Case Study: When does “technology” turn into medical device

This semester I’ve embarked on an adventure to co-teach a class in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Masters in Biotechnology program. What sold me on the experience was the majority of my responsibility is interacting with second year students on their final major project (essentially their thesis). That said, I will give one lecture, which will be “health […]

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What is the optimal biotech burn rate?

Ethan Perlstein, founder of Perlstein Lab, asked a question on Twitter and got some great answers from David Grainger, partner at Index Ventures and Katrine Bosley, CEO of Editas Medicine. (You can read the whole thread by clicking through.) @LifeSciVC @sciencescanner @ksbosley @scientre what's the burn rate distribution of biotech NewCos in for the first year of […]

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We All Need a Risk Framework

I recently read “The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor” by Howard Marks, Chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management. While I’m not an investor, Juan Serrate (@JPZaragoza1) brought the book to my attention during a Twittersation about risk. In my job developing a discovery into an actual drug, I think […]

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Supporting Biotech Development in Madison

As part of our follow up to our recent Biotech in Wisconsin Meetup about professional development skills, we are asking folks to fill out this poll.

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How Could Science #BreaktheInternet?

I saw the Breakthrough Prizes announced this weekend and was excited to learn about the interesting scientists on the list, including Jennifer Doudna who many of us in life science recognize for her CRISPR/Cas9 work. I’ll start out saying that I am glad to see a group of such influential people (Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Mark […]

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Update from the Swirl (and People are Key to Success)

Last weekend, I uploaded a blog post that included this graphic describing success and said that it really resonated with me. Back in the day, I was the first employee of Quintessence and have been in my fair share of swirls in our efforts to build the company and move our cancer drug forward. One […]

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Innovation: Via a 5th Generation WI Life Science Company

I want to share three themes that struck me from the Dohmen Life Science Services Entrepreneur Summit in Milwaukee this week. Is there an age or stage of company that doesn’t require innovation?  Dohmen started as an apothecary in 1858 and is a private fifth generation company, which has reinvented itself over the last few years. […]

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Could Pharma/Biotech Build an Amazon?

Pharma/Biotech Business Model Innovation When I hear/read about business model innovation in pharma/biotech, the themes generally focus on changes that would improve R&D productivity – moving discoveries from academia to industry more efficiently (some examples of university-related incubators), reproducibility of experiments, venture capital firms creating their own early stage companies, pharma moving R&D innovation external (corporate, biotech and […]

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Experimenting in Academia: Indirect cost disruption?

Yesterday on Twitter I asked the following question and I wanted to follow up because it is an interesting topic. Flip but serious: what is lean startup/incubator/hacker version of a university lab? There is a lot of discussion about funding sources for science/biotechnology as pressure increases on some of the traditional pools of money. Yesterday David Shaywitz shared […]

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US Biosimilars Pathway – A Step Closer to Reality

Today Sandoz announced that their Biologics License Application for filgrastim was accepted by the FDA. This news is significant in part because Zarzio (the brand name for this new product) is the first product to use the 351(k) pathway for biosimilars in the US (rather than the traditional 351(a) BLA). In contrast, there are a […]

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