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Proactive Strategies for Advancing Women in Science ICI2004, Montreal, Canada. Biotechnology. Challenges and Opportunities for Women. Carol Nacy President, Sequella, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, USA. “Biotechnology” Today. Biological products produced by recombinant DNA techniques

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Biotechnology l.jpg

Proactive Strategies for Advancing Women in Science ICI2004, Montreal, Canada

Biotechnology

Challenges and Opportunities for Women

Carol Nacy

President, Sequella, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, USA


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“Biotechnology” Today

  • Biological products produced by recombinant DNA techniques

  • Specialty drug discovery and development

  • Diagnostics

    • IVD

    • Molecular probes

    • “Theranostics”

  • Life sciences Instrumentation

  • Technology-based “platform” companies

    • Stem cell

    • Genomics

    • RNAi

    • Drug Delivery

  • Agribusiness

  • Nutraceuticals

    Essentially anything fits the mold these days…


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Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Facts:

  • 1466 biotechnology companies in USA, 318 publicly traded

  • Biotech industry employed 194,600 people

  • Market Cap (total value of publicly-traded USA biotech companies) is $311 billion

  • Biotech revenues are now $29 billion

  • Biotech is one of the most research intensive industries in the world:

    • 2002 R&D expenditures were $20.5 billion

    • 2002 R&D expenditures were $101,200/employee


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Biotech Business Model

  • Business model is totally upside-down

    • Consume $50-100M before you break even

    • Necessitates constant search for $$$

  • Generally run by Scientist-Founder(s)

    • May or may not have good business sense

    • Usually reach ‘Peter Principle’ within 3-5 years of company start

      • Wedded to first concept of company (most change focus in 3 years)

      • IP generally comes from own lab (or own concept) and find it difficult to accept product failure (learn to “kill” your children)

  • Difficult to get “management/business experience” unless you convince VC funders of “worth”

    • Many VC “bet on the jockey, not on the horse”


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Biotechnology company positions currently filled by women

  • Executives (CEO, President, Business Development, CFO, R&D)

  • Technician, Scientists, and Science Managers (basic and applied research)

  • Program Directors (Chemistry, Microbiology, Immunology)

  • Product Managers (vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, devices)

  • Manufacturing and Quality Control/Quality Assurance (product manufacture and release)

  • Regulatory staff and managers (work with Product Managers and FDA/USDA/CDC)

  • Clinical Development (clinical trial design, execution, monitoring)

  • Marketing (presentations, education, preparing sales materials, scientific press, actual sales)

  • Postmarketing reporting (adverse events reporting, product support)


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Biotechnology Company Women CEOs/Presidents:Genetic Engineering News, June 2004

Name Company Website

  • Sherri C. Oberg Acusphere www.acusphere.com

  • Pamela Marrone, Ph.D. AgraQuest www.agraquest.com

  • Ginger Graham Amylin Pharmaceuticals www.amylin.com

  • Una S. Ryan Avant Immunotherapeutics www.avantimmune.com

  • Laureen Higgens BD Biosciences (SoAm) www.bd.com

  • Helen Cunniff BD Biosciences (Asia) www.bd.com

  • Cynthia Fisher BioMed 20/20 Technologies www.biomed2020.com

  • Barbara Osband Cambridge Biomedical Res www.cambridgebiomedical.com

  • Elena Holden Compucyte www.compucyte.com

  • Elizabeth Panke Genetica www.genetica.com

  • Ruth M. Shuman, Ph.D. Gentra Systems www.genetica.com

  • Mara Espinal Genzyme/genetics www.genzyme.com

  • Judith Gwathmey VMD PhD. Gwathmey www.gwathmey.com

  • Julia Greenstein, Ph.D. Immerge Biotherapeutics www.immergebt.com

  • Mary Pat Moyer, Ph.D. InCell www.incell.com

  • Janice Pero, Ph.D. OmniGene Bioproducts www.omnigenebioproducts.com

  • Alison Taunton Rigby RiboNovix www.ribonovix.com

  • Carol Nacy, Ph.D. Sequella www.sequella.com

  • H. Stewart Parker Targeted Genetics www.targen.com


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How Biotech Companies SurviveBusiness Model

  • Smart companies use a variety of funding sources to continue product development and company growth

    • Founder and “friends and family” money

    • High net-worth Individuals/Angels

    • Small business grants (SBIR, STTR) and other gov’t grants (ATP, DARPA)

    • Grants from philanthropic organizations (patient associations, etc.)

    • Corporate Partnerships

    • Loans/payment of salaries/bills with equity

    • Venture financing

  • A significant source of money during tight financing times is grants:

    • One place where scientists have edge over business execs!

    • Apply early and often: one (or more) grants each cycle

    • Enhance your funding probability by communication


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Skills of Importance to Biotech

  • All classic scientific skills are important

    • Microbiology

    • Chemistry

    • Cell biology

    • Animal biology

    • Pharmacology

  • All business skills are useful

    • Creating a budget

    • Developing a timeline

    • Identifying milestones

    • Writing clearly

  • Cross-training (science and business) is very valuable


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Recognize the Currency of Your Profession

  • Degrees

    • Knowledge increases with study: continue through lifetime

    • Know (and do) what you enjoy

      • Don’t get Ph.D. unless you like to write!

      • Consider alternative career degrees (MBA, MPH, Biotechnology)

  • Publications

    • Increases personal credibility

      • The more you write, the better you write

      • The more you publish, the more people want to collaborate with you

    • Increases company science credibility

    • Enhances options for grant support (grants reviewed by academics)

    • Validates science for VC investors/corporate partners


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Organizations and Resources for Biotech Women:

  • Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) (www.bio.org) committees

  • Women in Bio (www.womeninbio.org, headquarters in Washington DC, expanding from east coast)

  • Women in Biotechnology (www.womeninbiotechnology.com, global, headquarters in Palo Alto, CA)

  • Springboard (www.springboardenterprises.org,many programs for entrepreneurs, national with headquarters in Washington DC)

  • Center for Women in Enterprise (www.cwe.org, Boston)