• 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
  • #BIOCEO19: We’re Out of Time to Address the Dire Market Failures in Antimicrobial Resistance

    Here’s a statistic you might not have known: an estimated 700,000 people die each year due to the growing number of infections resistant to treatment. Known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), this “silent killer” and looming public health threat has severe social and economic consequences that could have a lasting impact on families, individuals and communities across the globe.
    Even more worrying, challenges in the commercial market for antibiotics and other products to addres
  • With an Air of Optimism, #BIOCEO19 Concludes

    Despite considerable pressure directed squarely at biotech innovators from politicians of every stripe, biotech executives remained focused on finding the medicines of tomorrow at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference. New York, host of the event for the past 21 years, continues to be a premier biotech hub, attracting the industry’s most active investors. The conference concluded today having drawn nearly 1300 attendees representing 30 countries, making the event a global attraction.
    A rec
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  • Venture Creation is in Vogue

    In the biotech industry, it’s common for a company to raise billions of dollars and wait more than a dozen years before their investors see a return. That’s why capital formation can be an arduous journey in the biotech industry.
    But the biotech IPO market is coming off of a hot 2018 with more than 50 biotech companies going public on the back of more than $5.4 billion in funding, marking the second-best year for biotech IPOs in a decade. But what challenges will need to be overcome
  • Policy Outlook—How Could the Trump Administration’s Drug Reimbursement Proposals Affect Medical Innovation?

    In his State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to “do more” to lower drug costs in the United States.
    Already, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed piloting an International Pricing Index payment model, tying costs for drugs under Medicare Part B to the lower rates paid in European benchmark countries with socialized medicine. They have moved to lower government costs for drug spending by empowering PBMs and middlemen to dramatica
  • #BIOCEO19: Navigating Payers’ Expectations for Value-Based Agreements

    Value-based agreements are becoming increasingly important in the biopharmaceutical reimbursement space, particularly as new advanced therapeutic modalities and prospective cures for diseases which previously had no comparable treatments enter the market. Yet the departure from more traditional volume-based reimbursement models poses unique difficulties for biopharmaceutical companies, payers, patients, providers, and investors in planning for a new therapy’s rollout and the breadth of pat
  • Market Outlook—Leveraging Market Corrections for M&A or IPOs

    After a multi-year expansion of company formation and in biopharma valuations, 2018 was a year of heightened market volatility. Investors’ eagerness to support new modalities enabled more than 50 biotech IPOs, but with much less mature clinical development progress than traditionally demonstrated. More than half those companies are trading below their IPO prices, however, complicating conditions for the next new offering.
    As interest rate worries, international trade disputes, and regulato
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  • New BIO Report on Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b) on Emerging Biotech Innovators

    BIO is out with a new report illustrating the negative impact of Sarbanes-Oxley 404(b) on biopharmaceutical emerging growth companies (Bio-EGCs), demonstrating how this regulatory requirement harms innovation and capital formation without any corresponding investor benefit.
    In the report, Science or Compliance: Will Section 404(b) Compliance Impede Innovation by Emerging Growth Companies in the Biotech Industry?, renowned economists Craig Lewis and Joshua T. White of Vanderbilt University point
  • #BIOCEO19 Kicks Off in NYC

    Pharmaceutical innovation is not slowing down. Last year the FDA approved a total of 59 drugs, exceeding the previous record by 20 percent. Nearly half of those approvals came from smaller companies including 28 that came from firms that had never before received an approval.
    These data points are not lost on the more than 600 active investors arriving today for the BIO CEO & Investor Conference (#BIOCEO19) in NYC. The most unique medical breakthroughs often come from small companies working
  • Missing an arm, this university student made one from Lego

    Lego used to be a toy for university student David Aguilar, but he has combined that passion with his bioengineering knowledge to create a series of prosthetic limbs.
  • Pro-GMO Chocolate Brand Shares How GMOs Are Saving Some of World’s Most Cherished Foods

    Just one week before Valentine’s Day, a unique brand of chocolate bars called Ethos Chocolate has launched and is highlighting the benefits of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Each limited edition bar is crafted with ingredients biotechnology and GMO farming has saved, made more sustainable, or could protect for future generations.
    For example, the cacao tree produces the cocoa to make chocolate that so many of us enjoy, but climate change, warmer temperatures, lack of water, pests,
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  • Health Care in Focus as President Trump Addresses the Nation

    In his State of the Union address, President Trump described the need to rein in health care costs as a “major priority for me.” And for the president, this includes the need to lower the cost of prescription drugs for American patients – an urgent priority also shared by those within the biotechnology industry. As BIO’s President and CEO, Jim Greenwood, said on Tuesday:
    “[Our] industry is eager to help deliver responsible solutions that ensure prescription drugs ar
  • Could This Biotechnology Innovation Help Combat Climate Change?

