In 2013, former editor-in-chief Gareth Macdonald and I sat down in a pub in Montpellier, France to discuss a possible spinout publication from top pharma news site in-Pharmatechnologist focused on biomanufacturing, covering such processes as fermentation and filtration.
After a few too many fermented products and an unfiltered argument over how to define a biosimilar,* Biopharma-Reporter was born.
The site has grown to be a leading authority in the bioprocessing space and under my editorship I am proud to say it has accurately and independently tracked the rapidly changing landscape.
It has also strived to report impartially and informingly on the state of the industry, avoiding the plague of self-congratulatory and unquestioned press releases that have flooded both mainstream and B2B news sites.
But after five years and several thousand articles I am leaving to take on a new challenge.
I’ve reported on the rise and reckoning of biosimilars (in the US at least, they’ve kind of been normal in Europe for ages), watched industry dispose of steel and embrace single-use, and continued to write about continuous manufacturing.
I have also witnessed the unbelievable: the arrival of cell and gene therapies heralded as “a new frontier in medical innovation” by – perhaps even more unbelievably –an FDA commissioner selected by breakout Home Alone 2 star Donald Trump.
One of the first stories I covered when I ‘hit the ground running’ as a reporter for William Reed’s pharma portfolio was Novartis’ acquisition of a Dendreon (remember them?) manufacturing facility in New Jersey to make something known as CTL019.
At the time I seemed more concerned with making a pun headline with the acronym than understanding what a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy actually was but it turns out that CTL019 would years later become Novartis’ $475,000 therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel).
Like Kymriah, I hope I’ve made my mark on the biopharma landscape: I began as an early-phase breakthrough candidate and am hopefully finishing up as a fully-approved (but perhaps over-priced) one-off cure to the disease of press release rehashes… Also like Kymriah, I may cause drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
So with that rambling analogy, I bid you adieu. Feel free to follow me @Dan5tanton going forward, but for now I leave you in the capable hands of our editorial team who will continue giving you your fill of finished bioprocessing news.
*The best we came up with was: “A version of an innovator biopharmaceutical that is similar enough to be deemed equivalent to the original by drug regulators”