I’ve updated the list of life science events this week but have no new job listings. The end of summer and return to school for students next week means this week provides a last vacation opportunity for many so I’m not surprised at a decrease in events as well as job listings.

See this week’s BioCentury This Week which offers program with issues related to corporate inversion entitled “Taxing Innovation: Inversion or Evasion.” Creating value and what is value and its definition are themes in this week’s news. Wilson Sonsini has a new report on first half of 2014 Venture Financing entitled The Entrepreneur Report.

Highlights of This Week’s Upcoming Meetings

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, August 17, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Topic: “Taxing Innovation: Inversion or Evasion”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, August 19, 2014, Topic: “What ASQ can mean for you in Silicon Valley,” Speaker: Marieann Shovlin, founder of Peak Process
  • HBA, Wednesday Evening, August 20, 2014, Workshop: “Branding Yourself: Keys to Making a Professional and Personal Impact,” Workshop Leader: Mark Perkins, San Francisco Bay Area corporate trainer, consultant and speaker.
  • Shomir Dighe Organizer, Wednesday Morning, August 20, 2014, Seminar Topic: “Wearable Technology – Seminar and Tabletop Exposition”

You can download Audreys Picks August 17, 2014 for complete details on the above and other meetings and conferences through October by right clicking on the highlighted title.

Enjoy the last vestiges of summer and get prepared for onslaught of the beginning of a new season.



I’m back on American soil and gradually getting over jet lag. Although I didn’t write blogs for the month I was in Vienna, Austria, I did read about the life science industry via a continuing stream of newsletters to which I subscribe on my small netbook. Perhaps because I was in the EU, I found the growth of “company inversions” in our industry most noteworthy news. Those who know me recognize I’m always looking at the industry’s activities in terms of the impact on the workforce as well as the major focus on the development of innovative products and related improved health and well-being of Americans.

I’ve been concerned for years with the increasing role of financial managers and their short-term thinking—laying off thousands of employees to improve this quarter’s profits, for example—in place of a “stakeholder” perspective of what’s good for the employees is good for the company and its future success. Those of us in the industry in business development and R&D recognize that destroying the company’s “knowledge and know- how base” to improve the numbers can easily start the “death spiral” that has afflicted many a company. Negative hiring attitudes that lead to laying off more experienced and naturally higher paid workers to be replaced by recent graduates at a lower price not only destroy trust among staff but demotivate employees.

I believe in international companies and commerce but don’t support giving non-U.S. companies the same benefits as U.S.-based companies that invest in their communities and play a supportive role of the larger country. Paying their fair share of taxes and supporting the benefits they enjoy provided by taxpayer dollars isn’t just patriotic but good business. Some would say it’s time for citizens to shame these companies like Mylan and Medtronics along with the other 45 American-based companies that have done corporate inversions. (See Jonathan Alter’s article August 4th article entitled “The United States Needs Corporate Loyalty Oaths” in the Daily Beast.)

See another article “Congress Moves to Punish Medtronic and other Corporate Deserters” in +Mass Device newsletter.

I worry that the bottom line focus of these companies’ under another country management will further distance them from the welfare of U.S. patients along with that of their U.S. employees. Making important decisions based solely on shareholder return for the quarter is taking our industry away from their mission of providing improved health care.

Overview of Upcoming Life Science Events This Coming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, August 10, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Watch on the Web Any Time. biocenturytv.com. Topic: Emotional Contagion: Facebook Experiment
  • PBSS, Monday Afternoon, Aug. 11, 2014. Topic: Excipient – Drug Interaction: understanding the physical, chemical, physiological and biochemical interactions and impact on pharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic. Speakers: Tian Wu (Amgen), Helming Tan (Amgen), Harvey Wong (Genentech)
  • Joint Bio2Device Group and EPPIC, Tuesday Evening, Aug. 12, 2014. Topic: “Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Multi-Ethnic Groups: Comparison Study Findings from the MASALA Study.” Speaker: Alka M. Kanaya, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Polymer Forum, Tuesday, Aug. 12. 2014. Topic: Golden Gate Polymer Forum August Dinner Lecture: Light- and Air-Induced Reversible Self-Repairing Polymer Networks. Speaker: Prof. Marek W. Urban, Department of Materials Science & Engineering and Center for Optical Materials Science & Engineering, Clemson University
  • WIB, Wednesday Evening, August 13, 2014. WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Presents: South Bay Speed Networking

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys Picks August 10, 2014with full details and the latest list of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough August 10, 2014 by right clicking on the highlighted documents or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | July 8, 2014

Life Science Industry Events until Oct. Plus Jobs

I am sending highlights for the next two weeks, but you can download details for the events for the next three weeks. See at end of list.

