BioNJ Headlines – March 2012

Register Now for BioNJ’s Third Annual International BioPartnering Conference

With an emphasis on partnering sessions and company presentation opportunities, BioNJ’s Third Annual International BioPartnering Conference on May 10-11 at The Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village will attract senior life sciences executives from global biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the funding community, and entrepreneurs from throughout the Eastern United States, Europe, Asia, and beyond.

BioNJ’s International BioPartnering Conference is New Jersey’s only biopartnering meeting.

  • Network with industry executives seeking business opportunities.
  • Build relationships.
  • Discuss possible collaborations.
  • Forge partnerships.

Dynamic Agenda Includes Focus on Japan

  • Mini Inenaga, Director-Business Development, Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.
  • Terence Porter, Head/VP of Search & Evaluation, Takeda
  • James Foley, PhD, Partner, Aqua Partners LLC
  • June Nguyen, Head of Business Development, Eisai

Click here for more information and to register.


BioNJ Provides Insight on the Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Landscape at First-Ever Summit

At the heart of “the Medicine Chest to the World,” and as home to one of the largest and most dynamic life sciences industry hubs in the world, New Jersey can and should play a leading role in helping to set the course and drive the growth of personalized medicine and diagnostics worldwide. That is why BioNJ and our Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Committee brought together leaders from major global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, diagnostics companies, and emerging “innovator” companies for a half-day, interactive meeting on this topic. And judging from the “standing room only” crowd of approximately 200 who joined us for this event, personalized medicine is a hot topic and promises to get even hotter.

BioNJ’s Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Innovation Summit and Funding Roundtable

Among the nearly 200 participants attending BioNJ’s Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Innovation Summit and Funding Roundtable the pictured were (from left to right): Mark Murawski, Team Leader, Professional Services Informatics, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Steve Carchedi, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics; Jim Brennan, Senior LIMS Business Consultant, Thermo Fisher Scientific; Peter Hoehn, Vice President, Clinical Labs, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics; Kathleen Otto, Director, Business Development, BioNJ; Franklyn Prendergast, MD, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Molecular Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic; G. Steven Burrill, CEO, Burrill & Company; Debbie Hart, President, BioNJ; David Avitabile, President, JFK Communications, Inc.; Samir Tari, MD, Founder & CEO, PCAsso Diagnostics LLC; Pascal Yvon, PharmD, CEO, CytoVas; Panna Sharma, President and CEO, Cancer Genetics, Inc.; Megan Lunde, Marketing Coordinator, BioNJ; Gregory Huelbig, Strategic Sales, Informatics & LIMS, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

BioNJ’s Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Innovation Summit and Funding Roundtable, held on March 14 at Princeton University, featured speakers and participants from companies including Pfizer, Burrill & Company, Janssen Diagnostics, UCLA, Coriell Institute for Medical Research, and the Mayo Clinic, just to name a few.

According to G. Steven Burrill, President and CEO of Burrill & Company and keynote speaker for the Summit, health care will change more in the next 10 years than it has at any other point in time. The key driver of this change will be a focus on prevention instead of treatment; and this is where diagnostics and personalized medicine will make their biggest contributions.

Accelerated adoption of new technology and its role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illness is another key driver of the changes that are taking place. Whereas it took 75 years for the telephone to reach 50 million consumers, it only took 2.5 years for the iPhone or iPod Touch to reach the same number of individuals, which has dramatic implications for the way that health information is communicated and the way that consumers interact with health care knowledge.

“Technology is enabling us to figure out who and what a patient is,” said Burrill. “We are going to be able to interfere preemptively. The ultimate personalized medicine is personalized health. We will be able to treat your wellness, not your sickness.”

As part of the event, more than 60 research-based companies identified opportunities for partnerships and funding through one-on-one networking and company presentations. Presentations were given representing a broad range of companies and technologies, such as an early-stage medical device company from Millville, Feather Sensors, which has developed a breath sensor to help diagnose lung disease. Another company, CytoVas, LLC, has a technology called the Vascular Health Profile (VHP) that can identify asymptomatic patients at risk for cardiovascular events, monitor therapeutic effectiveness and disease progression and evaluate CVD risk during drug development. Overall, there was a sense of excitement as companies heard from leading experts on the promise and potential of personalized medicine to provide targeted cures to patients.

