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Liftstream is an executive search recruitment company in the life sciences sector

Leadership skills must adapt for rare disease success

In pharmaphorum’s rare disease focus month, Karl Simpson of Liftstream explores whether a different set of skills, experience and talent are required to develop orphan drugs, and questions how different the business model of rare diseases is. The article was originally published in pharmaphorum on 18th February 2014. 

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Shire adds to board with appointment of Ian Clark

Shire plc has joined Agios Pharmaceuticals in announcing the appointment of Ian Clark to the Board of Directors.

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AVROBIO Bolsters Senior Management Team

AVROBIO, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformative cell and gene therapies targeting cancer and rare diseases, has made three senior appointments. Joining the firm’s leadership team are Kim Warren, Head of Operations, Chris Mason, Chief Science Officer, and Deanna Petersen, Chief Business Officer.

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Big-Pharma Defection Continues

In a continuation of a developing trend, two big-pharma executives left their cozy corner offices for the fast and wild biotech world. This year we have already seen a number of big names defect for the biotech world, the reasons for which were covered here. These latest appointments add further evidence to the fact that biotech has regained its form and now has pulling power.

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Sanofi Genzyme Bioventures announce a brace of deals

Sanofi Genzyme Bioventures announced to financing deals today (Sept 8 – 2015), as it contributed to the financing of Proteostasis Therapeutics, a Series B mezzanine round of $37m to the company developing a cystic fibrosis drug for the orphan disease. The financing in the Cambridge, MA based company was led by Cormorant Asset Management and also included Rock Springs Capital Management. Existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Elan Science One, HealthCare Ventures, Fidelity Biosciences, Novartis Bioventures, Novartis Venture Fund, and Sanofi Genzyme BioVentures also participated in the financing.

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Wellstat Therapeutics given FDA nod for XURIDEN in Rare Disease

Wellstat Therapeutics Corporation has announced in September that the US Food and Drug Administration granted marketing approval for XURIDEN™ (uridine triacetate), a pyrimidine analog for uridine replacement indicated for the treatment of hereditary orotic aciduria (HOA). With the approval of XURIDEN for the treatment of HOA, the FDA also granted Wellstat Therapeutics a Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher. HOA is an extremely rare, potentially life-threatening, genetic disorder in which patients cannot synthesize adequate amounts of uridine and consequently can suffer from hematologic abnormalities, failure to thrive, a range of developmental delays, and episodes of crystalluria leading to obstructive uropathy.

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$40m for rare focused Rhythm

Rhythm announced today the completion of a $40 million Series A financing for its subsidiary, Rhythm Metabolic, Inc., which is developing setmelanotide (RM-493), a novel peptide MC4 agonist for the treatment of obesity caused by genetic deficiencies in the MC4 pathway. In this round, new investors OrbiMed, Deerfield Management, Wellington Management Company, and an undisclosed public healthcare investment fund joined existing investors MPM Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Third Rock Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, and Ipsen. Associated with the financing, Jonathan Silverstein, JD, Partner and Co-Head of Global Private Equity at OrbiMed, joined the Rhythm Metabolic Board of Directors.

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Jeremy Levin hauls in $75m Series B for Ovid

Ovid Therapeutics Inc. (Ovid), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for rare and orphan diseases of the brain, announced today that it has completed a Series B financing totaling $75 million. Fidelity Management and Research Company led the investment syndicate, which included Cowen Private Investments, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, Tekla Capital Management, Sphera Global Healthcare Fund, Jennison Associates (on behalf of certain clients), Redmile Group, and Cormorant Asset Management, as well as additional blue chip mutual funds and leading life sciences investors. Existing Ovid investors, including DoubleLine Equity Healthcare Fund, LLC, also participated in the financing.

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Dimension Therapeutics Diversifies Leadership with Management and Board Appointment

Dimension Therapeutics, a leading rare disease company advancing novel, liver-directed treatments for diverse genetic disorders has announced that it has expanded its Board of Directors with the elections of Georges Gemayel, Ph.D., former Executive Vice President of Genzyme Corporation, and Arlene M. Morris, former CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals. Dimension also announced that Donald J. Hayden, Jr., is leaving his position as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.

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Tamar Howson appointed Board Director at Enzymotec

MIGDAL HA’EMEQ, Israel,  Enzymotec Ltd. (Nasdaq:ENZY) , a developer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative bio-active lipid ingredients, announced today the appointment of Tamar Howson to its Board of Directors, effective July 29, 2015.

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