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Top 10 Women in Biotech  

2011-01-18 17:54:05|  分类: Bio-Pharma |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Top 10 Women in Biotech

It's a well-worn cliché that men dominate the top ranks of the biotech industry. But over the past decade a group of extraordinary women has put that cliché to the test. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of our selection of 10 women who have excelled in the industry is that there were so many outstanding women in biotechnology to choose from.

One of this year's group runs a large cancer drug business. One not only founds biotech companies, she also places some savvy venture bets on future stars. Several are CEOs pursuing excellent science and top clinical trial prospects. Some came up through the scientific ranks, others through the business development side of the business.

In an entrepreneurial business like biotech, results are all that matter. So in some respects it's the ideal climate for women who want to reach the top ranks, where the old boy network helps but certainly doesn't rule. And as more women break into these ranks in the years to come, as is certain to happen, this group will become even harder to narrow down to a top 10.

Katrine Bosley

Susan Desmond-Hellmann

Deborah Dunsire
Millennium Pharmaceuticals

Carol Gallagher
Calistoga Pharmaceuticals

Melinda Gates
Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation
Maxine Gowen
Rachel King
Glycomimetics Name: Tina Nova
Current Company: Genoptix Medical Laboratory
Title: Co-founder and CEO

Profile: Tina S. Nova, Ph.D., is president and CEO of the molecular diagnostics company Genoptix, a position she has held since 2000. Oncologists who specialize in blood cancers send their samples to the company, which then uses its diagnostic capabilities to rapidly determine the best course of treatment for the patient. The company has been profitable since 2007, and Forbes ranked Genoptix 15th on its 2009 list of the growing companies. The company believes it can capture 15 percent of the bone marrow testing market by 2015--nearly double its current market share of 8 percent.

Prior to her involvement it Genoptix, Nova was CEO of Nanogen and also did a stint as CEO of Selective Genetics. She currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Arena Pharmaceuticals and Cypress Bioscience. She holds a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside.

Tina Nova
Gail Schulze
Daphne Zohar
PureTech Ventures
Name: Daphne Zohar
Current Company: PureTech Ventures
Title: Founder, Managing Partner

Profile: Daphne Zohar is the founder and managing partner of Boston-based venture capital firm PureTech Ventures. A serial entrepreneur, she was the founding CEO at four biotech companies: Follica, Libra Biosciences, Karuna Pharmaceuticals and Satori Pharmaceuticals. Zohar also sits on the Boards of Directors of PureTech Ventures and Enlight Biosciences.

What do you think has contributed to your success in this industry?

There were some very smart and visionary people that were willing to give me their time when I was just starting out. I also have some incredibly innovative and talented colleagues working with me at PureTech. 

What advice would you give to women just starting out in biotech?

One thing I've learned is that people who are perpetually negative have developed that strategy as a defense mechanism (if you're always negative you look smart in an industry where odds are stacked against you). I've learned to focus on those people who see possibilities and have open minds and creativity rather than expending too much energy on those whose imagination is limited to potential problems. My advice is to be thoughtful about which criticism to listen to and which to discard.

The FDA approvals of 2009

Welcome to our look back at the new drug approvals of 2009. Last year the FDA gave the green light to an impressive 26 new therapies, slightly beating the 2008 total of 25. Of those, seven were newly-approved biologics, leading analysts to wonder whether 2009 was the year the biotech industry finally came into its own. The biggest NME winner was Novartis, which boasted four new approvals. The company was followed by Johnson & Johnson's Centocor Ortho Biotech and GlaxoSmithKline, with two approvals apiece.


Below is the list new drugs in order of date approved. Like other news outlets, FierceBiotech relied on the list of CDER approvals (not CBER approvals) provided by the FDA to compile this feature. Click here to

1. Savella - Forest Labs

2. Uloric - Takeda

3. Afinitor - Novartis

4. Coartem - Novartis

5. Ulesfia - Sciele Pharma

6. Simponi - Johnson & Johnson

7. Dysport - Ipsen, Medicis

8. Fanapt - Vanda Pharma

9. Samsca - Otsuka Pharma

10. Besivance - Bausch & Lomb

11. Ilaris - Novartis

12. Multaq - Sanofi-Aventis

13. Effient - Eli Lilly, Daiichi Sankyo

14. Onglyza - AstraZeneca, BMS

15. Livalo - Kowa Research

16. Saphris - Merck's Organon USA

17. Extavia - Novartis

18. Sabril - Lundbeck

19. Bepreve - Ista Pharma

20. Vibativ - Theravance, Astellas

21. Folotyn - Allos Therapeutics

22. Stelara - Johnson & Johnson

23. Votrient - GSK

24. Arzerra - GSK

25. Istodax - Gloucester Pharma

26. Kalbitor - Dyax Corp.

Top 15 Global Therapeutic Classes of 2009

IMS Health has compiled a list of the top 15 bestselling drug classes. Oncology drugs stand head and shoulders above the rest, bringing in $52 billion annually. That's $17 billion more than the next category, lipid regulators like Lipitor. Anti-epileptics saw the biggest drop in annual growth last year, while sales of autoimmune agents like Enbrel, Remicade and Humira soared almost 20 percent over 2008 levels. Click here to see five-year data on the fastest growing therapeutic classes by sales.

