What I’m Reading

June 2022

  • Immune: a Journey into the Mysterious System that Keeps You Alive by Phillip Dettmer
    • Chronicles the actors and activities of the immune system through colorful encounters with pathogens
    • The immunology textbook you wish you had in school, including phrases such as “chimps with machine guns” (neutrophils), “desert border kingdoms inhabited by barbarian hordes” (your skin and its resident commensal microbes), and “murder university” (the thymus)
  • The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively
    • Initiating, fostering, and advocating for principled insubordination and dissent are critical to social progress
    • Critical tactics for insubordination are simple and accessible: walk the walk, concede in places you are wrong or have changed your thinking, find allies in those who think differently than you, and seek to include those who have lots power when you have won
  • Gut virome profiling identifies a widespread bacteriophage family associated with metabolic syndrome (full article)
    • Amsterdam-based cohort of 196 individuals – 97 with metabolic syndrome and 99 healthy
    • Analysis of phage contigs from both whole genome sequencing and isolation and sequencing of viral particles identified lower phage diversity in people with metabolic syndrome
    • Individuals with metabolic syndrome have reduced Bifidobacterium and Bifidobacterium phage abundance
    • One phage (family) had CRISPR-protospacer matches to multiple bacterial phyla (Firmicutes, Bacteroides, Actinobacteria) suggesting a very broad host range
    • A newly identified family of phages that infects Clostridiales hosts, Candidatus Heliusviridae, is enriched in individuals with metabolic syndromes

February 2022

  • Endpoints @JPM: Dealmaking in 2022: What’s Big Pharma looking for and what is it willing to pay?
    • Dealmaking in biotech and pharma may get bigger as capital becomes less abundantly available; FTC delays may be a wildcard
    • Pharma is looking for: biologics, cell therapies, gene therapies, AI/ML to reduce risk and pipeline failure rates. Interest in early stage discovery and development deals.
    • Pharma wants in a partnership: willingness to communicate upfront risks and failures, good cultural fit, thinking about CMC upfront (particularly for complex biologics therapies).
    • Tags: BD, Biologics, Biotech, Deals, Pharma, Partnering

January 2022

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