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Japanese yen stays adrift, core CPI falls below 3%

Japanese core CPI falls below 3% Fed’s Powell says inflation too high, economy too strong The Japanese yen is slightly lower on Friday. In the European…



  • Japanese core CPI falls below 3%
  • Fed’s Powell says inflation too high, economy too strong

The Japanese yen is slightly lower on Friday. In the European session, USD/JPY is trading at 149.96, up 0.12%. The yen has shown little movement this week and continues to hover just shy of the symbolic 150 level. In early October, the yen breached 150 and then spiked sharply lower. It’s looking very likely that the yen will again breach 150 shortly.

Japan’s core inflation eases below 3%

Japanese core CPI, which excludes fresh food, slowed to 2.8% y/y in September, versus 3.1% in August but above the market consensus of 2.7%. The print fell below the 3% level for the first time since August 2022 but has now exceeded the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for 18 straight months. The “core-core” rate, which excludes fresh food and energy prices and is considered by the BoJ a better gauge of inflation trends, dropped from 4.3% to 4.2% in September, higher than the market consensus of 4.1%.

Inflation has been slowly easing, but the downtrend faces some possible headwinds. The yen continues to lose ground and tensions in the Middle East have raised fears that oil prices could hit $100 or higher. If oil prices rise or the yen continues to decline, the result will be higher inflation.

How will the Bank of Japan react to potential oil inflation and the weakening yen? The central bank holds a two-day meeting ending on October 31st and may have to revise its quarterly inflation and growth forecasts. The markets are on alert for the BoJ to phase out its massive stimulus but BoJ policy makers haven’t shown signs of shifting policy.

In the US, it’s a very light data calendar, highlighted by a speech from FOMC member Patrick Harker. On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that inflation was still too high and that growth would need to slow if inflation is to fall to the 2% target. Powell noted that further hikes might not be needed, as the rise in Treasury yields could help dampen growth and lower inflation.


USD/JPY Technical

  • 150.22 is a weak resistance line, followed by resistance at 150.86.
  • 149.19 and 148.55 are providing support

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Co-founded by David Baker, Vilya rings in a permanent CEO; Allogene names Eric Schmidt’s CFO successor

Cyrus Harmon
→ Ex-Olema Oncology chief Cyrus Harmon has resurfaced as CEO of Vilya, a Seattle-based macrocycle biotech from David Baker’s lab that…



Cyrus Harmon

→ Ex-Olema Oncology chief Cyrus Harmon has resurfaced as CEO of Vilya, a Seattle-based macrocycle biotech from David Baker’s lab that raised a $50 million Series A last August. Harmon co-founded Olema in 2007 and he moved into the role of chief technology officer when Sean Bohen was hired as CEO three years ago. He then shifted to chief research officer until Olema restructured in March and laid off about 25% of its staff. CBO Kinney Horn joined Harmon on the chopping block, although Harmon is still on Olema’s board of directors. Former Bristol Myers Squibb exec Nick Meanwell and Arrakis chief innovation officer Jennifer Petter are part of Vilya’s scientific advisory board.

Geoffrey Parker

→ Off-the-shelf cell therapy specialist Allogene has found a CFO. Former Goldman Sachs managing director Geoffrey Parker spent six years at Tricida and was elevated to COO, CFO and EVP in February 2021. Parker succeeds Eric Schmidt, who left Allogene this summer to become a biotech analyst for Cantor Fitzgerald and spoke with Lei Lei Wu as he prepared to dive in to his new gig. Allogene began the year by hiring R&D chief Zachary Roberts and has since picked up chief technical officer Tim Moore and general counsel Earl Douglas.

John Tsai

Tom Anderson is out as CEO of Syncona-backed gene therapy maker SwanBio, but he’ll be a strategic advisor and keep his seat on a board that will now be chaired by ex-Novartis medical chief and current Syncona executive partner John Tsai. SwanBio has also recruited Topher Brooke as COO after he spent a year in the same role at Aytu BioPharma. Brooke is the former head of AstraZeneca’s diabetes business unit in North America and co-founded Rumpus Therapeutics, a pediatric disease biotech that was sold to Aytu in 2021. Tsai was just named CEO at another Syncona company, Forcefield Therapeutics, in late September.

Richard Daly

→ AstraZeneca and Takeda alum Richard Daly will replace Patrick McEnany as CEO of Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Jan. 1, while McEnany will remain chairman of the board. Daly last appeared in this space in January 2022, when he became president of CARsgen’s US subsidiary, CARsgen Therapeutics Corporation. He’s also been COO at BeyondSpring and a board member at Catalyst since 2015. Catalyst previously announced in July that McEnany would step down as chief executive.

