Top 5 News 3/21-3/27

Congrats to Barnstable High School on being named this year’s Joshua Boger Innovative School of the Year by MassBioEd! Link

Top 5 logo1) MassBio panel tackles perils of drugs for bioterrorism and superbugs – Boston Business Journal 3/26/15
Last fall, at the height of the media attention on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates pledged $50 million from his foundation to fight the problem. That was followed a month later by a $25 million pledge from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Executives in the biotech industry, however, were underwhelmed. Link

2) Baker may consolidate development agencies, aide says – Boston Globe, 3/26/15
The state’s new economic development chief Thursday assured Massachusetts biotechnology leaders that the administration of Governor Charlie Baker remains committed to the life sciences industry but is rethinking how state government can best promote it. “Our job is to show up and question everything before us,” Jay Ash, secretary of housing and economic development, told more than 200 people at the opening of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council’s annual meeting. Link

3) Blockbuster drugs boost Bay State, 
life science firms – Boston Herald, 3/25/15
Massachusetts’ economy and its life sciences industry stand to gain big-time from pharmaceutical companies’ “blockbuster” drugs anticipated to hit the market this year. Boston-based Vertex developed one of the 11 drugs, and all but one of the others are from companies with research and development facilities in the Bay State. Link

4) Biogen Idec shortens its name to Biogen – Boston Globe 3/23/15
Biogen Idec Inc. is shortening its name to just Biogen as of Monday.The biotechnology company is also introducing a new corporate logo. But it will maintain ‘‘BIIB’’ as its ticker symbol.It said the moves reflects both its evolution and focus on bringing forth new therapies in areas of high unmet need while honoring its legacy as a pioneer in the biotechnology industry. Link

5) CoLucid Pharma Exits RTP And Relocates To Massachusetts – BioSpace, 3/25/15
CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company originating from North Carolina, announced on March 24 that it would be moving its headquarters to Massachusetts.The developer of Lasmiditan, an acute treatment for migraines, plans to relocate to Burlington, Mass., as it searches for a more permanent spot in Cambridge, Mass. Previously, CoLucid had been a part of Research Triangle Park, a renowned research park in North Carolina. Link

Welcome New Members!

BBK WorldwideBBK Worldwide is the global leader in patient recruitment for the clinical trial industry. BBK’s latest innovation is the introduction of adaptive recruitment – a new specialty in clinical trial marketing proven to protect global enrollment integrity, specifically within a changing or threatened landscape. BBK’s commitment to a singular patient-centric approach is the common thread in our 30 years of success – whether it’s technology-driven patient recruitment, mHealth app development for patient engagement, cloud-based content management, or creative development, marketing, and media for a healthcare product launch. BBK can provide any amount of support – a single product or an entire campaign – to supplement and complement your organization’s capabilities. Website.

collegium pharmaCollegium Pharmaceutical, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company developing and planning to commercialize next generation, abuse-deterrent products for patients suffering from chronic pain. With a substantial number of patients suffering from chronic pain being denied access to current therapies due to societal issues surrounding prescription drug abuse and misuse, Collegium is committed to developing and commercializing a portfolio of products that address the growing problems associated with non-medical use, abuse and misuse of prescription products by leveraging the Company’s proprietary DETERx® technology platform. Website.

tocopherxTocopheRx is developing the first-in-class oral FSH receptor agonist for next generation treatment of infertility and address critical unmet need. Oral FSH agonist treatment is a breakthrough approach for the treatment of infertility with potential beyond addressing female infertility. Company was seed funded by MS Ventures in 2013. Management team has collective 50+ years experience in developing therapeutics for reproductive health. TocopheRx has completed Lead Optimization of FSHR agonist in 10 months and exploratory development underway. Planning to initiate IND enabling studies by summer 2015 and start Phase 1 by early 2017. Website.

wuxiEstablished in December 2000, WuXi AppTec (NYSE: WX) is a leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device open-access capability and technology platform with operations in China and the United States. As an innovation-driven and customer-focused company, WuXi AppTec provides a broad and integrated portfolio of services throughout the drug R&D process. Our services are designed to help our worldwide customers shorten the discovery and development time and lower the cost of drug and medical device R&D through cost-effective and efficient solutions. Website.

Top 5 News 3/14-3/20

Top 5 logo1) State gives $19M in tax breaks to life science firms who will add 1,075 new jobs  BBJ, 3/18/15
Two of the biggest companies who were lured to start or expand their presence here last year by the Massachusetts Life Science Center are among the organizations getting the biggest tax breaks in exchange for promises to create nearly 400 new jobs in the state. Baxter International (NYSE: BAX), the company behind a year-long search for a 400-employee research center in Kendall Square dubbed Project Tiger, and GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences Corp. (NYSE: GE), which announced plans to move to Marlborough last August, were approved to receive a total of $7.5 million in tax incentives today during a meeting of the MLSC board of directors.

