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In this issue:

  • TODAY: April 6, Lock in the member discount for BIO Digital in June

  • Event: Apply to pitch by April 9 at BIO's Startup Stadium

  • Advocacy Alert: Stop House Resolution 3

  • My vantage point: Violence against Asian Americans means 'they must speak up'

  • Supply chain issues? BIO issues information and help for companies with Defense Act-related supply chain challenges

  • #Spotlight: Meet new #ORBioMember Laboratory Equipment Company

  • Industry talk: Happening now on Oregon Bio's LinkedIn feed - CB Richard Ellis names Portland in newly released 'Leading Life Science Clusters' U.S. report

  • Partner event: Attend OHSU's Invent-a-thon Post Hack April 21

  • For cost savings and resources - try Bio Business Solutions

Today, April 6, is the deadline for every #ORBioMember to lock in the Affiliate Member Discount to attend BIO Digital 2021 happening June 10-11 and 14-18. State and international affiliates can save costs by 'reserving' your spot for the early-bird registration deadlines. You must apply by providing name, email address, company name, city and country. BIO will send you a unique code to use when you register.

Apply by April 9 to pitch at BIO's Start-Up Stadium

Remember when Oregon's own Sparrow Pharmaceuticals won 2020 BIO Start-Up Stadium honors? The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) invites Oregon Bio members to apply to pitch. Start-Up Stadium is designed to provide start-up companies with the opportunity to engage key members of the investment community, venture philanthropy groups, strategic partners, and non-dilutive capital at the world’s largest biotechnology partnering event. Applications are due April 9, 2021. During BIO Digital 2021, cutting-edge startups from around the world will share a quick pitch on the BIO Innovation Stage showcasing new technologies and therapeutic solutions to a panel of investor judges, followed by live interactive networking. #membershipmatters

Advocacy Alert: Stop H.R. 3

Life science leaders around the U.S. agree that the proposed federal House Resolution 3 is bad health policy. The Council of State Bioscience Associations (CSBA) last week released data in the report, H.R. 3 and Reference Pricing: Total Market Impact, by international health economics firm Vital Transformations, analyzing the potential impact of various drug pricing proposals on patient access to lifesaving medicines, future biomedical innovation, and the economic health of the life sciences industry.

Specifically, H.R. 3 is named the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO)'s recent analysis of H.R. 3 shows, if H.R. 3 were put into effect, the average resulting drug price would be close to the specified upper bound of 120 percent of the index of international drug prices. Negotiations would reduce prices by 57 percent to 75 percent, relative to current prices, depending on the data and parameters that were used in the calculations. H.R. 3 specifies upper and lower bounds on the prices resulting from the negotiations; in CBO’s estimation, changes to the upper bound would significantly affect the prices of the drugs the agency examined.

Mike Guerra, the president/CEO of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) noted the CLSA commissioned a study to examine the impact of Medicare Part D foreign reference pricing in California and in the overall nationwide biopharmaceutical ecosystem. "The results were eye-opening. In exchange for some short-term price reductions, the bill would drastically damage innovative companies across the country. According to the study, this policy would reduce the Part D revenues for U.S. companies by $358 billion over the next five years, a 58 percent reduction before interest and taxes. The Congressional Budget Office projects a similar decline — $336 billion over five years for U.S. companies overall," said Guerra.

Guerra also notes much of the revenue being lost to H.R. 3 through lower drug costs tied to international reference pricing would have been reinvested in new, potentially lifesaving therapies for patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rare diseases, and many other conditions. "Small and emerging companies would bear the brunt of this. The 58 percent reduction in Part D revenue would reduce the number of new medicines that small and emerging companies bring to market by 88% across the U.S.," according to the California Life Sciences report. 

