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Archive for the ‘Global Partnering & Biotech Investment’ Category


37th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE: News at #JPM2019 for Jan. 8, 2019: Deals and Announcements

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

From Biospace.com

JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Update: FDA, bluebird, Moderna and the Price of Coffee

Researcher holding test tube up behind circle of animated research icons

Tuesday, January 8, was another busy day in San Francisco for the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. One interesting sideline was the idea that the current government shutdown could complicate some deals. Kent Thiry, chief executive officer of dialysis provider DaVita, who is working on the sale of its medical group to UnitedHealth Group this quarter, said, “We couldn’t guarantee that even if the government wasn’t shut down, but we and the buyer are both working toward that goal with the same intensity if not more.”

And in a slightly amusing bit of synchrony, U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s keynote address that was delivered by way of video conference from Washington, D.C., had his audio cut out in the middle of the presentation. Gottlieb was talking about teen nicotine use and continued talking, unaware that his audio had shut off for 30 seconds. When it reconnected, the sound quality was reportedly poor.

Click to search for life sciences jobs

bluebird bio’s chief executive officer, Nick Leschlygave an update of his company’s pipeline, with a particular emphasis on a proposed payment model for its upcoming LentiGlobin, a gene therapy being evaluated for transfusion-dependent ß-thalassemia (TDT). The gene therapy is expected to be approved in Europe this year and in the U.S. in 2020. Although the price hasn’t been set, figures up to $2.1 million per treatment have been floated. Bluebird is proposing a five-year payment program, a pledge to not raise prices above CPI, and no costs after the payment period.

Eli Lilly’s chief executive officer David Ricks, just days after acquiring Loxo Oncologyoffered up projections for this year, noting that 45 percent of its revenue will be created by drugs launched in 2015. Those include Trulicity, Taltz and Verzenio. The company also expects to launch two new molecular entities this year—nasal glucagons, a rescue medicine for high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and Lasmiditan, a rescue drug for migraine headaches.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer interviewed Allergan chief executive officer Brent Saunders, in particular discussing the fact the company’s shares traded in 2015 for $331.15 but were now trading for $145.60. Cramer noted that the company’s internal fundamentals were strong, with multiple pipeline assets and a strong leadership team. Some of the stock problems are related to what Saunders said were “unforced errors,” including intellectual property rights to Restasis, its dry-eye drug, and Allergan’s dubious scheme to protect those patents by transferring the rights to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in New York. On the positive side, the company’s medical aesthetics portfolio, dominated by Botox, is very strong and the overall market is expected to double.

One of the big areas of conversation is so-called “flyover tech.” Biopharma startups are dominant in Boston and in San Francisco, but suddenly venture capital investors have realized there’s a lot going on in between. New York City-based Radian Capital, for example, invests exclusively in markets outside major U.S. cities.

“At Radian, we partner with entrepreneurs who have built their businesses with a focus on strong economics rather than growth at all costs,” Aly Lovett, partner at Radian, told The Observer. “Historically, given the amount of money required to stand up a product, the software knowledge base, and coastal access to capital, health start-ups were concentrated in a handful of cities. As those dynamics have inverted and as the quality of living becomes a more important factor in attracting talent, we’re not seeing a significant increase in the number of amazing companies being built outside of the Bay Area.”

“Flyover companies” mentioned include Bind in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Solera Health in Phoenix, Arizona; ClearDATA in Austin, Texas; Healthe, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota; HistoSonics in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and many others.

Only a month after its record-breaking IPO, Moderna Therapeutics’ chief executive officer Stephane Bancelspent time both updating the company’s clinical pipeline and justifying the company’s value despite the stock dropping off 26 percent since the IPO. Although one clinical program, a Zika vaccine, mRNA-1325, has been abandoned, the company has three new drugs coming into the clinic: mRNA-2752 for solid tumors or lymphoma; mRNA-4157, a Personalized Cancer Vaccine with Merck; and mRNA-5671, a KRAS cancer vaccine. The company also submitted an IND amendment to the FDA to add an ovarian cancer cohort to its mRNA-2416 program.

