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39 minutes | 8 days ago
Online Marketplaces and Multiple Value Propositions
This episode was originally published on Life Science Marketing Radio. Scientist.com is an online marketplace where pharmaceutical companies can quickly source projects for almost every stage of their research, without having to go through a long bid and negotiation process. I talked to Mark Herbert, Chief Business Officer, about the value propositions for both sides in an online marketplace and how they had to overcome resistance to internal procurement departments. Why it works: They have done a lot of the routine work up front to make it easy for buyers and sellers. Contracts are standardized (although customization is allowed) and suppliers are well vetted for legal and regulatory compliance. Value for clients — enabled to keep projects moving quickly, especially during a disruptive pandemic Value for suppliers — the ability to directly market niche services to a buyer looking for your specific services. Key takeaway: For me, it was the idea of “how do you sell a service that seems to compete with an internal resource?” In this case, it was helping procurement officers to elevate their jobs and work more strategically as opposed to the idea of replacing them. Mark on LinkedIn Scientist.com
29 minutes | 2 months ago
Science and Investment Are Dancing - Who Leads?
In a competitive biotech world, being first to market has advantages. This means you can't always wait for a product to be approved or at least show promise before investing in manufacturing capability. What happens when the science leads in a different direction? This is the conversation I had with Mark Gergen, President, and Chief Business Officer at Poseida Therapeutics, Inc. Poseida is a platform company working on cell and gene therapies. We talked about the science, which is interesting and then also the investment strategy. "The scientific advancements can outpace the pace of development of a specific product... ...In that case, you really need to think about changing the technology you're using to develop those products." - Mark Gergen If you've invested millions of dollars in a manufacturing process it can be hard to change directions. Mark shared how Poseida has prepared for their near term manufacturing needs as well as a longer term scenario when newer products will replace their 1st generation products. Mark's articles on LinkedIn. Changing the Rules of the Game in Gene Therapy Genetic Editing: A Revelation Followed by An Evolution Genetic Engineering: It’s Harder Than It Sounds The Biotech Super-Collider: Science vs. Investment Harnessing the Full Power of the Immune System in Cancer Care Unconventional. Innovative. Disruptive. Unapologetic. Produced by Comprendia LLC and Life Science Marketing Radio
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Turning Greenhouse Gas into Biodegradable Foodware
If you could capture greenhouse gases like CO2 or methane and turn them into usable products, what would you make? There are a few challenges here. Which gas would you choose? What source would you use? And what market would you serve? This episode answers all of those questions. I interviewed Mark Herrema, CEO of Newlight Technologies about AirCarbon, a material also known as PHB (Polyhydroxybutyrate). You probably know that cows produce methane (by burping, it turns out - not the way you thought.) And methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. While it comes from cows, there are easier ways to collect it, like digesters. Certain bacteria can use it to produce PHB, a compound found in many environments that can be melted and shaped into products like foodware (disposable utensils) or a leather replacement for the fashion industry. Other bacteria can produce it with CO2 as a starting point. Wherever it comes from, if it ends up in the ocean (don't throw your waste in there) it degrades quickly because the environment already "understands it". I found this interview fascinating from both a science and a startup perspective. Definitely give this one a listen. Newlight Technologies Mark Herrema Produced by Comprendia LLC and Life Science Marketing Radio
34 minutes | 6 months ago
How Does a New Biotech Company Successfully Launch Its First Product?
After many years with a focus on R&D, how does a biotech company then launch its first product with no track record in the market, no established relationships while essentially launching the company as a commercial operation at the same time? Frank Dolan, CEO of Arsenal Advisors, has been there and done that three times. In this episode, he talks about the ways you can possibly fail, and based on his experience, what has worked in terms of building trust in the marketplace including patients, providers and payers. Showing up to start that relationship with a customer when you finally have something to sell, I think is a way to possibly fail because there's no trust. And depending on how competitive that market space is. Do customers have a reason to believe your message? Do they have a reason to believe that if they have a problem with the product, that they can count on you? can they count on your messaging to be truthful? We covered a range of topics from how to connect with patient communities and the value of listening to measuring (or at least estimating) the ROI of upfront activity before revenue starts flowing. EVENT: Reimagine BioPharma Frank on LinkedIn Arsenal Advisors
31 minutes | 7 months ago
What is a Sales Agent and Do You Need One?
