BIO Adopts Principles on Workplace Development, Diversity, and Inclusion; Launches Board WDDI Commit
Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a set of principles on workforce development, diversity, and inclusion (WDDI) for the biotechnology industry. Concurrent with the adoption of these principles, BIO established a board-level WDDI Committee charged with working to foster workforce development, diversity, and inclusion at BIO and throughout the biotech industry. The Committee will be chaired by Helen Torley, President & CEO of Halozyme, who is succeeding Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President & Chief Patient Officer at Merck, who led the Committee as it developed BIO’s WDDI principles over the last year.

“As a leader of the 21st century innovation economy, it is critical that the biotech industry also be at the forefront of efforts to develop an effective, diverse and talented global workforce,” said BIO President & CEO Jim Greenwood. “BIO is proud to announce the formation of the WDDI Committee, which will lead our efforts to attract the best and brightest talents from diverse backgrounds to biotech careers, foster an inclusive industry culture, and, most importantly, enable biotech companies and their employees to understand, interact with, and ultimately provide treatment to a diverse patient population with the cultural competency required for success.”

The principles on WDDI adopted today by BIO’s Board of Directors state that BIO considers diversity to be essential to the success of the biotechnology industry. BIO commits itself to, and encourages the industry to follow, these principles on workforce development, diversity, and inclusion:

    1.   BIO believes that our members’ products and services should be intended to address the needs of a diverse population.
    2.   BIO believes that diversity in all aspects of business operations will optimize the continued growth and success of the biotechnology industry.
    3.   BIO will champion workforce development, diversity and inclusion as a way to attract, develop and retain the employee talent pool within the globally competitive biotechnology industry.
    4.   BIO will lead by example and be outward-facing in our diversity efforts, and will incorporate diversity and inclusion into all aspects of BIO operations: in communications and membership engagement, at BIO events through programming and education, and in the composition of the Board of Directors and its committees.
    5.   BIO will engage with external partners to broaden the reach and incorporation of diversity throughout the biotechnology ecosystem.
    6.   Definitions. For purposes of these Principles, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:




  Diversity is defined as the wide-range of similarities and differences among persons and perspectives, and follows guidelines established by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.




  Inclusion is defined as the process of creating a business culture and environment that recognizes and effectively leverages the talents, skills, and perspectives of diverse employees.




  Workforce development is defined as the process of ensuring all employees have the opportunities to develop the capabilities and skills required to meet the challenging needs in the biotechnology industry.

“Adopting these principles is an important first step in BIO’s work to ensure that the biotechnology industry is an employer of choice for talented individuals from all backgrounds,” said Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer at Merck. “This week, the BIO International Convention will showcase the breadth and depth of talent our industry has to offer, and the Convention programming reflects that diversity. Going forward under Helen’s leadership, the Committee will work with professionals within the biotech industry, BIO staff, and partner organizations to fulfill our mission to create a more globally competitive biotechnology industry by promoting and enhancing workforce development, diversity, and inclusion.”

The 2017 BIO International Convention features three panels on the importance of WDDI in the biotechnology industry:

  • Invest in Diversity to Drive Innovation – Wednesday, June 21 at 10:45 am
  • An Issue Not to be Ignored: Diversity in Clinical Trials – Wednesday, June 21 at 1:45 pm
  • Career and Personal Paths to the Corporate Boardroom, presented by Women in Bio – Thursday, June 22 at 11:00 am

To learn more about BIO’s WDDI efforts, visit

It’s a Wrap-BIO 2017 Delivers Again
Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:00 AM

Breaking all previous records, BIO 2017 hosted over 41,400 partnering meetings during this year’s event. Facilitated by BIO’s unique One-on-One Partnering™ system, these invaluable connections form the foundation of innovative industry collaborations and scientific breakthroughs. That word—breakthrough—was heard and seen throughout the Convention Center in San Diego from June 19 – 22. “Breakthrough” reflects the innovation and exciting advancement in the biotech sector.

The annual event drew 16,123 biotech leaders from around the globe and provided attendees with unique perspectives on the immense opportunities and complex challenges ahead for the industry.

David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the UK, and Ann Romney, the wife of Mitt Romney and a staunch patient advocate delivered keynote addresses that touched on challenges in both the political and health arenas.


BIO 2017 included over 1,800 exhibitors, more than 800 speakers at 400 educational sessions and company presentations, and seven fireside chats. The breadth and depth of offerings and the networking opportunities afforded by having thousands of industry stakeholders continue to make the Convention the premiere event for the biotechnology industry.

This year’s International Convention was co-hosted by BiocomCalifornia Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and Southern California Biomedical Council (SoCalBio).

The 2018 BIO International Convention will return to Boston, MA from June 4 – 7 to celebrate 25 years of innovation.

Philadelphia, PA will host the 2019 BIO International Convention from June 3 – 6.

In 2020, BIO returns for the fourth time to San Diego from June 8 – 11!

One Health Holds the Key to Preventing the Next Pandemic
Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:00 AM

Can we combat disease threats before they even emerge?  In the fight against infectious diseases, understanding where outbreaks are most likely to happen and under which circumstances can help us develop tools to address risk to potentially prevent the next pandemic. 

