By

Luke Timmerman

25
Jun
2020

The Exponential Curves Re-Emerge

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11
Jun
2020

Inconvenient Truths and Rays of Light

The information world that we built sometimes has a way of distracting us. It downplays and marginalizes what’s important. Not this week. Let’s start with a few timely, inconvenient truths. As of this writing on June 11: The US has 113,865 dead from COVID-19 and counting. 2 million+ confirmed cases. 20,000 new cases adding up every day. 21 states are...
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10
Jun
2020

Fighting COVID-19 & Racism: Andy Plump on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Andrew Plump. Andy is the president of research and development, and a member of the board of directors, at Takeda Pharmaceutical. Takeda doesn’t get a lot of attention in the US, but it’s one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies by revenue, ranking a little behind AbbVie and a little ahead of Bristol-Myers...
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4
Jun
2020

Anger, Pain, and Hope

The emotions this week were especially intense. Anger. Fear. Despair. But there was also hope. That gets me up in the morning. In this slice of America, the biotech industry, many people are mission-driven. People in this industry work every day to improve the human condition by making better medicines. Not everyone feels the full weight, but many in this...
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28
May
2020

The Infodemic Summer

The US death toll from COVID-19 exceeded 100,000 this week. Another 40 million people are unemployed.  We’ve been on this terrible trajectory for what seems like forever, with 20,000 new cases a day and 1,500 or so deaths every day. The New York Times lists 18 states where new cases are increasing and 19 states where cases are decreasing. Memorial...
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26
May
2020

Finding a Path in Biotech Venture Capital: Nina Kjellson on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Nina Kjellson. Nina is a general partner with Canaan Partners on the West Coast. Her investing style leans toward high science, which you can see in portfolio companies like PACT Pharma, a company developing neoantigen targeted T cell therapies for cancer, Tizona Therapeutics, a targeted antibody developer for cancer, and Vineti, a software...
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21
May
2020

A Glimmer of Hope, and a Premature Celebration

We all woke up Monday morning and saw an encouraging headline. Then things started to go downhill. To recap, Moderna, the Cambridge, Mass.-based messenger RNA therapeutics and vaccines company, provided a snapshot of preliminary data from its Phase I trial of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate, being tested in collaboration with Tony Fauci’s crew at the National Institute of Allergy and...
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14
May
2020

Meet My Friend Who Supported Trump in 2016

[This week, I’m re-publishing this column written Nov. 9, 2016. It’s probably more important to read now.—Luke] I’ve been dreading this moment since June. That’s when I started telling people: Trump was going to win. I could feel it in my bones, because of where I’m from. We’ve heard enough by now that the elites have let us down. The...
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13
May
2020

Coronavirus Vaccine Strategy: Larry Corey on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Larry Corey. Larry is one of the nation’s best-known virologists and vaccine developers. Much of his research over the years has been on HIV, herpes simplex viruses, and viruses associated with cancer. He’s the founding director and principal investigator of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network – a collaborative group to study vaccine candidates...
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11
May
2020

Science in Plain English for the Pandemic

Art Krieg is one of the leaders in the field of oligonucleotide drug discovery, going back to the 1980s. Today, he’s the founder and chief scientific officer of Cambridge, Mass.-based Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, a cancer immunotherapy company. It’s his job to explain scientific concepts to a variety of professional audiences. But he leveraged that skill recently to do an interesting thing...
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7
May
2020

Keeping the Faith and Bracing for the Long Slog

We’re suffering from a social disease. It ranks up there with COVID-19. It’s boundless cynicism. We need to tamp this down. Just like we need to wrestle the new coronavirus to the ground. I’m not willing to accept “shit happens” as the national motto. This is a country of can-do problem-solvers. We can do so much better. You can see...
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1
May
2020

A Time for Empathy

This is a fragile moment. It’s May 1. Some of us have been in social isolation for two solid months. Everyone’s at some point on the continuum of stir crazy. More than 30 million people are out of work. Tempers are flaring. Protestors are carrying guns. It’s obvious we can’t sustain a maximalist social-distancing policy much longer. Today, we have...
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24
Apr
2020

A Sad Week of Reckless Leadership

The first US death from COVID-19 was reported on Feb. 29. Today, Apr. 24, the US death toll exceeds 50,000. That’s more than Italy and Spain combined. Even though we had early warning. It’s tragic. There’s also a reason why the death toll hasn’t been higher. It’s because of large-scale physical distancing in this expansive country of 330 million people....
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