- Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
Welcome to Dispensed, Business Insider’s weekly healthcare newsletter, recapping all you might’ve missed while trying to learn all you can about the Wuhan, China coronavirus outbreak.
To kick things off, I want to give a warm welcome to our newest teammate, Andrew Dunn!
Andrew joins us after a stint at BioPharma Dive, and he’ll be reporting on biotech and pharma for us here at BI alongside me and our fearless editor Zach Tracer. You can reach him with all your hottest pharma tips at email@example.com.
To start the week, BI sent a team out to Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum. Deputy editor Joe Ciolli spoke to Amy Webb, a professor at NYU’s business school, and the conversation took an interesting turn over to healthcare and how tech is disrupting the industry already.
A top expert on disruption explains how Amazon, Google, and Apple will ‘completely dismantle’ the healthcare industry – and says the wheels are already in motion
The way she sees it, tech companies are coming for the healthcare industry’s lunch.
Next, Andrew hit the ground running his first week here tackling the mounting concerns about the Wuhan virus and the response from biotech companies.
He laid out the timeline we’re looking at for a potential vaccine, turning to what’s unfolded in Zika and Ebola outbreaks.
Like everything, it’s easiest to say you’re planning to do something. Actually doing it will be another question.
A vaccine for Wuhan coronavirus could take years to develop, based on our experience trying to fight Zika and Ebola
- Several biotech companies have rolled out plans to develop vaccines to protect people against the Wuhan, China coronavirus, with support from global health groups and the US government.
- But vaccine development has historically been an arduous, multi-year process. None of the biotechs provided expected timelines to get their vaccines on the market.
- Previous infectious disease outbreaks, including for the Ebola and Zika viruses, show the challenges likely to face experimental vaccines for this virus as well.
Insider/Business Insider has been all over the outbreak. You can read more about what we know and what we don’t know about the outbreak here.
Dispatches from our JPMorgan conference meetings
Over the past week, Zach and I took a look back through our notes to break out some of the interesting conversations we had around the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
- I spoke with Lilly’s Anne White and Josh Bilenker about the oncology pipeline at the drug giant now that it’s acquired Bilenker’s company, Loxo Oncology. Bilenker, who sold the biotech to Eli Lilly for $8 billion in 2019, told me why he’s staying on at the pharma giant rather than heading out on a new venture.
- I’ve been going around talking to chief digital officers at healthcare giants to ask how they’re approaching bringing technology to older companies. When I mentioned that to Pear Therapeutics CEO Corey McCann, he imparted the one question he asks pharma companies to see if they’re really serious about incorporating things like digital therapeutics into their businesses. Chief digital officers I speak to next: I hope you’re ready with an answer.
- Zach spoke to Rich Roth, the chief strategic innovation officer at CommonSpirit Health. He’s in charge of of finding and developing new ways to improve the $29 billion health system. Roth laid out the 4 places he’s looking to place his bets.
Another sign that the consumer genetics fad is ending
On Thursday, consumer genetics giant 23andMe laid off 100 employees, roughly 14% of the company’s workforce.
DNA tests just aren’t selling the way they once were.
Late last year, I spoke with 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, Ancestry CEO Margo Georgiadis, and other experts on the consumer genetics market about the challenges plaguing the industry, and how some are plotting a path forward. The “fad” certainly seems to be ending.
It’ll be interesting to see how companies with millions of users weather the storm, as well as what happens to some of the smaller players in the space.
Primary care company One Medical’s IPO is imminent.
This week, we got an updated look at what they’re aiming to get out of the public offering. An updated filing with the SEC showed that One Medical plans to offer 20.1 million shares at a price between $14 and $16 a share, raising as much as $322 million.
It could stand to make a lot of investors and executives at the company very wealthy. We’ve been keeping tabs on how much the top stakeholders in the company stand to make when the company goes public, which we’ll be updating through the first day of trading. You can follow along here.
With that I’ll leave you to your weekends. I’m trading sunny southern California (thanks a million for the recommendations, by the way, I ate so well all weekend!) for the ski slopes of upstate New York. If you need me, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can reach the whole healthcare team at email@example.com.