MassBio Hosts First Take Our Daughters & Sons to MassBio Day!

Today, April 24th, is National Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day. This morning, MassBio & MassBioEd welcomed MassBio members and their children to the office for a morning of fun biotechnology activities!  DSC_0020

At the microscope station, young scientists observed fruit flies, yeast, and more!


At the front of the room, the young scientists shared drawings of what their parents do and what comes to mind when they think of the word “biotechnology” on our IdeaPaint wall.

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Join Seeding Labs & USAID in Equipping & Unlocking Scientific Talent Everywhere

 Guest post by Nina Dudnik, PhD, Founder & CEO, Seeding Labs

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The first class of pharmacy students at Kenyatta University in Kenya. Seeding Labs provided equipment for their department to start the program.

This is an exciting time for us at Seeding Labs, and we want to invite you to be a part of supporting great research not only here in Massachusetts but around the world. Thanks to a 3 year, $3 million grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), we’re making plans to equip 60 universities across the developing world in the next three years. Your company or university can help us achieve this goal through your donation of equipment. We accept new or gently used equipment in good working order for distribution to our client institutions overseas. Visit our website for a list of the most urgently needed items as well as answers to frequently asked questions about equipment donation. Your tax-deductible donation reduces your storage and disposal costs, helps the environment, and, most importantly, supports the work being done around the world by scientists like you.

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Top 5 News Stories 4/12 – 4/18

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1) Mass. life sciences firms look beyond VCs for funding - Worcester Business Journal, April 14, 2014

When Geert Cauwenbergh needed money for a life sciences startup in 2002, he knew where to turn: venture capitalists. Link

2) Both sides weigh in on South End biolab – Boston Herald, April 17, 2014

The battle between supporters and opponents of BU’s controversial South End biolab continued at a hearing yesterday during which city councilors considered a ban on some research, fearing it could lead to deadly disease outbreaks. Link

3) Merck Wins 2 FDA Approvals This Week – Reuters, April 14 & 17, 2014

Merck & Co said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved its grass pollen allergy drug Grastek, becoming the second such immunotherapy treatment to be given the go-ahead in recent weeks.  Link

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Merck & Co’s pollen allergy drug Ragwitek. Link

4) Genzyme marathon team bigger than ever, motivated by memories of 2013 - Boston Business Journal, April 17, 2014

A year ago, the 18 athletes on the Boston Marathon team running for Genzyme Corp. was the biggest the company had ever sponsored. Half of those runners never finished after the bombs exploded, but within a week they started planning for the 2014 race. Link

5) Pfizer, AstraZeneca back a new strategy for cancer drug R&D - Fierce Biotech, April 17, 2014

A pair of pharma giants have partnered with a prominent cancer research charity in the U.K. on an innovative new approach to testing targeted oncology therapies, building on the country’s national program for tumor testing in a way that may help make it a global center of cancer R&D. Link


Innovation & Opportunities in Pulmonary Drug Delivery

Guest Post by Craig Dunbar, VP, Product Development, Blend Therapeutics

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Big-pharma has long realized the unique value of inhaled therapies to treat chronic diseases by local delivery to the lungs. GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair™ Diskus is in a category on its own in the pharmaceutical industry, having lost US patent protection four years ago while increasing worldwide sales to over $8 billion in 2013. Teva and Sandoz have both admitted defeat in bringing a generic Advair™ on to the US market due to technical complexity and insurmountable regulatory barriers.

2006, the same year that Advair™ was approved, saw the first approval of a pulmonary insulin product, Exubera™, developed by Nektar and Pfizer. This marked a pinnacle of a decade long pursuit of new pulmonary drug development technologies to enable systemic delivery of proteins, with Pfizer having invested $2.8 billion in Exubera™, and competitors Lilly/Alkermes and NovoNordisk/Aradigm following suite with alternative technologies. However, Exubera was dogged by safety concerns, FDA recommending regular lung exams, a 6 month launch delay due to manufacturing difficulties, and poor acceptance by patients, physicians and payers. Just one year after launch the product was pulled from the market, marking the collapse of the pulmonary insulin market.

So where does this leave pulmonary drug delivery today? Mannkind recently (Apr 2, 2014) received an approval recommendation by FDAs advisory committee for Afrezza®, a pulmonary insulin product that improves glycemic control in type 1 and 2 diabetics, opening the way to approval in July of 2014. The boom and bust of the 90s decanted the more robust pulmonary technologies based on particle engineering and simple delivery devices, with Civitas continuing to develop Alkermes’ large porous particle technology for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and Pulmatrix developing novel particle engineering technologies for asthma. Further, new drugs, technologies, and clinical development strategies continue to emerge from both big pharma and small biotechs, recognizing the unique opportunities, and challenges, associated with inhaled therapeutics.

On April 29th, from 8-10am, MassBio is hosting a Forum on this important topic entitled Innovation & New Opportunities in Pulmonary Drug Delivery for Local & Systemic Treatment of Chronic Diseases.

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Register Today for 2014 MA CRO/CMO Symposium

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May 5th, 2014

Burlington Marriott, Burlington, MA

Register today!

Now in its third year, the Massachusetts CRO/CMO Symposium shines a spotlight on the strength and success of the CRO and CMO communities in the Commonwealth.

The Symposium draws more than 300 attendees to discuss and evaluate the best alternatives that have evolved in shortening time to market. A series of case studies, interactive panel discussions, and networking sessions provide ample time to explore the various techniques and approaches being used by both virtual and established companies.


Simplifying the Drug Development Journey From Research to Treatment

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Emily Hickey, DVM, Ph.D., Corporate Vice President, In Vivo Discovery Research Services, Charles River Laboratories


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Mark Goldberg, President and Chief Operating Officer, PAREXEL International Corp



John J. Reddington, PhD, DVM


John Reddington, Ph.D., VP, Cambridge Biomedical (Facilitator)




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A Successful Massachusetts CRO –My Personal Journey
Barbara Osband, President & CEO, Cambridge Biomedical


This year, we’ll kick off the program with a discussion of how to build the Next Generation CRO/CMO Cluster, by sharing data collected in the first-ever MassBio CRO CMO Survey, and analysis of industry challenges and opportunities outlined in Impact 2020, the MassBio Strategic Report released this month.Impact 2020 logo

Other Discussions include:

  • The Virtual Model: Orchestrating Consultants and Distributed Research Organizations
  • No Industry Standards – What is the Best Metric? Trends with Organizations
  • The Hybrid Model – Integrating Internal and External Resources
  • Facilitated Roundtable Discussions

Don’t miss the Networking Luncheon, Closing Reception, and Breaks in the Exhibit Hall, where dozens of New England CROs and CMOs will showcase their services and expertise!


Register today!


Thank you to our sponsors!

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