Blog 2020-06-29T21:47:51+00:00

Choice:  It’s yours to make

April 10th, 2019|Blog, Musings|

Appreciate choice – that is what my mediation app advised.  At the time, I gave it only a passing thought.  Yes, it is nice to have choices and not be stuck down a single path. However, do we really appreciate choice?  Do we consciously make choices and in a “smart” way?  I find my day filled with choices, particularly on how to allocate my time.  I have lists of projects to start, those that need completion, administrative tasks and emails to send.  I have reach-outs on LinkedIn, catching up on biotech news and that’s just the job stuff.  There are plenty of tugs from the personal life realm too. What I have been mulling over is whether I am consciously making choices or just following certain paths as if guided by an invisible current.  For instance, it’s simpler to respond to the emails that appear at the top of the [...]

Urban Legends

March 5th, 2019|Blog, Groundworks|

When I was growing up there was a rumor that went around school:  a fast food restaurant had somehow deep fried a rat instead of a chicken piece and served it to a customer.  I have my doubts on the veracity of that one, but it sure spread around. A similar thing seems to have occurred in the patent world.  Sitting with a group the other day reviewing start-up pitches, someone remarked that the founder could just get patent protection by filing the slide deck as a provisional application.  That is another urban legend. It is true you can file a slide deck with the US patent and trademark office (PTO), along with the required coversheet.  No one is going to stop you (although if you read on you might see that someone should stop you).  You can practically file a ham sandwich with the PTO as a provisional patent [...]

Different Paths

February 12th, 2019|Blog, Happenings|

So many biotech start-ups, and so many different ways to navigate from point A to point B. I attended two talks recently which provided a contrast in styles for designing and getting a startup off the ground.  Both paths were successful, but success came in different forms. The first presentation was Jennifer Doudna, well-known for her CRISPR work at UC Berkeley.  Caribou Biosciences grew out of this lab work and became a company in late 2014.  Interestingly, Dr. Doudna placed her graduate student Rachel Haurwitz at the helm.  Caribous utilized SBIR grants and the QB3 program when it began life as a startup.  Closely following these inputs, Caribou engaged in multiple corporate partnerships, such as with Novartis and Dupont, as additional sources of revenue. Caribou remains a private company. An interesting off-shoot of Caribou is Intellia Therapeutics.  Intellia takes on the therapeutic angles of the CRISPR technology, whereas Caribou was founded [...]

I wish I had a role model like that

January 29th, 2019|Blog, Musings|

Sitting in a room several weeks ago, I found myself looking at an unusual sight.  In front of me was a panel of 6 women, all very accomplished experienced professionals in the biotech arena – CEOs, board members and investors.  Why was this unusual? Because for the most part, my experience has been that many panels of speakers are all men or at best 1 woman in a panel of 4-5 men. The women in front of me were also generally my age or just a tad older.  The women attendees for the event were generally younger by 10-20 years. And I got to thinking . . . as my younger self, when I was just starting along my career in science and biotech, I wish I’d had role models like the women on the panel. Now don’t get me wrong.  Men can be great role models.  But at some [...]

The Excitement, the Dismay and Everything In-Between: JPM2019 week

January 15th, 2019|Blog, Happenings|

Another JPM week rolls around and in comes the rainy weather to SF.  It’s getting to be quite a pattern. Each year I look forward to it and dread it.  It’s a week of seeing colleagues, meeting lots of new people, and learning about new start-ups in the healthcare/life sciences space.  And yet at the end of going from event to event, fitting in coffee meetings and hoping to sneak in some real work, I am exhausted. So now that I have had a few recovery days, here’s how the week seemed to me. Excitement Progress is always exciting.  Seeing companies that I first met a few years ago, now growing and bringing new projects and products forward always generates energy.  Also excitement-generating is the progression in therapies, starting with small molecules, then biologics and now cell-based therapies.  Additionally, new modes like digital therapies have entered the space. Some of [...]

Game on – Here we are in 2019!

January 2nd, 2019|Blog, Groundworks|

The ball drops and if we are still awake and not watching the actual event in Times Square, but a replay 3 hours later here in San Francisco, it is now 2019. Another year for new challenges, new goals and new plans. I like the clean slate of a new year.  Although it can be daunting to look at a blank screen (or piece of paper if you are of the old school type) and start the list of “to do” items for the year, it can also provide a sense of excitement.  Think of all that can be accomplished in the 12 months to come! What is on the radar for your company?  Would you like to strengthen and enhance your competitive position?  Are you looking towards a new funding round, or perhaps a merger, acquisition or joint venture?  Do you have new project ideas that you’d like to [...]

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