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MichBio | BioLink - January 2021

Michigan Business Network
February 4, 2021 5:00 PM

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SAVE THE DATE! Michigan Forum for Digital Health Coming March 31st!
A transformation in healthcare is underway with digital technologies playing a central role. Digital health envisions a world where innovation supports improved health and contributes to better quality, accessibility, and inclusivity for patients, and improves the patient-provider interface to provide more efficient services and inter-operability while leading to more impactful outcomes.
However, the challenges facing innovators and the healthcare system to attain such a lofty goal should not be underestimated. Regulatory barriers, economic hurdles, difficulties in effectively digitizing patient data, privacy, and security concerns, are just a few of the issues that must be overcome to achieve marketplace adoption and success.
This inaugural Forum will have engaging sessions to connect digital health technologists from across the biosciences industry, researchers, implementers, and field experts from across Michigan and beyond. It will feature an FDA Town Hall, panel discussions, solo presentations, and opportunities to network and showcase organizations and/or technologies.
Bakul Patel, MSEE, MBA
Director, Digital Health Center of Excellence
Director, Digital Health Division
Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Food and Drug Administration
Mr. Patel is responsible for providing leadership in development, implementation, execution, management, and establishment of strategic direction and regulatory policy, and coordinating scientific efforts for digital health, software, and emerging technologies. This includes responsibilities in leading the development of policies for mobile health, health information technology, cybersecurity, medical device interoperability, and medical device software.
Diversity Network Presents:
Delivering on your Diversity Promise: Identifying and Hiring Diverse Candidates
February 18, 2021
Cost: FREE for members, $19 for nonmembers
With sponsor EMMA International, MichBio presents a panel of HR experts for a discussion on operationalizing a "diversity-in-hiring" promise,
Increasingly companies have made commitments to hire diverse candidates at all levels of their organizations. But without a talent strategy and an examination of hiring practices, many companies will fail to deliver on that promise even with the best intentions

BIO Announces "100 Days of Innovation"
As Congress and the new President lay out their aggressive “100 Day Plans,” The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today released a new blueprint highlighting goals to strengthen America’s innovation ecosystem, end the COVID-19 pandemic, and get more Americans back to work over the first 100 days.
BIO, one of the world’s leading voices of science and for science, believes the current pandemic, as well as the ongoing climate crisis, is putting science and biotechnology at the forefront of public policy. Under the direction of new president and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, the organization wants to raise the bar and set measurable and important goals.
The blueprint, which can be found here, includes the advocacy organization’s priorities for the first 100 days working with Congress and the Biden Administration. BIO aims to:  
  1. Ensure a speedy transition and an expedited Senate confirmation process for agency leadership critical to advancing public health, nutrition, and environmental goals. 
  2. Reengage as a leader on the world stage, including rejoining the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords.
  3. Develop and approve more vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to prevent and treat COVID-19.
  4. Promote robust and equitable patient access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
  5. Better prepare for future infectious disease outbreaks.
  6. Drive economic revival and resiliency through Adoption of Advanced Biotechnology Solutions.
In addition to these immediate actions, BIO calls on the federal government, working with state, local, and private sector partners, to conduct a comprehensive review of the COVID outbreak and pandemic response to identify additional steps that could and should have been taken to improve the nation’s response and recovery in the future.
MedTech Color Pitch Competition Application Deadline February 5
Elevate your start-up with funding your need. Expand your network with med tech leader and entrepreneurs of color. Hone your pitch skills and business strategy.
The MedTech Color Pitch Competition is a foundational start for early-stage startups within the med tech industry. We’re looking for innovative startups to take the stage for a virtual competition, showcase their products or services that will directly benefit patients, and tell their story.