I will be away for a month and not writing my blog again until Aug. 10. I took time to enjoy the Fourth of July weekend and then got very involved in preparing for my month absence. If you need to reach me during that time, send an email which I will be checking infrequently. I’m going offline as much as possible as I focus on other things.

If you are interested in keeping up with life science industry developments, check out the Battelle Report at http://goo.gl/RhjlDo . Ernst and Young has just published their review of biotech for 2013 in their annual report Beyond Borders. Find latter at http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Industries/Life-Sciences/Beyond-borders-Matters-of-evidence-biotechnology-industry-report-2013—Point-of-view-matters-of-evidence. The latter is excellent in that it provides continuity over 25 years with the same definitions used during the history of biotechnology.

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, July 7, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Will Truvada Prevent AIDS;” Speakers: Dr. Richard Elion, Clinical Research Director at the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the largest AIDS healthcare provider in Washington D.C.; Tom Myers, Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation; and Dr. Joel Kupersmith, former Head of Medical Research at the Veterans Health Administration
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, July 8, 2014, Event: “Ca2+ Sensitizers – Opportunities in Drug Development;” Speaker: Ullrich Steven Schwertschlag, M.D, PHD, FACP, FCP , Pharmaceutical Drug Developer
  • Medtech Frontiers, Thursday Evening, July 10, 2014; Topic: “Bring Joy to Medical Technologies with Anthropology;” Speaker: Richard Sheridan, co-founder of Menlo Innovations
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, July 15, 2014; Topic: “Challenges in Developing Drugs for Orphan Indications: The Story of Neuraltus and ALS;” Speaker: Richard L. Casey, President and CEO, Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals
  • WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Thursday Evening, July 17, 2014; Event: “Chocolate and Talk a Lot!”
  • NCC ACRP, Thursday Evening, July 17, 2014; Event: Peninsula Networking Event

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys picks July 8, 2014 with full details and the latest list ofJobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough July 8, 2014 by right clicking on the bolded titles or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.



We live in a country whose citizens like to believe has the most advanced medical system in the world, yet the U.S. ranks last in health care ratings among 11 industrialized countries on health care quality and access according to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund published June 16, 2014. The U.S. spent $8,508 per person on health care in 2011 compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom which ranked first in the Commonwealth Fund study. Noticeably, the U.S. ranked last on infant mortality among the eleven countries. More than 1/3 of U.S. adults skipped recommended tests or treatment due to cost and 41% who showed up at emergency rooms would have been treated by a physician if one had been available. The latter is blamed on the lack of access to primary care in this country. We hope that the Affordable Care Act will improve health care delivery as it expands it to millions otherwise not receiving it.

It’s a real surprise to me to learn that the failure to have obtained childhood vaccinations now resulting in epidemics of measles and pertussis is among well-educated and middle class families. In BioCentury This Week available online at no cost, the topic what’s behind parents not obtaining vaccinations for children is explored. Being among those living adults who suffered or lost family members to diseases for which there were no vaccinations available when they were children, I find it hard to comprehend that educated people could forego vaccinations that protect our children and society from suffering and risking the adverse events associated with these diseases. As a child I had measles, mumps and chicken pox but I gladly had my son receive all the vaccinations available because I recognized the risks and consequences of not doing so. When I was pregnant, I didn’t have to worry about getting measles from a sick child. A google search can quickly uncover the scientific basis for vaccinations so why do parents choose to believe the sensational media reports.

When I experience the whooping cough of youngsters now in public places, I wonder if they received their childhood pertussis vaccinations. Why are these epidemics happening with so much information available including the debunking of rumors about vaccinations causing autism. I found the interview of Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his findings fascinating.

Highlights of Upcoming Life Science Events This Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, June 15, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Vaccine Crusader: The Case for Vaccines,” Speaker: Dr. Paul Offit, Chief of Division of Infectious Diseases, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 24, 2014, Topic: “Health Information Technology (HIT): The Promise of a Better Healthcare System?” Speaker: Salim Kizaraly, SVP Business Development and Founder, Stella Technology
  • Palo Alto AWIS, Tuesday Evening, June 24, 2014, Topic: “Yourself as the Product: How to present yourself in an interview,” Speaker: Emmie Thomas, CEO and Co-founder of Knowji Inc., a mission-based education technology company.
  • ASQ, Wednesday Evening, June 25, 2014, Topic: “Design Transfer Procedures and Practices: Planned and Unplanned Change in the Product Development Lifecycle”
  • Nova, Wednesday Morning, June 25, 2014, Event: Biotechnology & Healthcare Panel”
  • Stanford Law School, Thursday Mid Day, June 26, 2014, Topic: “Speaking Truth to Patents: The Case for a Better Patent System,” Speaker: The Honorable Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property & Deputy Director, United States Patent & Trademark Office
  • NorCal BioPharma Project Management, Thursday Evening, June 26, 2014, Event: “NorCal BioPharma Project Management First Annual Summer Kick-off Mixer
  • SF AWIS, Saturday Morning, June 28, 2014, Event: “sfAWIS Networking Hike Lands End”

The HO Family Scholarship (CBA) SCHOLARSHIP

The HO Family Scholarship is established in memory of Ellen & Tony C. Ho.  Every year the Scholarship will consist of two awards of $500 each for high school juniors or seniors in the Bay Area.  Application deadline is 31 August. For eligibility and application information, please check http://www.cbasf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/HO-scholarship-final.pdf.

