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WBBA Newsletter Article [Events In Review] [Spring 2013] [03/14/13]
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The Life Science Innovator
A WBBA Publication

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HR Group
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You are invited to join over 50 of your HR colleagues from WBBA member companies, as we network, share ideas and exchange information about the challenges and issues we encounter while working in the biotechnology and biomedical fields. The Human Resources Group offers a variety of ways to connect with your colleagues. This is an excellent way to learn up-to-date information from professionals within our industry. You do not need to have an HR title in order to attend these meetings; you simply need to perform the human resources function for your company.

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The goal of the WBBA Clean Science Group is to have a variety of representatives of the region's life science community dialoguing about solutions to minimize the impact of our scientific pursuits on the region. We also want to educate each other on the systems that are currently available to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and the associated costs of such systems. Biotech is an industry reliant on sterile, one-use products to ensure high quality research. This process generates a lot of waste. Is biotech doing everything it can to reduce waste, and increase recycling? Are we sacrificing the health of our planet for the health of people? Is there a way to create science that is clean and healthy for both the planet and for the people we are trying to heal? Are you interested in dialoguing about creating clean science? If so, then join the WBBA Clean Science Group on LinkedIn. We would like to have participation from various groups in the lab including facilities, operations, and lab managers. Together, we can help heal people, progress science and have a healthy place to live.

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WBBA Events in Review

The latest in life sciences.
VIP Forum with BMS

We welcomed Bristol-Myers Squibb back to Seattle on January 10 for their second VIP Forum in two years. BMS is a global BioPharma company focused on discovering, developing and delivering innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.  Read more about the VIP Forum they hosted here!

Lab Supply Liquidation Event

Over 100 people joined us at Icogenex Corporation for the first ever Lab Supply Liquidation event with lab supplies donated by Ingenium. Those who signed up and attended the event were greeted by truck loads of brand new lab equipment including pipettes, tips, Kim wipes, glass flasks, needles, syringes, and more.  There was also ample time for networking and snacks – true to form for a WBBA event!  Thanks to everyone who helped make this event successful: Accelerator, Ingenium, Icogenex, UW C4C, and WBBA’s Clean Science Group.  

Chemical Manfacturing Controls

Nearly 60 people packed the Agora room at WBBA Headquarters for this event sponsored by Premier sponsors MPI Research and Pahtheon, as well as Innovator sponsors Agere Pharmaceuticals, Inc., CMC Biologics and Preclinical Safety Consulting.  Attendees gained a better understanding of how CMC planning and delivery drive the entire drug development process and what you need to know to before vetting and selecting a CMO or CRO – along with many other useful tips from our expert panel.  If you’d like to learn more about what was presented at this very informative event, please click here to view the speaker slide decks

Legislative Day

Olympia was buzzing with activity as we brought back Life Sciences Legislative Day in Olympia on January 23rd.  The rain didn’t deter Washington State Life Sciences companies from meeting 1:1 with legislators and showcasing their technology at the evening reception.  To hear more about this very successful event, click here

Bio on the Vine

Our Bio on the Vine event is always a crowd pleaser and this year stayed true to tradition. With 2 very intriguing keynote speakers, the 90+ attendees were treated to a fun night with great wine and food – not to mention fabulous prizes!  The event kicked off with about 30 minutes of networking with some great wine selections. Steve Roberts (Wells Fargo Insurance Services VP by day and Wine Trails NW Author by night) emceed the event and introduced our first speaker: Wine World Sommelier Lenny Redé.  Lenny provided an interesting presentation about food and wine pairing. Lenny got into detail about what happens when you taste wine with the right food – it’s quite magical – not to mention very scientific.  After some more networking, our emcee introduced self-proclaimed “wine geek goddess” Rachael Horn from AniChe Cellars. Rachael talked about how to taste wine – 20 ML in your glass, give it a swirl, take 3 deeps sniffs, engage the limbic system, form a mouth bubble and prepare to taste wine in a new way!  We ended the event with raffle prizes:  wine donated by AniChe Winery, as well as a Wine Trials of Washington book, and a wine picnic basket donated by Steve Roberts!  Thanks to this year's Bio on the Vine sponsors: Premier sponsor Wells Fargo and Innovation sponsors PwC and ZymoGenetics

Golden Ticket

Non-Dilutive Funding: Finding It, Getting It, and Using It Strategically to Move Your Company Forward

Recap by Amanda Chung

For early stage life sciences companies, securing non-dilutive funding can provide working capital for crucial experimentation while allowing company founders to maintain control of the company, and provide external validation of an emerging technology and team.  The WBBA event Non-Dilutive Funding: Finding It, Getting It, and Using It Strategically to Move Your Company Forward focused on sources, challenges, strategies and support around the process of securing non-dilutive funding.  Presenter slides are all linked here. 

Stephanie Fertig from the National Institutes of Neurological Disease and Stroke at the NIH keynoted the event in two sessions: first to discuss new rules and funding guidelines that are being instituted in the SBIR/STTR reauthorization, and second to review some of the NIH’s commercialization support funds and services that companies can take advantage of.  Additionally, three panels of experts covered topics ranging from non-dilutive funding sources to programs that support life science product commercialization to stories from CEOs of successful companies. 

A panel composed of “Funders” discussed what they look for in applications:

  • Tell a story – detail a clear path in your application
  • Know what your product is/will be
  • Make sure to involve an expert in the field that your product is tied to
  • Consider the feasibility and relevance of the study
  • Have a measurable, hard-line goal to mark the end of your proposed project
  • Make sure to describe the business case for commercializing your product
  • Include a balance of commercialization and scientific details
  • Sometimes things do not go according to plan, so be sure to maintain an open line of communication with your funders from the beginning.  Have measurable milestones along the way to mark your progress and don’t be afraid to give updates with good and bad news.

Sources of non-dilutive funding represented on the panel included:

The second panel about commercialization programs described free and low-cost resources for life sciences companies statewide:

The last panel of CEOs from Impel NeuroPharma, Insilicos and Immusoft shared their funding success stories and gave suggestions based on their experiences:

  • Consider the funder to be your customer – think about why they would care about your product and why they will benefit from funding its development
  • Grants can line up a company for private funding by providing initial validation that you have a credible idea and a team that can execute research
  • Personal credibility and networking are extremely important
  • Expect that funding from a grant may not always arrive on time, so include a timing buffer in your plans
  • Other non-obvious sources of non-dilutive funding include: your own money, cost-cutting and revenue from customers who pay for your product or a companion service

Be sure to attend part two of this series, Blood from a Stone: Who is Left in Life Science Venture Investing Today? This follow up panel will be held at Life Science Innovation Northwest on July 10 - 11 at the Washington State Convention Center.

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Learn more about ALL OF WBBA's past events in the online Events Archives.

Do you have a conference room or meeting facility and would like to host a WBBA event? 

Please contact WBBA's Associate Director of Events, Darcy Jacobson.

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