This theme was explored at BIO’s International Convention on Monday, June 19, during its “One Health Day” programming, which brought together different parts of the BIO family with sessions focused on issues linking human, animal and environmental health. 

The One Health concept examines the connectivity between infectious diseases, the health of plants and animals, the health and safety of the environment and food security issues.  All of these play a role in contributing to or controlling and preventing the threat of disease outbreaks. To be effective, prevention mechanisms need to address all of these areas and be put in place cooperatively by government, industry and academia on a global scale.

“Seventy-five percent of emerging diseases such as Ebola or Zika come from animals,” said Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) via video message. Franken is a sponsor of legislation aimed at breaking down silos between human and animal health programs. “The biotechnology industry has an important role to play here.  And your convention is a great example of One Health in action.”

In addition to Senator Franken, session speakers included:

  • Dr. William Karesh, Executive Vice President for Health and Policy at EcoHealth Alliance
  • Dr. Carsten Brunn, Bayer’s Head of Pharmaceuticals, Americas Region
  • Frank Terhorst, Bayer’s Global Head of Seeds
  • Dr. Eddie Sullivan, President, CEO and Co-Founder, SAB Biotherapeutics Inc., and Chairman, BIO Food & Ag Section Governing Board (moderator)
  • Dr. Laura Kahn, Research Scholar, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University and Co-Founder, One Health Initiative
  • Dr. Nikos Gurfield, Adjunct Professor of Pathology, UC San Diego and County Veterinarian, San Diego County Vector Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Adrianne Massey, Managing Director for Science and Regulatory Affairs, Food & Agriculture, BIO
  • Phyllis Arthur, Managing Director, Infectious Diseases and Diagnostics Policy, BIO
  • Joanne Duncan, President, Membership and Business Operations Division, BIO 

Dr. Carsten Brunn, Phyllis Arthur, Dr. Adrianne Massey, Dr. William Karesh and Frank Terhorst.

“One Heath action requires the efforts of more than just policymakers, academics and practitioners. It is dependent on engagement, and often leadership, from civil society and the private sector,” said Dr. Karesh, who pointed to international efforts such as The Global Virome Project, a global cooperative scientific initiative aimed at massively lowering the risk of harm from future viral outbreaks over 10 years. 

“One Health impacts economic health,” explained Karesh. “The costs associated with a disease outbreak aren’t just healthcare costs, but also the costs associated with loss of trade and social disruption.”

At BIO, we’re working to breakdown the silos between plant, animal and human health to leverage the potential of One Health. 

“Biotechnology is inherently interdisciplinary,” said BIO’s Adrianne Massey, “and BIO is a logical home for exploring the One Health concept and addressing the connectivity between animal health and human health.

BIO Applauds Bipartisan Introduction of Renewable Chemicals Tax Credit
Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:00 AM

Washington, D.C. (June 30, 2017) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today thanked Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) and Reps. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA) for introducing the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2017. The legislation, if enacted, would create a targeted, short-term tax credit for production of qualifying renewable chemicals from biomass or investment in production facilities. Applicants for the tax credit would be evaluated on job creation, innovation, environmental benefits, commercial viability and contribution to U.S. energy independence.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section, stated, “The Biotechnology Innovation Organization and its members thank Representatives Pascrell, Costello, Fitzpatrick and Sanchez for supporting innovation and helping U.S. companies compete in a rapidly growing global renewable chemicals market. Industrial biotechnology is helping renewable chemical producers innovate, revitalize domestic manufacturing, and bring new energy efficient products to market. That in turn is creating millions of new jobs and opportunities for economic growth. This new legislation will help U.S. companies capture their fair share of worldwide growth in renewable chemical production.”

Mark Schweiker, Senior Vice President of Renmatix, located in King of Prussia, Pa., commented, “There is clear momentum for the biobased industry to commercialize cost-competitive pathways to bio-materials and renewable chemicals. This bill will help leverage a variety of under-utilized, non-food biomass in America for conversion into renewable materials. Stimulating the nascent U.S. renewable chemicals market will reinvigorate rural economies and create sustainable jobs.” 

Hugh Welsh, President of DSM NA, headquartered in Parsippany, N.J., added, “We are grateful for Congressman Pascrell’s continued leadership and vision on innovation, renewable chemicals and a US manufacturing renaissance as reflected in his sponsorship of the Renewable Chemicals Act of 2017. This legislation will further support employment, economic growth and continue to encourage global companies like DSM to make additional investments in New Jersey and the entire United States.”

About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

Sanpower Group Closes Acquisition of Dendreon
Wednesday, July 05, 2017 12:00 AM

SEAL BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dendreon Pharmaceuticals LLC (“Dendreon”) today announced the close of a transaction in which Sanpower Group, a private Chinese conglomerate, acquired Dendreon from an affiliate of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. for $819.9 million in cash.

By operating as a standalone company, under the ownership of Sanpower Group, Dendreon will strive to further accelerate and expand access to its flagship immunotherapy product PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T) to prostate cancer patients worldwide. This is an important goal as the global incidence of prostate cancer continues to climb.