One interesting bit of trivia, supplied on Twitter by Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, this year at the conference, 33 female chief executive officers were presenting corporate updates … compared to 19 men named Michael. Well, it’s a start.

And for another bit of trivia, Elisabeth Bik, of Microbiome Digest, tweeted, “San Francisco prices are so out of control that one hotel is charging the equivalent of $21.25 for a cup of coffee during a JPMorgan conference.”

Other posts on the JP Morgan 2019 Healthcare Conference on this Open Access Journal include:

#JPM19 Conference: Lilly Announces Agreement To Acquire Loxo Oncology

36th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE January 8 – 11, 2018

37th Annual J.P. Morgan HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE: #JPM2019 for Jan. 8, 2019; Opening Videos, Novartis expands Cell Therapies, January 7 – 10, 2019, Westin St. Francis Hotel | San Francisco, California

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NIH SBIR Funding Early Ventures: September 26, 2018 sponsored by Pennovation

Stephen J. Williams PhD, Reporter

Penn Center for Innovation (Pennovation) sponsored a “Meet with NCI SBIR” program directors at University of Pennsylvania Medicine Smilow Center for Translational Research with a presentation on advice on preparing a successful SBIR/STTR application to the NCI as well as discussion of NCI SBIR current funding opportunities.   Time was allotted in the afternoon for one-on-one discussions with NCI SBIR program directors.

To find similar presentations and one-on-one discussions with NCI/SBIR program directors in an area nearest to you please go to their page at:

https://sbir.cancer.gov/newsevents/events

For more complete information on the NCI SBIR and STTR programs please go to their web page at: https://sbir.cancer.gov/about

A few notes from the meeting are given below:

  • In 2016 the SBIR/STTR 2016 funded $2.5 billion (US) of early stage companies; this is compared to the $6.6 billion invested in early  stage ventures by venture capital firms so the NCI program is very competitive with alternate sources of funding
  • It was stressed that the SBIR programs are flexible as far as ownership of a company; SBIR allows now that >50% of the sponsoring company can be owned by other ventures;  In addition they are looking more favorably on using outside contractors and giving leeway on budgetary constraints so AS THEY SUGGEST ALWAYS talk to the program director about any questions you may have well before (at least 1 month) you submit. More on eligibility criteria is found at: https://sbir.cancer.gov/about/eligibilitycriteria
  • STTR should have strong preliminary data since more competitive; if don’t have enough go for  an R21 emerging technologies grant which usually does not require preliminary data
  • For entities outside the US need a STRONG reason for needing to do work outside the US

Budget levels were discussed as well as  the waiver program, which allows for additional funds to be requested based on criteria set by NCI (usually for work that is deemed high priority or of a specialized nature which could not be covered sufficiently under the standard funding limits) as below:

Phase I: 150K standard but you can get waivers for certain work up to 300K

Phase II: 1M with waiver up to 2M

Phase IIB waiver up to 4M

You don’t need to apply for the waiver but grant offices may suggest citing a statement requesting a waiver as review panels will ask for this information

Fast Track was not discussed in the presentation but for more information of the Fast Track program please visit the website  

NCI is working hard to cut review times to 7 months between initial review to funding however at beginning of the year they set pay lines and hope to fund 50% of the well scored grants

NCI SBIR is a Centralized system with center director and then program director with specific areas of expertise: Reach out to them

IMAT Program and Low-Resource Setting new programs more suitable for initial studies and also can have non US entities

Phase IIB Bridge funding to cross “valley of death” providing up to 4M for 2-3 years: most were for drug/biological but good amount for device and diagnostics

 

Also they have announced administrative supplements for promoting diversity within a project: can add to the budget

