Life Science Leader Blogs

  1. BIO Shines In San Francisco

    This year, the BIO Investor Forum (#BIF16) in San Francisco enjoyed its largest turnout ever, basked in the light and warmth of a dynamic industry that may not solve all of the world’s problems, but shines upon us, a salubrious star. Will the industry’s star shine upon everyone, or leave most of humanity in the shadows?

  2. 6 Lessons Learned From Posting A Picture That Went Viral On LinkedIn

    A little over a week ago, I posted a picture to my LinkedIn profile, which has since received over 60,000 views. And while there are mathematical calculations to officially determine when a post has gone viral, the fact that it has been viewed (and commented on) more widely than anything I have ever previously published is very humbling, especially considering the nature of the photo (i.e., a fallen U.S. service member) is far outside of what I typically write about (i.e., the biopharmaceutical industry). For though as a chief editor for Life Science Leader magazine and having come to learn a few things about social media, I never expected a post made through tears while still sitting in my car at the Buffalo airport, to have had such a profound impact on so many. Thousands have taken the time to comment, and in return, I have tried to respectfully reply to nearly all. So what have I learned from this experience. Plenty.

  3. How The Biopharmaceutical Industry Provides A Sparkle Of Hope

    Author Steven Covey’s famous phrase, “To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy” is what popped into my head while attending the Community of Hope’s Annual Dinner Auction as the invited guest of pharmaceutical industry icon, Fred Hassan. Twenty years ago Hassan founded this annual charity event that brings together two communities (i.e., social services and the biopharmaceutical industry) to do good in their own backyard (i.e., New Jersey and Pennsylvania). In his evening remarks to this year’s nearly 1,000 attendees, he explained that he created the event as a way of “supercharging” the Community of Hope’s fundraising efforts to help area homeless (including veterans).

  4. Will Cuba Be The World’s Next Leading Biotech Hub?

    Life Science Leader magazine was recently invited to attend The Economist’s War On Cancer healthcare forum in Boston, Sept. 28, 2016. Though all of the day’s sessions were intriguing, the one that got me up out of my chair to track down a speaker before his exit occurred at 4 p.m. Entitled, “Going Global – Examples Of Cancer Advances From Around The World,” the first person to speak was Kelvin Lee, M.D., immunology chairman from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Dr. Lee says that his experience in working with Cuba began quite by accident in 2011.

  5. What I Found Enlightening About ISPE’s Annual Meeting

    Have you ever attended a meeting and gotten the sense of being enlightened during someone’s presentation? I recently had such an experience at the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) annual meeting and expo in Atlanta, GA. But it was neither where I expected it, nor whom I expected it from (e.g.,, keynote speakers). Don’t get me wrong, Joseph Jimenez, Dr. Stephan Grupp, M.D., Ph.D., Nicole Pierson, and Fleming Dahl all gave fine and insightful keynotes. But my experience of enlightenment at ISPE occurred on the last day of this year’s meeting, in a rather lightly (disappointingly so) attended session.

  6. Beyond IPOs: Alternative Funding Options For Biotech Startups

    “While it is great when Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Goldman are fighting to take your company public, sometimes, given the investment environment, you have to play in a ‘less elegant’ part of the finance swimming pool (e.g., Form 10s and reverse mergers).” This statement by Aftab Kherani, M.D., a partner at Aisling Capital, was made in response to the question, “What are some of the more innovative ways companies are using to raise money,” in a Q&A published in Life Science Leader magazine. It seems that not every company is going to garner the glitz and glam usually associated with taking a company public via a traditional IPO (i.e., Alibaba bringing in $26 billion). That being said, it seems important for entrepreneurs to keep in mind their end goal — getting their biopharmaceutical startup actually started up. And though the pros and cons of funding opportunities like Form 10s and reverse mergers might be “old hat” for a financial expert like Kherani, we thought, given the recent slowdown in the IPO market, it might be a good opportunity to explore why Form 10s and reverse mergers merit deeper exploration.

  7. Can A Better Patient Experience Lead To A Better Patient Outcome?

    My colleague, Ed Miseta, chief editor of Clinical Leader, recently asked, “Can Better Patient Experiences Lead To Better Medicines?” via an article he developed from an interview with Thomas Goetz, cofounder of Iodine, a digital health company. According to Miseta, Goetz is attempting to turn patient experiences into better medicines and is combining data and design to help patients locate the best treatments based on preferences, demographics, and experiences. But truthfully it wasn’t Goetz’s work that intrigued me (but still worth your reading about), but rather Miseta’s question.

  8. IO: Science Still Drives The Business

    How much science does a business person need to know? In this industry, the more the better. Without at least an excellent layperson’s understanding of the company’s scientific underpinnings, a life science executive will remain vulnerable to the greatest of all hazards in managing the business — today’s news.

  9. Rare Situation Results In Free Insights From GSK’s Global Vaccine President

    When conducting interviews my natural curiosity can result in a surplus of interesting content that often doesn’t fit with the overall theme of the final published article. When situations like these happen, I often proactively create articles for an online section called — From The Cutting Room Floor. One of my favorite examples of a cutting room floor article being able to provide valuable insight came from an interview with George Golumbeski, Ph.D., SVP of business development at Celgene. During the conversation I asked how a formally trained scientist moved into the area of business development. While his response of it being “one of the best business decisions he ever made” was fascinating, it wasn’t a fit with the overall M&A theme of the July 2015 cover story — even as a sidebar.

  10. Will Cupping Be The Next Big Health Fad?

    As I sat down to write this blog, I was struck by the idea of why certain things become popular or gain legitimacy. Malcolm Gladwell describes the magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold and begins to spread like wildfire in his book, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Still, it seems rare to witness such an event actually taking place and even more difficult to predict these “moments.” For example, most of us probably never envisioned the 2014 A.L.S. ice bucket charity challenge becoming such a meteoric sensation. But while recently watching the Olympics, I think I did notice something that I anticipate will be the next big health craze — cupping.