• GMOs Have Benefits for the Environment

    The measles resurgence has vaccines back in the headlines this Earth Day, but there’s another scientific breakthrough facing backlash that has the potential to undermine our collective well-being.
    Getting published in your hometown paper is always a feather in your cap, and having grown up on a farm about 30 miles outside of Buffalo, NY, having a guest column in the Buffalo News is definitely a highlight.
    In a new op ed I wrote for the Buffalo News, I note that GMOs, or genetically modifie
  • Top Five Takeaways, Plus Four Myths That Just Won’t Die, from a Community Dialogue on Food and Farming

    Recently, I was asked to be on a panel on food and farming by a community college near my home outside of Washington, D.C. The symposium, designed for both farmers and the public, was called, “Food, Farmers, and Community: Opening the Dialogue,” and was put on by the Harford Community College Scholar-in-Residence program, which focuses on the county’s rich food history and land stewardship.
    I was invited to speak on the panel “What’s Behind the Label: How Do We Unde
  • WSJ: Drug Importation is “Impractical, Unsafe and Unlikely” to Lower Prices

    This week, Editorial Board writers for The Wall Street Journal examined a policy proposal in Florida to import prescription drugs from Canada. But as the writers warn, such a move would be “impractical, unsafe and unlikely” to reduce prices for patients and consumers at the pharmacy counter.
    “When federal importation was floated in the early 2000s, an FDA analysis found that five of seven of America’s best-selling generic drugs for chronic conditions were cheaper than Can
  • Propelling Innovation with the Right Mix

    BIO represents pioneers in the world’s most innovative industry. It’s our job to support and advocate for our members as they pursue cutting-edge scientific and technological advancements — from finding new ways to treat cancer to enhancing the very food we eat to creating a sustainable environment.
    Lately, our members have been asking for our help to innovate in other ways. A modern industry calls for modern leadership, and BIO members value the kind of diverse and inclusive l
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  • It Starts with One (Rare) Patient

    In 1983, patient advocates – now known as the National Organization for Rare Disease, NORD – ignited a movement and rallied support  for the Orphan Drug Act to facilitate development of treatments for conditions affecting fewer than 200,00 Americans.  It started with this one idea and served as the catalyst to ignite a new generation of enhanced support, advocacy and treatments for rare disease patients.
    Today, there are hundreds of patient advocacy groups, more than 770 ne
  • What’s Being Done to Ensure Pasta Is Here for Posterity

    If you were to make a list of the world’s top 10 favorite foods, pasta would surely make the cut. It’s a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, and it’s served at countless dinner tables every night across the globe.
    And although it may seem like we could never run out of pasta, crop disease and turbulent weather are a real threat. Fortunately, thanks to biotechnology, steps are being taken to ensure durum wheat – also known as “pasta wheat” – will
  • When Intervention Stifles Innovation

    Dr. Gregory Dolin of the Center for Medicine and Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law shared his objections to legislative proposals that falsely link drug costs with patents in an op-ed that ran in The Washington Times this week.
    As Dolin states, current legislative proposals would allow excessive regulatory authority into the free market:
    “…the government would be given the power not to “negotiate,” but to force drug manufacturers to accept a price that bud
  • Feature your BIO 2019 networking event in BIO Compass

    There’s so much going on at the BIO International Convention each year that it can be hard to keep track of all the networking receptions, parties, and happy hours surrounding the Convention. To help you plan your experience in Philadelphia this year, BIO is preparing its first annual BIO Compass: Your Insider Guide to Events @ BIO 2019.
    This resource will be distributed to Convention attendees to help them navigate all of the fabulous networking opportunities taking place in Philly, June
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  • Greenwood: In Pharma Value Chain, PBMs Manage to Benefit

    Writing for The Hill, BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood offered praise to the Senate Finance Committee for calling on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to testify before Congress but also warned of their deceptive tactics aimed to bolster their bottom-lines.
    “PBMs were originally conceived to help employers and insurers negotiate the best prices on prescription drugs, a fine idea in a market-based health care system like ours. But massive industry consolidation has funda
  • BIO Calls Rebate Rule a “Significant Step Forward” for Patients

