Sen. Stabenow to speak on justice through science

September 16, 2020
It can all feel a little overwhelming right now—but thanks to science, there's hope. Today we have insights on what biotech is doing to tackle the health and climate crises and ensure our industry is more collaborative and inclusive, even when this is all over. Here…

It can all feel a little overwhelming right now—but thanks to science, there's hope. Today we have insights on what biotech is doing to tackle the health and climate crises and ensure our industry is more collaborative and inclusive, even when this is all over. Here are around 840 words, just over 4 minutes.
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Senator Stabenow to speak on justice through science

Next week, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) will join BIO IMPACT Digital on a panel of women leaders discussing how we can deliver scientific breakthroughs to benefit the economy, the planet, and humanity—something we need, urgently.

Yes, we have a crisis. Climate change threatens 162 million Americans (almost one in two), according to this chilling report by the New York Times. And while so many are facing potential displacement due to weather events, the COVID-19 death toll is approaching 200,000, with a disproportionate impact on minorities and the most vulnerable.   

Sen. Stabenow will talk about these issues at BIO IMPACT Digital. Moderated by BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, Delivering Justice Through Science (09/21 at 3 PM ET) will feature AquaBounty Technologies, Inc.’s CEO Sylvia Wulf and Cargill’s VP for Bioindustrials North America Jill Zullo, too. 

The Senator has long been an advocate for science and biotech innovation. During a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing in March, she said innovation is “the foundation of American agriculture,” and she’s called for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to benefit health and rural economies. 

She joins a must-watch lineup, including U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and companies developing innovations in food, fuels, and the bioeconomy. (You can see the full program here.) 

Formerly BIO World Congress, the entirely virtual BIO IMPACT Digital will bring together the ag and environment biotech industry for educational sessions and partnership opportunities from September 21-22, 2020. Click here to learn more and register.

Hear more on the latest from BIO's Ag & Environment Section and what to expect at the BIO IMPACT Digital Ag & Environment Conference from Dana & Stephanie:

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What we can take with us from the crisis

BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath and Alnylam CEO and BIO Board member Dr. John Maraganore joined MassBio’s brand new podcast to talk about the industry’s response to the pandemic. The takeaway: the industry can learn a lot from this crisis on how to improve our work and access to science. 

Even during the pandemic, the biopharma sector has continued to foster growth and innovation. In seven months, more than 700 projects have been launched to combat COVID-19, including 181 vaccine candidates, said Dr. Michelle.

But the industry has continued work on other medicines, too. Many companies have kept labs and manufacturing facilities open, and continued other operations virtually. For example, Alnylam, which develops RNAi therapeutics for a number of diseases, has filed Investigational New Drugs (INDs), launched new development candidates, and enrolled more people in clinical trials.

From crisis comes opportunity—including more industry collaboration, flexibility, and new thinking on clinical trials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a greater understanding by the public about the importance of science and innovation. 

But we must ensure we don’t lose the public trust, added Dr. Maraganore. “We have to keep politics out of the process. This has got to be driven by science and innovation, not politics,” he said. 

“More now than ever, our work can’t stop at the bench,” said Dr. Michelle. “We also have to become the advocates for access to the science that comes out of our research and out of our work.” 

“This is going to unlock a new way for us to work together,” she continued, “a new way for us to keep our eyes on the prize of what we’re working for and why it’s so important—and why it’s more important than our individual companies necessarily competing against each other.” 

Want to learn more about what the industry’s doing to promote science and make access to medicine more inclusive? Listen to the whole episode, hosted by MassBio President and CEO Bob Coughlin.

Want more? Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath and Dr. John Maraganore—and many more BIO members—will speak during Informa’s Finance and Accounting for Bioscience Companies, taking place virtually from September 21-23, 2020. Get the details.

More Health Care News:

BioCentury (Opinion): Vaccine hesitancy: why American values matter
Bay City Capital’s David Beier, Georgetown Law’s Larry Gostin, and Council on Foreign Relations’ Thomas Bollyky write about two policy actions that could build public trust in COVID-19 vaccines.

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Wednesday: Remember the trade war? Yesterday, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said the U.S. tariffs imposed on China in 2018 are “inconsistent” with international trade rules. Today, he’s participating in a High Holy Days call with Jewish leaders and lunching with the veep, then speaking at the National Republican Congressional Committee Battleground Dinner at the Capitol Hill Club.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling on HHS Secretary Alex Azar to resign over “political meddling in virus response,” reports POLITICO, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will remain in session until they take action on coronavirus relief. A couple hearings to watch today: 

10 AM ET | Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies: Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts 

10 AM ET | House Energy & Commerce Committee: Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Opportunities For An Equitable, Low-Carbon Recovery

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