumphant return in 2021. We can’t wait to see what y'all get up to in 2022 to make this list.
9. Women in Alzheimer's series
This story arose as we reported out the controversial approval of Biogen’s Aduhelm. As I wrote story after story on the issue, I realized the number of incredible women who were at the forefront of this devastating disease and the challenging—and at times, sad—clinical trial landscape.
10. LGBTQ series
In this three-story series, we examined representation of the LGBTQ+ community in biotech. Kyle talked to dozens of executives and industry insiders who trusted him with their incredible stories of being out and proud in a science-led industry.