Rapid changes, a traditionally conservative approach and a chronic lack of regulatory transparency could undo a lot of the progress that Japan has made in the past few years to speed up approvals and all but eliminate a punishing drug lag that, for decades, held back the development of the country’s biopharma sector.
The continuing politicization of COVID-19 vaccines is undermining medical science and the international response to the pandemic. “Vaccine nationalism is very troubling,” Jeremy Levin, chair of BIO's executive committee, told BioWorld.
After working 24/7 to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in a historic timeframe and scale up manufacturing at an unprecedented rate, some vaccine manufacturers are now facing what appears to be a concerted Russian misinformation campaign akin to those used in the last two U.S. presidential campaigns, as well as in Great Britain and possibly in France.
Investing in biopharma has never been for the faint of heart. So headline figures unveiled from a clinical development success report during the BIO CEO & Investor Conference Feb. 17, putting the average likelihood of a drug entering phase I development ultimately achieving approval at 7.9% and the average drug development timeline at 10.5 years, appear largely unsurprising. But the addition of machine learning capabilities to the mix helped identify those factors that have the greatest impact on predictive outcome.
When BIO 2019 closed its doors in Philadelphia last June, none of the delegates of the industry’s largest event would have predicted that the next meeting, scheduled for San Diego, would be canceled and the event would be transformed into a virtual version. In just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated our normal way of life and, until effective therapeutics and vaccines become available, how we conduct the business of biotechnology will remain radically different. This will be one of the many themes explored during BIO Digital Week that kicked off today.
A survey of nearly 100 biotech companies by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has found the industry still has important work to do before achieving overall gender parity and racial diversity, especially in executive and board roles. While showing "progress in some areas, we know that as an industry, we can do better," said Helen Torley, chair of BIO’s Workforce Development, Diversity and Inclusion (WDDI) Committee and president and CEO of Halozyme Therapeutics Inc.