Michael Rossi

Michael Rossi will take over as president and CEO of Y-mAbs, and once Rossi starts running the biotech on Nov. 6, founder and interim chief Thomas Gad is slated to be vice chairman and CBO. Rossi was general manager of the US business for Novartis’ radiopharma company Advanced Accelerator Applications, and he’s also had a 12-year career with GE Healthcare. Y-mAbs has had a checkered regulatory past, receiving a refusal to file letter for its pediatric neuroblastoma treatment omburtamab in October 2020 and scoring an accelerated approval for another neuroblastoma drug, naxitamab, several weeks later. Y-mAbs tried again with omburtamab in 2022, but an adcomm voted unanimously against it and the FDA agreed with the assessment.

Manmeet Soni

Manmeet Soni is reuniting with Bob Duggan as COO of Summit Therapeutics, which formed an alliance with Akeso Therapeutics on the bispecific antibody ivonescimab in December. Soni was CFO and treasurer at Pharmacyclics while Duggan was CEO, and just completed a four-year run at Reata Pharmaceuticals, the Texas biotech that Biogen acquired for $7.3 billion. The ex-Alnylam CFO started out as finance chief at Reata and added the COO post in June 2020 before his promotion to president in February 2022.

Summit has also appointed Jack West from City of Hope as VP of clinical development “focused on lung cancer,” and it has also promoted the following execs: Allen Yang (CMO), Dave Gancarz (chief business & strategy officer), Urte Gayko (chief regulatory, quality, & pharmacovigilance officer), and Fong Clow (chief biometrics officer). Duggan shares CEO duties at Summit with president Maky Zanganeh.

Vincent Hennemand

Roivant subsidiary Covant Therapeutics has named Vincent Hennemand as CEO. Hennemand takes over the reins after a gig as COO at Intergalactic Therapeutics, which laid off all employees in August. Prior to Intergalactic, Hennemand was with Bain, Sanofi and PureTech Health. At Sanofi, Hennemand was chief of staff for Elias Zerhouni, while his tenure at PureTech included a role as SVP of corporate strategy and business development.

→ Belgium’s etherna has locked Bernard Sagaert into the role of CEO after leading the company in an interim capacity for the past year. Sagaert joined etherna in 2017 after roles at Mylan and Sterigenics. Alongside Sagaert’s appointment, ex-Bayer and Thermo Fisher CEO Marijn Dekkers — the founder and chairman of Novalis Capital Partners — has been named chairman of the board.

Ginna Laport

→ “Ports” of call: Third Rock-backed CARGO Therapeutics has named Ginna Laport as CMO after hiring chief scientist Michael Ports in September. Laport had been VP of clinical development, global head of the non-Hodgkin lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia franchise at Genentech since January 2020, and she’s the ex-medical chief at Tempest Therapeutics. CARGO hauled in $200 million in one of the largest Series A rounds in biotech this year.

→ Following a Phase III whiff with its IgA nephropathy drug narsoplimab, Omeros has brought in Andreas Grauer as CMO. Grauer tackled this same role at Federation Bio and Corcept Therapeutics, and he spent a decade in global development at Amgen.

Weston Miller

Weston Miller will become CMO at Amber Salzman’s latest play, Epic Bio, on Oct. 23. Miller had been VP of clinical development at Graphite Bio, which conceded defeat with its sickle cell program in February and eliminated about half of its workforce. He’s also worked in clinical development for Astellas Gene Therapies and Sangamo. After Flagship’s Ohana Biosciences closed in 2021, Salzman is now CEO of Epic, an epigenetic editing startup that racked up a $55 million Series A last year.

Parker Moss

→ AI drug discovery and development company Exscientia has recruited Parker Moss as EVP, corporate development, starting in January. Moss makes his way to the Oxford-based company from Genomics England, where he served as chief partnerships officer. Moss previously served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at F-Prime and Eight Roads and was part of the executive team at Owkin. Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins spoke to Andrew Dunn about the trouble AI-derived drugs are having: “We’ve also now realized if we want to change the probability of success in the clinic, it’s not just better molecules,” he said. “We also need better translational models.”

Virginie Boucinha

→ Peanut patch developer DBV Technologies has enlisted Sanofi vet Virginie Boucinha as CFO. Boucinha comes to DBV from another French company, Pierre Fabre, where she was the group performance director since February 2022. At Sanofi, she held such leadership roles as CFO for India and South Asia (2012-15), chief of staff to the group CEO (2015-18) and head of the Global Transformation Office (2018-21).

