Posted by: Audrey Erbes | November 17, 2013

Government Shutdown Makes Industry Problems Worse plus Events and Jobs

I wondered what impact the 16 day government shutdown would have on our industry in addition to other major undercurrents already affecting all sectors.  I suspect that the loss of confidence in Congress understanding the negative impact of their actions on life science discovery and research might lead many companies to expand their job cuts.

Now I am reading more articles discussing the fallout from major changes in the industry environment related to major shifts in economic picture for profitability of biopharma due to critical need to cut costs of R&D, declines in VC funding across sectors, potential negative impact of the Affordable Care Act where changes in patient numbers is unclear as to impact, the medical device tax, etc .

In article entitled  “Job Watch: Deluge of Downsizings” by Alex Philippidis in Genetic Engineering News, Clifford S. Mintz, Ph.D., founder of the biopharma education and training organization BioInsights, told GEN that ”displaced workers will find it tough to find new biopharma jobs—especially R&D, as more work is shifted overseas. He also noted the U.S. job picture is complicated by academia’s continuing to churn out basic research Ph.D.s while industry needs specialized staff. The bad news is, most of the people that are receiving Ph.D. degrees today have no training, skills, or any value to pharmaceutical and biotech companies these days, at least the big guys.”

Pharmaceutical companies have been on annual pre-holiday calendar of announcing layoffs and cut backs and this year is no different.  The total number of layoffs for 2013 for period January through November will be about 20,000 which is over 68%  greater than the 12,886 jobs cut in the same period in 2012.  Listing of jobs had picked up earlier in 2013 but then with shutdown, I noted a slowdown but, fortunately, not at the same level of earlier post-recession numbers. The industry lost 20,251 jobs during January–November 2011; and 50,168 from January–November 2010.

At a recent panel discussion, Stephen J. Ubl, President and CEO of AdvaMed, explained that the medical device industry along with pharma is also faced with an increasingly challenging business environment.  He revealed that venture investment dropped 40% and it takes 75% longer to achieve a technical breakthrough than it did in 2007. See complete article in PharmExecBlog Nov. 12, 2013 by clicking on panel discussion.

The impact of the shutdown was especially hard on research and development within the NIH., which is already experiencing a significant loss of momentum for biomedical research after losing 5 percent, or $1.5 billion, of its 2013 budget to the federal government sequestration. These cuts added to the already existing reductions in federal spending on NIH research over the last decade.  See full article “Science Under Siege,” Nov. 2013 by Amy Swinderman delineating the impact on different agencies.

Life science startups are becoming more dependent on new sources of funding to replace diminished VC money. These cutbacks in grants means further resource tightening for all sectors.


Highlights for the Upcoming Week

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, 2013, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Control-Alt-Debacle: Rebooting Healthcare.Gov;” Speakers: Dr. Jack Hoadley from the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University and Matt Eyles, EVP at Avalere Health LLC
  • Elsevier, Monday – Wednesday, Nov. 18-20, 2013; Event: “Therapeutic Area Partnerships”
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Nov. 19, 2013; Topic: “How to: Select, Plan, Attend, Engage and Follow-up…participating in a professional trade show, convention, conference or expositions;” Speaker: Eben Kermit, Field Service Engineering, Independent Consultant
  • Janssen Labs, Tuesday Morning, Nov. 19, 2013; Topic: “How To… Make Every Talk TED Worthy: Best Practices for Taking Your Communication Skills to the Next Level;” Speaker: John Bates | Chief Executive Officer, Executive Speaking Success & Business Coaching
  • IEEE SFBA Nanotechnology Conference, Tuesday,  Nov. 19, 2013; Topic: “Nanoengineered Biomedical Devices;” Speaker/Topic:Prof. Demir Akin, Deputy Dir, Ctr for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence. Stanford School of Medicine; “Cancer & Nanotechnology: Opportunities and Challenge,” Prof. David Deamer, Biomolecular Engineering UC Santa Cruz; “Nanopore Analysis of Nucleic Acids: From an Idea to a Working Instrument,” Prof. Erkin Seker, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Davis, “Gold foams for biomedical devices. Development of microfluidic platforms for high-throughput material characterization and multifunctional sensors and actuators for biomedical applications.” Dr. Adam Seger, Electrical Engineer, MagArray, Inc. Post-doctoral Researcher UC Santa Cruz;Magnetic nano-sensors for sensitive protein detection,” Dr. Mehdi Javanmard, Senior Research Engineer, Stanford Genome Technology Center; “Ultrasensitive Electrofluidic Technologies for Point-of-Care Diagnostics,” Dr. Dominik Ziegler, Researcher, Molecular Foundry, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; “Scuba Dive to the Nanoscale: New Probes for Low-Noise Mass and Force Sensing in Liquids,” Dr. Tom Peyser, Vice President, Science and Technology, Dexcom; “Glucose monitoring,” Prof. Tao Ye, School of Natural Sciences, UC Merced; “Developing sophisticated nanoscience tools to position and measure single molecules with nanometer resolution, dynamically activate the functions of individual biomolecules on surfaces, and develop artificial analogs of biological motors.”
  • BioScience Forum, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 20, 2013; Title: “”Evolution of the ‘Breakthrough’ Designation in Oncology Genomic Medicines;” Speaker: Lori Kunkel, M.D.. Strategic Clinical Consultant
  • UC Berkeley Extension Free Information Session, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 20, 2013, Event: “All Life Science Industries Professional Certificates and Specialized Programs of Study UNEX 1031” (EDP 405324*Sec. 003)
  • Janssen Labs, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013; Event: Janssen Labs @QB3 Open House Tour
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, Nov. 20, 2013; Topic: “Special Design Considerations for Medical Electronics;” Speaker: Jerry Twomey,  Consultant
  • HBA, Thursday Evening, Nov. 21, 2013; Topic: “Keeping Cool Under Fire;” Speaker: Marianne Fleischer, President, Fleischer Consulting, Fleischer Communications
  • Squire Sanders, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, Webinar Topic: November What Keeps You Up at Night Webinar—“My Data’s Been Stolen: Now What?-Part II”