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys Picks June 22, 2014 with full details and the latest list of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 22, 2014by right clicking on the bolded titles or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.


I hope to see you at some upcoming events.

Upcoming Life Science Events This Coming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, June 15, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Event:” Right to Try: States Experiment;” speakers: Lucy Caldwell, Communications Director of the Goldwater Institute;Diane Dorman, Vice President for Public Policy at the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and Sjaak Vink, CEO of myTomorrows.
  • FDA, Monday and Tuesday, June 16-17, 2014; Event: Spring FDA Small Business REdI Conference 2014
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 17, 2014; Topic: Using a Case Study Approach to Describing the Key Drivers of Reimbursement Strategy Planning, Speaker: Susan Rowinski, Rowinski Group
  • Innocation HealthJam, Tuesday – Thursday, June 17-19, 2014
  • National Cancer Institute, Wednesday, June 18, 2014; Event: NCI SBIR&STTR: Advancing the Commercialization of New Cancer Innovations; Panelists: Ming Zhao, PhD | Program Director, SBIR Development Center, National Cancer Institute and Todd Haim, PhD | Program Director, SBIR Development Center, National Cancer Institute.
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, June 18, 2014; Topic: “Challenges and Opportunity in Life Science R&D: Rethinking the Approach to Innovation;” Speaker: Mark Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., Partner, Third Rock Ventures
  • CBA and BayBio, Thursday Evening, June 19, 2014; Topic:“Investing Across Borders: Asian Biotech Investors Panel & Reception;” Investor Panel: Dr. Graeme Martin, Takeda Ventures; Dr. Wenbao (Wayne) Li, Morningside Group; Dr. Sofie Qiao, WuXi Venture and Dr. Min Cui, Decheng Capital; Moderator: Dr. Michelle Chen

The HO Family Scholarship (CBA) SCHOLARSHIP

The HO Family Scholarship is established in memory of Ellen & Tony C. Ho.  Every year the Scholarship will consist of two awards of $500 each for high school juniors or seniors in the Bay Area.  Application deadline is 31 August. For eligibility and application information, please check http://www.cbasf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/HO-scholarship-final.pdf.

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys Picks June 15, 2014 with full details and the latest list of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 15, 2014 by right clicking on the bolded titles or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.


Posted by: Audrey Erbes | June 8, 2014

Pharma R and D and Cost Issues plus Events and Jobs

There’s been a lot of press recently about the high cost of new specialty drugs, especially, those for cancer of which the majority only deliver perhaps two months of added life rather than remission or a cure which all would like if paying cost of more than $100,000 for course of therapy. Pharma companies justify the high cost based on their accounting of the high cost of development across all efforts that involves more failures than successes. The discussion about the price of Sovaldi from Gilead will be interesting to follow as the basis for cost is discussed in Congress. Sovaldi is a special case in that the prevalence of patients numbers in millions vs. the much smaller number of cancer patients for which payers used to not question high prices. But that is changing as the costs of supplying these drugs threatens to bankrupt the healthcare system.

A recent article in AARP magazine questions the quoted $1 billion dollar cost of developing a drug as basis for the high costs. Cancer Rx: The $100.000 Myth” by Donald W. Wright and Hagop Kantarjian challenges the pharmaceutical industry explanation for pricing. Part of the problem with the arguments is the lack of transparency. We also don’t know how much money is wasted on unnecessary research or maintaining large fiefdoms inside these companies. Based on the tens of thousands of layoffs of R&D professionals working in these companies, I suspect waste is a part of the problem. Innovation is difficult at these giants and they are moving more toward focusing on licensing in promising research from startups and then directing attention to development which they can do so much better than small companies. We just hope that the management understands the need to maintain the critical development expertise of their staff and doesn’t equate “all FTAs” the same.

BioCentury This Week has a two-part series on “Cures, Curing the System” with Part I starting on June 1st and Part II starting today which address the side issues in the environment as well as others head on.