    The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) this week lauded an administration proposal that would be a significant step forward in passing along  savings from drugmakers’ rebates to beneficiaries enrolled in the Medicare drug benefit program and state Medicaid drug programs. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, John Murphy, BIO’s Deputy General Counsel, writes:
    “We firmly believe that the rebates drugmakers provide insurers and other m
  • Unlocking India’s Biotech Potential

    Globally, the biotechnology industry is recognized as an economic engine that provides high wage, high-skilled jobs across a broad range of occupations. There is an easily recognizable correlation between economies with pro-innovation policy frameworks and those achieving strong biotechnology outputs.
    More than in any other industry, the interplay between biotechnology innovation and regulation has important social and economic development implications. As developing nations seek to grow this in
  • How Biotech Can Reduce Emissions Through Soil Microbes

    In a recent blog post, Bill Gates notes most greenhouse gas emissions come from electricity generation –25 percent. However, Mr. Gates also highlights that the agriculture sector is responsible for 24 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, nearly the same amount as electricity generation.
    This, of course, includes a multitude of factors – livestock, field burning of crop residues, fuel use on farms, rice cultivation – but Mr. Gates focuses on an interesting component to ag emissi
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  • A Few Questions as PBMs Have Their Day on Capitol Hill

    Tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee will examine the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the drug cost ecosystem. For years, these Fortune 100 companies largely escaped scrutiny for their role in deciding what patients pay out of pocket for medicines, but that’s finally starting to change. Here are a few questions policymakers should ask—and issues they should focus on—as the leaders of this multi-billion dollar industry testify on prescription drug costs.
    Question #
  • Dr. Emanuel Misses the Mark with Latest Industry Attack

    Writing for The Atlantic, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel accuses the biopharmaceutical industry of being “deceptive” when it seeks to explain the cost of prescription drugs. But in making this claim, Dr. Emanuel is guilty of engaging in some of his own acts of deception.
    For starters, drug prices are not “extreme.” Data show that the growth in net prices for brand-name medicines—the price drugmakers receive after paying rebates and discounts to insurers and others within the s
  • Senator Roberts is a Champion of Biotechnology Innovation

    Last night, U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) accepted BIO’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognized his leadership, service and commitment to advancing sound public policy that benefits America’s agricultural innovation and life-saving medical treatments.
    As a leader on both the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Roberts has been at the cross-section of every major healthcare debate throughout his distinguishe
  • ICYMI: Dr. Ted Love explains “why drug pricing controls could impede innovation”

    Risky. Costly. Time consuming. Rewarding. Those few words help describe a biopharmaceutical ecosystem where 90% of all clinical development programs fail, but where lives are transformed each time a potential drug candidate crosses the R&D finish line. But as Dr. Ted Love, president and CEO of Global Therapeutics, explains in The San Diego Union-Tribune, biomedical innovation is thriving in the United States despite the ups and downs. As Dr. Love writes:
    Thanks to a system in the United Stat
  • BIO Urges USTR To Take Action on Growing IP Barriers in Overseas Markets

    BIO recently submitted its Special 301 Submission highlighting intellectual property (IP) challenges around the world.  In particular, BIO informed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) of the persistent problems BIO member companies face abroad including global compulsory licensing trends,  lack of adequate or any regulatory data protection, restrictive patentability frameworks, and broader market access concerns across the biopharma and agricultural sector
  • Biotechnology: A Critical Tool in Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals

    Recyclable plastic bottles, mustard seed jet fuel, Insulin and Golden Rice. These are just a few biotechnology products that are contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
    A collection of 17 goals and 169 targets set by the UN General Assembly in 2015, the UN SDGs were created as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. Addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, climate, environmental degradati
  • Oncologist Warns of IPI’s Potentially Dangerous Implications

    Writing for Morning Consult, Dr. Lucy Langer, a clinical oncologist with Compass Oncology in Portland, Oregon, applauds the administration’s goal of lowering drug prices, but warns of the dangers associated with proposals like the International Pricing Index (IPI) that will – in the words of Dr. Langer – “do more harm than good.”
    “[T]he administration announced its intention to lower the reimbursement rates of certain physician-administered drugs by basing rei
  • #WorldWaterDay | Ag Innovations Ensure No One is Left Behind

    Today is #WorldWaterDay. The annual occasion raises awareness of the billions of people that live without safe water and serves as a call to action to tackle the water crisis.
    Access to clean, safe water is obviously important to human health, but water also plays a critical role in ensuring billions of people have food on their table. Without water, the crops to produce food can’t grow.
    And climate change only compounds the problem.
    However, thanks to innovations in agriculture like genet
  • March Madness | Start-Up Stadium @ #BIOWC19

