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Making up for past snubs

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker raised eyebrows when he skipped BIO last year — and the year before. But he’s not taking the industry for granted any more. He’s coming to town to talk up his new five-year, $500 million biopharma initiative(which is basically an extension of his predecessor’s 10-year, $1 billion program to promote life sciences). He’ll also be trying to get a sense of how these BIO bashes work: Boston is slated to host next year’s confab.

Oh, and speaking of Boston, it came in first on a new “genomics scorecard” ranking metro regions by how serious they are about the DNA economy. Next on the list: San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, and Salt Lake City.

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The indignity!

It’s safe to say that most folks here at BIO know of Craig Venter’s pioneering role in decoding the human genome. But… not everyone.

Look closely: His name is misspelled on this tie commemorating giants of genetics, on sale alongside double-helix jewelry and science nerd T shirts.

Undaunted, Venter held a press conference today to announce that his biotech firm, Synthetic Genomics, worked with ExxonMobil to genetically modify algae to more than double its oil content. (The ultimate goal: Turn it into biofuel.) Then he declared that the world really needs this invention: “With the president pushing coal and denying climate change, the urgency is greater than ever.”

Good question

More reads:

  • Long development cycles in biotech are a bit of a boon in these tumultuous times, a new report from EY posits (STAT Plus).
  • Patients suing pharma can no longer go judge shopping in California (STAT Plus).

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