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What’s Next for San Diego Biotechnology? Poll Results

Posted by Mary Canady August 2nd, 2009 .
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We polled SDBN members to find out what they want to hear about at our August 18th panel, and the results are in! We weren’t surprised that Green tech was #1, but did find it surprising that Translational Research/Medicine was so high on your list, and that Drug Development was 3rd, while Drug Discovery didn’t get any votes. Some of the responses you gave are below:

Companies You’d Like to Hear From*
Volcano Corp.
Synthetic Genomics
Assay Depot
Sapphire Energy
Topics You’d Like to Hear About
Mobile applications in health
Moving discoveries into the clinic: Bridging the gap between academics and industry.
In addition to hearing about the latest research being done here, I’m interested in hearing how the Obama administration is effecting the research nationally as well as locally.
What I’m most interested in hearing about is the outsourcing of jobs to China. It seems to be the subject on everyone’s mind but it is NEVER addressed.
Where is San Diego going to make its mark in drug discovery? Oral small molecules, injected biologics, antisense technology, liposomal drug delivery of siRNAs?

We are in the process of inviting panel members, if you have any other comments, or are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact us. SDBN events are one of the most cost effective ways to get exposure for your company.

*Note that it is hard to us to determine whether there was some ‘ballot stuffing’ going on, in other words, people voting on a company for personal interests. We will take these suggested companies as a guideline, but cannot promise that we’ll have panel members from the companies listed.


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The Transformation of the Biotech Business Model: Vote on SDBN’s August Event

Posted by Mary Canady July 30th, 2009 .
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San Diego County biotech in 2008 represented the third largest community for developing the next generation of biopharmaceuticals and cutting edge therapies. The impact of the financial crisis and funding shortfall is accelerating trends set by outsourcing and offshoring. Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many companies based in San Diego are making breakthroughs and driving changes with their leading technologies. SDBN and PGC200 are partnering to bring you key people from these companies so that you can hear directly how these changes will help our economy and how we can adapt to prosper.

Vote for the area that you would like to hear about most at our August 18th event, which will be a panel of experts from the area who will focus on the best ways we can grow. As always, this won’t be your grandfather’s panel, we will do our best to involve you in the discussion, turning the event into a brainstorming session which will give you ideas for improving your career and business. Also, there will be plenty of time for networking with the thought leaders on the panel and other biotechnology professionals.

(The poll is now closed, and you can view the results here.)


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What is “healthcare innovation?” You tell us!

Posted by Mary Canady July 29th, 2009 .
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The BIL:PIL 2009 Healthcare Innovation Conference will bring together over 200 entrepreneurs, health professionals, technologists, and laypeople to describe the future of healthcare.

BIL:PIL will be held in the unconference format. For those unfamiliar, unconferences are free of charge, with no sponsored presentations, and the proceedings are open to all who wish to present. To ensure that the agenda is not dominated by any one interest, and to help with scheduling and room placement, registered attendees will vote online for the talks that they most wish to hear. Our goal is to make sure that every speaker is heard.

A few examples of topics to be addressed by those already scheduled to speak:

  • What are the consequences of the personal genomics revolution?
  • How can patients relate to each other as never before using Web 2.0 technologies?
  • How can science address life extension and aging?
  • How can diagnostics more accurately match a patient to the right therapy?
  • What does new legislation imply for the future of the biotechnology industry?
  • How can we revolutionize the way we think about paying for healthcare?
  • What if your iPhone could “look” at your pills and spot a possible drug interaction?

Expect to see many short yet polished talks presenting compelling new ideas in healthcare. All talks will be recorded and published online for those watching from home. We will also have lab space available for you to show off your own novel research, as well as open breakout rooms for impromptu brainstorming and collaboration sessions.

To sign up to speak at BIL:PIL, send an email to with your name, title & company, twitter handle, a short bio (or link to your bio), and 1-2 paragraphs summarizing what you’ll talk about or demonstrate. You may submit more than one talk, and each one will be voted on independently.

BIL:PIL will be held October 30th and 31st at the San Diego State University BioScience Center in San Diego, California. A registration and voting website for those wishing to attend BIL:PIL will be available in the coming months.

BIL:PIL is a natural offshoot of the highly successful BIL Conference. Expect a lot of creative individuals, a high ratio of speakers to attendees, and hundreds of engaging side conversations — the best part of any gathering of passionate people.

