The BioMidwest Region Features Lifestyle Bonuses and Cutting-Edge Science
While it may often seem like all of the action happens on the coasts, America’s heartland is home to big players like AbbVie, CSL Behring, and Eli Lilly and Company, and niche innovators like Millendo Therapeutics and Novartis Gene Therapies. These companies are only some of the leaders who make up what is known at BioSpace as the BioMidwest Hotbed.
Spanning the economically vital states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin, the BioMidwest region is not to be overlooked when determining where to launch or take the next step in a biopharma career. Why not take advantage of the perks of a lower cost of living, slower pace, and opportunities to make a big impact in some important disease areas? These leaders have some interesting opportunities right now. Read on for just a few of them.
It’s been a busy and promising first half of 2021 for Chicago’s AbbVie. The company has been dining off of rheumatoid arthritis blockbuster, Humira (adalimumab), for more than five years. The drug, which is also approved in psoriatic arthritis and Crohn's disease, among other indications, generated nearly $20 billion for AbbVie in 2019 but will lose patent protection in 2023.
Internally, AbbVie has been grooming Crohn’s drug, Skyrizi (risankizumab), and ulcerative colitis medicine, Rinvoq (upadacitinib), to succeed it and maintain its stronghold in these disease areas. In June, AbbVie announced that more patients treated with Rinvoq achieved clinical remission compared to placebo in a 52-week phase III maintenance study.
In the oncology space, AbbVie acquired strategic partner, Teneobio Inc. and its BCMA-targeting immunotherapeutic for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (R/R MM). The compound, TNB-383B, achieved an objective response rate (ORR) of 79%, and a very good partial response rate of 63% at doses of at least 40 mgs at the interim mark of a phase I study.
Those wishing to join AbbVie on either of these quests – and others – may want to check out one of the more than 600 jobs the company is advertising on BioSpace’s job board.
Experienced professionals with a BA in business administration, statistics, or economics interested in helping to develop the marketing investment strategy for assets like TNB-383B, should click on this link: Associate Director, Commercial Analytics, Oncology. And here’s one for our friends in the publishing industry: Associate Director, Global Scientific Publications. This position is responsible for helping to oversee AbbVie’s scientific publication strategy and providing direction to the Global Medical Affairs publishing staff.
The world’s third-largest biotech company, CSL Behring wasted no time in quietly jumping into action when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Alongside Takeda, CSL Behring co-founded the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance with the mission of developing an anti-coronavirus hyperimmune globulin (H-Ig) made from a convalescent plasma to treat hospitalized adults at risk for serious complications from the disease. While the phase III trial missed its endpoints, the effort speaks to CSL’s strong focus on collaboration. CSL also signed a deal with AstraZeneca to produce at least 30 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine for Australia. The first doses arrived in March 2021.
The biotherapeutics leader has been busy outside of the pandemic as well. In May, CSL Behring announced a global commercialization and license agreement with Dutch biotech, uniQure for etranacogene dezaparvovec (AMT-061), a promising investigational gene therapy being developed for the treatment of blood clotting disorder, hemophilia B.
Biopharma professionals possessing a collaborative nature should check out some of the following jobs:
Executive Director Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacometrics: Perfect for a trend-visionary with a Ph.D. or PharmD/Ph.D. in clinical pharmacology and 12-plus years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
Quality Training Specialist: Calling all Fort Wayne, Indiana residents looking for an entry-level gig in quality assurance. This position will support the Assistant Manager of Quality in monitoring plasma center processes.
Acquired by Novartis for $8.7 billion in 2018, the Bannockburn, Illinois-based AveXis became Novartis Gene Therapies. With the mission of bringing hope to patients and families devastated by rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases, the company has three main focuses: AAV-based therapies, CAR-T cell therapies, and CRISPR-based technologies.
Just a year later, Novartis’ big bet paid off, as the FDA approved Zolgensma as the first gene therapy for the treatment of rare, genetic childhood neuromuscular disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Zolgensma simultaneously became the most expensive medicine at the time, ringing in at a cost of $2.125 million, or $425,000 per year for 5 years. Data presented at the European Academy for Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress in June made the case for Zolgensma to be used in presymptomatic children.
Cell and gene therapy is incredibly complicated, so Novartis is looking for some help from qualified individuals.
Director, Medical Operations and Controls: This position, located in Bannockburn, IL, provides governance of regulatory activities related to Novartis Gene Therapies projects, ensuring that all GxP gaps and risks are addressed and mitigated. The successful candidate will have 10-plus years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry in a clinical research or medical affairs role.
Senior Scientific Director, Medical Affairs Global Subject Matter Expert: Also located in Bannockburn, this position is for someone with an advanced scientific degree (PharmD, Ph.D., MD) and at least 8 years of direct experience in medical affairs, particularly in the SMA space.