Posted by: Audrey Erbes | December 7, 2014

Pharma and Biotech Industry Trends , Development Costs Plus Events and Jobs

Peter Young’s blog in PharmaExecBlog, Dec. 1, 2014 gives an excellent condensed overview of pharma and biotech trends in 2014. I especially enjoyed his listing of pharma strategies which mostly include combinations of strategies used by companies this past year. He doesn’t provide analysis of quality of these strategies which are listed below:

  • Diversification
  • Moving to be a pure play pharma company
  • Focusing on leadership businesses and exiting weaker businesses
  • Large-scale mergers
  • Exiting the pharma industry altogether
  • Geographic expansions
  • Regional consolidation
  • Pursuit of biologics
  • Expansion of generics
  • Movement into vaccines
  • Pursuit of orphan and niche drugs
  • Movement away from primary care indications to specialized areas
  • Cost reduction programs
  • Restructured R&D efforts (making research more nimble and collaborative; prudently stopping research projects earlier than in the past; and pursuit of singles and doubles rather than just home runs)
  • Pursuit of biotech acquisitions and partnering/alliances

I was blown away by the latest new high price for a drug—this time for gene therapy. BioCentury for week of Dec. 7, 2014 provides an excellent discussion of the cost for the first gene therapy. On Nov. 26, Chiesi filed a pricing dossier with Germany’s Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). Chiesi set an ex-factory price of $1.1 million for course of therapy

for a 60 kg patient. Their free program on BioCentury This Week entitled “Cost of Cures: Development Soars” provides some interesting programming discussing Tufts latest $2.5 billion estimate of the cost of developing a new medication.

Highlights for Upcoming Programs Through Monday, Dec. 15

  • BioCentury This Week, See two new program sWebcast Starting Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014 and Dec. 7, 2014,, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Started Nov. 30; Topic: “Artificial Ears Also: Brain Waves,” Speaker: Dr. Robert Malenka, Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University; Started Dec. 7, Topic: “Cost of Cures; Development Soars,” Speakers: Dr. Joseph DiMasi, Leader of the Tufts Study; Dr. Henry Grabowski, Co-Author of the Tufts Study; Dr. Ronald Hansen, Co-Author of the Tufts Study, Roger Longman, CEO, Real Endpoints
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, Dec. 9, 2014, Topic: “Aligning Your Product for Success: From Preclinical to Market, Speaker: Tim Pelura, Ph.D. – CEO of Surpass Inc Preclinical CRO
  • Computer History Museum, Tuesday Evening, Dec. 9, 2014, Topic and Speakers: CHM Presents Revolutionaries: Theranos Founder & CEO Elizabeth Holmes in Conversation with KQED’s Michael Krasny
  • ASQ, Wednesday Evening, Dec. 10, 2014; Topic: “Hot Topics – Open Forum” Roundtable
  • Palo Alto AWIS, Thursday Evening, Dec. 11, 2014; Topic: “Aut Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam (I Shall Either Find A Way Or Make One)” Speaker: Dr. Kengatharan, Ph.D., MBA, COO and interim CEO of Armetheon, Inc.
  • Golden Gate Polymer Forum, Thursday Evening, Dec. 11, 2014; Topic: “Giant Polyhedra and Giant Surfactants based on Nano-atoms: Tuning from Crystals, to Quasicrystals, to Frank-Kasper Phases — An Interconnection between Soft and Hard Matter;” Speaker: Prof. Stephen Cheng,The University of Akron
  • CACO-PBSS, Friday Afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014; Topic: “Primer on Antibody Drug Development: Biology, Safety, CMC and PKPD Issues”
  • sfAWIS, Monday Evening, Dec. 15, 2014; Event: sfAWIS Networking Social

You can download Audreys Picks Dec. 7, 2014 with complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through March 2015. Also see JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough Dec. 7, 2014 for your information. I list mostly jobs in California posted in the last three weeks but you can also find national listings at the websites mentioned.


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