Diagnostics in the Age of Precision Medicine
Patent protection, coverage and reimbursement, use of diagnostics for new cell and gene therapies - just a few of the topics covered at the May NCBIO Life Sciences Lunch and Forum. NCBIO President Sam Taylor served as moderator. Thanks to Rick West of baebies, Geraldine McDowell of LabCorp and Nick Lazaridis of AccuGenomics for a great panel discussion.
2019 NCBIO Legislative Reception
NCBIO members talked with legislators about the growth in the industry and its economic impact on the State at the annual event. The new Legislative Life Science Caucus Co-Chairs attended the session. Co-Chair Sen. Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus & Union) talked with NCBIO members from his district. Co-Chairs Rep. Donna McDowell White (R-Johnston), Sen. Mike Woodard (D-Durham, Granville & Person) and Rep. Robert Reives (Chatham & Durham) gathered for a group photo.
Biotech Manufacturers Forum Focuses on Workforce Needs
The growth in North Carolina's biomanufacturing sector and the need for more employees and training was the topic for the March BMF meeting. John Balchunas of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing of Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) talked about assessments under way by the organization. Bill Bullock and Laura Rowley with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center discussed growth by the industry and the Window on the Workplace Survey being conducted by the Center and NCBIO.
Emerging Therapies: Reshaping How We Treat Disease - Winter NCBIO Luncheon and Life Science Forum
The opportunities, the challenges and the financing of gene therapies and other innovative cell technologies were topics at the recent NCBIO Life Science Forum. Four panelists outlined plans by their companies in developing treatments for patients.
Michael Dombeck (Precision Biosciences), Tom Jede (bluebirdbio), Susan Nichols (Falcon Therapeutics), Al Pritchard (Kaio Therapy) and Cartier Esham (BIO)
Michael Dombeck, Vice President of Business Development, Precision BioSciences, outlined qualities of the ARCUS therapeutic-grade gene editing platform developed by his company. bluebirdbio selected North Carolina over other locations for its manufacturing site primarily because of the talent here stated Tom Jede, Site Head and Senior Director, Vector Manufacturing. Susan Nichols, Chief Executive Officer, Falcon Therapeutics, discussed the Trilogy cells, a new class of cells, that can seek out tumor cells and destroy them. Kaio Therapyis developing an Immune Activating Hyperthermia Treatment that CEO Al Pritchard says “awakens your body’s immune system to fight your specific cancer.”
Brian Johnston (BIO), Faye Woolf (Aperio Clinical Outcomes), Chris Capel (Smith Anderson) and Tom Fagley (Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP)
Recruiting and Retention - December BMF Meeting
Replacing an employee costs employers 33% of worker's annual salary if that employee leaves. The life science industry in the RTP area is projected to grow 6.6% from 2017-2019 compared to national average of 3.7%. Demand for talent continues to grow. Stephen Williams and Joe Bastine of Aerotek and Cindy Hammond of Qualified Staffing outlined some steps companies can take to recruit and retain employees.
NCBIO and NC Biotechnology Center are conducting a Window on Workplace survey to find out more about growth and needs of employers. Contact Brenda Summers for more information.
2018 NCBIO Annual Meeting
Trends in the life science industry was the focus of the NCBIO Annual Meeting. Richard Staub, President, Research & Development Solutions, Global Business Unit, IQVIA talked with members about the "State of the Industry." Dan Levy, Medicine Team Leader, Gene Therapy & Kidney Disease, Pfizer, talked about the "Future of the BioPharma Industry." Anna Abram, Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Planning, Legislation and Analysis, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, focused on "FDA Policies and Perspectives."
Panel discussions focused on "The Big Data Econsystem & Its Uses," and "Precision-Based Innovation."
Thank you to our event sponsors.
NCBIO 2018 Annual Meeting Dinner
"Talent in the State: Recruitment and Retention" was the topic of the Annual Meeting Dinner. Russ Read of National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce moderated the panel with Leigh Ann Stradford of Bioventus, Sholeh Ehdaivand of LMK Clinical Research Consulting, Blake Derrick of Seqirus, and Mike Wanner of Medicago.
Life Science Sector Growing Area of Interest for Lawmakers
Members of the Legislative Life Science Caucus talked with NCBIO members at a Luncheon and Forum August 28th. The group consistently mentioned the sector’s two-fold benefit to North Carolina – good jobs and better health. The Caucus is composed of members from both political parties, as well as from the General Assembly’s two chambers, the House and Senate.