    Scientists and researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, which is in California, are currently exploring how biotechnology can help reduce carbon emissions and the effects of global warming.
    Through the institute’s Ideal Plant initiative, researchers hope to develop plants that can store more carbon dioxide in their roots. And if this is done on a very, very large scale across the world with major agriculture crops – such as corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton – it
  • Meet Kallyope’s Nancy Thornberry, Fireside Chat Speaker at #BIOCEO19

    Biotech startups come in all shapes, sizes and approaches but have one thing in common: the drive to develop technology that will address a high unmet need and improve patients’ lives.  Nancy Thornberry, the current CEO of Kallyope Inc., didn’t always work for startups, but she has spent a career in drug discovery, always looking to uncover the science that will ultimately lead to real treatments. Kallyope was founded in 2014 and is focused on the study and targeting of the gut-
  • GMOS are NOT “As Seen on Social Media”

    It’s pretty safe to say that there’s a lot of misinformation on social media today, regardless of where come down on political spectrum, and information about GMOs are certainly a classic example of how people can spread bad info on social media.
    Even though GMO crops have been on the market for nearly 30 years, mistrust regarding these products escalated with the rise of the internet and social media platforms. In a new post for GMO Answers on our Medium page, Registered Dietitian N
  • #FlashFriday: Super Bowl Edition

    In 2002, the New England Patriots, led by second year quarterback Tom Brady, faced off against the veteran-heavy St. Louis Rams – known back then as “the greatest show on turf” – in the Super Bowl. At the time, our world was only two years removed from the Y2K scare, only six GM crops had been approved and this organization went by another name.
    Fast forward seventeen years later to Sunday when the New England Patriots battle the Rams, this time the Los Angeles Rams, in t
  • Meet Synlogic’s Aoife Brennan, Fireside Chat Speaker at #BIOCEO19

    Dr. Aoife Brennan has always faced challenges head-on. A trained endocrinologist, she could have remained in her native country, Ireland, and led a fulfilling life as a medical doctor. Instead she embarked on a journey that eventually led to her current position as CEO of Synlogic.
    Brennan will be a headliner at the upcoming BIO CEO & Investor Conference, leading a fireside chat at 3:00PM on Tuesday February 12.
    Dr. Brennan’s Personal Story
    In her early years as a physician, Brennan ha
  • Using Decision Science for Negotiations: Getting to Win-Win

    New medicines often progress from idea to regulatory approval through collaborative licensing agreements or acquisition.  Deal-making has become one of the most critical skills for a biotech’s leadership team in developing products to improve patients’ lives.  On February 10 BIO will provide an opportunity for executives to learn how analytical negotiators apply principles of game theory to optimize deal outcomes and accelerate medical innovation. This half-day workshop wil
  • What’s New at #BIOWC19?

    In case you missed it, the 2019 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology is headed to Des Moines, Iowa, July 8-11, 2019!
    In addition to bringing the world’s largest conference and partnering event on industrial biotechnology to a new region and city, #BIOWC19 will feature exciting new agricultural programming and opportunities for companies of any size to showcase their latest breakthroughs and explore what the region has to offer:
    New Midwest Destination
    Join us in Iowa ne
  • Latest Measles Outbreak is a Crash Course on the Importance of Immunization

    It’s hard to miss the news coming from the Pacific Northwest. Every major media outlet is covering the latest measles outbreak. Social media feeds are loaded with real-time data as the virus continues to spread. And the state of Washington has officially declared a State of Emergency.
    In case the daunting weather forecast has sent you into hibernation (which is completely feasible given the historically cold temperatures impacting a large portion of America), here’s a sample of what
  • Trump Administration Should Remain Steadfast in Pushing China Towards Structural Reforms