Posted by Jonathan Sheffi, who is currently interning in the Office of Biotechnology Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Silver Spring, Maryland. Jonathan is also an Organizer for the 2009 BIL:PIL Healthcare Innovation Conference in San Diego, California, and a member of the Harvard Business School MBA Class of 2011.


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SDBN’s August Event: Power to the People!

Posted by Mary Canady July 10th, 2009 .
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The SDBN is all about promoting the biotechnology community in San Diego, and for our August 18th event we’re going to highlight a local company, and open it up to the members to decide which one. We did this back in February and it was a big success, as the local biotech community not only learned about the featured company, but others that were considered.

How does it work? San Diego Biotechnology or Life Science companies will submit information regarding their company, a product, or technology to present at the August 18th event. In addition, they’ll promise to have team members on hand to interact with the attendees. SDBN members will vote and a single winner will present.

Interested in submitting your company? Companies can enter regardless of their size, but must have headquarters or a significant presence in the region–we’ll include the area from San Diego to LA. Be creative and remember that you’ll be competing–submit something timely and interesting. If you’re hiring and will be looking at candidates during the event, feel free to say so, and you’ll likely get votes from job seekers. Got someone ‘famous’ on your SAB? Invite them to talk (but remember they’ll need to limit it to 20 minutes–we know how they like to talk ;). Just got funding? Tell us how you did it!

To submit your company, fill out the form at by July 20th (note we’re limiting it to 6 companies, so we may reach the limit before that date).


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What Channel Are You?

Posted by Mary Canady July 9th, 2009 .
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I was talking with good friend Julie Wright of (W)right On Communications and she surprised me by telling me that she considers me the “San Diego Biotechnology Channel.” What she meant by this is that she looks to me for news and information about Biotech in the region. I was very flattered and realized that my work with the SDBN and doing things like sharing news on Twitter has been worth it. I also realized that in this world of crumbling media outlets and noisy social media, that being a ‘channel’ for others can make you very useful and advance your career.

I started realizing that I too have channels that I depend upon for timely and meaningful information. My friend Sally Church is, among other things, an oncology expert, and she is very active on Twitter. When she posts a link regarding cancer news or research there, I trust that she is passing it on because she read the content and that the information is accurate and relevant. Through Twitter and her excellent blog, she is my ‘oncology channel.’ Jack Pincus, also on Twitter, always posts useful news about biotechnology, I almost always ‘retweet’ his information–he is my ‘biotechnology news channel.’ (I’d better be careful, I’m telling you all my secrets!) William Gunn is knowledgeable in many areas, and broadcasts on several channels: science, social media, cajun food ;). Speaking of which, I would be lost without local writer and foodie Caron Golden, who is my ‘food channel,’ giving me advice on recipes and restaurants.

My point? These people are important to me in understanding the sometimes noisy world of news and information these days, and I turn to them often to help me with questions or projects related to my business. Regardless of your objectives, whether they include landing a job or being a successful entrepreneur, becoming a ‘channel’ for others can gain you more exposure, collaboration, and success.

How do you become a channel? Allow me to climb upon my soapbox for a bit. Today, the possibilities of combining your scientific (or other) expertise with social media give you many opportunities to become a channel. Your channel is simply related to your objectives and interests. Want to land a job at a green tech company? Become the green tech channel! Get a Twitter account, start a blog (or blog here), start a LinkedIn group, or begin by participating on existing blogs or groups.

You can certainly try to be a ‘channel’ without social media (and many are), but it will definitely give you a leg up and a medium for your broadcast. Even if there are already existing channels in your area, don’t beat them, join them, add your own ‘flavor,’ and make new connections. The beauty is that you’ll learn a lot about the subject in the process, and you’ll meet others in your chosen area. We also covered the similar idea of determining your ‘positioning’ in the Biotechnology Marketing 101: You First (PDF) presentation on the Comprendia website. As we also discussed in the Social Media for Scientists presentation, our advice is simple: Just Do It!

Posted by Mary Canady, Founder of Comprendia, where she broadcasts the ‘biotechnology marketing’ channel, helping small to mid-size companies become more market-driven for long term growth. Special thanks to Julie Wright for being the inspiration for this post.