Biotech’s biggest event of the year wrapped up last week. We shared some of the top Massachusetts news stories that came out of the conference on Friday but we wanted to provide some more highlights from the Massachusetts Pavilion.
The #1 Life Sciences Cluster in the World
Get inspired by the impact Massachusetts is making on the world and watch our special Massachusetts Pavilion video featuring industry game changers and Massachusetts’ newly elected Governor Charlie Baker.
Our Commitment: Highlighting Biotech’s Global Humanitarian Programs
Despite sometimes significant challenges, Massachusetts’ biotechnology companies are on the forefront of offering global humanitarian access programs & conducting international public health research. This panel showcased some of the creative ways our companies go a step above to heal the world.
- Caren Arnstein, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Genzyme
- Robert Lillianfeld, Director of Corporate Relations, Seeding Labs
- Dr. Deborah Molrine, Deputy Director of Clinical Affairs and Professor of Pediatrics, UMass Medical School
- Deborah J. Peirce, Director of Global Advocacy Oncology, Baxter
Key takeaway: “If you make the right decision for patients, it will be the right business decision.” – Caren Arnstein on Genzyme Corporation’s philosophy and gold standard. Read the rest of this entry
MassBio Update: Congrats to Peter Abair, Director of Economic Development & Global Affairs at MassBio on being named MassBioEd’s new Executive Director! Read the Press Announcement
1) Takeda Pharmaceuticals to move U.S. vaccine headquarters to Cambridge area – BBJ, 6/2/15
Takeda Pharmaceuticals announced it will move the U.S. headquarters for its unit devoted to developing vaccines for diseases like norovirus, dengue and seasonal influenza to the Cambridge area.
2) EMD Millipore set for expansion with $17b takeover – Boston Globe, 5/29/15
EMD Millipore, begun in 1954 as a local filtration company, is poised to become a much larger player in the fast-growing business of supplying life sciences equipment to drug makers and research labs worldwide. The company is set to complete its $17 billion takeover of Sigma-Aldrich Corp. this summer. The deal will boost the company’s global sales more than 70 percent to about $6 billion annually and double its global workforce to 20,000, including more than 1,000 in Massachusetts.
3) National cancer trial to use technology from Waltham company – BBJ, 6/1/15
Does the secret to curing a person’s cancer lie in their DNA?
That’s what scientists hope, and they will use genetic sequencing technology from Waltham-based Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO) to look for mutations within a person’s DNA to match them with the best cancer medicine.
4) BU scientist uses existing drugs in fight against Ebola – Boston Globe, 6/4/15
Hoping to develop a drug against Ebola, but lacking the $1 billion to bring a new medicine to market, Boston University infectious disease researcher Gene Olinger turned to a more affordable source of drugs — those already available at his local pharmacy.
5) A year after emerging from coma, Boylston teen to showcase invention on world’s biotech stage – BBJ, 6/4/15
A Central Massachusetts teen is headed to Philadelphia next week to show off his discovery of a biodegradable replacement for plastic before hundreds of the world’s biggest biotech firms. His travel to the conference is being funded by the state’s industry group, MassBio.
This week Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation designed to create a pathway for the substitution of interchangeable biologic medicines in Massachusetts that will ensure both patient access and patient safety.
The policies outlined in House Bill 3734 align with all five of BIO’s principles on biologic substitution. BIO and MassBio commend Massachusetts’ Senate and House of Representatives for passing this legislation earlier this month. Governor Patrick announced that the bill had been signed at the 2014 BIO International Convention.
“We’re so excited that once again Massachusetts is leading the way in adopting policy that not only supports a growing industry, but more importantly allows patients access to the most cutting-edge therapies that have been proven safe and effective. We are fortunate to have visionary leaders like Governor Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo who are willing to stand up for innovation and patient safety.” – Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio
House Bill 3734 seeks to properly preserve patient access to accurate prescription information, maintains incentives for innovation and promotes a competitive market for biologic therapies. BIO will continue to advocate for full transparency in the substitution process, as patients and their physicians should have the right to know what biologic medicine the patient receives from the pharmacy.
The FDA is currently developing a pathway for the development and approval of safe and effective interchangeable biologic products in the United States. However, there is still a major role for states to play in ensuring substitution practices remain transparent and physicians remain engaged in the process.
Patients and physicians managing chronic conditions are generally aware of which biologic treatments work best in their unique circumstances. Communicating with patients and physicians allows everyone involved the opportunity to discuss past treatment experiences so that any possible unexpected issues can be better understood and avoided.
As other states continue to address issues related to biologic medicines, MassBio and BIO hope that policy makers will continue to put patients first.
Want to learn more about MassBio’s advocacy efforts around biosimilars? Check out:
MassBio and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center are hosting Lifecycle Massachusetts: The MA Pavilion (Booth #2127) at the BIO International Convention, June 23-26. As you plan your schedule for next week, be sure to take a break from the convention and join us for one of our speaking programs and, of course, the Mass Mixer on Tuesday evening!
TUESDAY, June 24th
10:30 a.m. Creative Collaborations: How to Create Consortia that Actually Work!
When building consensus, consortia, and collaboration, lots can go wrong. Come hear what can go right!
- Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (Moderator)
- John Ambroziak, Director, Strategy and Business Development, EMD Millipore
- Tom Large, Senior Vice President, Preclinical Research and Translational Medicine, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Richard Rossi, City Manager, City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Ralph Zottola, Chief Technology Officer, Research Computing, University of Massachusetts
2:00 p.m. Press Announcement
Come hear the news about a new Massachusetts Life Sciences Center program to promote research & development collaborations between companies in Massachusetts and the rest of the world.
5:00 p.m. Mass Mixer: The Massachusetts Pavilion Hospitality Reception, hosted by Thermo Fisher Scientific
You won’t want to miss this jam-packed networking reception featuring the tastes and sounds of Massachusetts.
WEDNESDAY, June 25th
EBD Group, the leading partnering firm for the life science industry, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) announced today that BioPharm America™ 2013 will again be held in Boston September 17–19 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston, MA. Link
2) French biotech Hemarina opens Boston office – Mass High Tech – 4/24/2013
Hemarina SA, a privately-held biotechnology company based in Morlaix, France, is opening its first Americas location in Boston. The announcement was made by Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) president and CEO Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister at the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago this week. Link
3) Mass. woos biotech firms at BIO convention – Boston Globe – 4/24/2013
Around the tables at the Massachusetts pavilion Tuesday, there was the buzz of deals in the making. State officials, along with representatives from Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy, huddled in meetings with executives from biotech companies in Israel, Northern Ireland, and New Zealand. Similar scenes were being played out across an exhibition hall the size of four football fields at the Biotechnology Industry Organization annual convention here. Link
4) Mass. groups emphasize international collaboration with new programs – Mass High Tech – 4/22/2013
Two local organizations are working to boost international collaboration in the form of investment, trade and research and development. From the floor of the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago, the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) said Monday it was launching a new International Collaborative Industry Program (ICIP) to enable the group to partner with other nations to award funding to support R&D in Massachusetts and in the partnering nations. The international program will promote collaboration between life sciences companies and to increase the development of new products for commercialization. Link
5) AstraZeneca follows Pfizer for BIND’s second cancer nano-drug deal of the month – BBJ – 4/22/2013
AstraZeneca is set to pay up to $199 million to Cambridge biotech BIND Therapeutics for development of Accurin, a cancer nanomedicine based on a kinase inhibitor owned by AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN). Link