FY18 Contracts Areas

3 on biotherapies

2 imaging related

2 on health IT

4 on radiation therapy related: NOTE They spent alot of time discussing the contracts centered on radiation therapy and seems to be an area of emphasis of the NCI SBIR program this year

4 other varied topics

 

Breakdown of funding

>70% of NCI SBIR budget went to grants (for instance Omnibus grants); about 20-30% for contracts; 16% for phase I and 34 % for phase II ;

ALSO the success rate considerably higher for companies that talk to the program director BEFORE applying than not talking to them; also contracts more successful than Omnibus applications

Take Advantage of these useful Assistance Programs through the NIH SBIR Program (Available to all SBIR grantees)

NICHE ASSESSMENT Program

From the NCI SBIR website:

The Niche Assessment Program is designed to help small businesses “jump start” their commercialization efforts. All active HHS (NIH, CDC, FDA) SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees and Phase I Fast-Track awardees (by grant or contract) are eligible to apply. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis!

The Niche Assessment Program provides market insight and data that can be used to help small businesses strategically position their technology in the marketplace. The results of this program can help small businesses develop their commercialization plans for their Phase II application, and be exposed to potential partners. Services are provided by Foresight Science & Technology of Providence, RI.

Technology Niche Analyses® (TNA®) are provided by Foresight, for one hundred and seventy-five (175), HHS SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees. These analyses assess potential applications for a technology and then for one viable application, it provides an assessment of the:

  1. Needs and concerns of end-users;
  2. Competing technologies and competing products;
  3. Competitive advantage of the SBIR/STTR-developed technology;
  4. Market size and potential market share (may include national and/or global markets);
  5. Barriers to market entry (may include but is not limited to pricing, competition, government regulations, manufacturing challenges, capital requirements, etc.);
  6. Market drivers;
  7. Status of market and industry trends;
  8. Potential customers, licensees, investors, or other commercialization partners; and,
  9. The price customers are likely to pay.

Commercialization Acceleration Program  (CAP)

From the NIH SBIR website:

NIH CAP is a 9-month program that is well-regarded for its combination of deep domain expertise and access to industry connections, which have resulted in measurable gains and accomplishments by participating companies. Offered since 2004 to address the commercialization objectives of companies across the spectrum of experience and stage, 1000+ companies have participated in the CAP. It is open only to HHS/NIH SBIR/STTR Phase II awardees, and 80 slots are available each year. The program enables participants to establish market and customer relevance, build commercial relationships, and focus on revenue opportunities available to them.

I-Corps Program

The I-Corps program provides funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help commercialize your promising biomedical technology. During this 8-week, hands-on program, you’ll learn how to focus your business plan and get the tools to bring your treatment to the patients who need it most.

Program benefits include:

  • Funding up to $50,000 to cover direct program costs
  • Training from biotech sector experts
  • Expanding your professional network
  • Building the confidence and skills to create a comprehensive business model
  • Gaining years of entrepreneurial skills in only weeks.

 

ICORPS is an Entrepreneurial Program (8 week course) to go out talk to customers, get assistance with business models, useful resource which can guide the new company where they should focus on for the commercialization aspect

THE NCI Applicant Assistance Program (AAP)

The SBIR/STTR Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) is aimed at helping eligible small R&D businesses and individuals successfully apply for Phase I SBIR/STTR funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Participation in the AAP will be funded by the NCI, NINDS, and NHLBI with NO COST TO PARTICIPANTS. The program will include the following services:

  • Needs Assessment/Small Business Mentoring
  • Phase I Application Preparation Support
  • Application Review
  • Team/Facilities Development
  • Market Research
  • Intellectual Property Consultation

For more details about the program, please refer to NIH Notice NOT-CA-18-072.

