Derek Gregg, chairman of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia and CEO of Vandalia Research, had a great oped in the Charleston (VA) Gazette. Mr. Gregg is excited by the opportunities that the biosciences and biopharmaceutical research are starting to provide for the people of West Virginia. He clearly understands the potential to both help save lives and create good jobs in West Virginia:
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A column in The Boston Globe today tells the exciting story about a local company that is reporting some very positive results from its development program for a medicine to treat cystic fibrosis (CF), a rare disease that affects about 30,000 Americans. Unlike current therapies for CF, which treat the symptoms of the ailment, this drug is being developed to potentially attack the disease itself.
At the breakfast table yesterday, I was reading the New York Times which included a special supplement on "retirement." It was full of the kinds of articles that can make a middle aged person panicky about their financial future - "I don't have enough time to put enough away for retirement," etc.
Now, it wasn't all bleak, there was some good advice and a kick in the pants, as it were, to be more active in planning and saving for the future.
Watching the Senate floor debate on Senator Patrick Leahy's patent reform bill, we were quite pleased to see the vast, vast majority of senators - 87 of them, in fact - vote to maintain the America Invents Act's first-to-file provision.
Right now, we're working on finalizing some reports detailing the presence of the biopharmaceutical research sector in each state.
The reports include a range of pertinent information, such as how much employees in each state contribute to state and federal taxes, and how many jobs they help to support through indirect work and through individual employee spending.
There was an interesting article recently in the Columbus Republic out of Indiana. The article tells the story of clinical trials and of patients in clinical trials. It's a useful overview of the process.
Yesterday, the full Senate took up Senator Patrick's Leahy's patent reform bill, which had already received unanimous and bipartisan support out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The floor debate is ongoing, and we certainly hope for a favorable outcome.
There was an interesting piece in today's New York Times' science section looking back on the historic uses and attitudes toward vaccines at the time of the founding of our country. Benjamin Franklin, after the sad loss of one of his children, John Adams and George Washington were all advocates of vaccination as a way to fight the devastating effects of diseases like small pox.
The theme to Rare Disease Day 2011 was "Rare But Equal."
I glossed over that at first when I saw it, but the more I thought about it, the more chilling it is.
It suggests that patients with rare diseases - which, by definition, affect fewer than 200,000 (though roughly 80 percent are much smaller, affecting fewer than 6,000 patients in the U.S) - feel that they may be seen or treated less-than-equal to patients suffering from more-common illnesses.
Today is Rare Disease Day, a day meant to raise awareness of the 25 million Americans living with diseases that are often little-known and often, unfortunately, undertreated.
There was a good and interesting OpEd in yesterday's Indianapolis Star that's worth a look. In a nut shell, it talks about what is happening in Indiana where an alliance of business, labor and public policy leaders are working together to strengthen the bioscience sector in the state. One of the things that the piece recognizes is that the biosciences can be a great engine for creating jobs.
Last year, a high-profile theft of many millions of dollars worth of prescription medicines added a dose of a drama to the biopharmaceutical sector - one that we'd like to avoid. Unfortunately, that theft wasn't the first of its kind (though it was certainly one of the largest).
America's biopharmaceutical research companies work hard with other members of the supply chain, like distributors and pharmacies, to ensure its security - and with it, patient safety.