Incyte’s Topical JAK Inhibitor: Throw it Over the Counter

Jason Chew Incyte’s topical formulation of its JAK inhibitor, INCB18424, doesn’t seem to get much respect from analysts. Even after showing robust activity and safety in a placebo-controlled multi-dose Phase IIb trial in mild to moderate psoriasis patients, most believe it has limited market potential. Management hasn’t given any guidance on revenues for topical 424, […]

Bringing Innovation Back to Bioscience Research

Jason Chew Innovation is the lifeblood of the economy. Exceptional basic research is crucial to private industry’s success in driving economic growth. This has been true in industries ranging from aeronautics to the internet. In both cases, much of the enabling technologies were developed in government-sponsored labs. This has been especially true in the life […]

Incyte Pharmaceuticals’ JAK: Just Another Kinase?

Jason Chew With a nearly $2 billion market cap, Incyte is currently the most valuable biotech stock with no marketed product. Is it justified? Practically all of the company’s value is wrapped up in two related Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors, both of which are partnered. INCB18424 for oncology is partnered with Novartis and the related […]

Seattle Genetics and Immunogen: Fabless Biotechs?

Jason Chew The results are in and it appears Seattle Genetics’ Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) technology does indeed work after all- not that it should be a surprise to anyone following the company. Results released early Monday morning showed 75% of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) patients taking the drug Brentuximab Vendotin, or as […]

The Rise of China as a Bioscience Leader

Jason Chew The US is far and away the leader in the bioscience industry for now, but under-investment by government and hesitation by the Venture Capital industry may allow other countries to take the lead over the long term. In terms of statistics, America stands heads and shoulders above the competition: Receives one-third of new […]

Is Pharma Over Invested in Antibody Therapeutics?

Jason Chew There is no doubt that antibody therapeutics have revolutionized medicine in the last decades. Sales of antibody drugs are estimated to be $30 billion in 2009 and expected to grow at a 14% rate through 2012- this is more than double the rate of growth for all drug sales. Biotech companies have produced […]

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 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 […]