Biotech Startups: Begin With an Exit Plan

Jason Chew According to a 2007 study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to entrepreneurship, 40% of youths between the ages of eight and 21 say they would someday like to start their own business. In our highly entrepreneurial society, risk-takers and innovators propel our continued economic growth. Garage and dorm-room start-ups […]

Crossing the Valley of Death: From Innovation to Cure

The term “Valley of Death” has come to describe the period of transition when a developing technology is deemed promising, but too new to validate its commercial potential and thereby attract the capital necessary for its continued development[1]. During this transition, there is often a funding gap due to the weariness of risk-adverse investors. This […]

Big Pharma: In-licensing is Not the Cure

Jason Chew(Featured in TheBigRedBiotechBlog, digitalpathologyinsights) Historically, the Big Pharma business model has been that of a fully integrated pharmaceutical company, complete with basic research and development, clinical trials, sales and marketing, focused on the development of blockbuster drugs. This model has recently been roundly criticized. A research article issued in January from Morgan Stanley titled […]

The Virtualization of Drug Development

Virtual Drug Development has been around since the 1990s with little fanfare. In this model, only the key personnel to manage the core operations of a project are retained, while all other functions are outsourced. Roche was an early adopter of virtual drug development, forming a subsidiary called Protodigm in 1996 consisting of only nine […]

Four Emerging Taiwan Drug Developers

Jason Chew Taiwan’s drug makers have largely focused on generics; few are in the business of developing novel medicines. This is partially due to the large resources required for such an endeavor combined with Taiwan’s small market potential. To justify the costs of developing a new drug, companies must have the ability to navigate across […]

Taiwan Liposome Company- Ahead of the Pack

Jason Chew Biotechnology is an emerging industry in Taiwan. After the country’s immense success in high tech, the government is searching for another engine of economic growth. There are now at least five science research parks and as of 2004, at least 238 biotechnology companies. Perhaps due, in part to Taiwan’s roots in computer sciences […]

A Rash of Data Expected From Seattle Genetics

Jason Chew(Featured in FieceBiotech, TheBigRedBiotechBlog) This autumn is turning out to be a busy season for Seattle Genetics. The company is expecting results from up to three clinical trials between September and October- each of which, if successful, may form the basis for the filing of an NDA. Two trials are nearing completion for flagship […]

Teva- Evolution of a Generics Company

Jason Chew(Featured on Bullfax) It is difficult to characterize Teva- is it a generics company or a biopharmaceutical? It would appear it is the best of both worlds, a hybrid of the two. For the year 2009, Teva derived 67% of its revenue from the sale of generics and the rest from novel drugs and […]

Big Biotech- The End of An Era

Jason Chew In their heyday, big biotech companies rivaled some Big Pharma companies in market capitalization and epitomized innovation in pharmaceutical development. At the time of its acquistion by Roche, Genentech was valued at $106 billion. Amgen at one time reached a valuation of over $100 billion, Gilead- over $50 billion. Excluding Genentech, the top […]

A New Era In HCV Drug Development

Jason Chew(Featured in HCVAdvocate.org) Pegylated interferon plus ribavirin is the current standard of care for HCV treatment. However, it is a 48-week treatment and is only effective in about 50% of patients. On top of that, patients must deal with the inconvenience of injections and side effects that include fatigue, depression, anemia, and rash. Now, […]

Vivus Investors Flee to Arena Pharmaceuticals

Jason Chew Vivus shares tanked after an expert panel voted 10 to 6 against approving its obesity drug, Qnexa. The panel was particularly worried that Vivus only had one year data for its drug- not long enough in its opinion to gather long term safey data in light of Qnexa’s CNS and Cardiovascular side effects. Qnexa […]

Gilead: Undervalued

Jason Chew Gilead’s stock has been in a funk. In the last three months, it has dropped 24% from about $46/share to about $35/share, this compares to a 15% drop for the Biotech HOLDERs index. It now has a PE of 11.1, lower than Pfizer, Novartis, and Sanofi Aventis, while having far higher growth and […]

Fail Early, Fail Fast- A Recipe For Failure

Jason Chew The mantra for big Pharma is to fail early and fail fast in preclinical studies, then push compounds out as quickly as possible into first-in-human testing, and gather as much information as possible to determine if it is likely to succeed before putting it into expensive Phase III trials. It sounds good, but […]

Celgene- On An Acquisition Spree

Jason Chew During the last decade, Celgene has been one of the best performing stocks. With a market cap in the year 2000 of just $2.4 billion, it has grown to become the third largest biotech company behind Amgen and Gilead, sporting a $22.9 billion market cap; however, that is down from its recent high […]

Bristol-Myers Squibb- High Dividend, Zero Growth

Jason Chew With a 5% dividend, Bristol-Myers Squibb provides one the highest yields you can find. This makes BMY a very attractive stock for income investors, especially considering today’s near-zero interest rate environment. There are however, a couple hiccups for investors to be aware of- Bristol is set to lose patent protection on its best-selling […]