Tuesday, September 08, 2009

While You Were Changing the Guard

Oh, hi. Welcome back to the working world. Biiiiiiiiiig stretch. Time to dust the cobwebs off your keyboards and trade tales of BBQ mishaps. All set? Here we go. When's Columbus Day?

Not long after Roche announced a new, post-Genentech-privatization management crew it is shaking things up again. Bill Burns is to step down as head of pharma; he may wind up on the Roche board of directors; and head of diagnostics Jurgen Schwietzer and R&D chief Jonathan Knowles are also hanging it up. As if that weren't enough, short-term Genentech CEO Pascal Soriot is jumping up to COO of pharma and getting replaced by Genentecher Ian Clark as CEO there (Richard Scheller stays put as head of Genentech research and early dev). Jean-Jacques Garaud is also getting a promotion, to head of Roche pharma research and early development, and he and Dan Zabrowski (head of pharma partnering) are getting seats on Roche's enlarged executive committee with Scheller et al.).

There are more changes, and you can get the details at the press release linked above. Also: Bloomberg's take is here, Reuters' is here.

Meanwhile, while you reacquaint yourselves with things like desks and full-sized computers ...

  • Roche's soon-to-retire pharma chief Burns went on CNBC over the long-weekend to discuss Tamiflu as part of the Big Pharma's press briefing about the product and swine flu. "We're at a calmer moment," and not in a major pandemic, he said. Feel better, gang?
  • Pfizer's efforts in oncology as a microcosm of the broader everyone-into-cancer-development trend in pharma: 'profit but little progress' says TheAge/NYTimes.
  • Scientists in Wales and France ID three new Alzheimer's markers, though none are as predictive as APOE4: MIT's Technology Review's take here.
  • Robert Reich reviews "The Heart of Power" by Harvard prof/Obama advisor David Blumenthal and Brown prof James A Morone. The book, written prior to Obama's push for reform, examines how various presidents have tackled the idea of universal health care.
  • Prasugrel earns a limited recommendation, for high-risk PCI patients only, from the UK's NICE. (h/t pharmagossip)
  • Ipsen has licensed to Debiopharm its CDC25 inhibitor, and retained an option to take the cancer drug candidate back after Phase II trials. Hey this strings-attached approach to in-licensing worked OK for Speedel, right?
  • Have you taken our poll on the existence of the so-called Drug Lag?
  • The Phillies are doing their best to keep it interesting, losing four straight in Houston. (Insert "we have a problem" joke here ... Uuuughh.)
image from flickr user kol tregaskes used under a creative commons license.

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