The new year is paving a new path for the biotech industry. Despite the endless social, health, cultural and economic challenges presented by the pandemic, the approach to treating COVID-19 and now commercializing a vaccine has been nothing short of miraculous. The knowledge and scientific breakthroughs needed to produce a vaccine in less than 12 months required global collaboration, leveraging data and insights, and an extensive coordination between private, public and government sectors. Today’s biotech news reflects this new approach.
As a leading biotech PR firm, we know how important it is to stay up to date with news and advancements made by some of the most innovative companies in the sector. FischTank PR’s ability to know the news within the biotech sector has allowed our clients to constantly remain part of the conversation. Here’s some recent biotech news and developments we think are important to share:
“Biden is set to make Human Genome Project head Eric Lander, Ph.D., presidential science adviser as well as his nominee for director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. This has not always been a highly visual position, but now, for the first time, the role will be elevated to cabinet level. ‘Science will always be at the forefront of my administration and these world-renowned scientists will ensure everything we do is grounded in science, facts, and the truth,’ Biden said.”
“Sana Biotechnology, which is developing cell-engineering platforms that it says could change the way many diseases are treated, plans to sell $150 million of stock in a coming initial public offering, the company said in a securities filing last week. Ambitions to tackle cancer, diabetes and central-nervous-system disorders under one roof aren’t cheap. While Sana has $459 million in cash and equivalents on its books, it spent $153 million on research and development in the first nine months of 2020, up from $80 million over the same period in 2019.”
“Eli Lilly is focusing on building startups. The company invested $30 million in Unseen Capital Health Fund, a venture fund aimed at supporting founders of early-stage healthcare companies who are Black or of other racial minorities, Lilly announced on Friday. In addition to identifying, funding and supporting minority-led businesses, the fund will also target companies working on solutions for marginalized communities.”
“A small biotechnology firm said that it will start human testing of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine it hopes can target potential strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that could evade current vaccines — if such strains ever exist and become a problem. “We all hope that this will not be necessary,” said Andrew Allen, the CEO of the firm, Gritstone Oncology, in an interview with STAT.”
“Pfizer established its Pfizer Breakthrough Growth Initiative (PBGI) in June to provide support to public companies with small- to medium-sized market capitalizations and clinical-stage pipelines that map onto its own therapeutic areas of focus. Since then, Pfizer has invested $120 million in four biotechs, details of which were released by the company Tuesday.
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