General Powell to Deliver Keynote!

We have added General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) to our line-up of keynote speakers! Gen. Powell will deliver his speech, titled “Leadership: Taking Charge” on Thursday, June 19.  Powell will share his experience as a leader to illustrate precisely what it takes to be a leader in industry.  Gen. Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State by President George W. Bush, a position he held from 2001-2005.  A four-star general, Powell’s numerous awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal over the course of his 35 year career in the United States Army.  He served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989-1993, and also as a key aide to the Secretary of Defense and National Security Advisor to President Reagan.   

 

Super Sessions draw the biggest names in biotech

Super Sessions lined up for the 2008 BIO International Convention :

 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Follow-on Biologics/Biosimilars

-Genomics Drives Innovations in Biotechnology 

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

–Burrill State-of-the-Industry Report – 22nd annual report, Biotech 2008: Life Sciences – A Vision to 2020.

–Ernst & Young’s Global Biotechnology Report 2008: Beyond Borders, Ernst & Young’s Global Biotechnology Report 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008
–The Dynamics of a Globalized World
–The Promise and Progress of Biomarkers

A Fireside Chat….

….without the fire. But that’s okay since it was in the upper 50s yesterday! A Fireside Chat with Cheryl Scott, chief operating officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – what a nice way to end a very productive and informative two days in Reston. And what a pleasant, down-to-earth, and passionate woman who has dedicated so much of her life to global health. Once again, the issue of delivery came up and just how vitally important it is. “It’s not the product being developed,” said Scott, “it’s the patient getting better.” So true.

On Innovation

The afternoon sessions here at PGH really got me thinking about innovation. It’s a word you hear thrown around a lot in biotech – as well as many other areas of science and technology. Actually, it probably gets overused. But when you really think about the word’s true meaning, you realize that innovation is what is required to tackle global health. And that more than one type of innovation is required.

Many people would first think of the innovative scientists it takes to develop a drug or technology to address a neglected disease. I, for one, have always been truly wowed by their ability to think so creatively that they literally develop a scientific theory and/or product that is truly, completely new and different. Their hard work is certainly invaluable, but there are other types of much-needed innovation too. You see, taking on neglected disease in the developing world requires innovative partnerships among public and private organizations, innovative ways to fund the research, innovative delivery of treatments, innovative prevention of the diseases in the first place, and innovative ways for industry to develop products that the developing world can afford while still satisfying shareholders. That’s a lot of innovation. And, to me, it’s nothing short of inspiring.

Where in the World?

It occurred to me at lunch today that with all my travels, I need to go on a quest – a quest for the best dessert. For those of you who watch the Today Show, you undoubtedly are familiar with the special segment, “Where in the world is Matt Lauer.” Well, I’m proposing a slightly different twist, “Where in the world is the best dessert?” While Reston, Virginia, is probably not where you’re going to find the world’s best dessert (although you never know!), I must admit I have enjoyed the sweet treats during my two days at PGH. Today, a chocolate mousse-like sliver of pie – if that’s what you’d even call it – was served. It was light and fluffy (kind of like yesterday’s cheesecake), very chocolatey (is that a word?!), and oh-so-good! So, to those of you who follow my blog, help a fellow BIO blogger out here. Where in the world do you think the world’s best dessert is? And, please, make sure you describe every mouth-watering detail!

From Bench to Bedside: How Do We Make a Difference?

“Addressing Global Health from Bench to Beside: Necessary Actions at Each State of the Value Chain” was the topic of today’s luncheon discussion. It was another high-level panel discussion with folks from industry, government and the nonprofit sectors. Two issues in particular that kept resurfacing. One was that the term “bedside” is means much more than hospitals. Today, an estimated 2.5 billion people in the world live on less than $2 day. These people never make it to a hospital, which ties into the second and, perhaps, more critical issue. To truly make an impact on global health and make a difference in the “e” in the equation (eliminating or eradicating neglected diseases), we need to figure out how to deliver our products to the front lines. After all, what good are great products, if we can’t get them to the people who need them? Something to ponder on your way back home tonight.

Think Globally, Act Locally

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard a million times, but I found it interesting in the context of today’s panel discussion on diagnostic testing for the developing world.

Dr. Jan Gheuens from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made the comment “The research may be global but the delivery is local.” And when you think about it, it’s so true. While the need for testing tools that are portable and easy to use as well as sensitive and accurate is pretty universal across the developing world, each community is different. The same test that works in an urban center might not be practical for a small village that only has power a few hours a week. And the needs of the people in India aren’t the same as those of communities in Russia or Brazil. It’s clearly not a one-size-fits-all situation. (Actually, when was the last time anything with that claim really fit anyone at all?)

The good news is, after listening to the panel this morning, it sounds like more and more organizations are tackling global health by going local to understand what will and won’t work for each area. Way better than anything any of us ever found that claimed to be one-size-fits-all.