The world has problems. Biotech has solutions.

August 14, 2020
We want to give a shoutout to the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), named one of 100 Associations that Will Save the World! Working with the Illinois Governor, iBIO helped lead a community fund to ramp up production of essential medicines, personal…

We want to give a shoutout to the Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), named one of 100 Associations that Will Save the World! Working with the Illinois Governor, iBIO helped lead a community fund to ramp up production of essential medicines, personal protective devices, and medical equipment to support front-line health care workers. This is just one example of how the Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) and state biotechnology associations across the country play a critical role in supporting patients and fostering innovation and job creation—in normal times and in emergencies. Congratulations, iBIO!

To close out the week, we have details on our contest for innovative ag and environment biotech companies (and why this technology is so important), as well what Brazil’s doing to bring transformative technologies to patients, in around 760 words, just under 4 minutes.

The world has problems. Biotech has solutions.

We’re looking for innovators and risk-takers developing the game-changing products, technologies, and solutions that will solve societal challenges like climate change, food security, and pollution. Think you’ve got what it takes? Keep reading.

The world has big challenges to solve. New data shows particulate air pollution shortens life expectancy by an average of two years—and climate change could be more detrimental to public health than even the coronavirus, according to Bill Gates (and many others).

Biotech can help us respond to them. Sustainable transportation fuels emit less carbon into the air, gene editing and soil technology can ensure the resiliency of crops in the face of changing weather patterns, and bioplastics can reduce our plastic pollution problem—as just a few examples.

We will talk about innovations like these during BIO IMPACT Digital, our virtual education and partnering event for the global agriculture and environment biotech industry, taking place September 21-22, 2020. 

And we just opened nominations for Buzz of BIO, our contest to recognize biotech companies developing ground-breaking products and technologies in this space. 

There are 15 slots across 3 categories:

  • Food and Farm Innovation
  • Sustainable Fuels
  • Biobased Manufacturing

Winners receive:

  • 1 BIO IMPACT Digital registration
  • 1 complimentary company presentation during the event
  • Marketing promotion in email, web, and social media with 100,000+ impressions from an audience of industry executives, investors, and media.

Nominations are open through August 26. You can nominate your own company or another. After August 26, we’ll select 3-5 finalists in each category for the public voting period. 

Learn more and submit your nomination.


More Agriculture and Environment News:

Biofuels International: POET well versed in producing sanitizer
“POET has announced its commitment to scale up production of industrial and beverage-grade alcohol at two biorefineries. The Sioux Falls-based US company said this will help meet growing demand due to market changes from COVID-19 while creating a new domestic market to boost the agricultural economy.” 

Vox: Air pollution is much worse than we thought
“The evidence is now clear enough that it can be stated unequivocally: It would be worth freeing ourselves from fossil fuels even if global warming didn’t exist. Especially now that clean energy has gotten so cheap, the air quality benefits alone are enough to pay for the energy transition." 


Brazil signals commitment to bringing new technologies to patients

Brazil’s biotech sector has had an impressive few weeks—even as the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the country. BIO’s International Affairs Team shared updates on how Brazil is working with industry to advance the fields of genomic and precision medicine and bring new technologies to patients.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health launched the Brazil Genomes Program, which seeks to develop the field of genomic medicine and precision medicine in the country through public-private collaborations between Brazilian researchers and the global life sciences community.

The program aims to establish a genomic database of the Brazilian population and leverage it for research—modeled on the UK’s 100,000 Genome Project and the National Health Service’s Genomic Medicine Service. 

It’s a potential opportunity for BIO members to bring industry expertise and advance the fields of genomic and precision medicine by bringing new treatments to patients. Brazil’s Ministry of Health would like to organize a briefing for members in September.

Also worth noting, ANVISA (the Brazilian FDA) recently approved Luxturna, a gene therapy for inherited retinal disease. 

It’s the first approval outside of the United States and Europe—and Brazil’s regulatory authority did it in record time. 

Why it matters: With the largest universal health care system in the world, Brazil is an important market not just for the commercialization of transformative biotechnologies, but also for the development of genomic and personalized medicines. If effectively run, the Brazil Genomes Program could be an incredible pool of data for the industry. Meanwhile, there may be important lessons from the Luxturna model in terms of how other transformative technologies will be able to reach patients in other developing economies around the world.


More Health Care News:

Nature (Opinion): How to stop COVID-19 fueling a resurgence of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis
“A focus on the coronavirus has disrupted detection and treatment of other infectious diseases. Governments and funders can do four things to avert a catastrophe.” 

The Wall Street Journal: Beset by coronavirus, health authorities brace for flu season
“Drugmakers are making a record number of flu shots in hopes of easing the burden on hospitals dealing with COVID-19 patients.”

BIO Beltway Report

President Trump’s Friday: Heading to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. He’s also scheduled to speak to the City of New York Police Benevolent Association.

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Slow recess Friday. Enjoy the weekend.

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