    As part of the 90-day trade negotiations between the United States and China, today Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is in Washington to participate in bilateral trade talks with the Trump administration.
    One major component the Trump administration has pushed for in such trade talks is structural reforms of China’s market. China’s systemic impediments to trade and non-tariff barriers, such as the country’s regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology, has hindered the timely
  • Here’s What You Need to Know as Capitol Hill Talks Prescription Drug Costs

    Drug prices will be in the spotlight this week as committees in both the House and Senate are set to hold hearings on the cost of prescription drugs. Since this is the first time the new Congress will take a close look at this important issue, here are four facts we encourage policymakers to keep in mind.
    Fact #1: Drug prices are headed in the right direction. The proof is in the data. The White House Council of Economic Advisers recently announced that drug prices decreased in 2018:This data re
  • A Helpful Spotlight on the Need for More Health Care Transparency

    This week, the Trump administration addressed a problem confronting a growing number of Americans: surprise medical bills. As Peter Sullivan with The Hill reported,
    “President Trump on Wednesday spoke out against surprise medical bills that patients often cannot afford, highlighting an issue that has received bipartisan concern in Congress.
    “‘The health care system too often harms people with some unfair surprises … medical bills and the like,’ Trump said at a
  • Investors lining up for BIO CEO & Investor Conference

    The past year has been a transformative one for the life sciences. Despite being faced with uncertainties around cost and pricing, pressure from an Administration threatening price controls and facing a new Congress next year, the industry continued to move forward on the innovation front. With sixteen FDA-approved cellular and gene therapy products on the market and more than 80 gene therapies and 46 CAR-T medicines in the pipeline, the industry shows no sign of slowing down. Enthusiasm for the
  • Meet Opiant’s Roger Crystal, Fireside Chat Speaker at #BIOCEO19

    When pop star Demi Lovato experienced an apparent opioid-related overdose last summer, reports stated that she was saved by a medication called NARCAN® Nasal Spray — the first FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone, an opioid antagonist.
    The company that developed NARCAN® Nasal Spray is Opiant Pharmaceuticals, based in Santa Monica, CA. CEO Dr. Roger Crystal will be a headliner at the upcoming BIO CEO & Investor Conference, leading a fireside chat at noon on Tuesday, February 12.
  • Happy 91st Birthday Senator Bayh!

    At its best, government enables citizens to flourish socially and economically. Above and beyond the basic services we all expect, responsible governments empower citizens to provide for themselves in a rapidly evolving world.
    Through Senator Birch Bayh’s long career of public service, he led a number of social and economic achievements that did just that.
    As a champion of America’s intellectual property system, Senator Bayh partnered with another luminary Senator at the opposite end
  • New Study Suggests Those Extremely Opposed to GMOs Know the Least About GMOs

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can provide real solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. For example, with GMOs, we can:Increase productivity in agriculture, helping feed the world and combat food crises;
    Improve nutritional quality of crops and increase vitamin content;
    Conserve water; Improve air quality; Enhance soil quality;
    Reduce the use of pesticides and other chemical inputs; and much more.But unfortunately, there are still a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding G
  • BIO and ASTA Launch Innovature: A New Platform to Cultivate Conversations About Innovation in Food and Agriculture

    From crops that are disease-resistant to more sustainable livestock, gene editing and other innovations in food and agriculture hold the potential to solve global challenges.
    To cultivate a conversation around the potential of these innovations, BIO has teamed up with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) to launch Innovature.com.
    Through Innovature’s website, social properties and other activities, the initiative aims to engage key influencers in a conversation around shared values t
  • Greenwood Shines Spotlight on Insurance Industry Rip-off

    Writing for The Hill, BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood shined a spotlight on a shocking Wall Street Journal investigation showing how health insurance companies in the U.S. dramatically inflated their cost projections under Medicare Part D for financial gain over a 10 year period:
    “Under peculiar language of the statute, insurers are paid by Medicare for drugs in advance of their purchase, based on their own estimated outlays. However, they only have to repay a portion 
  • It Starts with One—Partnering Meeting Leads to Unique Public-Private Partnership

