Author: Veta Obazenu

Biotech Contributing Author

Lung cancer leads in mortality ahead of all other cancer deaths in both developed and undeveloped countries and is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer after breast cancer. While the disease is showing nominal decline due to successful public health measures (like cessation programs) and people abstaining from smoke and tobacco products, lung and bronchial cancer is relentless with 5-year survival rates at only 20% taking an estimated 135,000 lives in the US this year. The challenge with lung cancer lies within diagnosis, response to treatment and detection of disease progression. While most instances of lung cancer are found in smokers,…

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At a time when most companies are challenged with planning their initial diversity and inclusion dialogues, The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) had already introduced their first black, woman CEO. She is the third chief executive of the organization that made their announcement on May 14, 2020 and Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath assumed this role as President and CEO on Jun1, 2020. Dr. McMurry-Heath succeeds Congressmen Jim Greenwood who stepped down in October rounding out his 14-year tenure leading the organization and lobbying to Congress to protect drug developers and promote innovation. BIO is the world’s largest science and public advocacy organization,…

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Scientists and artists uniquely strive to conceptualize the impalpable world both around and within us. To understand the interplay of data and emotions that compose our entire existence, one would have to respect, equally, the natural and social sciences. Nurtured by the complexities of nature, is a delicate arrangement of mind, body and soul and for these gifted professionals, the process of discovery in these realms is an infinite challenge. Profound is their passion and is, as history proves, essential to the advancement of civilization. Science and art do not have to be mutually exclusive. Quite arguably, they are equivalent…

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At the start of the new year, industry professionals travel far and wide to make their appearance at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Fransisco. The week isn’t worthwhile if attendees haven’t planned to have their agenda full with seats at first hand industry announcements, informative symposiums and networking receptions. The days begin early as presenting companies are on deck by 7:30am and a succession of panels segmented by power luncheons carry the momentum of conference fanfare. The evenings open up to a host of fun, strategic possibilities in the realm of networking receptions. With so many events on…

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This year marks a new decade and the 38th annual JP Morgan Healthcare conference at the Westin St. Francis. The San Francisco based investment firm, Hambrecht & Quist began hosting the conference in 1983 to 20 companies and roughly 200 attendees. Chase acquired the firm in 2000, and now, in 2020, has been hosting this “invite only” event for 20 years. How is that for a numerical alliteration? Jan 12th-16th over 9000 attendees and nearly 500 private and public companies are expected to descent upon San Francisco’s Union Square to have a front seat to CEO big announcements, gain industry…

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women. Over a lifetime, approximately 1 in 8 women develop breast cancer. When treated early, survival rates at five years are 100%. However, for more advanced states, survival rates decline significantly. Over 3 million women live with a current or previous diagnosis of breast cancer. Any treatment that improves survival rates would impact not only those surviving women but also their families. With a mission to help more women survive metastatic breast cancer, Dr. Stacy Blain and Lisa Marie Casey co-founded Concarlo Holdings LLC. Located at the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator in…

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Crain’s New York Business published their 2019 list of Most Powerful Women in New York this past June. The list recognizes 50 prominent business and civic leaders that have made a positive impact on the city’s culture and economic growth to date. In celebration of that list, Crain’s hosted a luncheon on Tuesday complete with an honoree panel discussion to an audience of over 600 professional and diverse women (and men) at Cipriani’s midtown landmark venue. The event also provided gracious networking opportunities with distinguished professionals across all sectors. Moderated by Associate Editor of Crain’s New York Business, Christin Dare-Bryan,…

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Responsible Investing (RI) has increasingly become a rule for today’s socially conscience capitalists that want to implement their value set into portfolio construction. Women, who now account for 51% of investable wealth, and millennials, are proving to traditional investment houses that their money has power. These investors deem it necessary to consider the ethical impact of businesses and companies in their evaluation of investment opportunities. Biotech Metropolitan Women should understand where we fit into this movement and identity our allies in funding to support the inception and growth of our biotech enterprises. I recently attended a seminar in Connecticut with…

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Vertex Pharmaceuticals will be appointing their first ever female CEO to head their billion dollar company. Dr. Reshma Kewalramani, will be replacing Dr. Jeffrey Leiden on April 1, 2020, who will continue on as Executive Chairman. This shift in leadership is announced in the midst of scrutiny the pharmaceutical company is still facing surrounding the very high pricing of their 3 approved medications treating the underlying cause of cystic fibroisis – Tezacaftor/Ivacaftor (SymdekoTM), Lumacaftor/Ivacaftor (Orkambi®), Ivacaftor (Kalydeco®) The Cost of Orkambi Cystic fibrosis, an autosomal recessive condition caused by mutations in the CFTR gene, is affecting the digestive and respiratory systems of…

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We are in the course of Metropolitan New York executing its plan to become a major hub for biotechnology. We certainly have the appropriate lattice of talent- major medical research institutions in the hotbed of Pharm Country with direct subway lines to venture capital. The city is excited about the magnitude of unleashed potential finally receiving the level of support required to become a global leader in R&D and innovation in the life sciences. This initiative is propelling life sci start-ups as entrepreneurs take advantage of New York City’s ten point plan. The strategy includes 300 million in tax incentives…

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