One of these promises is that of targeted therapies. The industry is just starting to scratch the surface on creating therapies that target the more than 2 million proteins in the human body, many which can potentially cause disease.

According to Burrill’s keynote presentation, personalized medicine not only provides many promises for the industry, but it is also becoming more and more of a reality as the pressures to contain the cost of health care lead to a greater emphasis on personalization, prediction, and prevention. As payers continue to demand value, diagnostic and personalized medicine technologies will provide the evidence base required to make informed decisions about what works and what doesn’t for a specific patient.

BioNJ is proud to present events such as the Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine Innovation Summit and Funding Roundtable that provide opportunities for our biotech community to make connections and learn about important industry trends. Given the success of this inaugural meeting, our plan now at BioNJ is to make this an annual event.

For photos of the event, click here.


Recap of March 1st BioNJ Legal Forum

On March 1, attorneys, compliance officers, and regulatory personnel from BioNJ member companies gathered at Celgene Corporation in Summit, NJ, for a BioNJ Legal Forum consisting of a roundtable and a breakfast briefing on two recently released draft guidance documents issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of great concern to the biotechnology industry: Responding to Off-Label Information Requests and Mobile Medical Applications.

The roundtable, part of a series of Legal Forum activities in 2012, included presentations from Michelle Johnson-Lewis, Esq., of Celgene Corporation on responding to off-label requests and from Jonathan Provoost, Esq., of Ikaria, Inc. regarding establishing mobile medical apps.

The lively discussion focused attention on the practical ways companies can comply with the guidance documents. Attendees, for example, considered how off-label information could be shared in response to a slide presented by Ms. Johnson-Lewis that pointed out: “Regardless of whether the unsolicited request for off-label information was made in a non-public or public forum, the final response should only be provided to the specific individual who requested the information as a private, one-on-one communication.” Mr. Provoost shared his perspectives on some challenges and pitfalls to introducing a mobile medical application that is targeted to facilitating patient care.

BioNJ’s Legal Forum, co-chaired this year by Linda Pissott Reig, Esq., of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and Bryce Roberts, Esq., formerly of Pharmasset, Inc., has a tradition of providing thought-provoking programs that meaningfully impact the day-to-day business of BioNJ member companies. We welcome your participation and attendance at future talks. Please contact Kathleen Otto to be placed on the Legal Forum email list. We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event.


Update on BioNJ Patient Advocacy Initiative

The growing trend of patient advocacy organizations partnering with companies to develop and advance innovative therapies and cures is becoming an important driver in the growth of the biotechnology industry in New Jersey and around the globe.

New Jersey is a critical and long-term agent in the advancement of human health. Our State has a vibrant biotech cluster, and the time is right to publicly note, educate, and support both existing and future collaboration between patient advocates and biotech communities.

In coordination with several of our Core Member Companies, BioNJ has formed a Patient Advocacy Committee and is conducting a brief survey to assess the current level of interaction between patient disease organizations and companies.

Please click here to take our survey or ask the appropriate person at your company to take the survey.

The goal of the survey is to gather information and assist companies that are conducting or are considering developing patient-advocacy programs by identifying trends, best practices, and areas for improvement. To that end, a webinar is being planned for the spring of 2012.

The BioNJ Patient Advocacy Committee includes representation from the following companies:

  • Amicus Therapeutics
  • Archimedes Pharma
  • Celgene Corporation
  • Dendreon Corporation
  • ImClone Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company
  • PTC Therapeutics
  • Sanofi


BioNJ Seeks Your Ideas on Improving Purchasing Program

BioNJ, in partnership with the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), our vendors, and on behalf of our Members, delivers great value to our Members by leveraging our combined purchasing power to negotiate contracts with various suppliers. Through BioNJ’s Purchasing Program, Members can take advantage of the collective buying power their Membership creates.

BioNJ will be conducting a short survey regarding this Purchasing Program.

Please email Debbie Mennito at BioNJ Headquarters or call her at 609-890-3185 to provide your company’s correct contact person for this important survey or to find out more about this program.