The CSBA said the implementation of internationally-based reference Rx pricing in the U.S. could:
  • Reduce earnings by 62% on average for impacted companies, with one third (32%) of affected companies having reductions larger than 95% of earnings (using conservative assumptions about the impacts on prices).
  • In turn, markedly reduce biopharmaceutical companies’ investments in smaller company R&D through M&A, partnerships and other arrangements.
  • Reduce by 90%+ the number of medicines developed by small and emerging biotechs — 61 fewer medicines over 10 years.
  • Disproportionately impact new treatments in rare diseases, oncology, and neurology.
  • Create large investment ecosystem losses to smaller companies in 19 states.
  • Eliminate nearly 200,000 biopharmaceutical industry jobs, and nearly 1 million jobs across the economy.

Oregon Bio members are asked to get in touch with their Congressional delegate and voice opposition to this proposed legislation and other measures threatening to usher in international reference pricing models.

My vantage point: Violence against Asian Americans means 'they must speak up'

Oregon Bio stands with our Asian American members, friends, colleagues, instructors and service partners in standing up against the violence, racially-motivated attacks, discrimination and aggression directed at them. According to the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators, nearly 3,800 anti-Asian incidents, mostly attacks against women and elderly, were reported in the U.S. last year.

Longtime #ORBioMember Douglas Kawahara, Ph.D., is the CEO of Elex Biotech, a growing Oregon-based a drug discovery and development company focused on first-in-class new chemical entities for the treatment of arrhythmia and heart failure. As a 3rd generation Japanese-American, he’s seen the recent stories about xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans. Oregon Bio interviewed him this past week to find out his perspective on these events. #stopaapihate #learnournames

OR Bio: Have you seen the media reports about the violence against Asian Americans and if yes, what is your perspective?
DK: Yes, I have seen the media reports about violence against Asian Americans. The violence is not new. What is new is the more recent rise in the frequency of overtly violent attacks and that the media are actually giving it significant airtime. What is also new is the realization by the Asian American community is they must speak up.

OR Bio: Why do you think Asian Americans are being targeted now?
DK: To be clear, Asian-Americans have been targeted from the first day they set foot in the US. Anti-Asian sentiment is deeply rooted in U.S. society. The difference at this time is we had a president that legitimized Asian-Americans as an overt target and enabled or mobilized hate groups and certain types of individuals to implement attacks.

OR Bio: Are you worried for you or your family’s safety? If yes, how?
DK: Yes. We Asian Americans are now a highlighted target for attacks. I have relatives who feel they or their spouses need to “cover up” to make it more difficult to identify them as Asian or married to an Asian (non-Asian partners are also targets.). While I have experienced anti-Asian sentiment and treatment all my life, I will focus on a few more recent events. This concern has become more palpable during my 8+ years in Oregon, and I have become even more guarded over the last 5-6 years for reasons related to what was mentioned above.
Fortunately, my immediate family has not been the victim of any recent violent or physical attacks. However, I will provide a few recent examples of what keeps me ever mindful of the situation. First, one from a general public perspective when I was at Portland-area restaurant having a family dinner. We were getting ready to leave and I was carrying my infant grandson (he is White) when a total stranger snidely remarked that he could really see the family resemblance! Second, sadly within our local life sciences industry, I have experienced what I believe to be race- or Asian-based slights in the form of: a) more restrictive contract terms than would be typical for the service performed; and b) not being offered equity that others (Whites) received as non-employees in comparable relationships with that company. I have sensed hostility from this particular company’s attorney on several different occasions, and he had a significant role in all agreements.

Had this occurred within the last 12 months, I might have been more inclined to object. My third example demonstrates the omitted courtesies experienced by Asian Americans. I was at a Portland hospital with my family for a private session on home health delivery. While in the department waiting area, we stood together as a family to greet the hospital staff trainer. He acknowledged and shook hands with my grandson, his parents, and my wife (all White) but completely ignored me. My wife stopped him as we left for a private training room to introduce me as her husband. I was still only given a cursory acknowledgement and no apology for the oversight. As a fourth example, recently at the Oregon Convention Center for my first COVID-19 vaccination, I was in the line for those that brought their email confirmation. I was the only Asian in the immediate area. The line monitor waved everyone through, but I was stopped and asked for my email confirmation. He carefully read it to make sure I was there at the correct day and time. I did not see this done to anyone else before or after me.

