Welcome to Dispensed: A weekly dose of pharma, biotech, and healthcare news

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iStock; Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Hello,

Welcome to Dispensed, a new email containing the biotech, pharma, and healthcare stories that kept Business Insider’s healthcare team busy this week.

For those of you who’ve followed my previous newsletter, Drug Developments, never fear! This will feel the exact same way, just sent through Business Insider rather than independently – and with a much cooler name. It’ll still come out on Fridays as a way to recap the week.

New to the newsletter? You can sign up here.

And boy was it a week. For starters, Emma Court joined our team on Monday! Based in NYC, she’ll be working alongside me, West Coast correspondent Erin Brodwin and our editor Zach Tracer.

Not sure who to reach out to on a topic? Feel free to find us all at healthcare@businessinsider.com.

On the news side too, there were some exciting developments. On Friday alone, we witnessed the biggest initial public offering in biotech history after Moderna priced at $23 a share, raising more than $600 million.

Moderna is sliding in its Wall Street debut after the biggest IPO in biotech history

  • Moderna Therapeutics started trading Friday in its initial public offering under the ticker “MRNA.”
  • It raised more than $600 million in the biggest IPO in biotech history, selling shares at $23 each.
  • Moderna’s stock declined in its trading debut on Friday.
  • Moderna is developing medical treatments based on messenger RNA, and the company is still in the early days of human trials for its treatments.

I also took some time these past few weeks to dive into the urgent care market, whose offices are seemingly turning up in every neighborhood in the US.

The move toward convenience is making everyone from hospitals to health insurers pay attention.

The doctor who founded CityMD and sold it for $600 million explains how a new kind of medical clinic is changing how Americans get healthcare

  • Urgent-care centers have become an increasingly popular way to get healthcare in the US.
  • Big players – from health plans to hospital systems to private-equity investors – all want in on urgent care, which grew by 25% between 2014 and 2017.
  • The growth is coming at a time when the way Americans access healthcare is changing.

As part of it, I chatted with CityMD CEO Richard Park, who walked me through his decision to open up an urgent care site in Jackson Heights, Queens, even though it ended up losing millions.

In pharma, I had a standing-desk-style meeting with Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan at the Forbes Healthcare Summit last week. Here were some of the highlights from our chat:

Emma’s first official BI byline was a story about the latest development from AbbVie’s Stemcentrx acquisition.

A cancer drug that AbbVie acquired in a $10 billion deal is looking more and more like a failure

  • AbbVie acquired the buzzy cancer drug Rova-T in a 2016 deal worth up to $10.2 billion.
  • But the company just stopped enrolling a late-stage trial at an independent committee’s recommendation because patients had shorter survival results on the drug.
  • Wall Street had already been lowering its expectations for Rova-T earlier this year.

And Zach and Erin tackled an interesting story coming out of the DNA space about a startup that wants to pay for your genetic code.

A tiny startup wants to pay you for your DNA, and it could lead to the next wave of medical innovation

  • A startup called LunaDNA is taking a new approach to genetic research by paying individuals to share their information with scientists.
  • Right now, some DNA testing companies already sell your genome for medical research, though you can usually opt out.
  • You probably won’t get rich off your DNA. LunaDNA estimates the value of your whole genome at $21, for now.

Zach and the graphics team also mapped out the percentage of income devoted to healthcare spending in each state. Definitely makes me want to move away from NYC…

your healthcare burden in every state 4x3

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Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

More ahead now that the team is fully assembled! I’m going to be out in Seattle for the first half of next week learning more about the health and tech developments taking place in the area. If there’s folks I should be meeting while I’m out there, please let me know – my days are pretty full, but still on the hunt for breakfast and dinner companions.

Tips, things we missed while waiting for Moderna to start trading, or – perhaps importantly – suggestions for places to go/eat in Seattle while I’m out there next week? Find me at lramsey@businessinsider.com.

And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!

– Lydia