Top 5 News: 1/9-1/15

Top 5 logo1) Reports of GE’s move follow years of local expansion of its life sciences business – BBJ, 1/13/2016
News that GE is moving its headquarters to the state comes a year and a half after the company moved the headquarters for its life sciences business to Marlborough.

2)  Key takeaways from the Shire-Baxalta deal — and the state’s new largest drugmaker BBJ, 1/11/2016
With the planned acquisition announced this morning of two drugmakers both with a major presence in the Bay State, Shire Pharmaceuticals could soon be the state’s biggest drugmaker, eclipsing Biogen in employees and very possibly in both revenue and market value.

3) Drug trailblazers Moderna, Juno grab forum’s spotlight Boston Globe, 1/15/2016
 New ways to fight diseases are guaranteed to get plenty of attention at the top gathering of health care entrepreneurs and investors. So it’s no surprise that Moderna Therapeutics Inc. and Juno Therapeutics Inc., pioneers in potentially game-changing drug discovery technologies, emerged as two of the highest profile companies at this week’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

4)  State opens annual tax program for life science firms that create jobs BBJ, 1/14/2016
In a good sign for continued funding of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the state agency today announced it’s taking applications for the annual tax incentive program which rewards companies for creating jobs.

5) NIH pumps $260m into search for disease genes that matter – STAT, 1/14/2016
Federal science officials on Thursday announced the launch of a $260 million program to identify rare gene variants that raise or lower people’s risk of developing such common conditions as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and autism — the latest Big Science effort to mine DNA sequences for medical breakthroughs.


Top 5 News: 1/2/16-1/8/16

Top 5 logo1) 2015 New Drug Approvals Hit 66-Year High! – Forbes, 1/4/2015
2015 has been a remarkable year for pharmaceutical innovation. What would have been a dream (or perhaps a delusion) a few years ago has happened.

2) Key takeaways from the state’s new digital-health initiative BBJ, 1/7/2016
Elected officials and key stakeholders in the Bay State’s health care and technology sectors gathered at Boston Childrens Hospital to unveil a new public-private partnership aimed at expanding the state’s role in the fast-emerging electronic-health care sector.

3) This Startup’s Painkiller Is Stronger Than Morphine and Non-Addictive BostInno, 1/4/2016
From a very early age, we’re taught the evils of drug addiction. No one ever starts off their lives aspiring to be an addict, and there’s a perception that anyone who is addicted to drugs belongs in the dregs of society.

4) Eight Milestones Of 2015 In The War On Cancer Forbes, 1/1/2016
Fourteen the 45 novel drugs that hit the market in 2015 were approved by the U.S. Food & Drug administration to treat cancer—offering new hope for patients battling multiple myeloma, colon cancer, thyroid cancer and many other forms of the disease. It was a good year for pharma companies working in oncology, to be sure.

5) 30 Under 30: Meet The Entrepreneurs Who Are Fixing The Healthcare System – Forbes, 1/4/2016
These researchers and entrepreneurs aren’t just improving how we do healthcare. They’re reinventing it.

Guest Post: Who Owns Your Brain According to the Contract You Signed?

LinnikGuest post by Konstantin Linnik, Ph.D., a partner in the Boston office of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and a co-chair or the Legal & Regulatory Working Group at MassBio and Isaac Hubner, Ph.D. a senior associate with the firm.

Whether you are dealing with a “simple” confidentiality agreement, a consulting agreement, or a multi-billion-dollar license, legal provisions are often a source of misunderstanding, confusion and frustration.

Thinking about consulting for a local biotech, starting a new job or even a new venture? Brace yourself for a barrage of legal implications you may not have thought existed.

On January 28, 2016, MassBio will host an expert panel provocatively entitled “Decoding Legal Mumbo-Jumbo.” The MassBio panel is composed of lawyers as well as non-lawyers including a business development executive. The goal of the panel is to help the audience learn to spot legal pitfalls and opportunities that are so often overlooked in real-life business settings.

The story of Dr. Joseph Grocela, a urologist at MGH who moonlighted as a medical device entrepreneur, serves as a good example of how misunderstanding a basic legal provision in your employment contract may lead to dashed dreams and a lengthy legal dispute to boot.  Read the rest of this entry

President’s Update – MassBio in 2015: A Year in Review

MassBio PresidentDear Readers,

As 2015 comes to a close and we prepare for an exciting 2016, I want to thank you for your involvement and support and reflect on 2015 with a Year in Review highlighting our biggest focus areas of 2015.

MassBio is committed to delivering maximum value to our 700+ member organizations by providing best-in-class programming, events, services and opportunities. Our goal is to support the needs of our members by helping extend capital, providing valuable business development opportunities and offering relevant, forward-thinking content.

foundersCelebrating 30 Years of Innovation

This year, we celebrated our 30th anniversary and looked back at 30 years of innovation as we welcomed MassBio’s founders to our Annual Meeting. As we look to the future, we are working with our members and stakeholders across the ecosystem to ensure that the Massachusetts’ life sciences supercluster continues to thrive and grow for the next 30 years – and beyond!