    Roy Zwahlen took a long shot when he requested a meeting with an investment firm at the 2017 BIO International Convention in San Diego. As Assistant Dean for Innovation and Strategy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and the Eshelman Institute for Innovation, Zwahlen was in search of a partnership that could help bring the University’s science to the marketplace. He was aware of the firm’s  interest in unique partnerships with leading academic research institutions and disco
  • Using Biotechnology to Tackle Deadly Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

    Every year, nearly a million deaths are attributed to mosquito-borne illnesses and 500 million people are infected with a disease transmitted by mosquitos.
    Fortunately, scientists are working to develop techniques that could help address mosquito-related diseases like malaria, West Nile, and Zika.
    Just this week, researchers at the University of Arizona (UA) discovered an approach that could act as a “mosquito birth control” and reduce mosquito populations where disease transmission
  • Inventor Unlocks Method to Turn Plant Sugars Into Environmentally-Friendly Fuel

    For years, scientists and researchers have been working to extract sugar molecules in plant life, known as cellulose. However, until now, it has proven to be nearly impossible to extract these sugars in a clean and efficient manner because they are locked tightly in a plant’s cellular walls.
    As CBS profiled on 60 Minutes, Marshall Medoff, an 81-year-old inventor in Massachusetts, has uncovered the secret to accessing plant cellulose and transforming the inedible plant life into environment
  • This Major Breakthrough Could Help Improve Global Food Supply

    Researchers and scientists around the world have been working for years to engineer photosynthesis as a means to safely enhance crop productivity and improve the global food supply, and just this week, significant progress towards that objective occurred.
    On Thursday, researchers at the University of Illinois announced they were successful in producing tobacco plants that were 40 percent larger.
    Now, the goal of this endeavor is not to produce more tobacco. Instead, they are aiming to apply the
  • Despite Administration’s “Sky-High Rhetoric,” Importing Foreign Price Controls Will Harm Innovation and Patient Access

    In October of 2018, the Trump Administration outlined a proposal that would import foreign price controls for medicines covered under Medicare Part B. Despite warnings from BIO and dozens of other industry experts and patient advocates, the administration continues to defend its flawed plan and with equally flawed rhetoric.
    In a recent blog for Vital Transformation, author Duane Schulthess examines a claim made by Secretary Azar at a Brookings Institute briefing where he touts the plan – k

    Source: Genetic Literacy Project
    New disclosure requirements finalized by USDA for biotech foods will mandate the use of the term “bioengineered” while providing a key exemption for ingredients such as vegetable oils, sugar and other foods where the genetically altered DNA of the GMO crop can’t be detected. The requirements, which will be enforced starting in 2022, also will exempt foods that contain as much as 5 percent of a bioengineered ingredient that th

    Source: BBC News
    Scientists in the US have engineered tobacco plants that can grow up to 40% larger than normal in field trials. The researchers say they have found a way of overcoming natural restrictions in the process of photosynthesis that limit crop productivity. They believe the method could be used to significantly boost yields from important crops. The study has been published in the journal Science. The team is now hoping to use these findings to boost the yields of soybean, rice,
  • 4 Facts About Using Genetics in Pursuit of a More Perfect Christmas Tree

    What will your Christmas gifts be placed under this year? A Fraser fir? A Douglas fir? An artificial tree?
    While some individuals love the look and smell of a real Christmas tree, others prefer the low upkeep and longevity of an artificial tree.
    But what if we could use genetics to improve the Christmas tree? Would you trade in the fake tree for a fir that loses less needles and requires less upkeep?
    Here are four facts about using genetics in pursuit of a more perfect Christmas tree:
    1) Very li
  • The Right Way to Address Prescription Drug Costs

    Writing for STAT News, BIO’s President and CEO Jim Greenwood teamed up with Bay City Capital’s David Beier to outline for policymakers the best approach for tackling the affordability of prescription drugs.
    “As policy professionals from different sides of the aisle, we believe there is a right way to address these issues and a wrong way. The right way will reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients, improve access to new medicines, and allow the United States to remain the global
  • BIO Illustrates the Success of the Orphan Drug Act

    The numbers might surprise you. Approximately 7,000 rare diseases are known to exist, and approximately 30 new ones are identified each year. Also known as orphan diseases, they are defined as those which affect fewer than 200,000 patients in America. And while it might be true that each rare disease only affects a small number of patients, collectively, millions of lives are depending on the development of innovative cures and medicines.
    In a series of new infographics, BIO illustrates how far
  • Road to 2018 Farm Bill Was Years in the Making

