Articles

Despite a delayed train, I got home at 11:30 last night, not too bad considering how bad it could have been! At least the thirty minute delay allowed me to hang out with Mary from Amtrak who repeatedly got requests from folks trying to move up their reservations and she had the pleasure of turning them away one after another since all the trains were filled to the brim. At least she offered them all the option of being 'duck taped to the side of the train,' that has to be the best quote I've heard in awhile. Thanks for a truly spectacular conference, everyone!

I’m heading south – and closer to home – next month. Join me from March 10-12 in Washington, DC, for our first ever, international Partnering for Global Health Forum. Ok, so technically, I jump on Amtrak in a few hours to go back home to DC, but you get the point! DC in the spring is fabulous – as long as it doesn’t rain. And the conference will be a can't miss event, even if it does rain. So why come? Four great reasons:

The biggest buzz aside from biotech at the CEO conference is definitely the light snowfall outside.  Word on the street is that it will continue to warm up and the snow won't stick, hopefully no one's travel will be dramatically inconvenienced tomorrow. If you want a second opinion: www.weather.com

BIO will debut a new conference in Boston April 22-23.  The National Venture Conference will draw early-stage, private biotech companies and healthcare venture partners.  I hope to see you there, but in the meantime, check out http://bnvc.bio.org for more details in the coming months.

The debate surrounding cancer endpoints has focused on the issue of quality of life and progression. Panelists shared some of the challenges in assessing quality of life, since it can be a fickle and subjective process. The data can be hard to nail down since patients don't always fill out the forms. The critical issues include survival rates, improved quality of life and progression of disease. Everything must be taken into consideration to determine endpoints, which is why the issue is hotly debated.

Panelists in the diabetes panel stressed the importance of the growing prevalence of the disease – it’s expected to more than double by 2030. Those are big numbers, particularly because diabetes is the number one cause of preventable blindness. There is a light on the horizon - several new treatments for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

Agricultural and industrial biotechnology are key enabling technologies that will allow the U.S. to sustainably reach the new national renewable fuels standard (RFS) established by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Economists have long recognized that the development and spread of economic innovations are the most powerful factors affecting how fast the U.S. economy grows and how much the incomes of most Americans will rise.

Certain groups are calling for serious overhaul of the nation‟s patent system.

In order to ensure that new pioneer biotechnology products continue to reach patients and physicians, any statutory pathway for the approval of follow-on biologics must protect patient safety and preserve incentives to innovate.

This report by Andrew Balmer and Dr. Paul Martin of the University of Nottingham's Institute for Science and Society was an independent review commissioned by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

What is animal cloning?

U.S. Department of Commerce report concludes that developing cellulosic ethanol would produce significant benefits to the US economy.

A 2007 study by Informa Economics of the factors that affect the consumer price index for food finds that rising oil prices, not ethanol, has had the greatest impact.

Executive Summary