• Influential investor, Wende Hutton, to Speak at #BIF19

    In a few short months BIO will be hosting the BIO Investor Forum (#BIF19) for the 17th time. The event’s long history is testament to the continued appetite for partnerships, collaborations and investment in the exciting world of early stage biotech companies on the cusp of medical breakthroughs that can change and save lives.
    One of the first announced fireside chat speakers for the October (22-23) event is a seasoned investor who has spent much of her career championing innovation in med
  • 2019 BIO World Congress Showcases Green Solutions to Address Global Challenges

    Last week, as presidential candidates trekked across the Hawkeye State and campaigned on addressing society’s most pressing challenges, biotech innovators wrapped up four days of showcasing the scientific solutions to climate change, hunger, pollution, and energy security.
    Biotech breakthroughs—such as biofuels that reduce carbon emissions, biodegradable plastics made from plants, or gene-edited plants that reduce agriculture’s impact on the environment—were center stage
  • Rare Disease Drug Development Increases but Challenges Remain

    In a recent study published by Tufts University, researchers found that rare disease drug development is now one of the fastest growing areas in drug R&D, with nearly one-third of all products in the global R&D pipeline targeting treatments for rare disease indications.
    Yet while innovative biopharmaceutical companies have increased R&D investment in rare disease drug development in recent years, challenges remain. For example, the report indicates that:
    Clinical through approval pha
  • #BIOWC19 Day 3 Wrap-Up: Bringing People, Ideas, and Technology Together

    Day three of the 2019 BIO World Congress began by awarding three individuals who have had a profound impact on industrial and agricultural biotechnology. It was a fitting moment because, just like them, #BIOWC19 is bringing people, ideas, and technology together to bolster the bio-economy and address society’s most pressing challenges.
    Here are some highlights from the third day at the 2019 BIO World Congress…
    Recognizing Leaders and Innovators: Advances in industrial and agric
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  • #BIOWC19 Day 2 Wrap-Up: Innovating for a Sustainable Future

    Day two of BIO’s 2019 World Congress started bright and early with hundreds of global biotechnology leaders—including company executives, researchers, investors, and government officials—arriving in Des Moines for sessions, company presentations, partnering, and BIO’s Start-Up Stadium.
    Here are a few highlights from the second day at #BIOWC19…
    The New Food Revolution: #BIOWC19’s first plenary session was a full house and featured an opening spe
  • #BIOWC19 Kicks Off: Biotech Breakthroughs Take Center Stage in Des Moines

    Tomorrow, biotech breakthroughs—such as biofuels that reduce carbon pollution, biodegradable plastics made from plants, or gene-edited crops that can withstand and mitigate the effects of climate change—will take center stage in Des Moines for the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech.
    Here is what you can expect this week and what’s already happening at the 2019 BIO World Congress…
    New Programming, Engaging Sessions and Workshops, Company Presen
  • Biotech to Celebrate America… And Save the Planet

    This week, Americans across the country are hitting the road, securing their sparklers and lighting the grill to celebrate our nation’s 243rd birthday.
    Many Americans don’t know, however, that biotechnology will play a significant role in ensuring we can continue to celebrate the country’s independence for decades to come.
    From the ethanol in your gas tank that will fuel your trek to the beach, to the renewable chemicals that can one day be used to make bioplastic solo cup
  • BIO Briefs Geneva Audience on Science of Human Genome Editing

    BIO staff recently traveled to Geneva to brief country missions and representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the science behind developing somatic cell genome editing medicine and its potential treat and cure disease.
    Sesquile Ramon, BIO’s Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs discussed advances in human genome editing
    Matt O’Mara, BIO’s Vice President of International Affa
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  • AgTech @ BIO World Congress

    In just a little over a week, hundreds of attendees from across the globe will descend on Des Moines, Iowa for the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Agtech. The annual program has zigzagged across the country for more than a decade and this year marks the first time it is being hosted in America’s Heartland.
    The world’s largest conference on industrial biotechnology has a legacy of connecting investors, companies and researchers to partner and innovate on the ne
  • Greenwood: A Critical Medicare Policy Has Been Delayed. Let’s Use This Opportunity to Get It Right.