 

These programs are free for first time grant applicants and must not have been awarded previous SBIR

Peer Learning Webinar Series goal to improve peer learning .Also they are starting to provide Regulatory Assistance (see below)

NIH also provides Mentoring programs for CEOS and C level

Application tips

  1. Start early: and obtain letters of collaboration
  2. Build a great team: PI multi PI, consider other partners to fill gaps (academic, consultants, seasoned entrepreneurs (don’t need to be paid)
  3. They will pre review 1 month before due date, use NIH Project Reporter to view previous funded grants
  4. Specify study section in SF to specify areas of expertise for review
  5. Specific aims are very important; some of the 20 reviewers focus on this page (describes goals and milestones as well; spend as much time on this page as the rest of the application
  6. Letters of support from KOLs are important to have; necessary from consultants and collaborators; helpful from clinicians
  7. Have a phase II commercialization plan
  8. Note for non US clinical trials:  They will not fund nonUS clinical trials; the company must have a FWA
  9. SBIR budgets defined by direct costs; can request a 7% fee as an indirect cost; and they have a 5,000 $ technical assistance program like regulatory consultants but if requested can’t participate in NIH technical assistance programs so most people don’t apply for TAP

 

  • They are trying to change the definition of innovation as also using innovative methods (previously reviewers liked tried and true methodology)

10.  before you submit solicit independent readers

NCI SBIR can be found on Twitter @NCIsbir ‏

Discussion with Monique Pond, Ph.D. on Establishment of a Regulatory Assistance Program for NCI SBIR

I was able to sit down with Dr. Monique Pond,  AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, Health Scientist within the NCI SBIR Development Center to discuss the new assistance program in regulatory affairs she is developing for the NCI SBIR program.  Dr Pond had received her PhD in chemistry from the Pennsylvania State University, completed a postdoctoral fellow at NIST and then spent many years as a regulatory writer and consultant in the private sector.  She applied through the AAAS for this fellowship and will bring her experience and expertise in regulatory affairs from the private sector to the SBIR program. Dr. Pond discussed the difficulties that new ventures have in formulating regulatory procedures for their companies, the difficulties in getting face time with FDA regulators and helping young companies start thinking about regulatory issues such as pharmacovigilence, oversight, compliance, and navigating the complex regulatory landscape.

In addition Dr. Pond discussed the AAAS fellowship program and alternative career paths for PhD scientists.

 

A formal interview will follow on this same post.

 

Other articles on this OPEN ACCESS JOURNAL on Funding for Startups and Early Ventures are given below:

 

Mapping Medical Device Startups Across The Globe per Funding Criteria

Funding Oncorus’s Immunotherapy Platform: Next-generation Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus (oHSV) for Brain Cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

 

Funding Opportunities for Cancer Research

 

Team Profile: DrugDiscovery @LPBI Group – A BioTech Start Up submitted for Funding Competition to MassChallenge Boston 2016 Accelerator

 

A Message from Faculty Director Lee Fleming on Latest Issue of Crowdfunding; From the Fung Institute at Berkeley

 

PROTOCOL for Drug Screening of 3rd Party Intellectual Property Presented for Funding Representation

 

Foundations as a Funding Source

 

The Bioscience Crowdfunding Environment: The Bigger Better VC?

 

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Mapping Medical Device Startups Across The Globe per Funding Criteria

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

The Funding Criteria is explain in the Image Source.

 

Med-Tech Planet: Mapping Medical Device Startups Across The Globe

IMAGE SOURCE

https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/medical-device-most-well-funded-startups-global-map/?utm_source=CB+Insights+Newsletter&utm_campaign=63eed75a5f-WedNL_5_3_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9dc0513989-63eed75a5f-87377285

Most Well-Funded Medical Device Companies Across the Globe

IMAGE SOURCE

https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/medical-device-most-well-funded-startups-global-map/?utm_source=CB+Insights+Newsletter&utm_campaign=63eed75a5f-WedNL_5_3_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9dc0513989-63eed75a5f-87377285

Other related articles published in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

Search Results for ‘Medical Devices’ – 221 Articles

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/?s=Medical+Devices

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Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of Presentations on 9/19-9/21 @CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

