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A Word from Jeff Gallagher, CEO, Virginia Bio It’s my privilege to travel the state and meet hundreds of companies, research institutions, and individuals who are doing fascinating innovative work and making valuable contributions to our economy and to the health and well-being of people around the globe. Every month in this blog I’ll take a short look at an outstanding member of Virginia’s bioscience community, or update you on important information that impacts the community.

 

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BioHealth Capital Region

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 28, 2016

Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending and helping to moderate the second annual BioHealth Capital Region Forum at MedImmune’s beautiful and booming headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. Over 900 registered to attend, and for two days we heard leaders in science, business and policy from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.

The purpose was to showcase the region’s biotechnology accomplishments, create new collaborations, and explore ways to accelerate the region’s progress towards the goal of becoming "top 3 by 2023” among the biotech clusters in the US. Speakers and panels examined local and regional efforts to boost the life science industry, explored effective models for driving innovation and collaborating successfully, and spotlighted fields of special accomplishment and advantage in the region. Speakers included Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The conference frankly results from the leadership of MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, gathering a growing number of companies and industry organizations to develop a stronger, deeper, more interconnected region. By doing so we will help all our firms and research universities succeed and accelerate our contribution to discovery and development of treatments and cures for the world.

Virginia Bio was honored to be invited to participate on the planning committee along with BioHealth Innovation, Tech Council of Maryland, GlycoMimetics and of course MedImmune. Many more organizations and companies in the region supported the event financially - enabling us to offer it free of charge to attendees, and others by providing speakers and panelists. Together they comprised a program that was national in scope, experience and expertise.

I had the privilege of moderating a panel featuring a variety of foundations located in the region and examining their impact on research and commercialization. Panelists were leaders of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Foundation for the NIH, The Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, with a biotech company CEO and a foundation national strategy consultant. (A complete agenda can be found here).

A highlight of the conference was a big step taken toward creating a shared definition, profile, identity and brand for the region. Over six months, a group of more than 50 company and public sector leaders have met with branding specialists to explore this issue. At the conference they unveiled the name and tag line of choice “BioHealth Capital Region. Advancing Science / Accelerating Innovation.” You’ll see Virginia Bio incorporating it at the bottom of our emails and on our website. You and organizations and companies throughout the region are invited to do the same as appropriate. You can use this link to get the preferred style file. Soon we’ll be announcing an open competition to create an icon/logo, so be prepared to get creative!

At Virginia Bio we share this regional vision. Our colleagues in DC and Maryland are strategic assets to success in the global competition that every one of our companies, and every one of our research universities faces, and in the race for faster cures to people in need worldwide. As they succeed, we are strengthened, and vica versa. We can build collaborations within and across state lines to drive forward research and commercial success. We can share opportunities and insights with colleagues. We can encourage sound state and federal public policy. We can improve the ways in which we nurture and train talent by sharing a coherent and complementary strategy.

We can do all this and remain spot on with our mission to grow the bioscience industry in the Commonwealth. We’ll just be doing it a little smarter, and with teammates.


Best Regards,

 

 

 

Jeff Gallagher
CEO

Tags:  biohealth  biotechforum16  medimmune  top3by2023  vabio 

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Collaboration is the Key to Success

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Members and Friends of Virginia Bio,

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results” -Andrew Carnegie

For two years we have had the pleasure and responsibility of Ieading a team effort of leaders across the state to develop a common vision for a more robust and dynamic bioscience industry in Virginia, proposing concrete steps policy makers could implement to help. And here, near the end, Carnegie’s quote rings more true than ever before to me as I survey the many groups of people we represent.

I would like to spotlight several examples now in the news, and add a corollary to Carnegie: a mindset to seek to create value in everything we do. Act to grow the pie, not simply take a slice.

Bioscience businesses, of course, have to collaborate to thrive. We are masters at it, "virtual biotechs” being the extreme case. Whether it’s working with the members within the organization, closing an important deal with a customer or partner that is good and incentivizing to all sides, or developing a new product with contractors and consultants, effective collaboration is the key to successes.

I have been amazed over the last months at the time and energy the great majority of General Assembly members bring to their responsibilities during the warp speed months of a Session. I have seen the impact that working together can have on getting things done, and getting good things done. Last weekend the House and Senate announced their versions of the state budget, and the bioscience R&D and the industry did not do as well as we hoped, or even as well as in the Governor’s budget. So we will be working over the remaining few weeks to try to improve that outcome, and continue to paint the vision for the months and years and Sessions ahead (to see current status of state policy initiatives, click here).

Virginia is home to extraordinary research universities with strengths in varied fields, and they serve as the engine for much of the Commonwealth’s innovation in the biosciences. One continuing opportunity is to help them effectively collaborate on significant matters. Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation (VBHRC), "the Catalyst”, provides grants to accelerate translational research and commercialization of breakthrough technologies in the life sciences. VBHRC creates stronger working partnerships between Virginia academic research universities, the biotechnology industry and health delivery systems. This leads to more collaborative research and the ability for stronger, larger, research centers. The results of the first several years speak for themselves, with terrific projects, collaborations where there were none before, large private matching and almost a 30:1 ROI measuring grants awarded: follow on funding. VBHRC is a critical part of the long range structure and strategy, working its way through the General Assembly, to support long term research/industry building with support for hiring outstanding researchers and seeding Centers of Excellence (click here to view VBHRC weave map).

Medimmune, just over the Potomac River in Gaithersburg, MD, is the region’s premier biopharma company. Yet it recognizes the benefit of collaboration. In fact for two years MedImmune has been working to bring the Maryland/DC/Virginia bioscience businesses and research centers together, with regional conferences, regional work groups to uncover and articulate strengths, and informal dinners for CEOs across the region. This type of collective effort will help grow the region’s biotech ecosystem and chart a course toward becoming one of the "top three biotech hubs by 2023”. Medimmune has initiated discussions with Virginia state officials offering to partner with the Commonwealth to grow the biotech industry in the state.

Finally, personalized medicine requires collaboration among doctors from many different specialties, technologists to create and develop new tools and patients. The recently announced plans to create the Inova Center for Personalized Health embody this type of collaboration. The collaborative promise of the new campus will stimulate the growth and success of high technology life science companies, world class researchers, eminent clinicians, leading to the expansion of the life science related economic sector and state of the art clinical medicine in Virginia and the greater Washington region.

The list of Virginia universities and companies building the value in healing, feeding and fueling the world can go on and on – Virginia Tech Carilion, UVA’s many efforts, VCU Engineering School’s Medicines for All Initiative, and on and on. In later letters we will examine more of them, to inspire and connect us even further.



Best Regards,


Jeff Gallagher
CEO

 Attached Files:

Tags:  bhrc  cu  eamwork  eneral assembly  io  irginia bioscience  medimmune  nova  ollaboration  tate policy  tcri  va 

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