Blogging from EuroBio #2 - The Great States?

One thing I was definitely surprised by was how many Americans were perusing the booths lectures at EuroBio...especially when I stumbled into the BioPartnering booths which were reserved for collaboration opportunities between industry and academia as well as tech transfer. Over 600 companies were represented as well as 100 academic institutions/organizations participated in the BioPartnering opportunity. It seemed like a decent enough way to fill up empty booth space and encourage further coupling of academia and industry. This morning I attended a conference that analyzed current drug regulations and how they hinder/help the progress of biotechnology.  Christopher Paul Milne of the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development provided a critical look at drug regulations using the 'time is money' approach and stating that while the Critical Path Initiative has lessened some bottlenecks, more guidance by the FDA in terms of 'go/no go' decisions is necessary.  Milne also plead for agency funding from legislative bodies in order to further incentives to innovate and increase success rates. He concluded that right now, trends in time, cost and success rates, especially in the states, for the R&D of new biopharmaceuticals is just not sustainable. Immediately following Milne's lecture was Chris Strutt of GSK who encouraged the European government to be "more like the United States" in their policies and funding (the grass is always greener on the other side). He said that the EU outlook on investment in funding is relatively short-term and driven by cost. Strutt concluded that unless there is a change and a closer alignment to other governments' policies (like ours), the EU will lose not only its attractiveness as a biotech and pharma player in the global market, but also fall far behind us in drug development and delivery. While every agency regulation has its flaw, and there are no correct government policy that will save us all, it was interesting to see how our systems our viewed by Europeans...we must be doing something right. I made sure to stop by the 'Invest in Michigan' booth to pay a brief homage to the states. More to come... MV