For many years, the trend in biotech was for drug development companies to pursue one or maybe two drug candidates, or assets, as they’re called in industry parlance. Go lean and attract the attention of big pharma or investors in the late stage trials. But today’s guest says there is more innovation when the biotech organization invests in a technology platform that produces multiple drug candidates. Paul Hastings is the CEO of OncoMed, a company developing drugs that target cancer stem cells. He’s built OncoMed in what he says was the old model. By mid-2015, the company will have seven drug candidates in the clinic.
"There was a period of time when investors were only interested in late stage products that they could put their arms around and measure,” he says. "But I think investors woke up. . . .They realized that the innovation part of what we were doing before was suffering from this model.”
OncoMed was one of the first IPOs of the current bull market. Has Paul changed his management style since going public? Does he buy into the virtual drug development model? And what does he see for the industry in 2015?