Clarkston Consulting
Skip to content

Janel Firestein Interviewed on Q3 Biotech News

October 17, 2019 | Durham, NC

Partner Janel Firestein was interviewed on the most impactful biotech news in the third quarter of 2019. An excerpt from the interview and a link to the full article from Investing News are included below. 

Advances in gene therapy continue to play a pivotal role in the market.

In an interview with INN, Pratik Pangaonkar, senior healthcare analyst at GlobalData, said 2018 and the first half of 2019 really set the stage for gene therapy.

Pangaonkar pointed out companies like Spark Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ONCE) and Rocket Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RCKT) with notable developments in gene therapy.

“Gene therapy is definitely … expected to have better results in the upcoming years,” he said.

Case in point, Spark Therapeutics announced in September an enhanced ID YOUR IRD genetic test for inherited retinal diseases (IRD). This will be able to test roughly 250 genes that have been found to be related IRDs for variants.

Notably during the quarter, Rocket Pharmaceuticals received Investigational Medicinal Product Dossier (IMPD) clearance from the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) for its RP-L301 gene therapy treatment for pyruvate kinase deficiency (PKD). PKD is a genetic blood disorder.

Janel Firestein, life sciences industry lead and partner with Clarkston Consulting, told INN companies in the cell and gene therapy market are ones to certainly watch for.

“Those organizations are different. Their innovation (and) how their supply chains work … they are really more of a white glove service to the patient,” she said.

Firestein described some acquisitions, such as biotech giant Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) — which acquired Kite Pharma in 2017 — as having to “keep their hands off to an extent.”

“Finding that right balance is going to be important where acquisitions are occurring in cell and gene therapy so that they don’t lose that white glove, which they can’t,” she added.

Read the full article here