    In a piece for Morning Consult, BIO’s Jim Greenwood writes that while CAR-T cell therapies are changing the way we treat patients with some types of cancer, policies being considered in Washington could delay access to care for individuals covered under Medicare.
    “While CAR-T therapies represent a significant benefit and value for patient health outcomes and overall delivery of care, major reimbursement hurdles could prevent individuals from obtaining treatment. Personalized therapie
  • Maine Takes Big Step Towards Reducing Carbon Footprint and Creating Green Jobs

    In case you missed it, the Maine State Senate last week unanimously passed legislation that will help foster the production of environmentally-friendly innovations—like plant-based plastics, renewable chemicals, and biofuels—as well as speed up Maine’s transformation to a 21st-century, bio-based economy that generates green products and jobs.
    The bill establishes a tax credit for creating renewable products from forest, farm, sea, or solid waste biomass and brings back another
  • A Sustainable Movement to Curb Cancer in Africa

    In just two years, BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) has made significant progress in responding to the growing cancer crisis in Africa. Through their African Access Initiative (AAI), this nimble, Seattle-based non-profit has established partnerships with industry giants, Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Ministries of Health in six African countries and hospital leaders to implement capacity building programs and advance cancer drug access agreements.
    Solutions driven by Africa, for Africa
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  • New BIO White Paper: Incorporating Real-World Evidence Within the Label of an FDA-Approved Drug

    In today’s increasingly connected world, health care researchers have access to previously unimaginable troves of data about the effects of healthcare interventions, including medicines. New technologies are allowing researchers to use so-called “big data” to investigate ways to better diagnose disease, predict which patients will benefit from which therapies, and observe the effects of medicines on a broader population than is possible during clinical trials. Such observa
  • Health security threats are real: What is Congress doing?

    In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, Congress recently passed and yesterday President Trump signed into law legislation that will ensure the country is ready and able to respond quickly to national health security threats.
    As an Ebola outbreak rages on in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the U.S. heads into the 2019 hurricane season, this new law – the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act – will help the U.S. Department of Health and Human Se
  • Congressman Stiver Continues Call for Sensible Patent Reform

    Congressman Stiver Continues Call for Sensible Patent Reform
    While there is consensus across Capitol Hill that patent reform legislation is badly needed, the path to achieving a broadly supported bill remains elusive. This is clearly no easy task, as legislators must curb abusive patent practices, while strengthening the ability of patent owners to defend their inventions and businesses against infringement.
    Last week, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) illuminated the many complexities fac

    Source: Wall Street Journal – 19 June 2019
    A blight-tolerant American chestnut tree is the latest example of what the science community has begun to call a GRO—a genetically rescued organism. In the past century approximately four billion chestnut trees have been lost in the U.S. due to blight that spread when the Cryphonectria parasitica fungus arrived with chestnut trees imported from Asia. A once-dominant hardwood species is now rare.

    Source: TV News Now (NZ) – 24 June 2019
    There’s growing concern New Zealand will fall behind other countries unless the Government updates genetic modification laws. The Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act hasn’t been changed since 1998. Plant and Food Research chief scientist Richard Newcomb is the latest to join the call for a public information campaign and discussion on gene editing, a technology that is more precise than previous genetic modification and doesn&

    Source: GMOinfo.eu – 19 June 2019A special Eurobarometer survey report on food safety was published this month. It shows once again that the regularly promoted narrative that “90 per cent of Europeans are against GMOs” is bogus.

    Source: ABC News, Rural – 19 June 2019
    Scientists are exploring taking crops out of the field and growing them in warehouses to develop new varieties capable of feeding 10 billion people by 2050.This research from The University of Queensland was featured in the journal Nature Biotechnology on 17 June 2019.
  • BIO’s Hans Sauer Calls for Less Confusing Patent Eligibility Standards

    Hans Sauer, BIO’s Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property, recently testified at the second of three hearings in the Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the subject of “The State of Patent Eligibility in America.”
    The hearings are looking at Section 101 of the Patent Act (35 USC 101) which governs what sort of inventions are eligible for patent protection.  Over the last 9 years, the Supreme Court has crafted common law exceptio
  • The DISARM Act Can Help Fix the Broken Antibiotics Market