The Question of Value

Impact 2020, MassBio’s strategic report, called Massachusetts stakeholders across industry, academia, healthcare networks, payers and government to drive the conversation on defining value and reward for innovation in the era of outcomes-focused medicine.

This year, that goal became even more urgent as issues around drug pricing and the costs of healthcare hit mainstream media in Massachusetts and nationwide. MassBio has and will continue to convene stakeholders to discuss alignment on drug cost and pricing topics, through conversations and programming at our Policy Leadership Breakfast, Annual Meeting and Forum series on value.

We also continue to educate policy makers – through convening the Biotech Caucus, participating with the Health Policy Commission and serving on the Managed Care Organization Task Force – to ensure the work our member companies are doing is incentivized and rewarded in any evolving healthcare system. It is critical in Massachusetts and beyond that we preserve and foster innovation so patients can receive the cures they so desperately need.

A #PatientDriven Mission

alsIn 2015, the MassBio Board of Directors officially adopted our new mission statement: Advance Massachusetts’ leadership in the life sciences to grow the industry, add value to the healthcare system and improve patient lives.

This new mission statement is meant to bring focus to the people at the heart of the work we all do: the patients. We work to bring that mission to life through programming like the second annual Patient Advocacy Summit, a sold-out event that brought industry leaders and patient advocates together to examine ways in which life sciences companies can more fully incorporate the patient voice into the work they do throughout the drug development cycle.


We also hosted a series of Forums on how to harness the power of social media which included a session on leveraging social platforms for patient advocacy. We then invited our members to share how their work is patient driven through photos and videos on social media and hosted a Twitter Chat on the topic using the hashtag #PatientDriven.

We look forward to continuing this conversation in 2016.

Catalyzing Innovation

massconnectMassBio supports innovation at its earliest stages. This year we matched 12 startups with teams of mentors through the MassCONNECT program. It was a banner year for MassCONNECT graduates, who have made deals with biopharma partners, won international business plan competitions and reached product milestones. The program has also grown through official partnerships with a number of accelerators and incubators (including the prestigious OneStart Competition), value-add informational sessions for entrepreneurs like our recent National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke program and entrepreneur bootcamps.

Through Pharma Days, our customized, invitation-only partnering events, we ensure pharma companies meet the right biotech and startup partners. We are constantly seeking partnerships and relationships to help early-stage life sciences companies meet their next milestones.

This year we convened thousands of members of the life sciences community at more than 100 events. We continue to rollout unique, targeted events that connect our members with shared interests, including biomanufacturing programming, life sciences information technology and big data programming, our new General Counsel Executive Group, new Nonprofit Leaders Roundtable and our annual CSO Roundtable.

Supporting Local Growth, Global Collaboration

groundbreakingIn 2015, MassBio welcomed a number of global companies as they opened new Massachusetts offices, including as Eli Lilly, GSK, and Bristol-Myers Squibb and more. This year we hosted visitors from 17 life sciences clusters around the world, ranging from Iceland, to France, to China.

MassBio also supports our local cities and towns across the Commonwealth as they grow their life sciences clusters and become BioReady® by adopting bio-friendly policies.

We will continue to partner with the new administration and the Massachusetts Life Science Center leadership to advocate for and develop the next iteration of the Life Sciences Initiative.

Boosting Your Bottom Line

In 2015, we expanded the MassBio Purchasing Consortium to include competitive pricing and best-in-class customer service from Industrial Protection Products, UniFirst Corporation and publications such as Science and Banker & Tradesman. Stay tuned for savings from new suppliers in 2016.Employee Perks Logo v3

This year we also expanded our Employee Rewards program, offering special savings and incentives at 30+ restaurants, retailers and attractions specifically for the employees of our member companies. In 2016 we will build out the program in key regions outside of Boston/Cambridge.

Preparing the Workforce of the Future

mdedAs we look toward the future, cultivating talent in Massachusetts will remain a priority. This year, Peter Abair, formerly MassBio’s Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs, became the new Executive Director of the MassBioEd Foundation. MassBio will continue to work closely with Peter and the MassBioEd Foundation to inspire students, engage teachers and guide the life sciences workforce of the future.

This year, MassBioEd began creating a job trends and forecasting tool, which will build upon MassBioEd’s educational programming by providing a clear understanding of what jobs are trending strongly, the skills that are associated with those positions and which job opportunities will be available in the future.

To enhance the careers of those already in the industry, MassBio organizes regular professional development and networking events. MassBio members can also access discounts on MassBioEd training courses.

Thank you for making our 30th year a great one. 2016 promises to be even busier and more productive.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year,
Bob Coughlin

Happy Holidays from MassBio & MassBioEd!

MassBio Holiday Card 2015 (3)

Holiday dinner2