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Bruce M. Lehr
Dateline: Saint Louis
Marketing & Technical Sales with 20+ years in Biotech; http://www.linkedin.com/in/brucemlehr
Interests: pittsburgh steelers, st. louis cardinals, supply chain management, on-line marketing, raw material characterization, platform cell lines & processes, vaccine manufacturing, co-marketing & co-development partners, american & world history
Recent Activity
Unless you have been under a rock the past few days, you could hardly miss all the activity in the biotech and pharma world involving buy outs, mergers, joint ventures, and divetitures or near misses of all kinds. The world has gone deal making mad the past few days. You need a score card and an active Twitter feed just to keep up. Since I was barred from making any posts by evil cyberattackers who prevented my access to Typepad -- I will try to recap some of the highlights here with a few minor comments: Where do we even... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Ooooh! I was so close to making some posts on all the buy out, merger, and divestiture activity that was the biotech and pharma market yesterday! So close, yet so far as I was denied access to my blogging platform due to nefarious sources that were attacking the Typepad site and making my access impossible. The horrors. Fie! On those villains who temporarily shut down the free exchange of news and ideas. Likewise, three huzzahs for th ebrave men and women of typepad who battled against the evil cyborgs to restore order to the blogging universe and make this post... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at The Big Red Biotech Blog
I was locked out of the site for the past several days due to some as yet unexplained web issues that I was having. So I'm gratified to be bad writing today. You may not be but I am. : ) BTW - Happy Earth Day. The first one (which I remember) was April 22, 1970. You can look it up! Posted by Bruce Lehr April 22nd 2014 Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Big Red Biotech Blog
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I stopped by Tower Taco (near corner Cherokee & Compton) for lunch yesterday. It was a beautiful day and my friend and I sat outside on their patio. Really nice weather for outside dining. The service was friendly and attentive and the food was wonderful. I have to question why... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Musings and Mutterings
Thomas Reuters analysts just projected the next round of drugs that they feel should be watched a the new blockbusters on the block in the coming year. The list has some sure things and perhaps some surprises. In order of liklihood and sales: Gilead's hepatitis C drug Sovaldi - a concensus pick I believe. GSK and Theravance's COPD drug Anora Ellipta. Gilead again with idelalisib versus B cell leukemias and lymphomas. Gotta get stock. Eli Lilly has two. Shocking enough I think given the recent past. GLP-1 drug, dulaglutide for diabetes and Cyranza for stomach cancer. Mannkind's Afrezza, inhaled insulin.... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at The Big Red Biotech Blog
According to latest IMS report, drug spending rose slightly by 1% last year after taking a dip in 2012. This was largely attributed in a drop in lost sales from patent expiries from $29 B in 2012 to "only" $19 B in 2013, and to introduction of 36 new medications last year -- some with big price tags -- especially treatments for cancer and hepatitis C. There were also 17 Orphan drugs launched in 2013-- a new record for a year -- and this likely constitutes the beginning of a trend that will continue. See PharmaTimes. Posted by Bruce Lehr... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
The High Court in London revoked two patents of Roche's mAb, Herceptin, potentially clearing a path for the introduction of a biosimilar version in the EU. Hospira (and its partner Celltrion) are expected to be the most immediae beneficiaries of the decision. Roche says nothing is imminent, but just look at wha happened earlier this year in India where both Biocon and Mylan rushed Herceptin versions to the market after a similar court ruling there. Hospira and Celltrion already have a track record of getting a biosimilar version of Remicade approved in the EU last year. In addition to the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
More from John LaMattina in Forbes (4/15) http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnlamattina/2014/04/15/big-pharmas-turn-on-rnai-shows-that-new-technologies-dont-guarantee-rd-success/
More on this rising story from Fierce Biotech (4/14) http://www.fiercebiotech.com/story/thrombogenics-picking-between-billion-dollar-bids-report-says/2014-04-14
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2014 on Next Takeover Rumor at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Supposedly both Novartis and Shire may be leading candidates to buy Belgium-based eye company ThromboGenics. Morgan Stanley is said to be leading the way in discussions towards this end. Also rumored to be on the fringes are Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan. Needless to say, ThromboGenics price has gone up 17% today on the news. None of the possible suitors mentioned above had any comments on this report. ThromboGenics best selling drug is Jetrea, and Novartis currently has marketing rights for it outside the US. The drug also complements another Novartis eye drug, Lucentis. Analysts consider Novartis the front... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
According to a story in Fierce Pharma, France may approve a measure to allow substitution with biosimilars. If this is enacted, then France will become the first European nation to allow this. Needless to say, Big Pharma players like Sanofi, Roche and Amgen are not in support and have turned on their lobbying efforts to block the move. This measure could (according to sources) could save France between $690 M and $1.4 B in drug costs. This will be very interesting to watch as I have contended that Governments concerned with rising health care costs will be highly motivated to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
It's now official. Novartis will shut down the remaining portion of its RNAi program. For the most part, this had been done back in 2010 when Novartis failed to re-up its co-development effort with then partner Alnylam. Now, Novartis says the problems with formulation and delivery of RNAi therapies coupled with few targets to work with -- make the program non-feasible. Twenty-six Novartis employees will be affected by the shut down. The comapny says it is trying to relocae as many as possible within its exisiting restructured business. Novartis' decision to call it quits in RNAi follows the lead of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