→ Now run by ex-Seagen CEO Clay Siegall after the merger with Morphimmune, Immunome has pegged Bob Lechleider as CMO. Lechleieder worked with Siegall as SVP of clinical development at Seagen from 2016-20, and the MacroGenics vet has spent the last three years as CMO of OncoResponse.

Elaine Chien

→ Three new execs have made their way to Antiva Biosciences, the Redwood City, CA-based biotech that nabbed a $53 million Series E this spring: Elaine Chien (CMO) had been promoted to VP, clinical development and medical safety during her three years at Mirum Pharmaceuticals; Susan Wilson (VP of project management and strategic initiatives) has previously served as VP, program, portfolio and alliance management for Revolution Medicines; and Rajashree Joshi-Hangal (VP of technical operations) is an Astex Pharmaceuticals vet who was in charge of CMC, regulatory affairs at Myovant Sciences. Antiva’s ABI-2280 is in Phase II for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasias, or precancerous cervical lesions.

Ronan O’Brien has joined Lyra Therapeutics as chief legal officer. O’Brien just had a five-year stint with Pear Therapeutics and was promoted to general counsel, chief compliance officer & secretary in January 2022. Lyra’s chronic rhinosinusitis drug LYR-220 hit the primary endpoint in a Phase II trial last month.

Mishima Gerhart

→ Touting positive Phase IIa data a few weeks ago for its primary sclerosing cholangitis drug bexotegrast —with more results on the way — Pliant Therapeutics has selected Mishima Gerhart as chief regulatory officer. Gerhart recently served as chief regulatory officer and head of quality at Taysha Gene Therapies, and she has additional regulatory experience with such pharma giants as Pfizer, AbbVie and Sanofi.

→ Japanese biotech RegCell has handed the CEO reins to Michael McCullar. McCullar joins the Osaka-based company from a CEO stint at OnQuality Pharmaceuticals. Before that, McCullar was COO of Tolera Pharmaceuticals and SVP of business development at Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Lachy McLean

→ Palo Alto, CA-based Genascence has brought aboard Lachy McLean as CMO. McLean has prior chief medical experience from his time at Novome, and he has previously served in roles at AstraZeneca, Merck, Genentech, Takeda and Travere.

Cognito Therapeutics has reeled in Greg Weaver as CFO. Not his first time in the position, Weaver was CFO at Atossa Therapeutics, BioIntelliSense, atai Life Sciences and Eloxx Pharmaceuticals.

Deepshikha Bhandari

→ The cancer genomics experts at Personalis have appointed Deepshikha Bhandari as SVP, regulatory, quality and clinical compliance. Bhandari was the VP of regulatory affairs at Grail and Roche Diagnostics.

→ CRO Novotech has enlisted Rick Farris as managing director for North America and David Ng as global VP for biometrics and data management. Farris was most recently VP operations at IQVIA, while Ng was VP of biometrics at WuXi Clinical, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec.

Cellectar Biosciences has rolled out the welcome mat for two new team members with the appointments of William Yoon as VP, medical affairs and Aaditya Nanduri as VP, business strategy and analytics. Yoon joins the Florham Park, NJ-based biotech after a gig at ImmunoGen and a nearly 20-year stint with Novartis. Meanwhile, Nanduri hops aboard after stints at BeiGene, Celgene and Ernst & Young.

John Maraganore

→ It’s been a while since we’ve wheeled out the Maraganore Meter in Peer Review, but ex-Alnylam CEO John Maraganore is back with another scientific advisory board appointment, this time at Totus Medicines. Lewis Cantley and UCSF’s Kevan Shokat are also on the SAB at Totus, which is going after PI3Kα first with its lead candidate TOS-358.

Resilience president, COO and CFO Sandy Mahatme has punched his ticket to the board of directors at CRISPR Therapeutics, which includes gene therapy luminary Kathy High, SR One’s Simeon George and Lassen Therapeutics CEO Maria Fardis. Mahatme has a seat on the board at Idorsia and spent nearly eight years as Sarepta’s CFO and CBO.

David Meek

→ Ex-Mirati CEO David Meek leads a trio of new board members at radiopharma player Fusion Pharmaceuticals. He’s joined by Teresa Bitetti, the president of Takeda’s global oncology business unit, and Day One Biopharmaceuticals CEO Jeremy Bender.