Drug Class

2009 Sales (billions)

Annual Growth




Lipid Regulators



Respiratory Agents









Angiotensin II Antagonists









Autoimmune Agents



Platelet Aggr. Inhibitors



HIV Antivirals






Narcotic analgesics



Non-narcotic analgesics






 Data courtesy of IMS Health

FierceBiotech's 2010 Fierce 15

Welcome to the eighth annual Fierce 15, FierceBiotech's snapshot of 15 up-and-coming private companies that are swinging for the bleachers in the big biotech ballpark. People often ask us what it takes to qualify, and you'll see the answer spelled out in these profiles.

Some companies are scaling up new programs with a handful of pioneers in pursuit of a virtual dream. One has more than 100 workers on staff and is still growing. There's an amazing amount of new technology now focused on next-generation antibodies, and clear signs that the biopharma industry is hot on their trail. Some of these companies just got started; one has been pushing ahead on new cancer drugs for a decade (and just grabbed headlines with some startling melanoma results).

But whatever technological edge they're honing, all of them show considerable promise as fast movers, pursuing ambitious plans to create and advance significant projects at a rapid pace. Each offers us a lesson on what it takes to create success in the drug development field. And for the first time, we asked readers to nominate a company, and we got a tremendous response. A few of the companies suggested to us were already on this year's list. But if you don't see your choice, don't fret. As one Fierce 15 gets published, we start a file for next year. Be sure to send me your ideas for the class of 2011.

The 2010 Biotech Graveyard

When the economic crisis reached its peak in 2009, biotech companies were hit hard. We buried 16 developers in our first annual Biotech Graveyard list last year, and while that number has dropped significantly in 2010, there were still eight biotechs that simply couldn't find a buyer or the money necessary to continue their run. Several of these developers struggled for years with solvency problems until finally their luck run out, while others were never able to recover from disappointing clinical trial results.

The good news here is that half as many companies folded as in 2009. Previously biotechs were closing at an alarming pace early last year. But the trend began to slow during the latter months of 2009, and 2010 bankruptcies and liquidations seemed few and far between. It's an encouraging sign that many small developers have weathered the storm.

FDA's Top Q4 Blockbuster Drug Decisions

The FDA has some of its biggest decisions of the year looming in the next few months. The first new lupus drug in half a century, a blood-thinner with mega-blockbuster potential, controversial weight drugs and more are all up for regulatory decisions that can move markets and either throw a bucket of cold water or high octane gasoline on stock prices.

In every case, FierceBiotech has been following the deals and data every step of the way--from early-stage development right through to the NDA and deal-making phases. Now everyone faces the moment of truth, or at least a complete response letter.

The FDA's final decision may be signaled by an expert panel vote, but this is one area where there really is no sure thing. The agency has appeared to be taking a tough stance on safety, which has bedeviled some late-stage therapies. And its complete response letters are always opened with a mix of dread and hope. We've seen plenty of surprising decisions so far this year, and there will likely be more in the months ahead.

1. Benlysta - Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline
2. Bydureon - Eli Lilly, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes
3. Brilinta - AstraZeneca
4. Pradaxa - Boeringer Ingelheim
5. Qnexa - Vivus
6. Contrave - Orexigen
7. Ipilimumab - Bristol-Myers Squibb
8. Cladribine - Merck KGaA
9. Linjeta - Biodel
10. Afrezza - MannKind

The Top 10 Phase III Failures of 2010

By Phase III, researchers are supposed to have a pretty good handle on just how promising an experimental therapy can be. There's proof-of-concept data in the can and some clear indications of just how big a market a new drug can go on to capture.

But even if the odds of success are somewhat better, the risk for losing big is greater as well. A pharma company often steps in to nail down a licensing deal, but late-stage trials typically require large patient populations and consume enormous budgets.

This year's worst Phase III losers are prime examples of just what can go wrong. From Alzheimer's to cancer, investigators are forced time and again to bet on drugs that target mysterious disease triggers.

Late-stage drug development always requires being prepared for the kind of catastrophic failure that can damage big pharma companies and utterly destroy a smaller outfit. Every Phase III trial represents a throw of the dice, here's a look at some of the top programs that rolled snake eyes in 2010.

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