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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.


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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