Taking the coronavirus fight virtual

March 20, 2020
It’s Friday. Check out what we’re doing to help the industry collaborate and find COVID-19 cures as quickly as possible, as well as a new law in Maine that will support the biobased economy. Here are 825 words, around 4 minutes.

It’s Friday. Check out what we’re doing to help the industry collaborate and find COVID-19 cures as quickly as possible, as well as a new law in Maine that will support the biobased economy. Here are 825 words, around 4 minutes.

Taking the coronavirus fight virtual

While many of us are practicing social distancing, the biotech industry has never been collaborating so closely—virtually. To facilitate continued collaboration, BIO has launched a new resource hub to help companies share information and get what they need.

We launched hub.bio.orgIt's a new platform for companies to post what information and supplies they need and what they can share, from RNA kits to pipette tips to general information and guidance.

The goal is to maximize the efficiency of all of our companies to make sure we have the tools, the resources, and the capacities we need to win this war against the coronavirus.

Watch Jim talk about this effort:

BIO CEO Jim Greenwood on BIO's New Coronavirus Hub

It's part of a larger effort to collaborate virtually. BIO will host a two-day virtual summit from March 24-25 to help biotech companies collaborate and share resources.

The summit, led by BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood and Dr. George Scangos, President and CEO of Vir Biotechnology, will include a group of invited leaders from at least 45 biotech and pharmaceutical companies, global academic experts in virology and immunology, government officials and experts, and non-governmental organizations.  

The next steps: Following the opening session, invited participants will join a number of closed breakout sessions focusing on diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. The conversation will continue after the summit to maximize sharing of information, capabilities, and resources. 

To see everything BIO and biopharmaceutical innovators are doing to respond to COVID-19 visit bio.org/coronavirus.


More Health Care News:

AP: Trump focuses attention on possible coronavirus treatments
“At a White House news conference, Trump and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn cited the malaria drug chloroquine, along with remdesivir, an experimental antiviral from Gilead Sciences, and possibly using plasma from survivors of COVID-19, the disease the new virus causes.”

STAT: With the coronavirus surging, Trump wants science to move far faster. It can’t
“The president’s remarks ran afoul of nearly every established FDA norm—prizing data and evidence over rhetoric, for instance, and avoiding promises, let alone those that can’t be kept. But they were also a sign of his long-running impatience with the realities of drug development—an impatience that is flaring at a time when the need for new medications seems more urgent than ever.” 

The New York Times: Search for coronavirus vaccine becomes a global competition
“The United States, China and Europe are battling to be the first to find a cure, bringing a nationalist element to a worldwide crisis.”


From pine trees to plastic alternatives

Maine is speeding up its transition to a biobased economy with the passing of legislation to incentivize the production of environmentally friendly innovations like renewable chemicals and biobased products. 

Maine passed the Renewable Chemicals Tax Credit, LD 1698, An Act to Create Jobs and Slow Climate Change by Promoting the Production of Natural Resources Bioproducts. 

It will help the environment and boost the economy in Maine, by keeping plastic out of the ocean to benefit the state’s billion-dollar lobster economy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by incentivizing biobased technologies and creating high-paying green jobs. 

BIO worked closely with the Governor’s office and legislature to demonstrate the benefits of biobased manufacturing, which can convert renewable biomass to renewable chemicals and bioproducts. 

What kind of products are we talking about? Things like plastic alternatives made from pulpwood and forest residues, which are abundant in the Pine Tree State. 

Why it matters: We’ve talked over and over again about the need to manufacture more sustainable, environmentally friendly products and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels—but time is running out. And, as we reported yesterday, fossil fuels and the air pollution they create can have widespread impacts on the environment and health, including increasing the risk of complications for people who contract COVID-19, as just one example.

Stephanie’s Sage Words: In order to address the climate challenge, we must shed our reliance on fossil fuels across all sectors—from fuels to manufacturing. Not only will this tax credit reduce the carbon footprint from manufacturing in the state, it will create hundreds of jobs and ignite the state’s biobased economy. – Stephanie Batchelor, VP of BIO’s Industrial and Environment Section

Read BIO’s testimony on the bill.

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Friday: He will participate in a phone call with small business owners. The Coronavirus Task Force is scheduled to hold a briefing at 11:45am ET. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Senate Republicans unveiled a $1 trillion package to give checks to Americans and bailout industries including airlines, hotels, restaurants, and small businesses; they’ll now work with Democrats to reconcile different versions. The House is not expected to return to Washington until there’s a bill ready for a vote.

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