“The first order of business is to work to accelerate the growth trajectory we’ve established over the last two years. PROVENGE remains a groundbreaking therapy, with a demonstrated overall survival benefit and a manageable safety profile,” said Dendreon CEO James Caggiano. “Having treated over 20,000 metastatic prostate cancer patients since PROVENGE was approved, our aim now is to treat a larger percentage of the more than 40,000 men who are afflicted with this disease each year.”

Since being purchased by Valeant two years ago, Dendreon has achieved consistent growth in the use of PROVENGE. Enrollments (prescriptions) of PROVENGE grew by more than 10 percent from 2015 to 2016.

The Dendreon leadership, commercial, sales, manufacturing and operations teams will remain in place following closing, focusing on the continued delivery of life-extending cancer immuno-oncology treatments to those in need.

The acquisition of Dendreon is a milestone for Sanpower Group, its first in the U.S. healthcare sector. “PROVENGE is the first immunotherapy approved and marketed in the U.S. We will work with the relevant authorities to bring PROVENGE to other markets, especially to China and SE Asia. We also plan to evaluate PROVENGE usage in early-stage prostate cancer, with the hope of curing more men of the disease,” remarked Sanpower Chairman Yuan Yafei. “Dendreon brings unique strategic value to our portfolio, and coupled with the largest cord blood bank in the world, our goal is to become a leader in stem cells and immune-oncology. We also plan to add on adjacent assets to Dendreon to enrich its pipeline.”

PROVENGE was the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved personalized immunotherapy for cancer – and remains the only autologous immunotherapy in the world approved for human use.

About PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T)

PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T) is an autologous cellular immunotherapy indicated for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castrate-resistant (hormone refractory) prostate cancer.


Acute Infusion Reactions: Acute infusion reactions (reported within 1 day of infusion) may occur and include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, rigor or chills, respiratory events (dyspnea, hypoxia, and bronchospasm), syncope, hypotension, hypertension, and tachycardia.

Thromboembolic Events: Thromboembolic events, including deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, can occur following infusion of PROVENGE. The clinical significance and causal relationship are uncertain. Most patients had multiple risk factors for these events. PROVENGE should be used with caution in patients with risk factors for thromboembolic events.

Vascular Disorders: Cerebrovascular events (hemorrhagic/ischemic strokes and transient ischemic attacks) and cardiovascular disorders (myocardial infarctions) have been reported following infusion of PROVENGE. The clinical significance and causal relationship are uncertain. Most patients had multiple risk factors for these events.

Handling Precautions: PROVENGE is not tested for transmissible infectious diseases.

Concomitant Chemotherapy or Immunosuppressive Therapy: Chemotherapy or immunosuppressive agents (such as systemic corticosteroids) given concurrently with the leukapheresis procedure or PROVENGE has not been studied. Concurrent use of immune-suppressive agents may alter the efficacy and/or safety of PROVENGE.

Adverse Reactions: The most common adverse reactions reported in clinical trials (≥ 15% of patients receiving PROVENGE) were chills, fatigue, fever, back pain, nausea, joint ache, and headache.

For full Prescribing Information, please visit

About Dendreon

Dendreon is a healthcare company whose mission is to transform lives through the discovery, development, commercialization and manufacturing of novel personalized immune-therapeutics for cancer. Dendreon manufactures PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2010. Dendreon is exploring the application of additional product candidates for the potential treatment of a variety of cancers. Dendreon is headquartered in Seal Beach, Calif. For more information, please visit

About Sanpower Group

Established in 1993, Sanpower Group has become one of the largest private conglomerates in China. Headquartered in Nanjing, it offers a global platform for its three primary sectors: Healthcare, Retail and Financial Services. Sanpower Group has controlling stakes in more than 100 subsidiaries and has a 100,000-strong global workforce, including 40,000 based internationally. Sanpower Group currently generates over RMB 120 billion in annual revenue. For more information, please visit

About Sanpower Group Healthcare Sector

In recent years, Sanpower Group has determined the direction for Healthcare sector's growth, including health care, home care, genetic testing, precision medical and other fields.

In fact, Sanpower Group previously acquired AnKangTong, Natali and A.S. Nursing Company. In 2016, the group announced the acquisition of China Cord Blood Corporation and Shandong Cord Blood Bank, this means that it has emerged as the world's largest cord blood banking operator. The group also owns many medical and health institutions.

The acquisition of PROVENGE is an important step in the area of precision medical treatment for Sanpower Group. The big data from its cord blood bank provides the foundation for precise medical care. The acquisition of PROVENGE has allowed the group to expand its umbilical cord blood bank from the basics to its practical application, and has taken a strategic step in further laying out precise medical care.

The incidence of prostate cancer increases significantly in China. According to a sampling survey, the incidence of prostate cancer in China increased by 10 times within 20 years. Therefore, PROVENGE in China will have a broad market and prospects for development. "We aim to introduce one of the most advanced medical technologies and treatments to China and also other major Asian markets, and make Sanpower Group a leading Chinese enterprise in cellular immunotherapy," said Yuan Yafei, Chairman of Sanpower Group.

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