What world leaders said about ag biotech

January 29, 2021
Ending the week with a look at what world leaders said about ag biotech during the virtual Davos, as well as a new report on how states are responding to the needs of patients with rare diseases. (835 words, 4 minutes, 10 seconds) We offer heartfelt condolences to the…
BIO

Ending the week with a look at what world leaders said about ag biotech during the virtual Davos, as well as a new report on how states are responding to the needs of patients with rare diseases. (835 words, 4 minutes, 10 seconds)

We offer heartfelt condolences to the family of G. Kirk Raab, BIO’s founding chairman, who passed away last week. The San Francisco Business Times remembers the former Genentech CEO.

What world leaders said about ag biotech

 
 

During this week’s digital Davos Agenda, world leaders agreed on the need to include climate change solutions in recovery plans. And many of them confirmed what you already know: that ag biotech has an essential role in building back a more sustainable, resilient economy.

“We have to put the focus where it belongs on natural climate solutions,” said former U.S. Vice President Al Gore during Building a Net-Zero, Nature-Positive Economy.

This includes regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration, he explained. We must “continue developing scientific ways to accurately measure the buildup of soil carbon.”

This will also help human health. “We’re getting five new infectious diseases every year as we encroach on previously wild areas of the world—3/4 of them are zoonotic from animals to humans,” continued Gore. “We have the opportunity in protecting nature to sequester carbon.”

Learn more about how One Health can prevent the next pandemic. 

A “voluntary carbon offset market” can complement companies’ efforts to reduce emissions and also catalyze projects in emerging and developing economies, said Mark Carney, U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, during a conversation on carbon markets.

“The way forward is to connect these private sector payments to innovation,” said Bill Gates. Use the offset money to lower the cost of projects like “green cement” and “green aviation fuel,” he explained.   

The bottom line: “The world has high expectations of all of us. We’ve got to try to meet them,” said John Kerry, the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “All nations must raise ambition together—or we will all fail, together.”

 

More Agriculture and Environment News:

Reuters: U.S. oil industry seeks unusual alliance with Farm Belt to fight Biden electric vehicle agenda
“The refining sector has previously made attempts to find common ground with their biofuel rivals, but the latest efforts have taken on an added sense of urgency given the Biden agenda.”

 
 
 
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What is a vaccine? How are vaccines developed? How do we know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective? We answer these questions and more at www.CovidVaccineFacts.org. Visit to spread facts and combat misinformation in this critical time.
 
 

How effectively are states serving patients with rare diseases?

The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) recently released their 6th State Report Card, which evaluates how effectively states are serving patients with rare diseases. Here are a few key takeaways.

Founded to advocate for the passage of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, NORD works to ensure the voices of patients with rare diseases are “front and center” in federal and state policymaking.

“Despite a year marked by devastating impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Report Card demonstrates that progress was made in many states on newborn screening, step therapy, Rare Disease Advisory Councils, and other key policies,” says NORD.

Notably, there are now 16 states with Rare Disease Advisory Councils (RDACs), with Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia successfully enacting legislation in 2020.

However: “The report also notes the need for states to take additional steps to address out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for rare disease patients and to protect patient access to affordable, comprehensive health care services.”

Regarding Medicaid, Oklahoma and Missouri moved to expand eligibility for state Medicaid programs in 2020. However, “several states also pursued harmful policies that could inhibit the ability of rare disease patients to access care, such as the elimination of retroactive eligibility or limits to prescription drug coverage,” says NORD.

The 6th edition of NORD’s State Report Card, compiled using data current as of November 2020, is presented in a digital format providing improved accessibility to previous editions and additional resources. 

Oshman’s Overture: We are excited to share the work NORD is doing on behalf of the more than 25 million Americans who live with a rare disease. BIO looks forward to working with NORD and other patient advocacy groups to ensure all patients’ voices are heard in the policymaking process, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. – Michele Oshman, BIO’s VP of External Affairs and Executive Director of the Council of State Bioscience Associations

 

More Health Care News:

Biopharma Dive: Vaccine makers prepare response as coronavirus mutations raise alarms
“Moderna, for instance, plans to test a three-shot regimen of its vaccine, after laboratory evidence showed the immune response stimulated by its shot is weaker against the South African variant.” 

Novavax: Novavax COVID-19 vaccine demonstrates 89.3% efficacy in UK phase 3 trial
The company says it’s the first vaccine to “demonstrate clinical efficacy against COVID-19 and both UK and South Africa variants.” 

CNN: Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is 66% effective in global trial, but 85% effective against severe disease, company says
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and others will help alleviate stress on the US health care system. "If we can alleviate that, that is really important -- not only with this candidate, but the others that have already gotten the EUA," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a call with reporters on Friday morning.

P.S. Want to know more about Novavax? In September, BIO toured Novavax with Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan—check out our coverage.

 
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President Biden’s Friday: Receiving an economic briefing from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at 11 AM ET, then lunch with the veep before visiting Walter Reed. The New York Times explains what President Biden did yesterday on health care

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: POLITICO looks at what’s going on with stimulus negotiations.

And news from BIO… As part of BIO’s restructuring, we’ve appointed Melissa von Stauffenberg to Chief Marketing Officer. A marketing veteran with 20+ years of experience representing companies including Bayer, Pfizer, and Sanofi Aventis, Melissa will supercharge the marketing of our organization and events in the post-pandemic world, especially as we prepare to reimagine our premiere in-person events in late 2021. Welcome, Melissa!

 
 
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