Senate Co-Chair Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) said interest in the life science sector and the Caucus had resonated with members as a result of the tours to companies in different parts of the State. She noted the bi-partisan collaboration of the Caucus and the participation from lawmakers in the urban and rural areas.
Senator Mike Woodard (D-Durham) suggested that the Caucus may look at developing a Life Science bill each session as the Legislative Agriculture Caucus has done each year in drafting a Farm Bill.
Representative Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) called for more funding for the SBIR matching grant program. Rep. Dollar was instrumental in getting the $1M SBIR funds restored during the 2018 session. “Many legislators didn’t initially understand the impact of SBIR funds, but now know the impact is far beyond the urban areas with companies in rural areas also securing grants.”
Former House Caucus Co-Chair, Ed Hanes, talked about the importance of the universities and community colleges in strengthening the State’s workforce. He also emphasized K-12 education, “We need put teachers and all kids in a position to achieve. If we let teachers, teach, we can get the workforce going.”
All the panel members emphasized the importance of strengthening workforce training. Sen. Barringer noted that the life science companies “brought good paying jobs to the State when industries such as textiles left the State.”
The lawmakers also discussed addressing wastewater issues to ensure that companies keep coming to the State.
Lab Space in North Carolina - NCBIO Luncheon and Forum
Companies looking to move into or obtain new lab space need to expect it will take six months or longer to move into the space. Panels said uplifting the space, permitting and other issues require time in obtaining lab space. Doug Edgeton, CEO of the NC Biotechnology Center, moderate the panel with Matthew Cooke (Davis Moore Capital), Justin Parker (Wexford Science & Technology), Neill Sherron (Longfellow Real Estate Partners) and Andy Schwab (First Flight Venture Center). The speakers noted that the Research Triangle area has become a very competitive market. NCBIO thanks Davis Moore Capital, Longfellow Real Estate Partners and Wexford Science & Technology for sponsoring the event.
SBIR Road Tour
NCBIO was a luncheon sponsor for the SBIR Road Tour Day in North Carolina June 22. Sam Taylor talked with participants about the reinstatement of SBIR Matching Grant funding in the state budget. Attendees hear from a number of federal agencies that provide SBIR/STTR grants. NCBIO member Eva Garland of Eva Garland Consulting was moderator of a panel of SBIR award winners.
Checking “Business Fitness” – Topic of BMF Meeting
FDA enforcement actions are on the rise, Conrad Heilman and Rob Fromuth of Business Fitness, Inc. told the NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers members at the June meeting. Heilman and Fromuth discussed the importance of being proactive instead of reactive – “getting a business check-up and taking action now to avoid serious consequences down the road.”
2018 NCBIO Annual Legislative Reception
Nearly 200 legislators, staff and NCBIO members attended the 2018 Legislative Reception June 12th at the NC History Museum. Below are photos of members and legislators.
The Digital Health Intersection
Digital health devices may help treat chronic pain and enable patients to do more self care. The use of devices for data collection generated lot of discussion among participants. Panelists for the event were Erica Jackson, Moderator (K&L Gates), Adam Roth (Galvani Bioelectronics), Mircea Despa (BD Technologies), and Don Turner, Digital Health Impact & Transformation (DHIT).
Thanks to EFL Associates, Marsh & McLennan Agency and PwC for sponsoring the event.
Life Science Caucus Tours NC Research Campus
The Legislative Life Science Caucus members heard about nutrition and physiology research under way at the North Carolina Research Campus, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Presenters from Appalachian State University, told lawmakers the “Collaborative Approach to Human Performance Research” that it is undertaking with support from North Carolina State University’s “Plants for Human Health” initiative and Dole Food Company.
While touring the Research Campus’ facilities, lawmakers also heard from representatives the UNC-CH Nutrition Research Institute, NCCU Nutrition Research Program, the David H. Murdoch Research Institute, the NC State Food Processing and Innovation Center and a private company at the Campus, Endeve Laboratories.
During a luncheon, Life Science Co-Chair Senator Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) said the Caucus is visiting a variety of life science sites to find about “the wonderful things happening in life sciences across the State.” Co-Chair Representative Susan Martin (R-Wilson) added, “North Carolina is a leader in this industry, and we want to stay there so we will be emphasizing that in making policy and funding decisions.”