The Catalyst

Most Recent Posts

04.11.11 | By John Castellani

PhRMA's 2011 Annual Meeting starts this Wednesday in Jersey City, New Jersey. Few places in America have as many pharmaceutical research and biotechnology sector manufacturing and headquarters facilities or employ as many people as New Jersey.

04.08.11 | By Kate Connors

This week marked the 20th anniversary of the New York Biotechnology Association annual meeting, featuring PhRMA President and CEO John Castellani as the keynote speaker.

I was struck by the significance of the number 20, as it indicates a good rough timeline of when biotechnology became a major influence in the life sciences sector.


Today is World Health Day. The theme of this year's activities is focused on the important health issue of bacteria that are resistant to current medicines. Today's events highlight the urgent need for new medicines to combat the growing number of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and the significant challenges that resistant bacteria pose to global public health.


Last night in DC, our president and CEO, John Castellani, and Sen. Jon Kyl were honored during the Bryce Harlow Foundation's 30th annual award dinner.

John Castellani was the recipient of the 2011 Bryce Harlow Business-Government Relations Award, which is given to individuals who have made "significant contributions to the advocacy profession through a lifelong career as an exemplary role model."

04.06.11 | By Kate Connors

David Hyde Pierce - who played Niles Crane on Frasier - is in DC today to speak about the importance of government support for Alzheimer's disease research.

04.05.11 | By Kate Connors

Huffington Post yesterday published an article listing the "10 Companies That Will Save the American Economy," choosing "those that are most likely to develop products and services which will allow global GDP [gross domestic product] growth to continue.


Just when you thought you knew enough about gene sequencing to at least smile knowingly if the phrase was dropped in conversation, now comes all the new stuff: Multiplexed deep sequencing, Fc-enhancement, emerging enabling OMIC technology platforms and new generation antibody conjugates.

04.04.11 | By Mary Woolley, By Mary Woolley

On March 15, Research!America convened its 2011 National Health Research Forum, bringing together experts from the public and private sectors to discuss key health and research issues.


There was some big news announced in the battle against Alzheimer's disease. The New York Times reports that gene studies are revealing important new insights on how it works. Researchers are looking at five genes that appear to play a significant role in the onset of Alzheimer's.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

The New York Times highlights Butler basketball coach (and apparently fairy godfather) Brad Stevens, who left a job in the biopharmaceutical research sector to try his hand at coaching. We love industry employees, but that might have been a pretty good move on his part. Plus, according to the article, "he still discusses developments in the pharmaceutical industry with former co-workers after church."

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Rachel Hurley is the Executive Director of the Iowa Biotech Association and a partner of Innovate Iowa, a public-private partnership that includes senior leaders from biotech, academia, business, health and other organizations interested in growing Iowa's bioscience economy with a specific focus on advancing medical innovation.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Perhaps you've seen John Mack's April Fool's post that says he's gotten a copy of PhRMA's "statement" on the Food and Drug Administration's delayed social media guidelines.

Mack's post, which presents a fictitious statement, has made the rounds this morning, underscoring the immediacy of social media.

04.01.11 | By Kate Connors

Recently I wrote about the winner of the PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence, Bryan l. Roth, PhD, from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.


This story in the LA Times caught my eye today. It talks about how two experimental drugs now being tested have the potential for transforming Hepatitis C - a deadly liver disease - into a more manageable chronic condition.


When the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) started providing substantial savings to millions of seniors and disabled Americans, AARP publicly stated that "many [seniors] who choose the least expensive Medicare drug plan in their area that covers a


There was good advice in an article in the Washington Post health section. It encouraged readers to get their blood pressure checked to detect hypertension and the potential for heart disease.

03.30.11 | By John Castellani

Wherever I have worked, I've been impressed by colleagues who find the time in their otherwise busy lives to volunteer to help those in need. Their efforts to give back to the community and improve the lives of their neighbors is an inspiration. It reminds us all to take the time and look up from our work-a-day lives and to think about what we might do to help reach out to our neighbors in need and make our community a better place to live.

03.30.11 | By Kate Connors

Today is PhRMA's "Day of Service." We all have a lot on our plates, as always, but we'll be turning off our computers, setting our phones with an away message, changing into jeans, and spending the day giving back to the community.

For this day of service, we'll be going to a local elementary school here in DC to help get their playground ready for spring and to paint healthy living murals in their gymnasium.

03.29.11 | By Kate Connors

Today - as I told you yesterday - PhRMA released the results of an opinion survey of more than 500 physicians regarding their interactions with biopharmaceutical research companies.

I won't rehash the entire results of the survey in this post, as you can read the survey itself if you wish.