LIVE 9/19 8AM – 10AM USING CRISPR/Cas9 FOR FUNCTIONAL SCREENING at CHI’s 2nd Annual Symposium CRISPR: Mechanisms and Applications @CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/19/live-919-8am-10am-using-crisprcas9-for-functional-screening-at-chis-2nd-annual-symposium-crispr-mechanisms-and-applications-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222/

 

LIVE 9/19 9:40 – noon CRISPR Engineering Lymphoma Lines & Will Interference from CRISPR Silence RNAi? CHI’s 2nd Annual Symposium CRISPR: Mechanisms and Applications @ CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/19/live-919-940-noon-crispr-engineering-lymphoma-lines-will-interference-from-crispr-silence-rnai-chis-2nd-annual-symposium-crispr-mechanisms-and-applications-chis-14th/

 

LIVE 9/19 1:40 – 3:20 EMERGING APPLICATIONS OF CRISPR/CAS9 at CHI’s 2nd Annual Symposium CRISPR: Mechanisms and Applications @ CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/19/live-919-140-320-emerging-applications-of-crisprcas9-at-chis-2nd-annual-symposium-crispr-mechanisms-and-applications-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016/

 

LIVE 9/19 4PM – 5:30PM NK CELL-BASED CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY @CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/19/live-919-4pm-530pm-nk-cell-based-cancer-immunotherapy-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-boston/

 

LIVE 9/20 8AM to noon GENE THERAPIES BREAKTHROUGHS at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/20/live-920-8am-to-noon-gene-therapies-breakthroughs-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-boston/

 

LIVE 9/20 2PM to 5:30PM New Viruses for Therapeutic Gene Delivery at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/20/live-920-2pm-to-530pm-new-viruses-for-therapeutic-gene-delivery-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-boston/

 

LIVE 9/21 8AM to 10:55 AM Expoloring the Versatility of CRISPR/Cas9 at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/21/live-921-8am-to-1055-am-expoloring-the-versatility-of-crisprcas9-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-boston/

 

LIVE 9/21 8AM to 2:40PM Targeting Cardio-Metabolic Diseases: A focus on Liver Fibrosis and NASH Targets at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/21/live-921-8am-to-240pm-targeting-cardio-metabolic-diseases-a-focus-on-liver-fibrosis-and-nash-targets-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-b/

 

LIVE 9/21 12:50 pm Plenary Keynote Program at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/21/live-921-1250-pm-plenary-keynote-program-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919-9222016-westin-boston-waterfront-boston/

 

LIVE 9/21 3:20PM to 6:40PM KINASE INHIBITORS FOR CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY COMBINATIONS & KINASE INHIBITORS FOR AUTOIMMUNE AND INFLAMMATORY DISEASES at CHI’s 14th Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/21/live-921-320pm-to-640pm-kinase-inhibitors-for-cancer-immunotherapy-combinations-kinase-inhibitors-for-autoimmune-and-inflammatory-diseases-at-chis-14th-discovery-on-target-919/

 

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Thriving Three Groups on LinkedIn

Groups Launcher and Group Manager: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Cardiovascular Biotech & Pharma UK & US Networking Group

954 members

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4357927

 

 

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence

350 members

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4346921

 

 

Innovation in Israel

205 members

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2987122

 

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ILUMINAimage001

Bio-IT World 2016 – Reception with Dr. Howard Jacob – Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN will attend

From: “Kilke John (Illumina BIOIT2016)” <kilke.john@illumina-bioit2016.com>

Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 6:31 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Bio-IT World 2016 – drinks reception with Dr. Howard Jacob

Dear Aviva,

Following our brief, previous meeting I am inviting you to an exclusive drinks reception on the second night of this year’s conference in Boston.

It brings together research scientists, life sciences engineers, technologists, operations and data specialists for an evening of peer-to-peer discussions.