Advocacy at the Federal Level
Device Industry Responds to Biden’s EO on Sustaining a Covid Supply Chain.
The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed; of which MichBio is a state affiliate) sent a letter to President Biden affirming the medical device industry’s support of the administration’s national COVID-19 strategy and sharing the industry’s perspective on invocation and use of the Defense Production Act (DPA). Biden on his first day in office, signed an “Executive Order on a Sustainable Public Health Supply Chain”, directing agencies to utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA), among other tools, to prioritize production of critical medical products needed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. AdvaMed’s letter encouraged the Biden administration to communicate and coordinate directly with medical technology companies before any invocation of the DPA.
Advocacy at the State Level
MichBio Sends Letter Advocating for Vaccination of Critical Medical Supply Chain Workers.
In early December 2020, MichBio sent a letter to Gov. Whitmer, then DHHS Director Gordon, Chief Medical Officer Khaldun, State Senate and House leadership, and others, that provided perspectives from the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors on how our critical medical product supply chain workforce should be considered for priority of Covid immunization. We recommended that workers involved in research, development and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, agricultural biotechnology products and medical technology equipment should be included in Phase 1B of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) framework. To date, and unlike some other states, Michigan has not revised its Covid Vaccination Guidance to specifically have life sciences industry employees covered in the early phases, despite thousands of our biosciences workforce directly involved in vaccine and PPP production.
That Didn’t Take Long…Drug Pricing Back on the Political Agenda.
The last legislative session ended in December with a package of bills attempting to address patient drug costs dying in the Ways & Means Committee for lack of support. As we’ve discussed before, many of the bills were flawed for the biopharma industry and more importantly, patients.
With barely enough time for the holidays to pass, the Governor’s Prescription Drug Advisory Task Force, following a long, Covid-delayed process, released its report on patient drug costs. It rehashed much of the same misinformation found in last session’s package of bills and unfairly targets the pharmaceutical industry, with few tangible recommendations that could actually lower out-of-pocket costs for consumers. The report’s release was quickly followed by the Governor highlighting drug pricing as a key priority in her third State of the State address on January 28.
So here we are again faced with the high likelihood that a series of legislative measures are poised to be introduced that will scapegoat the biopharma industry – an industry that is literally saving lives in response to a global pandemic (no less than four major Michigan companies are involved in vaccine production currently) and a significant economic driver statewide employing tens of thousands in high-paying jobs. Stay tuned as the political and legislative machinations begin.
NORD Issues 6th State Report Card.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) released its 6th annual State Report Card that evaluates how effectively states are serving patients with rare diseases. The Michigan Summary rates the state highly for Medicaid Financial Eligibility and Newborn Screening (for genetic disorders), but finds that it fails in almost all other areas like finding solutions to Prescription Drug Out-of-Pocket Costs, Protecting Patients in State Medicaid Programs, reforming Step Therapy regulations, and not creating a Rare Disease Advisory Council.
Your Voice is Important
You can help keep decision-makers informed on the needs of the bio-industry and help support business-friendly policies that allow for continued growth and development of tools and technologies that improve and save lives. Use the link below to send us an email and find out how you can help.

These recent events are available for digital download!
PLEASE NOTE: MichBio is transitioning to a new database system. When you access any of the events below, you will be directed to that new database - if you have any trouble please contact us at alisha@michbio.org and we will help.
Patient Advocacy Forum
Presented with BIO and Bristol Myers Squibb, the Patient Forum brought together patient groups, industry representatives, and law-makers to identify ways to empower the patient voice. Featuring Eric Dube, PhD President and CEO of Travere Therapeutics discussing his role as both a patient of two rare cancers and an industry leader.
COST: $35 for members, $75 for nonmembers
Diversity Network Presents: Making 2021 the Year to Reconcile Life and Work?
With sponsor EMMA InternationalMichNio welcomes Professor Katleen De Stobbeleir for a presentation and Q&A session on future plans, career aspirations, work-life balance, and the importance for under-represented groups in understanding the "big picture of you".
Michigan BioTalent Summit
February 3, 2021
The Michigan bio-industry has proven to be a vital component of the national pandemic response. This event is an important element in connecting the many facets of the industry, identifying what’s going well with our overall talent strategy, what can be improved, raising the visibility of existing talent-related resources and efforts, and ensuring that the collaborations seen in last eight months can continue even in the absence of a global pandemic.
A2 BioSocial
February 9, 2020, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
"Stop by" for some bio-socializing with fellow Michigan bio-industry professionals and Sococo. Sococo is a virtual platform that creates an "office" to gather in. You can use the platform to connect in the ways you find the most beneficial - either private conversations or group chats. 

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.