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BIO 2018: What we learned


Conference edition | June 11, 2018


Editor's Note

Unlike that little cancer conference in Chicago last week, the BIO International convention is not about data, but about the people who make up the biopharma industry.

The meeting brings together scientists, board members, business development heads and salespeople, from the smallest virtual biotechs to the largest of pharmas. It allows executives at fledgling biotechs to sit at the same tables as major decision-makers in the industry — even if it does look a little bit like speed dating.

But it's not just a partnering meeting.

This year's BIO also sought to shine a light on pressing issues facing the industry. Among those tackled included elevating the discussion on gender diversity and how to bring more women to the board level; raising awareness around suicide and the need for more mental health treatments; giving a voice to patient advocacy groups; and highlighting the need for access to treatments in developing nations.

Four days of meetings and panel discussions are unlikely to move the needle for many of these challenges, but debate can be the first step toward progress.

Lisa LaMotta
Senior Editor, BioPharma Dive
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speech bubble

Overheard at BIO


"Having someone who you can see yourself in — in a senior role — who's navigated their way and built their career, just makes a huge difference ... There's a much more organized view to doing that now than when I was coming up through the industry."


– Kate Haviland, Chief Business Officer, Blueprint Medicines


Event Coverage


Garabedian has few regrets and is ready to be seen

The former Sarepta CEO is attempting a comeback by exploring a different facet of an industry he knows well.
Read more »


'Patient-focused' drug development guidance coming, FDA chief says

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb talked about the efficiencies he's trying to create at the agency.
Read more »


Diversity takes center stage

The conversation highlighted industry gender diversity — and lack of it. BIO had 18 "manels," or panels that were only men.
Read more »


[Report] Win the race to the $400B biologics market

To get a deeper look into the future of this high-potential space, Catalent Biologics partnered with BioPharma Dive to survey industry pioneers. For the results and in-depth analysis of the opportunities and challenges in biologics,
get the free report »


FDA to issue guidance on cell and gene therapy in July

Commissioner Scott Gottlieb also said the industry needs to move toward continuous manufacturing of these treatments.
Read more »


Pfizer's Bourla on volume vs. value

Day One at BIO was dominated by talk of partnering and the changing model for valuing medicines.
Read more »


Merck's Ebola lessons; New Jersey vies for biotech jobs

Day Two at BIO included a major session on the global vaccines market and a new report showcasing the bioscience industry's $2 trillion economic impact.
Read more »


Pfizer (sort of) inches back to neuro; Building ties with FDA

Day Three at BIO shined a light on the neuroscience space and its evolution.
Read more »
waving bye

One parting thought


BIO boasted a record number of attendees for their 25th annual conference. While the conference remains dominated by white men, the number of female attendees is undoubtedly growing. There is still a long way to go, but it may be the first time I celebrate a line to the ladies restroom.