Archive for June, 2011

#BIO2011: After the Party is Over

June 30th, 2011
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For the thousands of  life science industry representatives who attend the Biotechnology Industry Organization Annual Convention each year, the last few days have been similar to a favorite holiday: exciting, long-awaited, and too quickly over. As we wrap up our #BIO2011 experience and say good-bye to Washington, DC, I took a few moments to look back on many inspiring networking and learning opportunities only available at this kind of international event.
Within the span of a few days, my colleague Caroline Popper and I have been able to meet with clients, colleagues and new contacts from states such as Michigan, California, Texas, and Massachusetts.  Furthermore, a large exhibit hall showcasing different regions of the world’s biotech industry has been an extraordinary venue to network with international visitors. I traveled to DC from my office in Toronto, and was able to meet with life science representatives from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Italy, sharing with them ideas and guidance for how to establish a presence in North America.
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State of Florida Providing Sunshine During #BIO2011

June 21st, 2011
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With news of life sciences research coming from around the world, it’s necessary to have our net spread far and wide to capture what’s most important and to convey these learnings. But we also know it’s important to stay on track of developments happening in our own waters whether they be near our offices in Maryland, Florida, New Mexico or Ontario.
Fortunately, we sometimes have opportunities to gather information about the life sciences industry both from afar and from our neighbors in one fell swoop. For example, from June 27 to 30, we’re attending the 2011 BIO International Conference in Washington, DC where thousands of life science leaders and professionals will gather from throughout the world.
While there, we’ll be networking with the global bioscience community, but we have a select eye on a panel on the 28th hosted by our Florida neighbors. We’re excited to note that this session—which is part of the personalized medicine and diagnostics track—includes colleagues of ours from M2Gen (represented with a key speaker) as well as Banyan Biomarkers, a company we helped to form. Both of these companies mark their successful rise in part to our shared belief in the importance of good clinical material for discovery and validation.
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Mrs. Popper’s Penguins

June 16th, 2011
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In business life as in the movies, change can come unexpectedly and throw us for a loop. An individual career – as well as entire industries – can move in unpredictable ways. Some days are ordinary, and on other days we arrive home, as does Mr. Popper in the new movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins, to find a giant box of birds!
As it is for driven businessman Mr. Popper, so it can also be for life science companies. And so, as a life sciences consulting firm named Popper and Company, we just couldn’t resist a light-hearted post relating what we do to the movie (we know, it’s a stretch).
Mr. Popper is a business guy who doesn’t know anything about penguins when a box of these birds unexpectedly enters his life. Now, if the movie’s Mr. Popper had a Mrs. Popper like our own, he wouldn’t have had a problem at all. To demonstrate the point: When I mentioned the movie as a potential topic for our blog, the first thing Caroline did was google “penguin genomes.” Of course she did.
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Islands of Greatness in a Sea of Risk

June 14th, 2011
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In the U.S., we pay more than $800 billion a year for healthcare yet the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks us 37th out of 191 countries in terms of healthcare “performance.”  This is what Charles Denham, M.D., chair and founder of Texas Medical Institute of Technology (TMIT), was talking about when he spoke of “islands of greatness in a sea of risk” during the Cleveland Clinic Health Care Quality Innovation Summit I attended last month.
As Dr. Denham explained: In the U.S., we have access to the best technology. Doctors and nurses come here from all over the world to train because we have several institutions of excellence where they learn to perform special procedures with precision and care. At the same time, we have a failed and fragmented healthcare system with extreme variations in quality of care.
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Expert’s View: Trends in Trans-Atlantic Life Science Technology

June 7th, 2011
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In my May 17 blog post, I introduced Dr. Andreas Muehler as one of Popper and Co.’s new strategic advisors. Dr. Muehler brings broad perspectives and business insights, owing in part to his close relationships with established industry leaders in the joint development and commercialization of medical products worldwide. Building upon our last discussion, where I was caught by his enthusiasm as we talked about his past role as CEO for a struggling medical device firm and his experiences positioning products in the global marketplace, I recently talked with Dr. Muehler again to further explore his impressions on the differences between the E.U. and U.S. markets for new life science technologies.
CP:  You’ve served within or supported the pharmaceutical and medical device industries in both Europe and the U.S. What do you see as some of the differences?

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Assessing the Evidence for Genomics

June 2nd, 2011
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Genomic research is accelerating at a rapid pace and improvements in technology are fueling these advances (as has previously been addressed within the Popper and Co. blog). We’re now entering a phase of evaluating how to incorporate translated genomic information into clinical testing. With this comes a critical need to verify how and when to use a test, how these tests can modify clinical care, and how this process translates into improved outcomes for patients.
In April, Margaret Piper, Ph.D., M.P.H., presented at the Personalized Medicine Partnerships Conference outside of Washington, DC.  Dr. Piper is director, genomic resources, at the Technology Evaluation Center of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) Association. Her presentation, “Assessing the Evidence for Genomics: Focus on the Patient,” centered on the impact of genomics on administrative processes and the adoption of new technologies into clinical care. As Dr. Piper noted, “We’re generating a lot of information that relates genomics to disease, but we’re only just starting to gather information on how to translate this into treatments and medical decision making.”
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