May 27, 2024

The 50 Over 50 Innovators

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Carolyn Bertozzi received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2022 for founding the field of bioorthogonal chemistry. Also known as “click” chemistry, these reactions that take place inside cells can be used to improve the targeting of cancer drugs. Bertozzi, a research scientist and professor at Stanford University, achieved this honor at age 55. Also the cofounder of 8 biotech startups, Bertozzi is just one of the innovators highlighted on the 3rd annual Forbes 50 Over 50 list.

Some of this year’s honorees lead publicly-traded companies, such as Gail Boudreaux, the 63-year-old CEO of Elevance Health (formerly known as Anthem), one of the country’s largest health insurance companies. Sharon Mates, 70, is cofounder and CEO of Intra-Cellular Therapies, a $5.8 billion biopharma company that has developed therapies for schizophrenia and bipolar depression. Other honorees are leading startups, including Gina Bartasi, the founder of fertility startup Kindbody, which has raised $315 million from investors, such as GV and JP Morgan Chase’s Morgan Health. Check out the full list here.


This Startup Wants To Fight Bladder Cancer With A Genetically Engineered Virus

CG Oncology, led by Forbes 30 Under 30 alum Arthur Kuan, wants to supplant the current treatment for a form of cancer that’s been virtually unchanged for decades. On Wednesday, the company announced a $105 million crossover round aimed at getting its treatment through phase 3 and into the market.

Read more here.


Pipeline & Deal Updates

Long Covid: The National Institutes of Health launched enrollment for phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate four potential long Covid treatments.

Artificial Intelligence: BioNTech completed its $550 million acquisition of InstaDeep, part of the biotech’s strategy to use artificial intelligence for discovering therapies and vaccines.

Telehealth: Amazon Clinic, which launched in November 2022, announced it was expanding its availability to all 50 states through relationships with third-party vendors, including Wheel, SteadyMD, Curai Health, and Hello Alpha.

New Fund: Reed Jobs, son of the late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, has raised $200 million for his new venture capital firm Yosemite, which is focused on funding cancer treatments.

Cancer: The FDA approved GSK’s Jemperli in combination with chemotherapy for frontline use in certain patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.


This Health AI Startup Aims To Keep Doctors Up To Date On The Latest Science

One of the limitations of large language models is that their training is frozen in time. OpenAI’s viral chatbot ChatGPT cuts off after September 2021. In order for chatbots to be useful in a medical setting, they are going to need access to the latest research. Armed with $32 million in capital, nearly a dozen employees with PhDs (or PhD candidates) and a supercomputer in the Nevada desert, Daniel Nadler has been working to solve this knowledge cutoff problem with his new startup OpenEvidence. Nadler says he closed a $27 million Series B funding round from outside investors in July 2022 valuing the startup at $425 million.

Read more here.


Other Healthcare News

GlaxoSmithKline sued Pfizer alleging patent infringement related to its RSV vaccine.

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Idaho attorney general from prosecuting doctors who refer patients to get abortions out-of-state.

Pfizer expects the FDA could authorize the company’s new Covid-19 booster shot by the end of the month.

Scientists resurrected a nematode that was frozen in Siberian permafrost for approximately 46,000 years, raising concerns that disease-causing pathogens could be released from melting ice due to climate change.

CVS Health second quarter profits dropped to $1.9 billion due to costs from restructuring and acquisitions. The drugstore and health insurer also plans to layoff around 5,000 workers.

Bicillin, a common form of penicillin manufactured by Pfizer and used to treat syphilis, is the newest antibiotic to face a shortage.

Across Forbes

Chop Down Forests To Save The Planet? Maybe Not As Crazy As It Sounds

How To Get Rich In Crypto: Four Tether Executives Are Now Billionaires

Fracking Pioneer Harold Hamm Explains How America Became The World’s Energy Superpower

What Else We are Reading

Henrietta Lacks’ family reaches historic settlement, wins compensation for her stolen cells (The Baltimore Banner)

New York City Had a Migrant Crisis. It Hired a Covid Expert to Help. (The New York Times)

Sage hopes for a blockbuster in fast-acting antidepressant now before FDA (STAT)

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