The power of science

June 5, 2020
It’s World Environment Day, and we’re celebrating the power of science—how it can help clean up the planet, improve the economy, and get us through the pandemic. Here are around 850 words, 4 minutes, 15 seconds.
BIO

It’s World Environment Day, and we’re celebrating the power of science—how it can help clean up the planet, improve the economy, and get us through the pandemic. Here are around 850 words, 4 minutes, 15 seconds.

The power of science

Moderna will begin the Phase III trial of its coronavirus vaccine next month—a testament to the power of science, and the need for policy that helps it thrive.

First, the news: Dr. Anthony Fauci confirmed Moderna (BIO member!) will begin the Phase III trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in July, enrolling 30,000 individuals around the world in the randomized placebo trial, reports Forbes

It’s not a done deal quite yet—but Phase III is “considered the final stage before potential approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which would make it available for patients across the country,” explains Forbes.

But it’s close enough that manufacturing is starting now, too. “We may know whether it’s efficacious by November or December. By that time, we hopefully would have close to 100 million [doses],” said Dr. Fauci in the conversation with JAMA

This is the kind of big science we need. “[W]e need to do exactly what we've been doing, which is forget about borders. Forget about distinctions. Forget about small companies, large companies, academia, federally funded, private-funded, and all get together and collaborate and find new ways to approach this and take as many options, as many approaches as we can,” BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath told The Hill’s Steve Clemons in an interview

“Science has the ability to solve the most pressing issues that we face today,” she continued. “And making that science, making sure that that science gets done, that the innovators have the space to create and get their creations out to the patients and people who need them, that is a social justice fight that I am willing to fight and that I think we can win.”

Click to watch:


 
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Dr. Michelle on The Hill's Coronavirus Report with Steve Clemons

Want to know more about the big science from companies of all sizes? It’s not too late to join us next week for BIO Digital, our virtual summit bringing together the industry’s brightest minds for discussions on how we’ll beat COVID-19 and many other diseases. 

FOMO is real. So, seriously, register now—and watch this space for exclusive, round-the-clock coverage of the event, starting Monday morning.

 

More Health Care News: 

Reuters: Inovio plans human trials for potential COVID-19 vaccine in South Korea in June
“The company said the two-stage trial would assess the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in 40 healthy adults, and later expand to enroll an additional 120 people.”

STAT News: Wholesale drug prices—and net prices—keep falling for most drugs
“[A] new analysis finds that brand-name drug makers increased their wholesale prices by 2.3% in the first quarter of this year, a much smaller boost than 3.2% hike that occurred during the same time a year ago.”

 
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Why policy needs to catch up with the bioeconomy

It’s World Environment Day—a good time to look at how the right combination of policy and innovation can help clean up our planet and provide solutions to some of our most pressing challenges, as BIO’s Connor McKoy writes

More than 40 countries have implemented carbon pricing. As just one example, the UK has seen its lowest emissions levels since 1890 (!!) due to a carbon tax that’s pushed utility companies to move away from coal.

We think a national carbon market would be a good idea in the United States, too—to clean up the air, create more resilient supply chains, even reduce risk of disease and death

This will help the economy, too, by adding green jobs and economic growth in sectors like agriculture, transportation fuel, and bioplastics. 

Biotech can help. From using gene editing to develop crops with longer roots to capture and store more carbon in the soil, to turning carbon gas into renewable chemicals and fuels and even turning waste into fuel with zero carbon footprint, biotech can deliver solutions.

But policy needs to catch up. This is why we continue our work on policies that champion the development and growth of the bioeconomy and biotech innovations, like the Growing Climate Solutions Act (a new bipartisan Senate bill that would jump-start carbon markets), the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and low-carbon fuel initiatives nationwide, as well as regulation that supports the development of powerful tools like gene editing.

Also: GMO Answers Celebrates World Environment Day

 

More Agriculture & Environment News: 

KIWA Radio: Ernst backs bill supporting biofuel producers
“Ernst, along with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (D), is backing a new bill that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reimburse biofuel producers for their feedstock purchases from January 1st through March 31st of this year through the Commodity Credit Corporation.” 

The New York Times: Trump, citing pandemic, moves to weaken two key environmental protections 
“President Trump signed an executive order that calls on agencies to waive required environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to be built during the pandemic-driven economic crisis. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that changes the way the agency uses cost-benefit analyses to enact Clean Air Act regulations, effectively limiting the strength of future air pollution controls.”

 
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BIOTECHNOLOGY: BEYOND IMAGINATION

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals: Targeting “Undruggable” Diseases

Alnylam Targets “Undruggable” Diseases
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Millions of people suffer from “undruggable” diseases: certain genetic, cardio-metabolic, infectious and central nervous system (CNS) and ocular diseases.

Massachusetts-based Alnylam Pharmaceuticals is working to change this, with their pioneering RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics.

RNAi medicines selectively target and then “silence” the gene expression that causes specific diseases—treating the root cause of the disease rather than the symptoms.

And already, two have been approved by the FDA—with more in the pipeline.

Click here to watch and learn more.

 
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President Trump’s Friday: Heading to Maine to meet with the commercial fishing industry, then visiting Puritan Medical Products, which produces swab, diagnostic, and specimen collection products.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Back on Monday.

 
 
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