Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

The MassBio & MassBioEd teams have plenty to give thanks for this holiday season.

We are thankful for a dynamic, inspiring community of scientists, life sciences leaders, policy leaders, and patient advocates. We are thankful for the work you do each day to ensure our family and friends can lead fuller, healthier lives.

We are thankful for your support of our initiatives as we strive to enhance the life sciences super-cluster so it continues to be an ecosystem that allows and encourages the the development of critical new science, technology and medicines that benefit people worldwide.

We are also thankful for your support of the MassBioEd Foundation and like-minded organizations committed to enhancing science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts and developing the life sciences workforce of the future.

We wish you and your families a happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday!

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Welcome New Members

BRM_Blue_Globe_miniBiomedical Research Models, Inc. (BRM) is a biomedical research company located in Worcester, MA that offers pre-clinical research services (CRO/Contract Research Organization) to the health industry. From early discovery to early toxicology New Drug Application (NDA), BRM is able to conduct in vivo phases of nonclinical programs including: pharmacokinetics; in vivo lead compound screening; proof of concept; efficacy assessment; pharmacology; mechanism of action; early lead optimization toxicology; as well as provide supportive colony maintenance and on-site client room use agreements. BRM’s expertise has benefitted both pharma- and USPHS-sponsored programs for >17 years. Link

clementiaClementia Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapies for people living with rare diseases. The company is advancing a novel retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist to address diseases of heterotopic ossification, including fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP). Link

img20Emerald Green Building Services was established to provide premier building and specialty service solutions for New England based clients in numerous market segments including DOD, cleanrooms, health care, corporate, higher education, Class A office space, and entertainment markets. We understand the unique challenges presented by each industry we service, and have developed proprietary SOP’s to best address them. Our core business is to deliver contracted facility services for those customers who desire vendor partnerships, strategic alliances and long-term relationships of mutual benefit. Link

bg_company_logo_300_200_imagesmadeuploadscompaniesSurface_Oncology_JPG_300_150.jpg_300_200_100_c_c_c1Advances in understanding how tumors evade and suppress the immune system have led to new approaches in cancer immunotherapy, bringing the potential to treat, and even cure, advanced disease. Surface Oncology is developing new classes of cancer immunotherapeutics with the goal of expanding the reach of these novel agents to every patient. Link

Top 5 News 11/15/14 – 11/21/14

Top 5 logo1) The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: New Opportunities, New Questions For NonprofitsThe Diane Rehm Show, November 20, 2014
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation raises about $130 million a year in its ongoing effort to help people who suffer with the deadly disease, but that amount seems small change in comparison with the $3.3 billion it just received related to an investment it made years ago in small drug development company. Link

2) Shire moving more than 500 jobs to Mass.Boston Globe, November 19, 2014
Drug maker Shire plc Wednesday said it will move more than 500 research and commercial jobs to its US headquarters in Lexington from a site in Chesterbrook, Pa., catapulting the Irish-based firm into the ranks of the largest Massachusetts life sciences companies. Link

3) Pfizer powers into immuno-oncology with $2.85B R&D pact with Merck KGaAFierceBiotech, November 17, 2014
Pfizer ($PFE) is determined to be a major player in the fast-emerging field of immuno-oncology, and the pharma giant is paying handsomely to buy its way into an anti-PD-L1 program now underway at Merck KGaA. Link

4) In reversal, FDA approves Genzyme’s bid to sell MS drug in USBoston Globe, November 15, 2014
Eleven months after rejecting a powerful multiple sclerosis drug considered key to the future of Cambridge biotech Genzyme, federal regulators Friday reversed themselves and approved sale of the medicine, called Lemtrada. Link

5) Developing a Drug Costs $2.6 Billion, but not Everyone Believes ThisWall Street Journal, November 18, 2014
The cost to develop a new drug and win FDA marketing approval is now pegged at nearly $2.6 billion, according to a new report from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. The estimate will likely hearten drug makers that argue rising prices reflect rising costs, but consumer advocates reacted as if someone was trying to sell them a bridge. Link

Join the Conversation: Biotech 101 for Non-Scientists

allie4By Allie Rocovich, Communications Assistant at MassBio/MassBioEd. View her LinkedIn page here.

What’s more intimidating than entering a conversation with people that are talking about something you know nothing about? I can’t think of anything. And our career is the biggest ‘conversation’ we are going to take part in throughout our lives. So why not be ready, know the jargon, and be able to take part like we all want to, for the sake of our self-esteem, knowledge, and overall career satisfaction?

It’s scary, entering a new job, especially if you’re making a career move into an industry you aren’t schooled in. Biotech is hard. Not only is the actual content – the science – difficult, but there are so many stakeholders in the industry that knowing the science isn’t even all there is to it. That’s where we, the finance, business, marketing, operations, economics, communications, policy, government, management, IT, sales, public relations and human resources professionals find ourselves useful, but we’re hesitant. We want in on the conversation, but don’t speak the language.

Biotech 101 is our in. It’s the dictionary, the introductory biology class we never took, the shameless question-and-answer. Not to mention it’s totally up-to-date, and there are ALWAYS new things happening in the life sciences, it’s the nature of the industry. So when I, a Communications Assistant at MassBio, took Biotech 101, I got to learn about the latest topic in and outside of the office: Ebola.

Biotech 101 is designed to accommodate open discussion and questions, and because most of the people gathered for Biotech 101 were heavily social and relationship-driven professionals, there was great discussion. This helped break down the conversation barrier that a lack of science background can create in the lab, office, or wherever you spend your 9-5. It’s comfortable. Donald Kirsch, bio/pharmaceutical industry consultant and Harvard Extension School professor, lectured us while prompting us with questions that related directly to our respective roles. We got our questions answered (finally!).

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Welcome New Member

wilsonWilson Therapeutics AB is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for Wilson Disease, a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 15,000. Wilson Therapeutics was founded in 2012 and funded by HealthCap, one of the leading European life science venture capital funds. Leading investors in the company also include Abingworth and MVM Life Science Partners. Wilson Therapeutics’ lead compound, WTX101, is the proprietary bis-choline salt of tetrathiomolybdate. Tetrathiomolybdate is a novel de-coppering agent – meaning it reduces the body’s level of copper – with high affinity and selectivity for copper. Link