Upcoming Life Science Events This Coming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, June 1, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT’ Topic: “Cures: Curing the System, Part II;” Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Jonathan Leff, Partner at Deerfield Management and Chairman of the Deerfield Institute and Allan Coukell, Senior Director of Drugs and Medical Devices at The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • XTalks and Xcenda, Monday Morning, Monday, June 9, 2014; Topic: “Current and Future Access Challenges for Specialty and Biotechnology Products”
  • AWIS, Monday Evening, June 9, 2014; Webinar Topic: Building Your Leadership Credibility: Real-Life Strategies in Action
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, June 10, 2014; Topic: Critical Issues in International Women’s Health; Speaker: Anne Firth Murray, International Women’s Health
  • WSGR, Thursday, June 12, 2014; Event: WSGR 22nd Annual Medical Device Conference
  • PBSS, Friday Afternoon June 13, 2014; Topic: “Transporter ITC update: latest development in transporter science;” Speakers: Kathy Giacomini (UCSF), Xiaoyang Chu (Merck), Maciej Zamek-Gliszczynski (Lilly)
  • El Camino Hospital, Los Gatos, Saturday, June 14, 2014; Event: 1 Free Health Screening + 1 Free Men’s Health Fair

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys Picks June 8, 2014 with full details and the latest list of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 8, 2014 by right clicking on the bolded titles or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.



The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) made payments for oncology care a central focus of their meeting this week. In their paper released in May 2014 the ASCO Payment Reform Workgroup suggests a new payment scheme for oncology care. Oncology practices would receive five types of flexible, bundled payments designed to cover currently uncompensated time and costs in addition to services currently reimbursed. Currently, practices get reimbursed for patientface time with the physician and drug infusions but not for a lot of services now important in cancer therapy, such as, time spent with nurses, other staff like nutritionists needed for patient education or treatment planning.

The five proposed new payments include:

  • Payment for new patient—higher than currently provided for initial visit
  • Treatment month payment—set at 4 different levels depending on severity of patient condition and required supportive services. It would delete cost of drug infusion administration but cost of drugs would be still covered  separately.
  • Active monitoring month payment—for care and support after medication therapy ends, such as, disease monitoring for recurrence or progression of disease.
  • Transition of treatment payment—for treatment planning and patient education when treatment needs to be changed.
  • Clinical trial payment—payment for services of physicians in providing clinical trial access and support.

The proposed additional new payments are supposed to provide improved care and value for the patient. The problem I see with the above is that the wording suggests lots of different interpretation in the “coding” involved in each of the five payments. They are too vague, not easily measurable and subject to upward slippage in cost.

The real kicker in this proposal is the following: “In addition to the five consolidated payments, the practice would continue to receive separate payments for tests and major procedures it performs and reimbursement for the costs of purchasing and storing drugs the practice administers in the office.” I see real problem with double payments for services in their scheme.

In article entitled “Reforming Oncology” in the June 2, 2014 issue of BioCentury Senior Editor Erin McCallister saysASCO’s “newly unveiled paymentmodel doesn’t yet address how physicianpractices actually should be paid for drugs.He goes on to remind us the ASCO approach does nothing to address the “elephant” in the room–the use of higher cost IV drugs vs. oral drugs to boost revenues. “Instead, payers are the ones taking thelead on new models that remove or lessenincentives to prescribe IV drugs to boostoncologist profits.” This thorough article discusses the new approaches of payers like Wellpoint and United Health that tackle this real problem which needs addressing.

Upcoming Life Science Events This Coming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, June 1, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Cures: Curing the System;” House Energy & Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton (DMich.), Committee Member Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Dr. Kathy Hudson, NIH Deputy Director for Science, Outreach, and Policy
  • Golden Gate Polymer Forum Dinner Lecture, Monday Evening, June 2, 2014; Topic: “One-micon-thick Organic Electronics: Going Thin for Ultraflexible, Stretchable, and Scalable Biomedical Sensors;” Speaker: Prof. Tsuyoshi Sekitani, Osaka University, Japan
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, June 3, 2014; Topic: “iCGM – A Continuous Glucose Monitoring System;” Speaker: Lu Wang, Founder and CEO, Sageland Technologies and Suzhou Metis Biomed
  • AWIS, Wednesday Mid Day, June 4, 2014; Webinar Topic: Building Your Leadership Credibility: Real-Life Strategies in Action
  • Janssen Labs, Wednesday and Thursday, June 4-5, 2014; Topic: “Meet with Wellcome”
  • Rosenman Institute, Wednesday Afternoon, June 4, 2014; Topic: “Empowering the Next Generation of Medical Innovators”
  • Life Science Investor Pitch Program, Thursday Evening, June 5, 2014; Event: “Life Sciences Investor Pitch;” Moderator: Meredith L. Warshaw, PhD; Panelists: Alex de Winter, GE Ventures; Wende Hutton, Canaan Partners; June Fallon from Sand Hill Angels’ Ben Pensak, Morgan Lewis
  • MedTech Frontiers, Thursday Evening, June 5, 2014; Topic: “A cognitive aid with planning, context-aware reactivity, and coordination with caregivers;” Speakers: Richard Levinson, Founder, Attention Control Systems, Inc. and Dr. Stanley Rosenschein, active in academic research and technology ventures in Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and collaboration technology
  • BayBio Pub Night, Thursday Evening, June 5, 2014; Event: “BayBio Life Science Pub Night”

You can find the complete list of events included in Audreys Picks June 1, 2014 with full details and the latest list ofJobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough June 1, 2014 by right clicking on the bolded titles or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.