    Starting today, the field of 64 men’s college basketball teams battling in March Madness will begin to dwindle. From now until the beginning of April, there will be upsets, there will be surprises and, more than likely, a team that was previously under-the-radar will gain national notoriety. (Looking at you, University of Maryland Baltimore County.)
    Like the Cinderella stories that come out of the NCAA tournament, BIO’s World Congress in Des Moines will provide smaller, emerging, ind
  • It Starts with One…Winning Presentation at the Start-up Stadium

    Dr. Akshaya Shanmugam has always believed that healthcare should be accessible and affordable to everyone and that technology can help deliver that promise. With her strong background in biomedical engineering, she decided to take on a problem facing over 200 million people in the US: addiction. In 2014 she co-founded Lumme Labs with a mission to find solutions for people facing various types of addictions. The company is developing wearable devices that track movements seen as triggers for
  • How Gene-Edited Sugarcane Could Reduce Society’s Environmental Footprint

    Australia’s University of Queensland is currently conducting research on how gene editing could tailor sugarcane to efficiently produce bioplastics and biofuels.
    From soda bottles to ethanol, researchers are testing multiple varieties of sugarcane that could be used in new applications that would help reduce society’s environmental footprint, and such biology-driven solutions could have a significant impact on our planet’s wellbeing.
    Every year, 300 million tons of plastic is m
  • FDA Approval of GE Salmon Paves Way for Sustainable Food Innovations

    Earlier this week, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) finally approved the sale of genetically engineered (GE) AquAdvantage salmon in U.S. markets. The fish – produced by Massachusetts-based AquaBounty – is based on more than two decades of scientific research, making it the most studied line of Atlantic salmon.
    It was the first GE animal deemed safe to eat by FDA after a 2015 agency review found that AquAdvantage salmon is not materially different from other Atlantic salm
  • Peter Pitts Examines the Role of PBMs and their Deceptive Tactics

    A piece by Peter J. Pitts, a former FDA Associate Commissioner and President of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, describes the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and tactics they use to shift a growing portion of prescription drug costs to patients and consumers.
    “In the United States, nearly $15 of every $100 spent on brand-name drugs goes to PBMs, which claim they lower drug costs. However, the share of annual drug price increases that PBMs pocket – as opposed
  • #AgDay19 | How BIO is Advancing Agriculture

    From those who grow the food we eat, to the farmers growing crops for biofuels and other bioproducts, BIO supports agriculture every day through its advocacy of biotech innovation to fuel and feed the world.
    Without farmers, many of the breakthroughs that BIO’s members are innovating, both as part of the Food & Agriculture and Industrial & Environmental sections, would not be possible.
    In celebration of National Ag Day (#AgDay19), let’s explore how BIO has made agri
  • Iowa Bioeconomy Site Tours @ BIO World Congress

    By now you know that the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Ag Tech is being hosted in Des Moines. As a result, the world’s largest industrial bioech conference will feature new programming to showcase the roots of biotechnology, but there are limitations as to how much Midwest innovation we can showcase within the walls of the Iowa Events Center.
    That’s why BIO is excited to announce that four bioeconomy tours will be offered at #BIOWC19, starting the first day
  • How Will Brexit Impact Patients and Biotech Innovation?

    The clock is beginning to run out for British Parliament to finalize a Brexit plan. As things stand, the UK is due to leave the European Union on March 29th regardless of whether there is an approved agreement not.
    A European court has ruled that the UK can halt the process and stay in the EU at any time up to the deadline. Alternatively, the Brexit process can be extended if all 28 EU members agree. However, neither of these scenarios seems likely.
    If the UK government is forced to leave the EU
  • Making Innovative Drugs Available Globally

    In order to bring innovative biopharmaceutical to the global market companies must navigate the unique regulations of each country they seek to enter. This enormous regulatory hurdle delays access to the newest innovations and is a primary reason patients in the U.S. often have access to life saving therapies years before they are available anywhere else.
    Lila Feisee BIO’s Vice President International Affairs addresses this issue and the International Council on Harmonization’s&
  • How cracking sugar's DNA could help save the planet

    Sugar has long been a source of energy for people, but now scientists believe they are close to unlocking its DNA secrets and harnessing its potential as a green fuel.
  • #BIO2019 Education Programming Taking Shape

    With the BIO International Convention (BIO 2019) only three months away, the finishing touches are being placed on its world-class education program. Once again, the program will explore a diverse array of subjects from business development to the latest scientific discoveries and cutting-edge topics through an exciting lineup of Fireside Chats, Super Sessions, Breakout Sessions, Company Presentations and the ever-popular “Start-up Stadium”.
    This year’s event in Philadelphia of
  • Vaccines Work: the Proof Is in the Data.