Next UC Berkeley Extension Course

UC Berkeley Extension Course, Thursday and Friday, Dec. 5-6, 2013

Course: “Life Science Business Development”

Applies for credit toward Professional Program in Life Sciences Business (see flyer at

Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates and

Guest Speakers:

  • Allison Dupuy, Ph.D., Senior Director in the Life Sciences division of Simon-Kucher & Partners. Topic: “The Importance of Pricing and Reimbursement in Life Science Dealmaking”
  • Harold (Hal) Etterman, MBA, CEO, Knight Financial Plans & Services, LLC. Topic: “Financial Planning and Funding for a Bioscience Venture: New, Emerging and Growing Entities”
  • Carolyn Feamster, MBA, a business strategy and analysis consultant. Topic: “Preparing for and Planning Deals for Maximum Strategic Impact”
  • Gilbet R. Mintz, Ph.D., President of GRM Associates. 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. Topic: “What You Need to Know about Patents Working in Business Development”
  • Chris Dokomajilar, Director, Business Intelligence, BioCentury. Topic: “BioPharma Alliances: Trends in the Marketplace

Location: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market   St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105;

Cost: Fall term 2013—fee: $895, (BUS ADM 440.8-001).

Register at

Spring Term Courses in New Professional Program in Life Science Business

UC Berkeley Extension, Thursday Evenings, Feb. 13-27, March 6-13 and 27

Course: “Life Science Product Marketing: It’s All in the Plan”

Applies for credit toward Professional Program in Life Sciences Business (see flyer at

Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates and

Guest Speakers:

  • Deb Donovan, Director of Marketing at Avantis Medical Systems
  • Stanley Skrzypczak, M.S., M.B.A., Senior Director, Commercial Development, Genomic Health
  • Charles Versaggi, President, Versaggi Biocommunications
  • Steven Wong, Senior Consultant, Plan A

Dates and Time: Thursdays, Feb. 13-27, March 6-13 and 27; 6:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: (Fee to be announced in December 2013—$695 in 2013) Course identifier is BUS ADM X442.5.

See more details and register starting in early December. You can locate course online at


UC Berkeley Extension Course, Thursday and Friday, April 10-11, 2014

Course: “Life Science Business and Marketing: Their Integral Role for Success”

Applies for credit toward Professional Program in Life Sciences Business (see flyer at

Instructor: Audrey S. Erbes, Ph.D., Principal, Erbes & Associates and

Guest Speakers:

  • Joyce L Chiarenza, Chiarenza Consulting, L.L.C.
  • Linda L. Schock is the Director of Commercial Compliance & Government Programs at Compliance Implementation Services (CIS)
  • Bev Hudson, MBA, is Executive Director/SVP of Clinical Research, Oklahoma Foundation for Cardiovascular Research (OFCR)
  • Julie Tompkins, MBA, is Sr. Vice President at Timely Data Resources (TDR),

Dates and Time: Thursday and Friday, April 10-11, 2014; 8:30 am – 5:00 pm for classroom intensive and balance of term for working on term project

Location: Downtown University of California, Berkeley Extension, 425 Market St., 8th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: $795, course ID is BUS ADM x442.4

See more details and register starting in early December. You can locate course online at

Find all the details for these upcoming events plus those through April 2014 in Audreys picks Nov.17 2013. You can also download the pfd of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThroughNov17 2013 along with former document by right clicking on the highlighted titles. This latter list includes jobs I discovered this past week as well as the previous two weeks. I’ve attached both documents. You can always find my weekly blog and listings on my website Click on “blog.”




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