Upcoming Bay Area Events This Coming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, May 25, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Profiles in Innovation Sequencing Our Genes Plus: Neglected Diseases”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, May 27, 2014; Topic: “Breastfeeding Support using Google Glass;” Speaker: Madeline Sands, Leader of the Breastfeeding Support Project, and Elloise Foster, Marketing and Account Manager, Small World Social
  • PBSS, Wednesday Afternoon, May 28, 2014; Topic: BCS system / Dissolution and Solid Form Technologies: Advances, Impact on Drug Absorption, and Applications in Drug Development;” Speakers: Gordon Amidon, Gregory Amidon
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, May 28, 2014; Title: “Personalized Cancer Treatment and the Challenge of Acquired Drug Resistance;” Speaker: Jeffrey Settleman, Ph.D., Senior Director, Discovery Oncology, Genentech
  • CBA and CABS, Wednesday, May 28, 2014; Event: “Business & Career Development Workshop- Job Search and Interview Workshop;” Moderators: Dr. Kai Zheng and Dr. Sean Wu; Speakers: Dr. Melisa S. Medrano, Staffing Consultant, Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Ms. Katherine Yagel, Director of Professional Services, Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH); Mr. Howard Simon, J.D., Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel, DNA2.0; Dr. Leping Li, Vice President of Chemistry, Presidio Pharmaceuticals; Mr. Don Lim, Sr. Recruiter, Yahoo and previously at Onyx
  • CABS and Orrick, Thursday Evening, May, 29, 2014; Topic: “What Chinese American Professionals Should Know About Trade Secrets and Export Control Cases: Lessons from Civil Lawsuits and Criminal Prosecutions;” Speakers: Zheng (Jen) Liu, Of Counsel Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Warrington Parker, Partner Orrick, Herrington& Sutcliffe; Eugene Illovsky,   Parter Morrison Foerster

You can find the complete list of events with full details by right clicking on the highlighted Audreys Picks May 25, 2014 or on my blog found at www.Audreysnetwork.com.

Hope you had a relaxing and refreshing holiday weekend.


I’ve been thinking about the difficulty of focus on patient outcomes in the U.S. healthcare marketplace due to predominance of for profit and ROI driven providers. I joined the pharmaceutical industry in the 1970s because I believed industry and the private practice physicians who were predominant in providing care then were all interested in providing new, improved treatments and improving health care for our citizens. I knew that companies had to make profits to pay for their research and development costs but never have understood why salaried doctors working for managed care corporations are thought to provide better care than private practice doctors or salaried government funded staff. To me we added a new layer of bureaucracy that added additional costs but also added need to provide stock market value profits for shareholders in addition to payments for medical staff. Their focus on profits always worried me and seemed in conflict with a focus on delivering the best medical outcomes for all patients.

In my exposure to healthcare delivery worldwide, I learned that this basic ethic of improving the healthcare of all citizens was not universally accepted by industry and providers globally. Cheating on clinical trials, denying health care to large segments of the population due to cultural bias and politicians twisting the rules of reimbursement to maintain the same false share of medical costs for drugs even if their lowered and offset previous government expenditures for hospitalization and morbidity. The math was never accurately done to show how usage of new improved drugs lowered health care costs overall because of resulting reductions elsewhere in the system. There developed a strait jacket for the outlays for drugs being restricted to an historic lower share of costs prior to discovery of improved pharmaceuticals.

The recent revelation that there are doctors who make an exorbitant amount of extra money selling drugs to their patients, because the Medicare rules of payment for delivery of drugs in physician’s offices permits this, showed additional income that was far more than I expected. The fact that ophthalmologists are some of the top earning physicians today due to their profits from administering drugs directly into the eye for macular degeneration surprised me as well. I expected they could be making a $100,000 but not millions a year.

Now I learned from this week’s BioCentury that hospitals are selling 340B drugs, bought at discount and intended for poor patients, to inappropriate patients in order make profits by selling the drugs at market prices to insurance-supported patients. Manufacturers provide 340b drugs at a substantial discount to provide less expensive pharmaceutical care for the poorest patients in our country. This policy was established in 1992 to help hospitals support care of their Medicaid patients through lower priced drugs.

