The bioeconomy will carry us through

June 9, 2020
BIO Digital continues today—and yes, it’s Dr. Fauci Day! He will join our all-star vaccines panel featuring Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, and Sanofi. To get ready, listen to the latest episode of the I AM BIO Podcast, featuring CEPI CEO Dr. Richard…
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BIO Digital continues today—and yes, it’s Dr. Fauci Day! He will join our all-star vaccines panel featuring Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, and Sanofi. To get ready, listen to the latest episode of the I AM BIO Podcast, featuring CEPI CEO Dr. Richard Hatchett, who will also participate. (You can listen via Apple, Google, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.)

Today, we take a closer look at our new report on the biotech economy, as well as a study showing why it’s so hard to determine the precise origin of the coronavirus. As always, DC news at the end. Here are around 960 words, just under 5 minutes.


How to follow BIO Digital:
  • Head to the BIO Digital Live Blog, where we’ve got a team of writers bringing you the highlights, live and in real time as it’s happening.
  • Join the conversation at @IAmBiotech and @BIOConvention. #BIODigital
  • Did we give you FOMO? It’s not too late to register for full access (including BIO One-on-One Partnering) or our education-only pass.

What we’re watching today:
BIO’s Dave Thomas will talk about the state of biotech investment (11 AM ET/8 AM PT), and Amgen sponsors an international plenary with some of our sister organizations from around the globe (11:30 AM ET/8:30 AM PT). Our vaccine plenary brings together Dr. Fauci and speakers from companies working on some of the top candidates (2:00 PM/11:00 AM PT). And don’t miss the fireside chat with BIO’s Presidents past and present (5:45 PM ET/2:45 PM PT).

Stay tuned to the BIO Digital Live Blog for our round-the-clock coverage of news and highlights, and if you’re registered, head to the BIO Digital Hubb to watch them live.


The bioeconomy will carry us through

And not just because we’ll create the therapies and vaccines to beat COVID-19. BIO’s new report released yesterday takes a look at the strength of the bioeconomy. 

BIO’s report, The Bioscience Economy: Propelling Life-Saving Treatments, Supporting State & Local Communities, analyzes the bioscience industry’s economic footprint, including the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bioscience economy was at record strength when the pandemic hit. The bioscience industry employed 1.87 million across more than 101,000 U.S. companies in 2018, with a total economic impact of $2.6 trillion as measured by overall output. 

And small and mid-sized companies are driving it, comprising 71% of total industry employment and 99% of business establishments. 

Even with the crisis, bioscience remains strong. As of mid-May 2020, there were more than 400 drug programs in development aimed at COVID-19, including 100 vaccines and 135 antivirals. 

Small companies are also driving the innovation we need right now. They have accounted for at least 60% of all FDA drug approvals each year over the past three years—and they’re moving quickly on COVID-19.   

What they’re saying: “The bioscience industry has a strong track record of near continuous growth and will be more important than ever to help end the pandemic and rebuild our global economy,” said Ryan Helwig, Principal and Project Director with TEConomy Partners, our report partner.

Read the full report including fact sheets for all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico at www.bio.org/jobs

Today at BIO Digital, Dave Thomas, BIO’s VP of Industry Analysis, will talk about the future outlook for the bioeconomy and investment (11 AM ET/8 AM PT). Then, our three-part live plenary will take a look at vaccines in development, from companies large and small (2 PM ET/11 AM PT).

Follow along on our BIO Digital Live Blog.


More Health Care News:

Biopharma Dive: Lilly gets a 2nd COVID-19 antibody into clinical trials with Junshi's help
“The antibody drug is the first such treatment to enter clinical trials in China, according to Junshi, and follows an agreement reached in early May by the Shanghai-based biotech and Lilly to collaborate on development.” 

Reuters: What are antibody therapies and who is developing them for COVID-19?
“While some potential vaccines have emerged in the global race to find a way to stop the spread of COVID-19, many scientists and researchers believe antibody based therapies hold great promise for treating people already infected with the disease.”

 
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More evidence that bats are responsible for COVID-19

A new study, which Nature calls “the most comprehensive analysis of coronaviruses in China,” has even more evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, most likely originated in a bat—but there’s still a lot of mystery about the precise where, when, and how.

The study, from the EcoHealth Alliance and Wuhan Institute of Virology, among others, analyzed the DNA of 1,240 coronaviruses found naturally in bats in China and determined SARS-CoV-2 “is most closely related to a group of viruses found in horseshoe bats,” reports Nature

How do they know? Another coronavirus that they found in a horseshoe bat in China’s Yunnan province shares a whopping 96% of its DNA with SARS-CoV-2. 

But there was likely an intermediary between the bat and the human. “No bat viruses found so far are similar enough to SARS-CoV-2 to be a direct ancestor. So while the new virus could have been spread to people directly from bats, researchers think it’s more likely that it passed through an intermediate animal,” continues Nature

And while we may never know exactly how the virus got to humans, it’s important to try to find out—so we can better understand the epidemiology of the virus and find effective treatments and vaccines, and equally important, prevent the next zoonotic disease pandemic. 

Yes, this is why we need One Health. Last week we sent a letter urging Congress to pass bipartisan One Health legislation so we can better coordinate research into the links between human, animal, and environmental health—and hopefully stop the next pandemic in its tracks.


More Agriculture & Environment News:

Scrip Informa Pharma Intelligence: BIO 2020 Notebook: McMurry-Heath On Restoring Hope, Greenwood On Defeating Climate Skeptics
“Former CEO Jim Greenwood aims to defeat politicians who deny climate change.” 

 
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BIOTECHNOLOGY: BEYOND IMAGINATION

Jazz Pharmaceuticals: Advancing Cancer Treatments

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death globallywith 1 in 6 deaths resulting from the disease.

Some cancers are more difficult to treat because cells use multiple pathways to grow and can resist treatment. Obviously, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals developed its CombiPlex® technology to make combination therapies—which use two or more drugs to target cancer cells—safer and more effective.

Click here to watch and learn more.

Join Jazz Pharmaceuticals at BIO Digital today for a panel, Advancing Rare Disease Diagnosis and Drug Development Through Partnership.

 
BIO Beltway Report
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President Trump’s Tuesday: Not much on the public agenda today other than a meeting with Secretary of State Pompeo.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The Senate’s in session, resuming work on the Great American Outdoors Act. Senate Homeland Security will hold a hearing on procurement and distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House is not in session, but the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change will hold a virtual hearing on COVID-19 and pollution. In advance of George Floyd’s funeral today, Democrats are calling for police reform.

 
 
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