    In his a recent piece for Bloomberg, reporter Robert Langreth paints a harrowing picture of the quickly deteriorating antibiotics market and calls attention to the challenging ecosystem biopharmaceutical innovators and investors are having to deal with – or increasingly, moving away from altogether:
    “The business model, the way we reimburse and pay for antibiotics, has just fundamentally crashed,” said Kevin Outterson, a Boston University law professor who has studied market fa
  • The Future of Biotech Innovation in Brazil: Improving Patient Outcomes

    The 2019 BIO International Convention took place this month in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and featured an educational program that tackled issues at the forefront of the biotechnology industry today. These issues, ranging from personalized medicine to digital health to artificial intelligence and machine learning, will come to define the industry in the years to come.
    These critical issues will also be on spotlighted at the upcoming BIO Latin America Conference, but through the lens o
  • BIO Sponsoring Cultivating Change Summit as Part of ‘Right Mix Matters’ Initiative

    Today, June 19, kicks off The Cultivating Change Summit in Iowa. The three-day event, which is hosted by the Cultivating Change Foundation and sponsored by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), will bring together more than 200 agriculture LGBT employees, human resources and diversity and inclusion professionals, employee resources group leaders, executives and organizational leaders, allies, and others who are working toward an equitable industry environment for LGBT agriculturists e
  • 4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About GMOs, But Definitely Should

    Last week, GMO Answers had a booth at Nutrition 2019, the annual scientific meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.  We had a lot of great conversations with registered dietitians, academics, food scientists, and others interested in food and nutrition. Our booth has a banner that states, “Ask Us Anything About GMOs.” It provides a great opening to dialogue, and many people wonder, “Any question? Well, what are the most common questions that people have about GMOs?&
  • United Airlines Utilizes Biotechnology for Most Eco-Friendly Commercial Flight of its Kind

    Last week on World Environment Day, United Airlines’ made history with the most eco-friendly commercial flight of its kind in the history of aviation. And to achieve this goal, the flight utilized biotechnology. The flight, deemed “Flight for the Planet,” traveled from Chicago O’Hare to Los Angeles and utilized sustainable aviation biofuel, zero cabin waste efforts with bio-based products, carbon offsetting, and operational efficiencies.
    “The historic Flight for the
  • AI Helps Unravel Mystery of Neurological Disorders

    Neurological disorders are estimated to affect up to 1 billion people around the world—including nearly 100 million Americans—with roughly 7 million people dying of the maladies every year worldwide. The vast spectrum of more than 600 neurological disorders includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraines and brain injuries.
    These disorders present tremendous public health challenges that are estimated to cost around $800 billion
  • Executive Order on Agricultural Biotechnology Is an Important Step Forward

    During his June 11th visit to Iowa, President Donald Trump pledged to boost the ethanol industry and protect farmers. Specifically, the president lifted a summertime ban on E15 gasoline blends and then signed an executive order to streamline the process for approving products of agricultural biotechnology.
    The executive order, titled “Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology” was signed by the President “to speed up reviews of biotechnology so th
  • The Naked Scientist at #BIO2019

    Amidst all the hustle and bustle at BIO, amongst the standing room only packed crowds in the Super Sessions, and the illustrious Fireside Chats, you might have caught a glimpse of the man who calls himself The Naked Scientist.
    No, he’s not really naked. He’s actually a medical doctor, who became so fascinated with science beyond his area of practice that he decided to put down the scalpel and pick up the mic.
    What started as a weekend hobby for Dr. Chris Smith in his home in England,
  • Licensing of Research Has Had Huge Impact on Economy & Jobs

    A new report from BIO and AUTM demonstrates to enormous return on investment that ultimately comes from public funding of early-stage basic research. The licensing of this research has significantly expanded US gross domestic product, industrial gross output, and jobs over the last 22 years.
    The report, “The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996-2017,” documents the significant return that US taxpayers receive on their investment in feder

    07 June 2019. Source: ReutersThe US is planning to revise its regulations on importing, transporting and releasing GMOs, it told the World Trade Organization in a filing published on Friday. The proposal from the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987, aims to reduce the regulatory burden to reflect advances in genetic engineering and better understanding of plant pest risks, it said.