I met Owen Swift at an online networking event. I didn't know what a sales agent was or why a company would choose to use one, so I invited him to the podcast to explain it to all of us. A sales agent is essentially the same as a manufacturer's rep. It differs from a distributor in that he gets paid a commission on the price of a sale as opposed to marking up and reselling products or services from the manufacturer. Owen explained to me the advantages for a company as well as himself as a salesperson as well as under what scenarios this model works best. He points out that it's not an either/or decision. A company might have a full time salesperson in one territory and an agent in another. It gives flexibility to companies trying to grow in different areas without taking on full time employees. You should definitely give this one a listen. Swift Scientific LLC Owen on LinkedIn
32 minutes | 8 months ago
Achieving Racial Equity in Biotech
It won't be a surprise to you that Blacks and Hispanics are underrepresented in the the San Diego biotech community. There are probably many reasons why that is and just as many ways to address it. Jonathan Wosen recently reported on the disparity in the San Diego Union Tribune. Before becoming a writer, he earned a PhD in Immunology from Stanford. Our conversation just scratches the surface of this important issue. Jonathan's article references the experience of Paul Mola, CEO of Roswell Technologies and a previous guest on this podcast. In addition to sharing his own experience as an African American scientist, Jonathan shared with me the experience of sitting in on an internal conversation Paul led at Roswell in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing. That part of our conversation seems a good example for many companies. Here are a couple of other takeaways: Starting these conversations can be hard. While I have long been aware of my own privilege, I only recently began to recognize the things I wouldn't have thought of in that context before. I am grateful to Jonathan for giving me permission to ask anything in our pre-interview. I could have been walking on eggshells, worried about saying something offensive out of ignorance (not knowing what I don't know). Without that permission, the conversation doesn't get started. We also talked about mentorship. It's important for people to have mentors who look like them for sure. But that shouldn't stop anyone from being a mentor. And you don't need to be near retirement to mentor someone. You only need to be a little bit ahead. How awesome would it be to be a mentor and mentee at the same time? I hope you'll give this a listen. Let's all do what we can to enure everyone gets a fair shot at contributing to this community.
35 minutes | 8 months ago
Exploring Different Paths for Scientsts
Every scientist will experience frustration. At some point, many will wonder if they made the right career choice. That can be scary. The Once a Scientist podcast will bring comfort in your time of need. I wish it had been around when I was in grad school. (I wish podcasting had been around.) And YouTube... But I digress. Nick Edwards hosts this podcast and joined me to talk about his own experience, alternative careers for scientists and how we can make science cool again for everyone. First we have to question the idea of why some careers are considered alternative. Wherever you are in the journey, you should definitely check out Once a Scientist.
43 minutes | 9 months ago
How San Diego Became an Innovation Hub
You already know San Diego is a fantastic place for science and technology. But maybe you think that happened by accident or just because the weather is spectacular. The climate does play a part, but there was also some vision and effort that made it what it is today. Mary Walshok is the Dean of the UCSD Extension and a fantastic storyteller who has studied the history of San Diego as a sociologist, exploring the factors that shaped the city along the way to becoming what it is today. It turns out, San Diego is a small midwestern town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. In this interview, she describes the people who migrated from the midwest for health reasons and how they influenced the culture that would eventually evolve. World War One had a major impact as well. Science and technology were becoming very important for the region and the country. The early residents weren't keen on industrial manufacturing, though and had a different vision for growth. Mary talks about the leaders who convinced the Navy to put a base in San Diego and others who later persuaded the University of California to put a campus nearby. Of course, science played a major role throughout. Finally she explains how San Diego has avoided becoming a "company town" and why what a town really wants isn't companies, but rather talent. This isn't the usual science or business interview, but it explains the success of both in San Diego. It is a fascinating story. Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy SDBN Virtual Speed Networking Event Aug 31.
35 minutes | 9 months ago
The Why and the How of Science on the International Space Station
There is more life science research going on in space than you probably imagined. And amazingly, experiments including microscopy, are controlled from the ground. It's a long way from the days of shuttle astronauts having to carryout protocols in a weightless environment. In this episode, Jana Stoudemire explained to me the mission of Space Tango, the types of science that can benefit from zero gravity and how experiments get done remotely. Spoiler: If you can do it on a bench here on earth, that's where you should do it. While it takes a lot of effort to plan and conduct these experiments, the good news is that NASA gives them a free ride to the ISS for now. Events mentioned in this episode: July 31 Reimagine BioPharma: Ask the Expert and Speed Networking Aug 13 SDBN Speed Networking
30 minutes | 10 months ago
How Stem Cells Might Rescue the Most Endangered Species
There are 2 Northern White Rhinos left in the world. Both female. Yet because someone thought to preserve tissue samples back in the 1970s without any idea of the possibilities, there might be a chance to bring this species back. Marisa Korody is a conservation geneticist at the San Siego Zoo in the Institute for Conservation Research. She describes the challenges of producing inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and all the steps from there to someday producing the next generation of northern white rhinos. Spoiler: It takes a lot of work to do this and there has been some luck involved as well. Rhinos aren't exactly a common experimental animal. For example, a team at the zoo has trained southern white rhinos to stand for blood draws and other procedures that may allow them to eventually serve as surrogates. (The two female northern white rhinos can't carry embryos.) We also talked a bit about Marisa's career. It's a big move from study sparrows to rhinos. Probably bigger than Salmonella genetics to podcasting ;-) Thinking about a podcast for your business? Schedule a 15 minute chat.