    At the latest meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), more than 80 attendees identified themselves as part of the vaccine hesitancy camp. Given what we know today about the many benefits associated with the modern medical miracle of vaccines, that’s 80 attendees too many.
    While asking questions about science and data is a good, legitimate part of the scientific method, our digital world provides vocal critics, even politicians, a platform to spread spurious myth
  • Women Who are Changing the Game in Biotech

    Fighting for diversity in the workplace is more than a “feel good” or “the right thing to do” proposition. Indeed, an environment of inclusion often broadens the talent pool and perspective of companies which, in turn, can make those companies more successful. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) which encourages the world to open its eyes to the valuable contributions women make every day.
    The theme of this year’s IWD, #BalanceforBetter, is refl
  • In 2019, Women are NOT Waiting to Climb to the Top

    In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th, women across the globe are leading the charge for balance and equality. This year’s tagline and theme, #BalanceforBetter, seeks a more gender-balanced world through celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness about bias. One event in the true spirit of gender parity is the Kilimanjaro Climb for Cancer.
    A group composed of biotech investors, entrepreneurs, and executives will climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • USDA Report: China’s Biotech Crop Approval Process Becoming More Unpredictable and Burdensome

    Across the United States, farmers use biotech crops to address production challenges – such as pests, disease, and extreme weather – and improve the productivity and health of their plants. However, American farmers planting such crops are often unable to access the Chinese market and export their products due to China’s broken regulatory framework for agriculture biotechnology.
    Now, a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed China has added even more bar
  • Early Bird Registration for the 2019 BIO World Congress Is Now Open

    Early bird registration is now open for the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Des Moines, Iowa, July 8-11.
    Hosted in the Midwest for the first time, #BIOWC19 will be getting back to the roots of industrial biotechnology and agriculture, where so many biotechnology innovations begin or are developed. From biotech crops, to feedstocks, to biofuel and ethanol production, Iowa and the Midwest is where many biotechnology innovations get their start.
    Don’t miss out on w
  • Kentucky Officials Expose PBMs for Gaming the System

    While many were watching the drug pricing debate unfold on Capitol Hill, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services published a report exposing drug cost middlemen, better known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), for their role in marking up prices for common drugs and pocketing the difference. In this case, that difference was $123.5 million, or 13 percent, of what the Kentucky state Medicaid program paid these middlemen last year.
    At issue is a little-known tactic called “spre
  • The Empty Promise of “Safe” Drug Importation

    For years, BIO has been urging both state and federal policymakers to adopt responsible solutions that would make prescription drugs more affordable for America’s patients. At times, our advocacy work includes the need to raise concerns with some of the policy proposals being discussed. That’s the case when it comes to the false promise of importing prescription drugs from foreign countries as a way to save money.
    Some public officials are promising voters that a way to lower the cos
  • Head of Japan’s Drug Regulatory Authority Will Keynote BIO Asia

    Since taking the role of chief executive of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) in 2008, Dr. Tatsuya Kondo has transformed how medical products are approved in Japan.
    Through improved methodology, with an emphasis on regulatory science as an industry framework over the last ten years, the PDMA has been able to accelerate Japan’s drug approval process, making it amongst the world’s fastest. In fact, Dr. Kondo’s model of regulatory science has been popularized a
  • Two New Infographics Illustrate the Success of the Orphan Drug Act

    In recognition of Rare Disease Day, BIO’s Jim Greenwood shared commentary on LinkedIn celebrating the success of the Orphan Drug Act and highlighting the importance of preserving incentives to help spur the development of new drugs in this space.
    “The truth is, incentives provided by the ODA have dramatically changed the number and types of therapies that are available to patients with rare diseases like these. Since the law’s passage in 1983, more than 400 new therapies have b
  • BIO 2019 Start-Up Stadium – Changing the World from the Ground Up