    05 June 2019. Source: The Leadership Newspaper (Nigeria)Dr Issoufou Kollo Abdourhamane, the project manager of African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is interviewed on the health and environmental impact of GM crops and the economic importance of Pod-Borer Resistant (PBR) cowpea. The PBR Cowpea Project is a public private partnership coordinated by AATF to promote technological interventions that will optimise cowpea productivity and utilization in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

    30 May 2019. Source: ISAAAA healthy agricultural production system cannot exist without healthy soils. Aside from being the habitat of diverse organisms that contribute to carbon sequestration, the soil plays a vital role in food production as well as in climate change mitigation. With biotech products such as herbicide tolerant crops, conservation practices have been used not just to the farmers’ advantage, but also to preserve soil health.

    14 May 2019. Source: YouTube via Genetic Literacy Project.Many Americans know the sad tale of how the American chestnut tree was driven almost to extinction in the 20th century. More important, chestnuts were food. An old rule of thumb was that the nuts from a single big chestnut tree could feed a family of four for a year. …The American Chestnut Foundation has been trying to revive the species since 1983 and plant scientists at the State University of New York’s College of Environm

    21 May 2019. Source: Healthcare ITThe country’s regulations on gene technology are being updated to clarify the regulatory status of new genome editing techniques and provide additional benefits to cancer patients and the medical research community. The amendments will make it quicker and easier for medical researchers to do early proof of concept work and progress to clinical trials with patients, including work to identify genes involved in diseases. The regulation amendments had been ma

    16 May 2019. Source: Big Ideas, ABC Radio NationalGenetic changes can make food crops more resistant to drought, pests and disease but some consumers will go out of their way to avoid genetically modified produce.Despite reassurance from GM scientists, the debate about GM food goes on. Tasmania has a moratorium on GM crops which is up for review in November. A scientist, a lawyer and an environmental advocate debate the pros and cons of GM agriculture.
  • BIO 2019 Wraps Up in Philadelphia

    “The world is beginning to grasp that we’ve entered the dawn of a golden age of medicine. It’s an age of hope. It’s an age of possibility. And it’s an age of healing. No disease will escape our scientists anymore. None.” – Jim Greenwood, CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
    Convention doors are shut, and exhibits are breaking down, but the 17,300 BIO 2019 attendees who rallied under the theme “It Starts With One” will take with
  • Nature Biotechnology and Scientific American Super Session Highlights the Future of the Biotech Sector

    Year after year, the BIO International Convention ends on a high note with a Super Session focused on the future of the biotechnology industry. And this year’s session certainly did not disappoint. New therapies and innovations were at the forefront of Nature Biotechnology and Scientific American’s Worldview Supersession, entitled “Biotech Innovation in a Faster Future.”
    Basing the title and theme of the session on a publication out of MIT Media Lab entitled, “Whip
  • #BIO2019: The State of the Vaccine Industry: Stimulating Sustainable Growth

    There’s little doubt that vaccines are one of the most important medical advances ever created.  Between 2011 and 2020, vaccines will have averted over 23 million deaths in low-income countries. What’s more, according to the CDC, vaccines are responsible for saving the lives of more than 730,000 American children between 1994-2013. During this same period, more than 320 million childhood illnesses were prevented in the U.S. alone.
    But over the past five years, gro
  • #BIO2019: Taking the Pulse of Dealmakers: 2019 Outlook

    After a multi-year expansion of company formation and in biopharma valuations, 2018 was a year of heightened market volatility. As interest rate worries, international trade disputes, and regulatory reimbursement uncertainty have increased, biopharma stock indexes have seen significant corrections. With historically high valuations experiencing sudden dips, M&A deal-making seems to have reignited with notable, multi-billion dollar deals in early 2019.
    A distinguished panel of deal-makers gat
  • U.S. as a Global Leader for Patient Access

    Some 95 percent of cancer drugs launched around the globe are available in the U.S. Given that the U.S. is a global leader in ensuring patients have access to the newest therapies, the country has a profound impact on patient treatment and outcomes around the world. During the panel, Global Perspectives on Patient Access, speakers emphasized the U.S.’s role on access and the need for transparency in drug pricing at the global level.
    “The U.S. has led the way in drug approvals and dru
  • Buzz at BIO: John Hawkins, Author of Conscience and Courage