→ Olema Oncology has made room for ex-PACT Pharma CEO Scott Garland on the board of directors. Garland, who’s also been president and CEO of Portola, has board seats at Day One Biopharmaceuticals and ALX Oncology.

Kate Haviland

→ The board of directors at Bicara Therapeutics has grown to nine members with the additions of Kate Haviland and Scott Robertson. Haviland replaced Jeff Albers as CEO of Blueprint Medicines in April 2022, and Robertson is the ex-chief business and financial officer at DICE Therapeutics, the immunology biotech that Eli Lilly snapped up this summer for $2.4 billion.

Illumina once had designs on buying PacBio, which is gaining on the DNA sequencing giant and has added ex-Moderna and Amgen CFO David Meline to the board of directors. Meline will also be a board member at HP starting Nov. 1.

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Watch Live: Biden Delivers Prime-Time Oval Office Address On Israel, Ukraine

Watch Live: Biden Delivers Prime-Time Oval Office Address On Israel, Ukraine

Update (1940ET) – When President Biden delivers the 2nd Oval…



Watch Live: Biden Delivers Prime-Time Oval Office Address On Israel, Ukraine

Update (1940ET) - When President Biden delivers the 2nd Oval Office address of his presidency, he is expected to make a supplemental spending request to Congress that will include:

$14 billion for Israel
$60 billion for Ukraine
$10 billion for humanitarian aid
$7 billion for Indo-Pacific
$14 billion for border security

Watch Live:

We were off by $5 billion...

*  *  *

Following a trip to Israel that did little to soothe worries of broadening conflict in the region, President Biden will address the American people from the Oval Office at 8 pm ET Thursday night, delivering a speech intended to foster Congressional support for throwing more money at not only Israel but also Ukraine. 

“Tomorrow, President Biden will address the nation to discuss our response to Hamas’ terrorist attacks against Israel and Russia’s ongoing brutal war against Ukraine,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement. 

Support for funding the West's proxy war against Russia in Ukraine has been sagging, particularly in the wake of a vaunted Ukraine counteroffensive that has resulted in a net loss of territory. Last month, an amendment that would prohibit any more military aid to Ukraine won the support of 93 Republicans...and zero Democrats. That was a gain of 23 votes from a similar resolution offered in July. 

Destroyed Ukrainian armored vehicles in Donetsk (Russian Defense Ministry)

As the 2007-08 financial crisis erupted, then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

That spirit will be evident in Biden's prime time address: The Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel gives the White House and the war state an opportunity to tie Ukraine aid to security assistance for Israel -- something few members of Congress will dare oppose, and especially Republicans.  

Further sweetening the deal for Ukraine-weary Republicans, Biden will also ask for money for Taiwan and the US-Mexico border, the New York Times reports. He's expected to ask for a total of $100 billion, about $60 billion of which would go to Ukraine, compared to $10 billion for Israel. The package will be positioned as an allocation meant to last a year, deferring the need for additional requests from Congress.  

The US government has poured more than $75 billion into Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine in January 2021. As the outlays have mounted, so too has the technological complexity of the weapons. Just last weekend, Ukraine fired ATACMS missiles at Russian forces for the first time. 

In Tel Aviv, Biden said he would request an "unprecedented support package for Israel's defense." Though Israel is among the world's richest countries, it already receives about $3.3 billion in annual assistance from the US government -- even as America's total public debt has surged past $33 trillion, to say nothing of unfunded liabilities related to entitlement programs.  

A rocket is fired from an Israeli "Iron Dome" missile defense platform; the US government gives Israel billions of dollars to maintain the system (IDF)

Oval Office addresses are relatively rare. In March 2020, Donald Trump detailed his administration's plans to counter the Covid-19 pandemic. Obama spoke in 2015 following the Islamic extremist mass shooting in San Bernardino, and in 2010 after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. George W. Bush memorably used the Oval Office to address the country on 9/11.

Much as Bush lied to Americans by telling them al Qaeda attacked them because of their "freedom," expect Biden to tell his audience that military and financial aid to Israel keeps Americans safe -- when in fact that support is one of the principal motivators of terrorism against US civilians. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 10/19/2023 - 19:40

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Restoring Moral Clarity On Campus

Restoring Moral Clarity On Campus

Authored by Bruce Abramson via RealClear Wire,

Events of the past week have brought clarity in many…



Restoring Moral Clarity On Campus

Authored by Bruce Abramson via RealClear Wire,

Events of the past week have brought clarity in many areas. Perhaps the one that hits closest to home for many Americans is the moral rot of academia.

