This column offers a deeper look into especially innovative or entrepreneurial biopharma companies, individuals, or institutions through our special lens — lessons learned, actionable info, benchmarking, best practices, etc.
Can a biopharma company have a soul? If so, the soul should be one that endures. “The biology is the soul of our company,” says Robert Blum, president and CEO of Cytokinetics. “We have pioneered an area of biology — muscle activation — proven to offer a compelling pharmacology.
Why shouldn’t our mitochondria want us to live long, prospering in good health? Why shouldn’t they — as symbiotic microbes turned cellular organelles with their own mini-genomes — carry genes that help ensure our healthful survival?
Clinical challenges lurk all along the pathway for any company developing new vaccine candidates and technology — and that goes at least twice for Novavax. As we go to press with this, the company is dealing with an anxious investment community about the “failed” Phase 3 trial of its RSV F vaccine in older adults, for protection against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). (See “Press-Time Thunder.”)
A straightforward purpose and premise were the words that came to mind in my first impression of this company. Lee Jones, the CEO and cofounder of Rebiotix, describes building the company in an “of course, this is how you do it” manner. The larger issue — whether the company’s Microbiota Restoration Therapy (MRT) platform will succeed in a somewhat besieged field — can only be resolved over time. But it will most likely be biology that decides the matter, not the typical lack of clear direction or organization that plagues so many biopharma startups.
Suffocation seldom gets the credit it deserves for causing death in so many conditions — from sleep apnea to heart failure to drug overdose. But if you view the large variety of those cases at a higher resolution, you will see “respiratory failure” as the common final, fatal effect.
Not everyone knows someone with a spinal-cord injury. I did. We met as teenagers, shared a few years as friends but lost touch when I drifted to the opposite end of the country
One startup’s bad luck in the clinic leads to the creation of a new company — Amarantus
One egg per person. That is what it takes to produce a flu vaccine. The standard, predominant method has not changed in more than 70 years.
If a person can be a legend, a company should be a saga. ContraVir contains both dramatic elements — a personal path through Big Pharma to small biopharma and an extended quest through a thick forest of data to find undiscovered treasure among some overlooked compounds. When I speak with CEO James Sapirstein, he takes me on a long journey full of the intertwining twists and turns of his own career and of the company he now heads. The story gives new meaning to “follow the data.”
In the typical start-up company, which parts are absolutely essential, and which parts are replaceable? The question really stems from a subaxiom of the virtual company concept, which normally places a small corporate-style management team at the center of operations and services supplied by outsourcing.