    In his soon-to-be-released book Conscience and Courage, author John Hawkins reveals the philosophy, principles, methods, and habits of Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer who defied convention to create an innovative company that improved lives across the globe.
    We sat down with Hawkins to discuss his views on how Termeers’ optimism, patience and personality fueled his success and defined his legacy.
    Listen to the full podcast here:http://www.biotech-now.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/johnauthor.m4a
  • The Future Is Bright for Somatic Cell Genome Editing

    Scientific advances in human genome editing have proven that somatic cell genome editing holds great potential to treat or maybe even cure genetic diseases. During the panel, Scientific Advances in Genome Editing: Where Are We Today?, panelists shared insights on how recent advances are accelerating innovation, some of the challenges that stand in the way and how genome editing will become a mainstay in the future.
    Biotech company CRIPSR Therapeutics is developing gene-editing therapy in treatin
  • Jamie Dimon Tackles Rising Health Care Costs, Diversity Challenges and More

    Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., headlined a keynote address this morning at the 2019 BIO International Convention. He chatted with Jim Greenwood, president and CEO of BIO, about what drives him, what he learned from fighting throat cancer and how he would fix some of our nation’s most pressing challenges, from rising health care costs and climate change to boosting diversity in the workplace.
    “The root of you comes from your parents and the values you have,
  • Celebrating World Environment Day

    June 5 has been designated by the United Nations as World Environment Day, a day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. First held in 1974, the event has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.
    We all have a part to play in helping to protect and preserve the environment, and agriculture has a huge role in that. Contrary to popular perception, GMOs can have a positive impact on the environment thro
  • Discussing a “Patient-Centered” Approach at BIO 2019

    Placing patients at the center of everything the biotech industry stands for is a personal mission for Christi Shaw.
    In 1996, her mother, Karen, died of breast cancer. It was a tragic time for her and her two sisters. But tragedy would strike again as Christi’s sister, Sherry, was later diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Christi and her other sibling, Shelley, put their lives on hold to help care for their sister and provide the additional support necessary for her sister to enroll in a clin
  • Realizing the Promise of Gene Therapies for Patients Around the World

    Gene Therapy, arguably the next great leap forward in medicine, may hold the promise of curing the incurable. The first successful gene therapy took place in 1990. Now almost thirty years later, the FDA has announced it expects to receive at least 200 new gene and cell therapy INDs in the next two years. While the potential is exciting and life-changing, the cost surrounding the breakthroughs is daunting.
    The panel – Realizing the Promise of Gene Therapies for Patients Around the World- di
  • It Starts with One: Stephen Tang and the Future of Biotechnology in Philadelphia

    A native of Wilmington, Delaware (Philadelphia’s neighbor to the south), and the child of two scientists, Stephen Tang was well aware of Philly’s University City Science Center, the nation’s first and largest urban research park. Little did he know that he would serve as its CEO for 10 years and in the process change Philadelphia’s scientific research landscape and set it up for major growth well into the 21st century.
    Tang’s impact on the Science Center’s gro
  • Buzz at BIO: Dr. Julie Gerberding, Merck

    In a world of continual innovation in biopharmaceuticals, how do we ensure patients have access to the medicines that work to meet their individual needs?
    To discuss this important issue, we sat down with Merck Chief Patient Officer Dr. Julie Gerberding to discuss how we can better understand the voices of patients, meeting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and Merck’s commitment to scientific excellence on behalf of patients.
    Listen to the full podcast here:
  • Welcome to #BIO2019

    As BIO’s President and CEO, who proudly represented the Philadelphia suburbs in Congress for 12 years, I am delighted to welcome you to the city I love for the 2019 BIO International Convention – our industry’s largest annual gathering.
    Philadelphia was the very first capital of the United States after the Revolutionary War, and landmarks here like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall mark some of America’s earliest colonial history. But now there is a new revolution be
  • Why Concerns About a “Break Down” in Drug Pricing Are Misplaced

    Just moments after it was announced the FDA had approved a new treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, Dr. Peter Bach was warning about a “break down” in the U.S. drug pricing system. It’s unfortunate Dr. Bach would respond to the discovery of a miracle cure for a fatal disease with such doom and gloom. In stark contrast to a patient community who welcomed the “great news” as “an amazing advancement,” Dr. Bach described the search for new treatments for r

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