Leading academics, scholars, professors, students, and administrators in the United States have had a shockingly hard time condemning mass murder and rape at a music concert in the desert, the slaughter of babies, and the kidnapping of more than 100 civilians of all ages. A disturbing number have celebrated these actions. A larger group have cheered the perpetrators. A still larger cadre have reminded us of the subtle and deep complexities underlying such misdirected anger – which they dare not call barbarism lest they offend the “oppressed” terrorists.

The list of prestigious institutions incapable of unequivocal condemnation of these Nazi-level atrocities is long: Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, the University of Washington, Georgetown, and many others made headlines. They were hardly anomalies.

Their cowardly, mealy-mouthed expressions of false equivalence are representative of what our finest universities have become: enemies of civilization.

Look closely at any of the demonstrations, rallies, protests, or riots supporting barbarism. Look closely at the people organizing, funding, and rationalizing these movements. Invariably, you’ll find graduates – mostly recent graduates – of America’s most prestigious institutions of “higher learning.” Some of the most obscene speakers are their professors. Right behind them are the leading lights of K-12 education.

America’s most committed parents are spending their life savings to turn their children into indoctrinated, radicalized, deeply immoral apologists for barbarism – if not barbarians themselves. Civilized norms, basic decency, and common sense developed over the course of centuries are crumbling rapidly.

In today’s academia, even my references to “civilization” and “barbarism” rankle. Only an oppressive imperialist would assume that one set of norms is superior to another. Who gave me the right to insist that there’s something uniquely repulsive about mutilating dead bodies?

That’s why one of the most important experiments in America today is the drive to reclaim academia. It’s a relatively young experiment. Selected religious institutions have labored for years to hold the line, but they’ve done little more than define a niche. Their ability to influence academia more broadly has been severely limited.

In recent years, however, some public institutions have entered the fray. Florida’s state university system has likely taken the lead – with tiny New College of Florida at the vanguard.

I was thrilled when the opportunity arose to join the team working to turn New College into the best liberal arts college in America – no longer a very high bar – as well as a campus in which students feel physically safe but intellectually challenged.

One of our goals is to ensure that our campus is a “safe space” only in the sense that it provides freedom from assault, harassment, and discrimination. Academic institutions committed to true higher education do not offer protection from ideas. To the contrary, they relish spirited argumentation, debate, and persuasion.

They teach students to separate fact from opinion, assess the credibility of their sources, marshal the evidence, and justify their conclusions. They welcome passion, even emotion, while imparting the lesson that these very human components of argumentation cannot justify fabrication.

They preserve the fixed meaning of words, holding the line against deconstructions that attach pre-existing feelings to altered concepts. They expect participants to be resilient and robust, to seek ways to exercise their minds while strengthening or refining – or sometimes altering – their beliefs, not fragile snowflakes likely to wither and melt when faced with the slightest micro-disappointment.

In short, our work threatens America’s morally corrupt educational establishment and the indecent radicals it prefers to mold. It’s hardly a coincidence that so many so-called educators are eager for us to fail.

Nor is it a coincidence that U.S. News recently moved Florida’s colleges downward in their rankings. A full 20% of their scoring system relies upon a school’s reputation among the leadership of its peers. Florida’s schools are unpopular among apologists for barbarism? We can live with that.

In stark contrast to those prestigious competitors, Florida’s public institutions expressed moral clarity from the very top. A letter from Chancellor Ray Rodrigues and Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. began:

This weekend, the world watched Hamas, an Iran-backed terrorist organization, commit a barbaric attack against Israel including innocent Israeli women, children, babies, and grandparents who were Holocaust survivors. Israel not only has the right to defend itself against these heinous attacks, but it has a duty to respond with overwhelming force. Florida unequivocally stands with Israel and the Jewish people during this difficult moment in history.

Here at New College, President Richard Corcoran added:

New College faithfully executes its responsibility under state law to ensure that all education programs, activities and opportunities are offered free from discrimination. … Any individual or group at New College providing support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

That such statements would be controversial among our peers should concern every American. All people of good faith, basic decency, and moral clarity should wish us well as we seek to restore morality and decency to higher education.

Bruce Abramson is executive director of New Student & Graduate Admissions at New College of Florida and a director of the American Center for Education and Knowledge. He is the author of “An American Vision for the Middle East” (Kindle, 2017) on the nature of Middle East conflicts, and “The New Civil War” (RealClear Publishing, 2021) on the corruption of American academia.

Tyler Durden Thu, 10/19/2023 - 21:00

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