More Americans care about climate change. Biotech can help.

August 27, 2020
COVID-19 is not the only challenge the world is facing—and it’s not the only thing biotech is working on, either. Today, we look at how biotech is tackling other big problems like climate change and antibiotic resistance, and the need for policy to catch up with the…
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COVID-19 is not the only challenge the world is facing—and it’s not the only thing biotech is working on, either. Today, we look at how biotech is tackling other big problems like climate change and antibiotic resistance, and the need for policy to catch up with the science. Here are 825 words, just over 4 minutes.

More Americans care about climate change. Biotech can help.

More Americans than ever believe in climate change and want the government and businesses to take action—and these numbers continue to rise, even during a pandemic and economic crisis. So, what can we do? For starters, we can support innovative biotechs developing solutions.

“The number of Americans who feel passionately about climate change is rising sharply,” says The New York Times reporting on a new survey from Stanford University, Resources for the Future, and ReconMR, which finds 81% believe the earth is warming and 82% attribute it to human activity.

And despite the pandemic and economic crisis, “support for action to curb climate change has not diminished,” The New York Times continues, with 82% (an all-time high) also saying the government needs to do more about it.

But until we have policy solutions, we have biotech solutions—from Gevo’s low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel cleaning up the skies, to Danimer’s biodegradable plastic alternatives cleaning up the ocean, to Amyris’s biobased hand sanitizer meeting a critical need in a more sustainable way, to name a few.

Want to know more about innovations like these? Register for BIO IMPACT Digital, our virtual education and partnering event for the agriculture and environment biotech industry (formerly BIO World Congress), taking place entirely online from September 21-22, 2020.

We just announced our Start-Up Stadium finalists—biotech start-ups from around the world creating game-changing products and technologies. (Learn more here!) 

It’s just one of several interactive sessions that will bring you the latest insights on how biotech can feed, heal, and fuel our world in a more sustainable way. Learn more about the programming and register now.

 

More Agriculture and Environment News: 

The New York Times: Heat, smoke, and COVID are battering the workers who feed America
“Like the gossamer layer of ash and dust that is settling on the trees in Central California, climate change is adding on to the hazards already faced by some of the country’s poorest, most neglected laborers.” 

 
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Secretary Azar needs to address antimicrobial resistance

BIO’s Dr. Greg Frank recently published a must-read op-ed with a message for the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)—and the world.

“[D]rug-resistant bacteria and fungi already kill over 35,000 Americans each year,” wrote Dr. Greg Frank in The Hill—and these numbers will continue to rise if we don’t take action on antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. 

But why are we talking about this right now, in the middle of a pandemic? “During the current pandemic, 21 percent of hospitalized U.S. COVID-19 patients sustained a secondary bacterial infection,” he says.

So, why don’t we just develop new antibiotics? Biotechs struggle to undertake expensive and risky R&D. “[T]he stronger and more novel the antibiotic, the less it should be used. The conventional business model simply doesn't work for these types of drugs,” he explains.

The biopharmacuetical industry is stepping up—and “just announced a $1 billion joint fund aimed at developing two to four new antibiotics by 2030.” (Learn more about the AMR Action Fund.)

But: “As Secretary Azar himself admitted at the congressional hearing, the federal government must do far more to spur antibiotics research and development,” continues Dr. Frank, with “higher reimbursement to hospitals that use novel antibiotics appropriately” and “market-entry rewards for antibiotic developers.”

Frank Being Frank: Unlike our coronavirus experience, we know the superbug pandemic is coming and can start to develop needed medicines now. But if we delay any longer, untreatable superbugs could make the coronavirus look like a walk in the park. – Dr. Greg Frank, BIO’s Senior Director of Infectious Disease Policy and Executive Director of Working to Fight AMR

 

More Health Care News: 

Biopharma Dive: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine sparks immune response in older people
“That response, to the dose Moderna is testing in a phase 3 trial, compares favorably to what is seen in patients who have been infected with the virus.” 

Washington Business Journal: REGENXBIO is growing—and pushing its eye disease treatment through yet another clinical trial
The BIO member announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a phase 2 trial of its therapy for diabetic retinopathy. 

The Wall Street Journal (Opinion): Trump’s unforced drug error
“GOP convention speakers lack the credibility to attack the Biden [drug pricing] plan because Mr. Trump is pushing his own international price model that would drive investment out of drug research and result in fewer cures,” says The Wall Street Journal editorial board.

 
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Meet Citseko: Advocate for Medicare to Cancer Patients

Meet Citseko: Advocate for Medicare to Cancer Patients

Citseko Staples is the Director of State and Local Campaigns for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), which works to make cancer issues and patients a policy priority.

The ACS CAN is trying to change common misperceptions about Medicaid—and empowering patients to tell their stories about how Medicaid and policy have helped them.

“We know that our fight to end cancer in this country is just as much about science and discovery and medical breakthroughs as it is about public policy change,” says Citseko. 

Visit www.bio.org/iambio to learn more and share your story!

 
 
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President Trump’s Thursday: After meeting with supporters at the Trump International Hotel D.C., he will give his official convention acceptance speech from the White House at 10:30 PM ET.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: During his RNC speech yesterday, VP Pence said the country is “on track to have the world’s first safe, effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year.” In addition to President Trump, RNC Day 4 speakers include Ivanka Trump, Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

 
 
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