Originally, doctors provided free samples to the indigent in addition to the intended patients for a trial of a drug prior to purchasing a prescription. That practice was overlooked because manufacturers supported finding way to help the poor access good medicine. The 340 B program was supposed to help hospitals achieve this end but now even after appearance of Part D and ObamaCare, the demand for these discounted drugs has increased markedly. It appears the increased demand make be to provide a new profit center for hospitals. In defense of the hospitals, they claim they use the profits to recover losses for other services for nonpaying patients, such as, burn centers.

I believe the root cause of the often dishonest gaming of the system in the U.S. is the fact that profit making in a “market business system” has become stronger objective than quality patient outcomes for all. When lobbyists and politicians support policies that discourage pursuit of quality care for all in order to enrich stockholders and upper management’s salaries and bonuses, I take more seriously a movement to a modified a single payer system as delivered in Scandinavia and selected EU countries. The more favorable mortality and morbidity statistics in these countries reinforce that their systems are more successful at delivering on patient outcomes and superior in delivering quality care for all their citizens.

I don’t support pure single payer systems that cut costs so drastically that there is excessive waiting for care or lack of it delivered. It is suggested by some analysts that the VA medical system’s shocking failures in the recent news is based on underfunding and similar to poorly operating single payer systems in this regard.

I find it hard to follow the logic of those who claim they don’t want the government to be involved in healthcare for ideological reasons because the supposed private sector doctors will provide better care than government salaried doctors. I think they are lacking knowledge that private practice doctors who practiced as individuals or in groups and used to be the overwhelming majority of providers in the past have disappeared. Now for- profit managed care companies provide the overwhelming number of physicians, with exception of a few providers, and those physicians are salaried.

I don’t pretend to have an answer to turn around our broken health care delivery system based on market and business principles but believe more transparency and focus on improved health care outcomes for all will be a positive step forward. I believe that the Affordable Care Act though imperfect is a step toward a more ethical system than that based on ROI calculations.

This Week’s Upcoming Life Science Events in the Bay Area

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, May 18, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Telehealth: The Future of Medicine;” Speakers: Former Sen. Tom Daschle, senior policy advisor at law firm DLA Piper; Dr. Ray Dorsey, professor of neurology and co-director of the Center For Human Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and John Jesser, VP and general manager of LiveHealth Online at WellPoint
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, May 20, 2014; Topic: “Creating a Winning Life Science Product Marketing Plan;” Speaker: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates, Blogger at http://www.AudreysNetwork.com
  • SecureDocs.com, Tuesday Morning, May 20, 2014; Topic: “Free webinar–Startup Growth Series: Corporate Lawyers- When, Why, & How Much?” Speaker: Evan Pickering, Seed Mackall LLP
  • Janssen, Tuesday Mid-Day, May 20, 2014; Topic: “From the Trenches: Are you Ready to IPO?”Speakers: Carin Canale-Theakston | President and Founder, Canale Communications Inc. ; Bryan Giraudo | Managing Director, Leerink; John Orwin | President and Chief Executive Officer, Relypsa Inc.
  • HBA, Thursday Evening, May 22, 2014;” Topic: “Competency-Based Interviewing”
  • CABS, Friday Afternoon, May 23, 2014; Event: “CABS Science and Technology Workshop – Large Molecule Drug Discovery and Development Series – Biologics CMC Development and Regulatory Considerations;” Speakers and topics: Esohe Idusogie, Senior Director, Analytical and Process Development, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals; Talk title: The path to IND: product characterization, stability and challenges along the way; Krishna Allamneni, Director, Preclinical Development at NGM Biopharmaceuticalsm Talk title: TBD (she will focus on Toxicology issues related to CMC development); Vinaya Kapoor, Director, Global Regulatory Affairs CMC, Johnson & Johnson, Talk title: Biologics CMC Development: Regulatory Considerations and Global Perspectives

Life Science Business Development Course: An Intensive Course June 19-20

This course which focuses on dealmaking, collaboration and alliances includes two days of intensive classes and then two months of project time with help of resources and access to BioCentury and Thomson Reuters Recap deal databases. See details at http://tinyurl.com/mao7hjh. Registration is now open.

Find all the details for this coming week’s upcoming events plus those through June 2014 in Audrey’s Picks. You can download the pdf of Audreys Picks, May 18, 2014 and Jobs That Crossed My DeskThrough May 18 2014 by right clicking on the highlighted titles.

You can always find my weekly blog and listings at http://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/ and view my website at http://www.AudreysNetwork.com.