2) Biogen Alzheimer’s drug exceeds expectations  CNBC, 3/20/15
Biogen’s stock surged in premarket trading Friday after the pharmaceutical company reported that a study of its experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease had exceeded expectations.

3) Boston, Cambridge are ground zero for life sciences  Boston Globe, 3/16/15
Boston-Cambridge is ground zero for the development and deployment of many of the bleeding edge life science discoveries and technologies. One corner alone, Vassar and Main Street in Cambridge, will likely generate 1 to 2 percent of the future world GDP. On a per capita basis, nowhere else comes close in terms of research grants, patents, and publications that drive new gene code, which in turn alters the evolution of bacteria, plants, animals, and ourselves.

4) With new approval, Vertex can treat toddlers with cystic fibrosis  BBJ, 3/18/15
The 300 additional patients who will now be able to take Vertex Pharmaceutical’s existing cystic fibrosis drug under a new FDA approval may not be big from an economic standpoint. But it represents the first time the kids as young as 2 years old will be able to take the life-saving medicine, potentially halting the deterioration of lung function much earlier than before.

5) Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Local and School Officials Announce More Than $17 Million in Grants for Capital Projects, Equipment and Supplies in Greater Boston MLSC, 3/18/15
Grants to fund capital projects and new equipment for STEM education at public middle schools and high schools.

Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Miss MassBio’s Annual Meeting

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The MassBio Annual Meeting is officially one week away! Still deciding whether or not to attend? Here are the top 5 reasons you can’t miss it!

speakers1) Hear from top-notch keynote speakers: 

  • Kathy Giusti, patient, seasoned patient advocate and Founder of & Executive Chairman of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium
  • MIT’s Andrew Lo, one of TIME Magazines 100 most influential people and financial engineering expert

Annual Meeting 22) Discuss the most pressing industry issues with industry leaders:

  • Defining Value
  • Precision Medicine: Who’s Paying?
  • Neuroscience Therapeutics
  • Innovative Ways to Fund Your Early-Stage Company

…and more! See the full agenda here.

Socializing3) Network with the best and brightest in biotech!

Connect with more than 300 life sciences industry leaders at networking receptions, luncheons, and coffee breaks.

Bring plenty of business cards!

MarkLevin_headshot 24) Help us honor Mark Levin with the prestigious Henri A. Termeer Innovative Leadership Award.

Join our Awards Luncheon where we will honor Mark Levin, a co-founder of Third Rock Ventures and an industry leader with 40 years of experience, for his commitment to improving patient lives and strengthening the life sciences community in Massachusetts and beyond.

30 years of innovation5) Celebrate MassBio’s 30th Anniversary! 

2015 marks MassBio’s 30th year in business! Help us celebrate 30 years of innovation and look ahead to the next 30 years.

Register now!

Spring into MassBio Networking: Guest Post by Lauren Perna

By Lauren Perna, MassBio’s Director of Member Engagement

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Did you know when a company joins MassBio, every employee at that company is considered a member and therefore able to take full advantage of all membership benefits? That means employees receive access to MassBio’s networking, educational and professional development events, as well as MassBio’s Employee Perks program offering savings and discounts on restaurants, activities and services around Boston and beyond!

There are many opportunities for individual employees to become part of our dynamic membership community, and they aren’t only here in Cambridge. Over the last several years MassBio’s Membership Team has introduced networking events located throughout Massachusetts to allow access and convenience to our members, regardless of where you work and live.

This spring we have a great line-up of networking events for members to attend. Check them out below:

  • (SOLD OUT!) Celtics Networking Mixer on March 25th, sponsored by Columbia Insurance. New to the lineup in 2015, a fun opportunity to cheer on the Celtics while networking with MassBio members. If you missed out, it’s OK, we will be at Fenway Park to cheer on the Red Sox in September. Stay tuned for more details, these tickets are sure to go fast!
  • Innovation District Regional Mixer on April 9th @ District Hall, Boston Waterfront, sponsored by Battelle and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. This event kicks off our Regional Mixer Series which features growing biotech communities around Massachusetts.
  • Woburn Regional Mixer on April 29th in the Woburn Cummings Center Atrium. Whether you live or work north of Boston, this is a perfect location to swing by on your way home.
  • May Open House and Networking Event on May 6th at MassBio’s headquarters sponsored by Medidtata. A great way to see what MassBio is all about!
  • Waltham Regional Mixer on June 3rd hosted by Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, PC and sponsored by Janitronics Building Services. With so many member companies in this area – this is a must attend event!
  • Kendall Square Walking Tour on June 24th sponsored by Janitronics Building Services. Back by popular demand – take a historical and cultural tour of Kendall Square, narrated by MassBio’s own Peter Abair.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of these events or your MassBio membership, please contact me at or 617-674-5100. If you’re a prospective member and interested in learning how membership gets you into these great events, please contact Laura Hamilton at