Life Science Leader Blogs

  1. Can Personalized Medicine Ever Truly Become A Reality?

    On October 6, 2014, I received an invitation from Poppy MacDonald, president and publisher of the National Journal, for a private dinner conversation on the topic of personalized medicine with AstraZeneca’s Dave Fredrickson, VP of specialty care and William Mongan, VP of business development, new product planning and foundations portfolio. Leading the on-the-record discussion would be Marilyn Werber Serafini, VP for policy at the Alliance for Health Reform. Wanting to be well prepared, I thought it a good idea to seek some fresh personal medicine perspectives from a cross section of folks within my network. Sharing a list of exploratory questions, here is what they had to say.

  2. How To Find The Cure For Diseases Like Ebola: Insights From The Founder Of PatientsLikeMe

    In September I traveled to Boston to meet with the Jamie Heywood, cofounder and chairman of PatientsLikeMe, a for-profit company that has created a platform where patients can share, learn from, and contribute real-world outcome-based data to research.

  3. What Can You Learn From The Educational Planning Process Of BIO?

    In my role as the 2015 co-chair of the BIO International’s educational planning committee, I am privy to what goes into creating one of our industry’s largest annual events. As many of you are involved in organizing your own customer educational programs (e.g., The Emerson Exchange) or have been asked to serve on an event planning committee, I thought a behind the scenes look into how BIO goes about the process would be helpful to your efforts. Here are some of the best business practices I have witnessed thus far.

  4. Why We Took A Different Approach To Planning A Conference

    Like you, I have attended a lot of educational events and conferences over the years. I’m sure we both could list some that were unique, valuable, and memorable while others could be simply categorized as “been there, done that.” And since time is my most precious resource, the last thing I want to do is spend this ever-diminishing asset on attending — or planning — a conference that’s just like all the rest.

  5. Does Adversity In BioPharma Manufacturing Build Character Or Reveal It?

    When generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Hospira (NYSE: HSP) received an April 2010 warning letter from the FDA over quality compliance concerns at one of its largest plants (Rocky Mount, N.C.), the company temporally shut down the plant to deal with the issues and start remediation. But the dominos continued to fall with Form FDA 483 Warning Letters detailing observations where the plant remained out of line with “current good manufacturing practices” being issued after inspections in June 2011, as well as August 2011. March 2013 brought another FDA inspection and another FDA 483 warning letter. I know the folks at Genzyme’s Allston Landing manufacturing facility can relate to the frustration the Hospira employees must have felt.

  6. The 7 Habits Of The Highly Effective Pharma And Biopharma Manufacturing Executive

    While all The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People listed by Stephen Covey remain relevant and timeless, the one which resonates with me most is the seventh — sharpen the saw. In the life sciences industry, Covey’s concept of continuous improvement is more than just a habit, but a way of life. This is especially true for those who work in pharma and biopharma manufacturing — striving to maintain high quality, be on time with delivery, increase productivity (often with fewer resources) and so on.

  7. What Pharma Needs To Learn From The Ice Bucket Challenge, Before It’s Too Late

    “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Those are the iconic words of baseball legend, Lou Gehrig, given in a farewell speech at Yankees Stadium some 75 years ago. Although Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which ended his professional baseball career, he still considered himself lucky.

  8. Will You Be A BIO Change Agent in 2015?

    Last week, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) invited biotechnology, pharmaceutical, business development, life sciences and policy experts to submit topic proposals for sessions at the 2015 BIO International Convention.

  9. Leading By Following — BayBio’s Gail Maderis

    BayBio’s survey and white paper, “Successful Public-Private Partnerships,” was the wellspring of our four-part series on best practices for collaborations between life science companies and patient/disease foundations in drug development. Here the head of the San Francisco Bay area biotech-industry association offers perspectives on the survey’s origin, implementation, and results. 

  10. Does Drug Discovery Require A Passionate Purposeful Commitment?

    When I sat down to speak with Glenn Gormley, M.D., Ph.D., the focus of an upcoming featuring in Life Science Leader magazine, I revealed that my father, like Gormley, was also a trained pediatrician (retired). “In the spirit of sharing,” Gormley, the senior executive officer and global head of R&D at Daiichi Sankyo said, “I'll tell you, my kids are still figuring out those initials in my name as well." We know that successful drug discovery and development doesn’t require a person to be both a scientist and a physician. However, does it require a passionate and purposeful commitment — a calling if you will?