I thought this was an interesting piece in Xconomy on Igenica's plans to move strongly in the ADC space. Apparently the compnay is populated with many former Genentech management and scientists -- you could do a lot worse. Currently their lead candidate is IGN523 (a non-ADC) targeting the treatment of AML, but the company is investing a lot of effort in developing ADCs. In doing so it exploits its novel drug discovery platform called sTAG. Using it, Igenica discovered the surface antigen CD98 that is prevalent on many types of cancer cells -- and can be a used as a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Takeda has licensed a biodegradable polymer and a linker platform from Mersana to further move forward its ADC program aimed at various cancers. The program will mainly complement Takeda's Millenium Pharmaceuticals (MP) development pipeline. The so-called Fleximer ADC Technology platform from Mersana will allow MP to take its antibodies and conjugae to Mersana cytotoxic drugs. The platform is customizable and offers users advantages like increased drug loads per antibody, use with antibody fragments, and the ability to deliver anti-tubulin agents. The advantages derive from the biodegrable polymers used and to the customizable linker chemistries available. The linkers can be customized... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Express Scripts says drugs for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, MS, cancer and in particular hepatitis C are pushing costs to unsustainable levels. The so-called specialty drugs account for about 1% of US prescriptions but accounted for 27.7% of the pharma spend in 2013. Hepatitis drugs have been singled out (Gilead's Solvaldi is new) as a 12 week course costs $84,000. Plus, hepatiis C drugs apply to a large patient population. The Express Scripts analysis says drugs like Sovaldi will drive specialty prices by 63% over 2014-2016 period. Analysts project that Solvaldi could rack up $10 B in revenues in 2014... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries plans to purchase Ranbaxy Lboratories from Daiichi Sankyo Ltd for $3.2 B in stock plus taking on $800 M in Ranbaxy debt as announced yesterday. The combined Sun and Ranbaxy will become the fifth biggest specialty generics company in the world and the largest pharmaceutical company in India. Further, Sun "sources" say they plan to stop using the Ranbaxy trade name in the US. Ranbaxy of course has run afoul of the FDA over the past year and has four current plants tat the FDA will not allow to import drugs to the US. Sun says that... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Fierce Pharma reports that Bayer has successfully taken its case to India's high court to block Natco from exporting Bayer's Nexavar to countries outside India. If you remember, Natco was granted a compulsory license in India to make Nexavar for that country's impoverished populace. Natco promptly took the sales price in India down from Bayer's previous $5500 per month (much too expensive for most in India) to only $170 per month. Then another competitor, Cipla, offered its version for only $130 per month. From Western drug makers' perspective, it is bad enough that compulsory licenses are being awarded and other... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Bruce Booth on LifeSciVC published a piece today that discusses where the new drugs are coming from. Highlighted in this analysis are 10 drug programs outlined in a recent Goldman Sachs report that are expected to have the highest near term commercial impact, and another 20 drugs that are considered to have high potential but are in earlier stages of clinical development. Booth points out that 76.7% of the 30 new drugs were either acquired by the current owners by in-licensing, or acquisition of either a Big Company or a smaller Biotech. That means only 7 were produced in-house. And... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
BMS agreed to a deal with Five Prime on the latter's discovery platform that could be worth up to $350 M with milestones. The deal calls for BMS to pay $20 M upfront, $9.5 M in R&D funding, and to also buy $21 M worth of Five Prime's stock. BMS will in turn get new targets for its immuno-oncology program that it can couple with its other development programs like that for PD-1 pathway. Immuno-oncology is an increasingly hot area as companies vie to find more pathways that can be disrupted to stop cancers from progressing. Five Prime is considered... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Cucina Pazzo is a new restaurant that opened in the CWE in Duff''s old space. The inside is nice with the retention of brick, high ceilings, woodword, tiled ceilings that are so common in old buildings that are restored in St Louis. It's comfortable. There is also an open kitchen... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Musings and Mutterings
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I caught Bugs Bunny at the symphony because I thought it woud be fun -- and it was! I was gratified to see that many families came with young children to expose them to both Bugs and to the symphony. I think it is a great idea for the symphony... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Musings and Mutterings
I read Sauce, Feast, and Go! religiously. Otherwise, I would never have heard of this place let alone had the urge to try it. I was meeting a friend who lives down in Festus so it seemed like a "good restaurant" that was more in the Imperial area might be... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2014 at Musings and Mutterings
Gilead's hepatitis C drug, Solvaldi, sales have really taken off. Analysts are predicting megablockbuster status -- with high predictions of as much as $8 B in annual sales by as early as this year. To say this product has hit a homerun is a vast understatement. Certainly, it looks like real vindication for Gilead's management to have bought Pharmasset at such a steep premium. Success intensifies competition of course -- and there are other major competitors in the hepatitis C race. These include Roche, Merck and Idenix among others. Roche may be more guilty of sour grapes than anything. They... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
Remember when KV introduced its FDA approved version of hydroxyprogesterone caproate, Makena, and then promptly drew nearly everyone's ire by jacking price from $20-30 per dose to $1500? Then under pressure dropped price to about $595? Then tried to get FDA (which it should have done) to stop compounders from making the cheaper product still? Not only did the FDA refuse, but KV was subsequently rebuffed by the courts and entered bankruptcy. Well, the worm is slowly turning it appears. The FDA has cited its first compounder, Village Fertility Pharmacy of Waltham, MA, for making faulty batches of Makena. KV... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at The Big Red Biotech Blog
More on this story from the Economic Times http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/nowusfdas-import-alert-on-sun-pharmas-karkhadi-plant-in-gujarat/articleshow/31968849.cms