The Readout Damian Garde & Meghana Keshavan

Soothing words from a major corporation

It’s been a difficult week for Americans in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Boston Scientific’s leadership addressed this in a resonant open letter to its employees — quoting Martin Luther King Jr., and offering words on how to stand up to intolerance and racism. Nearly 9,000 Boston Scientific employees live and work in the Minneapolis metro area, where the fallout has been the most pronounced.

“As an executive committee, we feel compelled to condemn injustice and discrimination and to reaffirm our commitment to live by our values and cultivate a workplace that makes equality, diversity, and openness priorities — a workplace that sets an example for the greater community,” the letter, penned by CEO Mike Mahoney, says. “We need to do better — and we can.”

BioMarin's updated hemophilia data seems nice

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals just released results of of a Phase 1/2 study for its hemophilia gene therapy; full data will be presented as a late-breaking abstract at the World Federation of Hemophilia Virtual Summit in mid-June. 

The company gives a four-year update for one of the gene therapy cohorts, and a three-year update on another. Both cohorts, which received the one-time therapy called valoctocogene roxaparvovec, remain off of prophylactic Factor VIII treatment. Over the past year, only one participant from each cohort had spontaneous bleeds — the remaining 11 did not. The drug’s PDUFA date is August 21 this year.

Legend's hefty IPO

Legend Biotech, a China-based CAR-T player, just filed for a $350 million IPO. The company, which set ASCO afire a few years back with promising data for a refractory multiple myeloma treatment, is developing its primary drug candidate as part of a separate $350 million pact with Janssen. 

Legend plans to use the funding to continue developing JNJ-4528, a cell therapy targeting the B-cell maturation antigen — a protein that’s found on the surface of many blood cancer cells. It’s in the midst of U.S. trials. None of the FDA-approved cell therapies target BCMA. The IPO funding should cover Legend through a commercial launch of the therapeutic, it said in a regulatory filing.

Survey says: venture capital needn't fear?

Public markets are stable enough to warrant venture fundraising — at least according to the expert opinions of our readers. We mentioned last week that DCVC intends to raise $275 million for a new bio-centric venture fund, and 80% of you think that’s a totally viable prospect. The remaining 20%, of course, think that our pandemic-ridden globe may not be able yet to financially support early stage biotech innovation. 

More reads

  • FDA approves Lilly's dye for mapping Alzheimer's tau tangles. (FierceBiotech)
  • Has AstraZeneca finally found a place for long-plagued I-O candidate tremelimumab? (FiercePharma)

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


Monday, June 1, 2020


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