28 minutes | 10 months ago
The How and the Why of Inducible Pluripotent Stem Cells
Inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are cultured cells with the ability to become any cell type present in the species from which it came. Jeanne Loring (Professsor Emeritus at Scripps Research and the Chief Scientific Officer at Aspen Biosciences) is an expert in this area. In this episode, she described how iPSCs are made and what they can be used for. Spoiler alert: skin cells and lots of important stuff. One example is to create dopamine neurons that may be used as a treatment for Parkinson's disease. Outside of human health, they may help to save endangered species. The Northern White Rhino is functionally extinct as there are only two females left. The good news is that back in the 1970s, when the era of gene manipulation was just beginning, someone at the San Diego Wild Animal Park had the foresight to take skin cells from animals and deep freeze them in liquid nitrogen. The Northern White Rhino's future is in those frozen samples. It's a fascinating and exciting story.
32 minutes | a year ago
Repositioning Drugs as Potential Therapies for COVID-19
In this episode we visit the front lines of science. We're all aware of the health care workers on the front lines of treatment, but what is it like to do research on the novel coronavirus? And what are the strategies? Drs. Sumit Chanda and Laura Martin-Sancho describe for me their efforts at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute. The strategy is to screen thousands of drugs that have already been through clinical trials with known safety profiles to see which ones may interfere with viral replication. It starts with instructing a researcher in Hong Kong by iPhone video in the middle of the night on how to do the initial screening. After repeating the screen and reviewing the data, the 300 (out of about 3000) best candidates are chosen for further study. Laura works in a BSL3 (Bio Safety Level 3) facility to test whether the selected compounds can still inhibit replication at doses that are achievable in a patient. Working in a negative pressure lab and changing in and out of scrubs and a respirator several times a day is not easy. They are optimistic about the results so far. Any potential treatment will have to do better than what is currently available. The current standard is Remdesivir. Even if nothing works out, we will certainly learn about the biology of the virus which could help in developing treatments down the road. We also briefly discussed the prospect of broad spectrum anti-viral drugs. The dependence of viruses on host functions means they may share host processes that can be inhibited. We're all rooting for their success.
35 minutes | a year ago
Using Biology as Technology to Stream Data
Michael Heltzen is the CEO of Cardea Bio. He envisions a time when biology is part of the technology. What exactly does that mean? We currently use aspects of biology to observe or manipulate living systems. But often we are measuring at a moment in time. His vision is to use biological molecules as sensors to continuously stream information through electrical signals much as a transistor works in a computer, communicating on and off states of binding interactions for example. As an analogy, it would be difficult to understand soccer from a collection of still photos. But watching a broadcast of a full game, one would have a better understanding of the rules and the objectives. He described for me the work they have done so far using graphene as the basis for this new technology. We switched gears in the last part of our conversation. Michael explained why he chose San Diego over the Bay Area as the home for his business.
34 minutes | a year ago
The Fleet Science Center Mission Goes On Even in a Pandemic
As we shelter in place in the midst of a pandemic, the world waits for science to rescue us with testing, treatments and/or a vaccine. But how do we get more people to connect with the power of science on a regular basis? That's the mission of The Fleet Science Center. Steve Snyder is the CEO of "The Fleet" and was kind enough to join me and describe how that mission is executed even as the center itself is closed due to shelter in place orders. What you may not know is that there are programs throughout the county ongoing all the time. One of the themes is letting the audience drive the conversation - meeting them where they are. What do people want to know? As opposed to "Here's what you need to know about X." The conversation drives home the need for science communication. A highlight is the program, "Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar..." where once a month 2 scientists are available at about 25 bars and breweries around town just to talk about whatever they might be curious about. Wouldn't it be great if every kid growing up knew a scientist? Steve thinks that, in San Diego, it's possible. And imagine what kind of transformation could happen if we stopped actively excluding more than half the population from participating in science. Steve shared a story of how that is still happening and how we can change that. The Fleet Science Center
28 minutes | a year ago
Avoiding Business Disaster
Many business disasters are the result of bad decision making. But how do we learn to make better decisions, given all the effort that goes into planning, SWOT analyses and so on? Gleb Tsipusky has been studying this for a long time. He focuses on cognitive bias, the tendency for our brains to push us in one direction that seems right when we really should be taking a bigger look around. In this episode, Gleb gives examples of decision making gone bad and points out the different biases that resulted in those decisions. He also lays out some techniques for assembling teams and evaluating our own thinking to avoid those mistakes. Not surprisingly, he has written a book on the subject: Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters
29 minutes | a year ago
Participating in the San Diego Angel Conference - Peter Teriete
Back in November, I spoke to Mysty Rusk and Jason Scharf about the upcoming (now complete) San Diego Angel Conference. In this episode, Peter Teriete describes his experience as a participant. His company, TumorGen, enrolled in the conference looking for funding and guidance. They made the semi-finals, but as Peter points out, you don't need to be the eventual winner to have a good outcome. Many of the companies will find investors along the way. I asked Peter what he learned about running his business as well as what he learned about pitching it. His positive attitude comes through throughout the interview. I strongly encourage all entrepreneurs to listen to this episode and then share it with your community. Feel free to connect with Peter on LinkedIn.
