1) Dozens of drug makers agree on effort to combat antibiotic resistance – STAT, 1/20/2016
In an unprecedented bid to address antibiotic resistance, more than 80 drug and device makers have issued a declaration urging governments to “support investment” in developing medicines and diagnostic tools to combat drug-resistant infections.
2) Exclusive: Fast-growing gene-editing biotech expanding near Kendall Square – BBJ, 1/22/2016
A rapidly growing Cambridge-based gene-editing company has snapped up 65,000 square feet of coveted East Cambridge real estate with plans to house a newly created division in the space.
3) GE Life Sciences to hire 100 more people in 2016 – BBJ, 1/21/2016
As General Electric Co. prepares to move to relocate corporate headquarters to Massachusetts, GE Healthcare Life Sciences is finalizing its own move into new space and planning to hire over 100 new employees.
4) MassBio Testimony: Healthcare Financing Committee Hearing on Drug Cost & Value – MassBio, 1/19/2016
On January 19th, MassBio, at the request of the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing, testified at the first in a series of informational sessions intended to provide legislators, stakeholders, and the public with a comprehensive understanding of issues of drug cost and value.
5) Video: Experts predict the future of Big Data at #JPM16 – FierceBiotech, 1/19/2016
Storing, analyzing and managing the big data sets that are being created around genomics for drug development has created challenges for the biopharma industry. Some leaders in the field, including Google and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, MA, have been battering down some of these barriers, making it possible to explore the data for clues about new drug development opportunities.
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.
Celebrating 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
In 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.
MassBio 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
In 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.
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
As 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,