OR Bio:  What is your recommendation(s) about can we as society do about it?
DK: Anti-Asian attacks must be openly recognized as hate crimes, and there should be no tolerance for/of any hate crime.
•       We should stand up against any form of scapegoating. Dominant social and/or ethnic groups often seek scapegoats so they can make others responsible for their own problems such as unemployment or a pandemic.
•       In terms of pandemics, we should stop labeling infectious diseases using a reference to a particular country or region that is a convenient or politically expedient point of “origin.”
•       Overall, we should strive to focus on facts and science without politics. We should ensure we’re teaching critical thinking skills in school, and call-out lies and pseudo-science.

Supply chain disruptions? Let us know

The White House COVID-19 Task Force's Supply Chain team wishes to understand downstream impacts of Defense Production Act (DPA) priority ratings on non-COVID biotechnology products as part of the effort to identify solutions. A large focus is on expanding supply, and they also are open to considering priority allocations for products that meet a great need and are facing imminent shortage issues.

In order to address these issues, the task force needs to understand what specific issues are occurring, in terms of specific supplies and time sequencing. A cross-governmental group, with the Office of HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) serving as Secretariat, is gathering and examining the issues experienced by industry and will explore solutions. To report on issues your company is experiencing, please email and include the specific supplies/CMO issues, impacted products, and timelines for business impacts.

If your organization is experiencing issues accessing manufacturing components, ancillary materials and raw materials, as well as with securing time for manufacturing runs with CMOs, please email and include the specific supply/CMO issues, impacted products and timelines for business impacts.

The COVID-19 Task Force Supply Chain Team is also interested in meeting with companies to discuss specific issues; contact information for the team is included below:
·      Tim Manning:
·      Tom Breslin:
·      Sean Christiansen:
·      Noe Gonzalez:

So that Oregon Bio has can help locally with our members' needs, please copy in your response.
Spotlight: Welcome new #ORBioMember

The Laboratory Equipment Company - serving science since 1948 - specializes in supplying capital lab equipment. Headquartered in Hayward, California and covering the West Coast, LEC representatives provide consultative sales of laboratory equipment combined with excellent product training before, during and after sales support. LEC brands include PHCbi (formerly Panasonic), Spire/Primus/Lynx, Lancer, ESCO, CBS (Custom Biogenic Systems), Abeyance, Erlab, Rephile and more. For more info, contact Brent Kolhede at

National commercial real estate powerhouse
CBRE recognizes Portland

In its newly released 'Leading Life Science Clusters: The Bio Boom Intensifies' report, CB Richard Ellis has named Portland as 1 of 10 U.S. emerging bio clusters. Check it out at #lifesciencejobs #bioscience #biotech #letsciencelead

You can share the news via Oregon Bio's LinkedIn page here.
Partner event: OHSU's Invent-a-thon
Post Hack - April 21

The OHSU Invent-a-thon Post-Hack is a business plan competition hosting eight teams competing in business plan pitching that was open to all the 49 team participants in the 2020 inaugural OHSU Invent-a-thon. Teams have been working hard since October to advance their projects, in many cases with support from our partners. #ORBioMember OHSU says they're excited to help highlight their progress and award follow-on funding for the most promising technologies.
Those pitching at the April 21 event will have demonstrated the greatest chance of readiness for funding at this point in time. Participating teams will give a 7-minute pitch to a panel of investors to compete for $40,000 in follow-on funding, plus in-kind support.

Oregon Bio membership means more
Through its partnership with BIO, Oregon Bio offers its members the opportunity to take advantage of the BIO Business Solutions® programs listed below. Click on the company name to learn more. There is no fee for Oregon Bio members to participate. Click on the image to access the program.
   Oregon Bioscience
  2828 S. Corbett Ave. Suite 115
  Portland, Oregon 97201