28 minutes | a year ago
Using Zebrafish to Discover Host Directed Therapies
Infectious disease is getting a lot of attention right now because we are in the middle of the Corona Virus pandemic. In this episode (recorded back in January), Dr. Molly Matty helps us explore how Zebrafish, a model organism for development is being used to investigate host pathogen interactions, specifically with Mycobacterium marinum. Other species of Mycobacterium cause tuberculosis or leprosy in humans, of course. Molly explains the benefits of the zebrafish model for potentially identifying host derived therapies for Mycobacterial diseases. In particular, zebrafish: Can be engineered with fluorescently labeled vasculature and macrophages Readily absorb small molecules (like antibiotics) Are transparent as larvae and embryos All of which make them amenable to direct observation of pathogen interactions under a microscope. Bonus: Molly explains how to inject a live zebrafish without a mask and snorkel. Learn more at: mollymatty.com Connect on Twitter: @ooomollypop
43 minutes | a year ago
Founder Mentality - From Imposter Syndrome to Quiet Confidence
Self doubt and the expectations of others can be a heavy load to carry. Debbie Chen, Founder and CEO of Hydrostasis, managed to relieve herself of those burdens and finally discover what success means to her. Debbie arrived from Taiwan at the age of six. She got a PhD (much later) because she wanted to make her parents proud. She never had her own definition of success until recently. Starting a company wasn't on her list of things to do. She didn't think she could for many reasons. She has found her success and makes a point to give back so others can share it. In this interview she describes: Making the leap from scientist to CEO What it means (and what to do) when you're told, "You're too early." How she developed patience and got comfortable with waiting Why she recommends therapy for all startup founders The one habit that helps her sleep better every night Her best advice for entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups Whether you are a founder, a woman, a minority or just busting your butt at work (Debbie is all of those) you will find something here you can use. This is one of my all time favorite interviews.
33 minutes | a year ago
A Brain Based Speaking Approach for Scientific Presentations
How do you avoid the terrible stereotype of the poor scientific speaker? Scott Stiefvater calls himself the (anti) Presentation Coach. His approach is based on the fact that there are no neurons in the brain for giving a presentation - only for speaking and listening. The purpose in any speaking situation is to deliver an idea from your mind into the mind of whomever is listening, whether that is one person or many. Scott doesn't teach techniques, which he says are based on "best guess imitation" of great speakers. It's more important to be aware of your outward behavior (the unconscious signals you may be sending) and to be invested in seeing that your message is getting through. Turn your awareness and intent toward the listener. In this episode, Scott gives tips on: Developing trust from the audience Speaking vs writing Using your strengths Connect with Scott on LinkedIn Scott's Website
27 minutes | a year ago
Eric Topol: Will AI Improve or Erode the Doctor Patient Relationship?
Artificial intelligence is already making its way into healthcare and allowing for improvements patient care. The possibilities go way beyond what you may have imagined. In this episode, Dr Eric Topol, Executive Vice Rresident at Scripps Research and the founder and director of Scripps Research Translational Institute, describes what some of those advances might look like for both the doctor and the patient. He thinks there is potential for automated note taking, for example, to give back the gift of time spent with each patient in office visits, something that has decreased significantly since he was in med school. He is likewise concerned that the savings might be used otherwise (more "productivity") which would further erode the doctor-patient relationship. Face to face time is important for better outcomes. Listen to this episode to find out what relative value units are and why this may be the last chance for doctors to influence the direction of their profession. Dr Topol is the author of Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again The episode is sponsored by Cambridge Healthtech Institute, presenters of the 27th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference. The episode is sponsored by Cambridge Healthtech Institute, presenters of the 27th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference.
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