    The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is proud to announce its Start-Up Stadium program at #BIO2019, June 3-6 in Philadelphia.  Now in its fifth year, this program is tailored to help increase engagement and visibility between all potential stakeholders as well as local, regional, national, and international affiliates, and early- stage companies at the beginning of their life-cycle within the burgeoning ecosystem in which they play.
    Applications to participate in Start-up Stadium
  • National Pork Producers Council President: Don’t Strangle Promising Technology With Red Tape

    In a recent op-ed, National Pork Producers Council President Jim Heimerl highlighted the benefits of gene editing technology and the need to prevent federal regulations from holding back future innovations and U.S. competitiveness.
    Innovations such as gene editing are helping us address many of the global challenges facing society today – climate change, a looming food crisis, malnourished populations, increased drought and disease and the availability of productive land, just to name
  • Win a Complimentary Company Presentation & Registration at #BIO2019

    Are you an innovative biotech company that is R&D-intensive and is developing strategic partnerships within the industry? Enter the Buzz of BIO Contest for your chance to win a complimentary Company Presentation that includes registration at the 2019 BIO International Convention.
    What is the Buzz of BIO?
    Buzz of BIO is a contest that recognizes U.S. based companies with groundbreaking, early stage technologies with the potential for improving our lives. Companies can submit in one of two cat
  • Why We Need Innovation in Food and Agriculture

    Two of our most beloved breakfast beverages — coffee and orange juice — are under serious threat from disease, insects and climate change. But don’t be too alarmed. Scientists are looking at innovative new ways to protect and strengthen coffee plants and citrus trees.
    With gene editing and the latest in plant breeding innovation, scientists can make stronger and more resilient crop varieties in years rather than decades. A world without orange trees or coffee plants has signifi

    Source: American Council on Science and HealthIn poor parts of the world, people may rely on a single staple crop to meet a substantial proportion of their energy requirements. Many denizens of Africa rely on cassava. The trouble with cassava, however, is that it is nutrient-poor. Partially as a result, iron and zinc deficiencies are common in Africa. Iron deficiency results in anemia, zinc deficiency in susceptibility to death by diarrhea, and each is also associated with impaired cognitive dev

    Source: Genetic Literacy ProjectGenetically engineered (GE) crops producing insecticidal
    proteins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
    (mainly Cry proteins) have become a major control tactic for a number of key
    lepidopteran and coleopteran pests, mainly in maize, cotton, and soybean.…Over the
    past 20+ years, extensive experience and insight have been gained through
    laboratory and field-based studies of the non-target effects of crops producing
    Cry proteins. Overall, the vast majori

    Source: The LandFake news from powerful lobbies is thwarting the urgent access producers need to gene technologies to adapt to drought, flood and the myriad of other challenges climate change is throwing forward. This was the message delivered at a workshop of global economists and researchers dealing with agricultural and food policy, held in Melbourne. Dr Alison Van Eenennaam, from the University of California, said fear mongering around gene technologies was a far larger hindrance to the take

    Source: Farm OnlineA move by the Greens in Western Australia to bring in legislation protecting farmers in the wake of contamination by GM crops, is unlikely to progress. A parliamentary inquiry in WA found the current mechanisms in place to deal with compensation claims for farmers who believe they have suffered economic loss caused by contamination by genetically modified material are adequate.
  • GMO Labels: What You Need to Know

    The labeling of our food has been a conversation for several decades. Whether it’s nutritional facts, ingredient lists, marketing claims, or how appealing one label looks over another, food labels are of interest to almost everyone. Lately the conversation around food labels has moved from name of the product, weight of the product and nutrition in that product, to the question of whether foods be labeled with regards to presence of GMOs.
    So much so that in 2016, the United States Con
  • From Anti-Venoms to Fertilizers, the Immense Potential for Microbes and Gene-Editing

    Microbes, or microscopic organisms, are being used today to combat diseases, improve sustainability, provide consumers with products that align with their values, and much more. With the continued advancement of biotechnology and development of gene-editing technology, the possibilities and benefits of microbes are endless.
    Megan Molteni of Wired recently summarized what gene-editing technology means for industrial biotechnology: “Today, with the arrival of precise gene-editing technologie

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