While headlines in 2016 were largely dominated by the tumultuous political climate, notable celebrity deaths (RIP Princess Leia), and myriad global crises, there were plenty of scientific developments that caught our attention. An HIV vaccine was cleared for clinical trials, Zika continues to spread, and we finally have images of gravitational waves.
As the year comes to a close, here are five story lines to continue following in 2017.
The Heroes of CRISPR and the CRISPR/Cas-9 patent dispute
Wildpixel, iStock photo, via Sciencenews.org
The CRISPR/Cas-9 ownership debate is fairly reminiscent of siblings running to their parents for the front seat in a car ride: she called first dibs in the living room, but he got to the driver first. Media attention boomed after Cell published MIT biologist Eric S. Lander’s articleThe Heroes of CRISPR. Many readers, including Jennifer Doudna of UC Berkeley, disagreed with his depiction of the gene-splicing tool’s history, especially in combination with his Broad Institute affiliation and the ongoing patent battle.
At this point, it’s not a question of whether or not the technology will be patented, but when, and what hurdles or royalty costs researchers outside of the winning institution will face.
Recreational marijuana legalization in California and Massachusetts
Jeffrey Thompson, MPR News, via blogs.mprnews.org
Although California and Massachusetts aren’t the first states to legalize recreational cannabis, they house three massive biotech clusters, all of which have preliminary entry into the industry due to both states’ long-standing medical marijuana legislation. It is too early to tell exactly how a wider consumer base will affect some of the industry’s existing struggles such as federal regulations, banking, and investor confidence, but startups’ hopes are high (pun intended).
21st Century Cures Act and the Cancer Moonshot Initiative
The 21st Century Cures Act is bipartisan legislation that allocates training, funds, and awards to biomedical researchers and national institutions, most likely to play out as a rejuvenating shot to academia and innovative startups. In addition to provisions for HHS and CMS, the bill includes increased funds for the NIH and the development of a Capstone Grant program to incentivize and accelerate innovative healthcare.
Additionally, the executive branch recently announced the execution of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative to further oversee and encourage oncology research. Spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, the initiative promotes collaboration between the National Cancer Advisory Board and the newly-created Cancer Moonshot Task Force to advocate scientifically-sound ambitions and goals.
Any other biotech news stories from 2016 we should have mentioned? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Women in Bio President Elect Dawn Hocevar will be on hand at the upcoming Liftstream diversity conference in Cambridge, MA to showcase WiB’s Boardroom Ready initiative. The program, which is designed to address the dearth of female members on corporate boards, will utilize the platform of the event to present the first participants and promote the initiative at large. To learn more about Boardroom Ready, the Liftstream conference, and Women in Bio, click the links below.
“There are great opportunities ahead for BioSurplus,” says Thor Eakes, a member of the BioSurplus board of directors. “A strong leader, Bill VanDeWeghe has the energy and passion to grow BioSurplus and expand its ability to serve customers. I want to thank Cinco Plumb for his leadership and guidance. For the last 11 years, Cinco has built BioSurplus into a preeminent provider of preowned lab equipment and has set a solid foundation for future growth.”
VanDeWeghe brings over 30 years of management, financial and legal experience to BioSurplus. Previously, he co-founded and served as CEO of RippleNami, Inc., a sophisticated, easy-to-use mapping platform for businesses, NGOs and emergency-management groups. Prior to that, VanDeWeghe served as a managing director at RA Capital Advisors and as a senior shareholder with Klinedinst PC law firm. A former U.S. Army officer, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Princeton University, and his law degree at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.
“In the biotech and life science industry, BioSurplus has become the ‘go-to’ resource for preowned laboratory equipment,” says Bill VanDeWeghe, president and CEO of BioSurplus. “Whether customers are buying equipment, selling surplus assets or closing entire facilities though our auction capabilities, the BioSurplus brand is synonymous with superb customer service. I am excited to build on this success and lead BioSurplus into the next chapter.”
Founded in 2002, BioSurplus is America’s preeminent buyer and reseller of preowned lab equipment. Customers can shop from anywhere using the BioSurplus online store, online auctions or visit us in California in one of our two showrooms. BioSurplus purchases late model working lab instruments from labs that no longer need them, and then passes on the savings of repurposed equipment to its customers. The BioSurplus team is carefully chosen for their scientific experience and background to ensure the proper marketing, selling and handling of a wide range of laboratory instruments. BioSurplus is dedicated to maximizing the value and use of laboratory equipment for both its buying and selling customers.
BioSurplus is headquartered in San Diego and has lab equipment showrooms and warehouses in San Diego and San Francisco. For more information, please visit our website at www.BioSurplus.com.
BioSurplus is dedicated to supporting the Life Sciences by promoting STEM education for future generations of scientists. Recently, seven compound fluorescence microscopes were donated to High Bluff Academy in Del Mar, California to be used in their classrooms.
Said Chemistry teacher Sarah Mishek: “BioSurplus has been an incredible asset in helping High Bluff Academy further the development of our STEM program. With the microscopes we received, High Bluff will be able to expand and improve our science curriculum to include a more wide-ranging scope of labs. This donation has greatly contributed to allowing us to teach science through interactive and experiential learning, which we hope will foster a greater love for the sciences and encourage our students to pursue a future in the STEM fields.”
Through this type of outreach, BioSurplus believes we can make a difference. To learn how BioSurplus can help find the best equipment solution for your lab, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 858-550-0800.
With the help of sponsors like LifeSci Advisors and Girls Inc., WIB is working to break systemic inequality and address the lack of women in boardrooms across the industry. By providing a five-day educational program and networking platform, the non-profit is committed to preparing more women for positions at the executive level, as well as aiming to re-educate their male peers about the value women offer when given the same opportunities.
SAN DIEGO—May 24, 2016—BioSurplus, America’s leader in used lab equipment, announced today that it will be holding a timed online auction of lab equipment from XenoPort, Inc.’s discontinued research facility in Northern California. The online auction will run from June 1 through June 8, 2016.
Featuring more than 500 lots of instrumentation, these assets will be auctioned out of BioSurplus’ South San Francisco facility. Available equipment can be viewed during an on-site open house event, which will take place at 111 Kimball Way, South San Francisco 94080 on Tuesday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This auction presents an exciting opportunity for biotech companies to acquire quality instruments at highly discounted prices,” says Cinco Plumb, President and CEO of BioSurplus.
Items available in this timed online auction include HPLC, LC/MS, flow cytometry and NMR systems, as well as centrifuges, cold storage units, glassware and much more analytical and general benchtop lab equipment.
On Monday, June 6, 2016, BioSurplus will be attending Women In Bio’s annual WIB Plenary Event. This signature event, held in conjunction with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention, will feature a panel of esteemed speakers discussing critical issues affecting women in the life sciences industry.
Firelli Alonso, Senior Director, Biotherapeutics and Vaccines Outsourcing, Pfizer
Lisa Cohen, Executive Director, Washington Global Health Alliance
Renee Compton Ryan, Vice President, Venture Investments, Johnson & Johnson
Bahija Jallal, Executive Vice President, AstraZeneca, Head of MedImmune
As with all WIB events, the Plenary Event will be a fun and congenial atmosphere for networking, bringing together people from all corners of the life sciences industry and spawning new career and business opportunities.