Interviews, Reviews and Tops: Our Best Biotech Articles from 2017

best biotech articles 2017

We love hearing from our readers, and we listen to what they like! Here are the long reads from our best biotech articles of 2017.

We gave you a list of books to read this holiday season, but do you need something lighter for the post-Christmas daze? We’ve collected our most popular long articles of the year — interviews, reviews and “tops” — that will give you something to sink your teeth into if your brain isn’t up to one of our book selections. It’s time for the list of our best articles on biotech this year.

Or if you just want to see which articles won the popularity contest, here are the results!


One of the first interviews of the year was one of the most popular: I interviewed the three Dutch scientists, Hans van EenennamJohn Dulos and Andrea van Elsas were behind MSD’s blockbuster checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda and now at California-based Aduro. They told me the story of its development, what they now do at Aduro, and where they see immuno-oncology going.

Mosa Meat is Clara’s favorite biotech, no doubt from this interview with its CEO, Mark Post. His company, based in The Netherlands, could very well be the first to commercialize lab-grown beef — it currently costs €10 per burger, and the meat is projected to hit the shelves in 2020.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) is one of the biggest deals in biotech, and Nick McCooke led the team that invented it at Solexa, a British startup that was later acquired by Illumina. This giant has since taken over the NGS field and become infamous for suing anyone who dares challenge it. McCooke told us the story of the company and what he’s up to now.

Onno van de Stolpe is one of the rare biotech co-founders remaining in the C-suite of his company, and the company in question has risen to become a role model in European biotech. Galapagos has enjoyed success after success and is now one of the largest biotechs in Europe. He told us the story of his company’s remarkable transformation and shared some insight about management.

Alzheimer’s Disease has been a graveyard for biotechs with repeated failures, but one company that is getting some traction is TauRx. Tim Earle is its COO/CBO, and as “the commercial guy in a profoundly scientific company,” he told us why on earth he would bet on this risky area.



While we normally do a Top-kind of article for locations, we felt that Spain deserved a proper review as an up and coming biotech ecosystem. The country seems to be an inflection point, according to leaders like the Sanifit CEO Joan Perelló, Ysios Capital partner Joël Jean-Mairet, and Pharmamar oncology exec Luis Mora. We’re sure we can expect only great things to come!

Chimeric Antigen Receptor – T cell (CAR-T) Therapy

2017 may well be the year of CAR-T after Novartis’ landmark approval, and while this review doesn’t yet have all the latest information, it’s a fantastic overview of the space. It’s not just Novartis and the American noisemakers — Cellectis and Celyad are developing their own technologies, and Cellectis’ may even be available “off the shelf.” If you want to know more about how CAR-T works, be sure to check out our infographic as well.


At ASH a few weeks ago, BioMarin and Roche made headlines with their hemophilia treatments. The disease is an attractive target for gene therapies, and uniQure is also going after it. But what else is happening in the field? Let’s review.

Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)

NASH might be an unexpected goldmine, but it’s worth taking seriously at €37B with no treatment yet on the market. A number of companies are vying to be first, and France-based Genfit is in the lead. But as CSO Dean Hum explained at Refresh, it’s a complex disease whose treatment will take a variety of approaches…

RNA saw its first major win in perhaps decades this year, with the positive Phase III results for Alnylam and Sanofi‘s candidate, patisiran. So how far has the field come? The first drug could be on the market as soon as next year.


Biotech has been accused of having a big problem with sexism and, as we’ve written about in the wake of the JP Morgan party incident, there is still a significant gender gap. Despite the apparent resistance to women’s leadership, we found 15 women calling the shots in European biotech. And if you can’t get enough of leading ladies, check out our list of biotech’s top women entrepreneurs.

Cambridge Antibody Technology, Solexa, Micromet…these are just a few of the biggest names in European biotech history. What are the rest? We put together the list to celebrate the invaluable contributions by the companies to science and industry developmen.

Making this list was hard: there aren’t many academics who excel at founding companies. There are a few famous ones, like Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute and CRISPR Therapeutics and Sir Gregory Winter of Cambridge University and Cambridge Antibody Technology — but who else can you think of? We found eight more academic co-founders you should know.

Incubators are a key stepping stone for many an entrepreneur, as they provide support for transferring a technology from the bench into a company. We selected the fifteen best places in Europe to get a company started.

This vertex of “The Golden Triangle” is home to the likes of the unicorn Immunocore and its rival Adaptimmune, as well as perennial favorite Oxitec and its genetically engineered mosquitoes. Who else should you have your eye on in this hotspot for biotech? Read our list.

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