Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, given the sunny skies and cool breezes wafting over the Pharmalot campus, though there is a bittersweet feeling in the air now that our shortest person has returned to an institution of higher learning following a fun break. But what can we do? Short people do not remain short forever. So we will face reality with another cup of stimulation. Our choice today is salted caramel mocha, which provides us with a touch of the celebrated Jersey Shore, such as it is. Meanwhile, here are a few tidbits to help you on your journey. Hope you have a meaningful day and, as always, do keep in touch. …
Al Sandrock, the top scientist at Biogen (BIIB) who exited last year in a dispute over its controversial Alzheimer’s drug, was named chief executive officer at Voyager Therapeutics (VYGR), STAT says. His appointment is the latest in a series of moves aimed at refocusing the company on a new gene-therapy delivery technology, following setbacks with its earlier pipeline. For Sandrock, the job is a reset following a long and distinguished career at Biogen that ended in crisis and his ouster. His departure last November was characterized by Biogen as a retirement, but he was actually forced out and faulted for the controversial approval and disastrous rollout of the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm.
A high-profile, experimental therapy for ALS is teeing up a crucial test of the ability of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to withstand political pressure, STAT tells us. The Amylyx Pharmaceuticals (AMLX) drug has been the subject of an immense pressure campaign from ALS patients and advocacy organizations — one with roots in the broader “right-to-try” movement’s successful efforts to weaken the agency’s ability to limit patient access to drugs to treat deadly diseases. ALS advocates charge the FDA has stubbornly blocked access to therapies that might add even a glimmer of hope to a diagnosis that is otherwise a death sentence — an argument that the FDA has worked hard to counter.
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