#BIO2016

As the population ages, is it possible to prevent, intercept and delay the onset of disease to live not only longer but expand the healthy period of life? Academic and industry experts discussed the concept of immorbidity - a perspective on medicine in which the priority shifts from treating or curing diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's to preventing, intercepting and halting the progression of disease -- at a session titled "Lifespan or Healthspan: Is it Time for a Paradigm Shift?" at the BIO International Convention on Wednesday, June 8. Dr. Keith Yamamoto, executive vice dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and Dr. William N. Hait, global head of...
Dear Research Advocate: This has been an important week for research, innovation and the power of advocacy. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed the Labor-H bill, which funds NIH, CDC and AHRQ, among other programs. The bill includes a well-justified, but nonetheless remarkable, $2 billion increase for NIH in FY17. However, CDC and AHRQ both receive cuts in the bill ($118 million and $10 million, respectively). While we applaud Chairman Blunt (R-MO), Ranking Member Murray (D-WA) and the Committee as a whole for their extraordinary determination to regrow the NIH budget, underinvesting in CDC and AHRQ is a costly mistake. Read our statement on the bill. It is important to note that...
How to shape and communicate the value of medical innovation is top of mind for research stakeholders as they balance the cost of innovation with meeting the needs of patients. Experts representing industry and payers discussed the challenges of defining innovation in the policy, market and political environments during a session at the BIO International Convention on Tuesday, June 7. Josh Ofman, senior vice president at Amgen noted that industry needs to be more proactive in communicating the value proposition of innovation: "We need a holistic picture of value from a societal perspective, patient perspective and payer perspective." "Groups need to look at models that work" in assessing...
Actor Will Smith joined Dr. Bennet Omalu and BIO president Jim Greenwood for a keynote address today at the BIO International Convention examining the science that led to the discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players and other athletes. Smith portrayed Omalu in the movie "Concussion" which focused on Omalu's discovery of CTE in former football players and his efforts to convince the National Football League (NFL) of the relationship between concussions and repetitive brain trauma with CTE. Omalu said he examined former Pittsburgh Steelers' football player Mike Webster's brain with his own money and brought it to his home which allowed him to own the...
Dear Research Advocate: The news from the CDC this week is concerning. For the first time in over a decade the overall, all-cause mortality rate for the U.S. is higher than in the preceding year. This unexpected news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement confirming the first U.S. case of an E. coli infection resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, reminding us of just how important it is to curtail and outpace antimicrobial resistance. And we have word of the second baby born in the U.S. with microcephaly due to Zika, as well as a new estimate that 300 pregnant women in the U.S. have the virus. On their own, each of these stories should serve as a wake-up call for...
Partnerships between patient groups, industry, government and academia are accelerating the research and development of new treatments for rare diseases, many of which have no effective therapies. As a result of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Orphan Drug Designation, eligible companies receive incentives for product development such as tax credits for qualified clinical testing and new drugs are reaching patients sooner. Since 1983, more than 400 drugs and biologic products for rare diseases have been developed, far outpacing the number of products that were available some 40 years ago. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is among the nearly 7,000 rare diseases where very few...

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