The drinks reception will be attended by Dr. Howard Jacob – who was the first in the world to successfully use DNA sequencing to identify and treat an unknown disease and in doing so saved the patient’s life. Under the title of ‘Genomic medicine is a team sport’, Dr. Jacob will be talking about his views on the future of genomics.

Attached is a short invitation PDF including full location details, times, etc.

The drinks reception is open to only 25 people – by invitation only. Therefore, please RSVP me by email or phone to reserve your place.

I look forward to seeing you in Boston 

With kind regards,

Kilke

Kilke John

Bio-IT World event coordinator for Illumina

e: kilke.john@illumina-bioit2016.com

t: +44 20 3100 3578

Wednesday, April 6th 2016 (day two of the Bio-IT World conference)

Time: 6:30 – 8.30PM

Dr. Howard Jacob

Jacob is leading a team that is finding ways to change peoples’ lives. In his research, Jacob verifies that specific DNA changes cause disease. And he wants to find a way to pinpoint those genetic conditions fast enough to benefit a patient.

Jacob combines his team’s research with work from other investigators, bringing genome sequencing, data analysis and basic research together to make a diagnosis possible.

“My role is to integrate the independent work of researchers and create space for them to not only do world class science individually, but also contribute to a larger team,” Jacob says. “It’s one part participant, one part coach, one part motivator.”

“Science is inherently slow and methodical, which is great. But not
if you’re trying to help a sick patient.”

About Dr. Howard Jacob

Jacob has over 240 scientific publications, securing $85M of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Following his PhD at the University of Iowa in 1989 and his postdoctoral work at Harvard, Stanford and MIT, Jacob was the founding director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center and a professor in the departments of physiology and pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin for nearly 20 years.
He led a team that was the first in the world to successfully use DNA sequencing to identify and treat an unknown disease in a patient. That experience saved the patient’s life and changed Jacob’s too.

“I always believed genomics was going to improve medicine,” he says. “But it went from being a dream to being a passion. I’m frustrated that we’re not helping more people today, when I know we could be changing lives. The good news is that we are going to be changing lives, and changing medicine, through genomics.”

By invitation only

Hosted by Illumina, this exclusive drinks reception is limited to only 25 attendees. It is designed to encourage peer-to-peer discussions among life sciences engineers and research scientists, as well as operations managers, technologists and data specialists.

Discussions will explore how the team sport of genomic medicine is driven on by translational informatics, advances of clinical genomics and next-gen sequencing – and clinical research with a sole focus on saving lives.

 

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The late Cambridge Mayor Alfred Vellucci welcomed Life Sciences Labs to Cambridge, MA – June 1976

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

How Cambridge became the Life Sciences Capital

Worth watching is the video below, which captures the initial Cambridge City Council hearing on recombinant DNA research from June 1976. The first speaker is the late Cambridge mayor Alfred Vellucci.

Vellucci hoped to pass a two-year moratorium on gene splicing in Cambridge. Instead, the council passed a three-month moratorium, and created a board of nine Cambridge citizens — including a nun and a nurse — to explore whether the work should be allowed, and if so, what safeguards would be necessary. A few days after the board was created, the pro and con tables showed up at the Kendall Square marketplace.

At the time, says Phillip Sharp, an MIT professor, Cambridge felt like a manufacturing town that had seen better days. He recalls being surrounded by candy, textile, and leather factories. Sharp hosted the citizens review committee at MIT, explaining what the research scientists there planned to do. “I think we built a relationship,” he says.

By early 1977, the citizens committee had proposed a framework to ensure that any DNA-related experiments were done under fairly stringent safety controls, and Cambridge became the first city in the world to regulate research using genetic material.

 

WATCH VIDEO

How Cambridge became the life sciences capital

Scott Kirsner can be reached at kirsner@pobox.com. Follow him on Twitter@ScottKirsner and on betaboston.com.

SOURCE

How Cambridge became the life sciences capital

http://www.betaboston.com/news/2016/03/17/how-cambridge-became-the-life-sciences-capital/

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