Why Biden’s pandemic agenda cannot ignore superbugs

March 4, 2021
Today, Dr. Michelle tells us why we must not ignore superbugs as we prepare for future pandemics. Also, we have news about LanzaTech’s new partnership to make perfume more sustainable, and an announcement about BIO Digital 2021. (671 words, 3 minutes, 21 seconds)
BIO

Today, Dr. Michelle tells us why we must not ignore superbugs as we prepare for future pandemics. Also, we have news about LanzaTech’s new partnership to make perfume more sustainable, and an announcement about BIO Digital 2021. (671 words, 3 minutes, 21 seconds)

 
BIO Digital 2021: RISE

There has never been a more important time for the global biotech community to come together—which is why we invite you to join us from June 10-18 to accelerate a "BIO-Revolution" through global partnerships, collaboration, and thought leadership during BIO Digital 2021.

It is the extraordinary grit and determination of biotech innovators, scientists, and researchers that inspired the theme: RISE. Biotech innovators across the industry must rise together to continue our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and take on the world’s most pressing challenges, including social justice.

Learn more about the event—which includes 5 days of BIO One-on-One Partnering, 50+ expert-level education sessions, and a new interactive networking series.

Registration will open on March 16, with rates starting at $999 for All Access if you register within the first two weeks. 

 

 

Why Biden’s pandemic agenda cannot ignore superbugs

 
 

“What if another devastating pandemic came on the heels of COVID-19?” asks BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath in STAT News. Unfortunately, this might be possible if we don’t develop new antibiotics soon.

Antimicrobial resistance, or AMR, occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to antibiotics—and if we don’t act, deaths from drug-resistant infections could reach 10 million per year by 2050, about the same number as cancer.

“Preventing this public health threat will require an aggressive, federally backed effort to develop new and more potent antibiotics,” writes Dr. Michelle.

Because it’s difficult to invest in and develop new antibiotics, 20+ biopharmaceutical companies last year launched the AMR Action Fund, pledging $1 billion to support the pipeline & bring 2-4 new antibiotics to the market by 2030.  

But success depends on policy—here are two reforms that could help:

  • The PASTEUR Act (R. 8920), which “would create a subscription model, in which the federal government would provide biopharma companies a fixed annual payment for access to antibiotics regardless of how many doses are actually sold. Delinking revenues from sales volumes would give these companies the financial certainty they need to invest in the next generations of antibiotics.”
  • The DISARM Act (R. 4100), which “would address an in-hospital reimbursement barrier under Medicare…with an add-on payment and ensures that patients will have access to appropriate medicines when they are needed.” 

The bottom line: “It’s time to leverage science and policy to fight antimicrobial resistance,” concludes Dr. Michelle. “Otherwise, we’ll set the stage for another global health crisis.”

Read and share the whole piece.

Learn more about how we’re working to fight AMR.

 

More Health Care News: 

Vox: Malaria is notoriously hard to vaccinate against. A new vaccine technology might change that
“There’s still a long way to go, but RNA vaccines might help in the fight against malaria.”

 
 
 
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Sustainability makes scents

 
 

LanzaTech has announced a new partnership to use carbon capture technology to make your beauty cabinet more sustainable—here’s how.

Wait, LanzaTech? Yes. The BIO member company uses its carbon recycling technology to produce products ranging from sustainable aviation fuel to common household items like cleaning products and cosmetic packaging.

LanzaTech has partnered with global beauty powerhouse Coty to produce fragrance products with high-purity sustainable ethanol made using carbon-capture technology.  

Why fragrance? “Ethanol is a core ingredient in fragrance products, enabling the efficient dispersion of the scent,” explains the announcement. “This new sustainable ethanol from carbon-capture utilizes near-zero water consumption and reduces the requirement for agricultural land which, in turn, supports biodiversity.”

Coty produces fragrances for brands including Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Gucci—and wants the majority of its fragrances to be made with carbon-captured ethanol by 2023.

What they’re saying: “Addressing our climate challenge requires collaboration across multiple sectors,” says LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren. “Single use carbon must be a thing of the past and this project exemplifies our vision of a CarbonSmart future where consumers are able to choose products made from recycled carbon.”


More Agriculture & Environment News:

AgWeek: U.S. Department of Agriculture enhances its focus on hunger
Vilsack mentioned the growing role of precision ag, which treats each square foot of farmland differently to fit its individual needs. "The same concept needs to be applied with nutrition," with each individual's food consumption tailored to his or her particular needs, Vilsack said.

 
 
 
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Jennifer Holmgren.jpg

Given today’s LanzaTech news, it’s a great day to highlight a woman who has spent her career driving the development of renewable energy and more sustainable products: Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech (and a member of BIO’s Executive Committee).

Before joining LanzaTech, she was VP and General Manager of Renewable Energy and Chemicals at UOP LLC, a Honeywell Company, where she commercialized multiple novel biofuel technologies.

She’s received many awards for her work and her leadership, including the 2015 U.S. EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Award and BIO’s Rosalind Franklin Award.

Born in Colombia, Dr. Holmgren earned a B.S. from Harvey Mudd College, a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. 

Watch her TED Talk about how we can save our planet by recycling carbon.

 
BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
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President Biden’s Thursday: Meeting with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and bipartisan House Members to discuss infrastructure, then officially congratulating the NASA team responsible for the Perseverance landing on Mars. 

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: The Senate will take up President Biden’s COVID relief package, though the debate could take a while, POLITICO explains. We’ll keep you posted.

 
 
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