I wanted to remind you to check out my upcoming Business Development course offered by UC Berkeley Extension on Thursday and Friday, June 19-20 in downtown San Francisco. See the details for this unique course that is focused on learnings for life science industry professionals working in or in support of licensing, partnering, and alliance management below:

Course: “Life Science Business Development,” (formerly known as Biotechnology Business Development)

Dates and Time: Thursday and Friday, June 19-20; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm for classroom intensive and balance of term for working on term projectLocation: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: Summer term—fee: $895, (440.8-001). Registration is open at http://tinyurl.com/mao7hjh

Course Description

This intensive course including two days of classroom and balance of term for individual research is designed to provide participants with an understanding of the critical role business development and licensing functions play in the commercialization of new products or technology and to the development of a successful life science company. The term assignment is designed to give students the opportunity to put the knowledge and materials from class to immediate and practical use with resulting document for inclusion in their portfolio.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will:

  • Understand the various aspects of the business development function in the life science industry and appreciate the skills required to be effective in business development and licensing roles
  • Appreciate types of deals and their role in commercialization strategies and funding of a company
  • Understand importance of IP status and patent life cycle planning
  • Appreciate the role of pricing and reimbursement in the commercial assessment of life science innovations that underlie deal valuations

Who Will Benefit from This Course

This course is suitable for marketing and business development professionals as well as scientific professionals working in bioscience companies, especially those considering a career move into BD. Licensing, potential entrepreneurs, scientific, clinical, regulatory financial, legal and auxiliary personnel will also benefit from insights gained in the course. Although there are no format prerequisites, those who have been exposed to the life science industry and/or the Drug Development Process course will most benefit from the course.


Lectures, discussion, and guest expert lecturers will address business development topics and issues. Student will be exposed to templates and primers for major business development documents and offered mentoring by instructor in researching and developing their term project. They will have access to two major industry databases for use in researching their project during the term. These include Deloitte’s Basic Recap.com, a life science deal database, and BioCentury’s Report on BioBusiness and access to latter’sarchives.

An extensive hard-copy reader, including lecture slides for note-taking, templates for frequently-used business development documents and a sizable online accessible reference list, will be prepared and distributed by the instructor for use by students during and after class.

Course Instructor

Audrey Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates and http://www.audreysnetwork.com, is a life-science business development and marketing consultant and developer of customized executive education. With more than 30 years of managerial experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, she was Executive Vice President and cofounder of Kowa Research Institute, a biopharmaceutical licensing and investment subsidiary of Kowa Company Ltd., Japan and before that held U.S. and global management positions at Syntex Corp. (acquired by Roche) in market research, product management, strategic marketing and planning, and business development.

Guest Speakers and Their Topics

Jessica L. Holmes,Director of Reimbursement for Argenta Advisors, has 20 years of experience in payer relations, government affairs, reimbursement strategy and tactical planning.  She has worked for manufacturers in home infusion therapy, medical device, biotechnology, capital equipment and diagnostics.  Jessica provides expertise in analyzing challenges and opportunities for market access in not only the traditional reimbursement environment of Medicare and commercial health plans, but in the evolving landscape of risk-sharing/gain-sharing programs (e.g., ACOs) and pay-for-performance initiatives. Jessica uses her Degree in Mass Communications from UC Berkeley and her work in public relations to cross-functionally align reimbursement goals with corporate sales/marketing initiatives. Topic: “Developing and Positioning Technology in the Evolving Healthcare Reimbursement Landscape”

Harold (Hal) Etterman, MBA,CEO, Knight Financial Plans & Services, LLC has over twenty-five years experience in Finance, Operations and Information Technology, including over ten years serving as a CFO, COO and interim CEO. Hal’s extensive international and domestic experience includes medial devices, software development, medical information publishing, Internet/data security and Homeland security systems. Hal had earlier worked for Siemens Medical Systems for nearly 17 years in Manufacturing Operations, Divisional Sales and Service, Corporate Finance and Information Systems. After Siemens, Hal was the CFO/COO for a medical laser manufacturer and has served as a financial planning consultant for 3 medical device businesses. Most recently he has just completed four major Sarbanes-Oxley projects where he successfully helped his client firms through their internal audits resulting in SOX certified SEC filings. Topic: “Financial Planning and Funding for a Bioscience Venture: New, Emerging and Growing Entities”

Carolyn Feamster, MBA, a business strategy and analysis consultant, has over 25 years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech therapeutics, diagnostics and drug delivery systems. She has broad expertise across numerous therapeutic areas, including oncology, CNS, transplantation, autoimmune disease, women’s health and urology. Carolyn worked in R&D and pharmaceutical marketing at Syntex, where her responsibilities included the major brands Naprosyn and Cellcept. In 1995, Carolyn joined ALZA Corporation as Senior Director of New Product Marketing with commercial responsibility for building and managing the pipeline products. She shepherded three products onto the market and was instrumental in evolving the three ALZA therapeutic franchises: urology, CNS and oncology. Carolyn was VP of New Product Planning at Corixa Corporation and, most recently, Vice President of Business Strategy and Analysis at Clearview Projects. Topic: “Preparing for and Planning Deals for Maximum Strategic Impact”

