Threads of hope and caution stitched together a wide-ranging appraisal of COVID-19 vaccines at June 9's BIO Digital plenary, "A Way Forward." The good news, delivered by one of the world's most sober participants in the pandemic response, mercifully came first.
According to Todd Haim, chief of the Office of Small Business Research at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a major issue. In his opening remarks on a BIO Digital panel, titled “Brave Innovations: public and private solutions to advance Alzheimer’s therapeutics and diagnostics in a risk-averse climate,” he provided data showing why new treatments for AD and AD-related dementias (ADRD) are desperately needed.
The biotech industry's rapid response to COVID-19, a pivot of global scope, is driving a broad array of approaches to tackling the infection. On Monday, the first day of BIO's virtual convention, the trade group gathered some of the effort's leading voices to take stock of how those efforts are shaping up. It put a spotlight on work underway at Athersys Inc., Regeneron Inc., SAB Biotherapeutics Inc., Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Vir Biotechnology Inc.
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.