    The following piece appeared in Biofuels Digest from BIO’s Executive Vice President for Industrial & Environmental section Brent Erickson:
    As we move closer to celebrating the end of 2018, Congress has given those working in America’s bio-based and agricultural sectors a reason to celebrate early. The 2018 Farm Bill has passed both chambers of Congress, with overwhelming bipartisan support, and is now set to be delivered to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, so it can be signed into law.
  • From Disease to Looming Food Crisis, Gene Editing Could Unlock Solutions to Our Greatest Problems

    Today, celiac disease affects one in 100 people worldwide, and with no cure, the only treatment is a gluten-free diet.
    However, scientists are now exploring how gene editing technology, like CRISPR, could modify the protein of wheat so that those with celiac disease could enjoy foods that typically contain gluten.
    Kansas Wheat, which is the cooperative agreement between the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, is currently supporting gene editing research to help
  • BIO Comments on Objectives for U.S. Japan Trade Agreement

    BIO supports the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) negotiations with the Government of Japan as an opportunity to grow U.S. exports and create U.S. jobs. We would strongly urge the U.S. government to build on the recent U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement and that the agreement comprehensively addresses the biotechnology sector as an engine for growth for both economies, and in particular to ensure that Japanese health system promotes rather than hinders innovation and access to new medicines.
  • Nobel Prize-Winning Chemists: Misguided GMO Fears Could Hinder Technology’s Societal Benefits

    On Friday, December 7, two winners of the 2018 Nobel prize for Chemistry – American chemical engineer Frances Arnold and British biochemist Sir Gregory Winter – expressed concern that misguided fears about genetically modified (GM) foods could hinder the many societal benefits the technology offers and curtail important scientific developments.
    According to The Guardian, the comments were made at a press conference ahead of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony.
  • Interactive Map Displays Strength of Industry’s National Footprint

    BIO’s biennial economic development and jobs report focuses on the economic progress and national footprint of the bioscience industry. As the industry’s go-to resource for performance, positioning and trends, this important reference tool for advocacy and messaging demonstrates the value of the industry’s consistent record of generating high-quality jobs for decades.
    This strong performance is due to the vital and wide-ranging collaborations between industry partners, universi
  • BIO Hosts Embassy Briefing on International Economic Development

    Last week BIO hosted embassy representatives from over 25 countries to debut a new report that highlights strategies, policies and best practices that have been successful in creating an environment in which biotechnology innovation can flourish around the world.
    The 5th edition of the Building the Bioeconomy report shows the correlation between economies with pro-innovation policy frameworks and those achieving strong biotechnology outputs. By examining 28 different indicators ranging from publ
  • The Administration’s Orwellian Defense of Importing Foreign Price Controls

    The Trump administration is out with a new blog post defending its plan to adopt foreign price controls for medicines covered under Medicare Part B. The blog was written in the wake of growing backlash from free-market thought leaders who are challenging the administration’s draconian proposal.
    The latest blog post from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) includes numerous inaccuracies, with the chief example being the distorted view of how drugmakers set their prices in

    Source: Cornell Alliance for Science
    New research suggests that the type of yield gains made possible by genetic engineering (GE) will be needed to offset climate change impacts on agriculture.
    The researchers said their study, published yesterday in Environmental Research Letters, has “important implications for regions lagging in the adoption of new technologies which could help offset the detrimental effects of climate change.”
    Though agricultural productivity in Africa and Asia i

    Source: ABC Landline
    It’s being described as a possible game changer for farmers and even the pastoral industry in northern Australia — the resurgence of cotton.
    The CSIRO has predicted that if 15,000 hectares of the crop were grown in the Ord region of the Kimberley, it would be worth $80 million.
    If the same was done in Queensland, beef spin-offs would grow that figure to $340 million…
    The turning point was the development of a genetically modified cotton variety called Boll

    Source: phys.orgExtreme drought is one of the effects of climate change that is already occurring. This year, the decrease in rainfall and the abnormally hot temperatures in northern and eastern Europe have caused large losses in cereals and potato crops and in other horticultural species. Experts have long warned that to ensure food security, it is becoming necessary to use plant varieties that are productive in drought conditions. Now, a team led by the researcher at the Center for Research in

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