Gilbert R. Mintz, Ph.D., President of GRM Associates, a biotechnology business development, licensing, strategic planning consulting firm, has expertise in building early-stage companies by focusing their strategic planning and licensing activities, and raising money through venture capitalists. His 20-plus years in the biotechnology industry include general and laboratory management and executive level business development roles. He has executed technology platform, corporate and academic collaborations; in/out licensing of late-stage products for partnerships in the US, Europe and Japan; as well as analyzed and managed intellectual property activities. He has consulted with Affymetrix and other biotechnology companies; served as the President and CEO, Director of an early-stage cancer company; and provided transactional and strategic planning advice to numerous pre-IPO biotechnology companies. He has held senior management positions at Genelabs Technologies, Anergen (Corixa), Cygnus and Trega Biosciences. Topic: “Working Your Way through the Bioscience Licensing Process: Negotiating and Writing Deal Contract”

Ginger Dreger, J.D., M.S., partner in Arnold & Porter LLP’s intellectual property practice group, concentrates her practice on counseling and providing strategic advice to emerging and established public companies in the biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. She advises clients on domestic and international patent matters, including worldwide patent protection and enforcement strategies; freedom-to-operate issues; intellectual property due diligence; and analysis of third-party patents. Corporate experience included role with Genentech’s in-house legal department. Topic: “What You Need to Know about Patents Working in Business Development”

Chris Dokomajilar serves as the Director of Business Intelligence at BioCentury where he is responsible for growth initiatives across biopharmaceutical deals and business information. Chris was previously at Recap at Thomson Reuters (formerly Deloitte Recap LLC and Recombinant Capital) as the Senior Deal Analyst managing a data and consulting group covering biopharmaceutical licensing, M&A, and financing. He enjoys the opportunity to contribute to industry thought-leadership and is frequently invited to speak to trade and industry groups about business development, licensing, and commercialization.

Prior to joining Recap, Chris managed international labs and clinical research at the University of California San Francisco. His research on epidemiological trends in infectious diseases has been published in medical and scientific journals. Before transitioning into science, Chris served in finance positions of increasing responsibility at Bank of America. He holds bachelor’s degrees from the University of California Berkeley in Molecular and Cell Biology and in Integrative Biology. Topic: “BioPharma Alliances: Trends in the Marketplace”

Course Content Outline

  • The Function of Business Development In A Bioscience Company
  • Financing The Development And Commercialization Process Of Life Science Products And Technologies
  • The Role of Pricing and Reimbursement in Life Science Dealmaking
  • Preparing for and Planning Deals for Maximum Strategic Impact
  • Developing And Protecting The Product’s Intellectual Property Status
  • Licensing Process

Highlights for Upcoming Week’s Life Science Events

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, May 11, 2014, http://www.biocenturytv.com, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “What Does It Mean To Be Human?” Speaker: Dr. Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, May 13, 2014; Topic: “The Global Tilt and Why You Must Rethink the Future of Medical Technology;” Speaker: Thomas Loarie, CEO, Mercator MedSystems Inc.
  • BioPharm PM, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 13-15, 2014; Conference Topic: “The Diversity of PM roles in the BioPharmaceutical Industry: Implications and Opportunities”
  • N CA ACRP, Thursday Evening, May 15, 2014; Topic: “Evolution or Revolution? What Transformative Efforts are Underway and Their Impact on the Clinical Research Enterprise;” Speaker: Terri Hinkley RN, BScN, MBA, CCRC, ACRP Deputy Executive Director
  • Stanford Law Conference, Friday, May 16, 2014; Event: “IP Law and the Biosciences Conference”
  • CACO-PBSS Luncheon, Friday Mid Day, May 16, 2014; Topic: “3-D printing in the creation of functional human tissues: advances and potential applications in medical research, drug discovery, preclinical drug evaluation and the future of patient care”
  • RAPS and ASQ, Friday, May 16, 2014; Topic: “Evolving Standards and Gotchas: Human Factors, UDI and RoHS/REACH;” Speakers: Paul Arhanic, director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ; Geoffrey Bock, senior business development manager, environmental services, TÜV Rheinland ; Michael Wiklund, PE, CHFP, founder and president, Wiklund Research & Design

Find all the details for this coming week’s upcoming events plus those through June 2014 in Audrey’s Picks. You can download the pdf of Audreys picks May 11, 2014  and Jobs That Crossed My Desk Through May 12, 2014 by right clicking on the highlighted titles.

You can always find my weekly blog and listings at http://audreysnetwork.wordpress.com/


Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 86 other followers