2022 | Q2 Newsletter
Welcome to the 2022 Q2 Newsletter. Life Sciences Pennsylvania has been working tirelessly to advocate on your behalf and provide opportunities for you to connect within the life sciences industry. We hope this recap of the past quarter provides you with the optimism we hold each day for the association and the industry.
CLICK BELOW TO EXPLORE
Being a Life Sciences Leader will debut a LIVE recording July 20 at Life Sciences Future - MedTech where attendees from the audience can ask questions to guest Valerie Asbury, CEO of LifeScan. Tune in to the podcast to gain invaluable advice from the Commonwealth’s top industry leaders.
BEING A LIFE SCEINCES LEADER
Life Sciences PA was proud to announce the launch of Being a Life Sciences Leader, a podcast hosted by LSPA President & CEO Chris Molineaux and Rachael Bushey, Partner and Chair of the Health Sciences Department at Troutman Pepper. Together, Chris and Rachael welcome top executives in the life sciences to discuss the complex and high risk industry, and share actionable advice on what it takes to be a life sciences leader.
Episodes are launched Friday morning each week on the LSPA website and anywhere you listen to podcasts. Notable guests from Season One include Dr. Sue Dillon of Aro Biotherapeutics, Steve Tullman of NexEos Bio, John Jacobs of Harmony Biosciences, and more!
HELP Committee Visits
As part of our federal advocacy activity Life Sciences PA organized several visits for staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee – Subcommittee on Children and Families, which is chaired by U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). Congressional members rely heavily on staff to ensure they have accurate and up to date information, and it is critically important we highlight Pennsylvania’s robust life sciences ecosystem for public officials and/or their staff. The visit included stops at Iovance Biotherapeutics, The Wistar Institute and the University City Science Center to discuss the user fee agreements, SBIR funding, workforce matters, and other issues affecting Pennsylvania’s research and development community.
U.S. Senate HELP Committee staff receive tour and information from Kristy Shuda McGuire, M.S., Ph.D. – Dean of Biomedical Studies at the Wistar Institute – on their Biomedical Training programs.
User Fee Agreements
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.7667, the Food and Drug Amendments Act June 8. The legislation reauthorizes the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), Medical Device User Fee Act (MDUFA), Biologics User Fee Act (BsUFA) and the Generic Drug User Fee Act (GDUFA).
Reauthorization of the User Fee Acts is a top advocacy priority for Life Sciences PA and we are pleased to report 16 of 18 Pennsylvania House delegation members voted for the bill.
The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed its user fee act legislation June 14. After moving through the Senate the bills will likely need to go to a conference committee between the House and Senate, so they reconcile any discrepancies and have the legislation signed into law before the current agreements expire September 30, 2022.
After being honored as Life Sciences Pennsylvania’s Federal Official of the Year, Life Sciences PA was pleased to host Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA-13) for several member visits. While in southeastern Pennsylvania Congressman Joyce visited Venatorx Pharmaceuticals and Novocure. During these visits it was important to showcase the efforts of these companies and their employees to bring life-saving medicines and technologies to patients. They also served as opportunities to discuss Life Sciences Pennsylvania advocacy priorities around incentivizing research for novel antibiotics and better aligning breakthrough device designation at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with a reimbursement pathway at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Venatorx Pharmaceuticals Founder, President and CEO Christopher Burns (left) gives tour of their lab to Congressman John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA-13)
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are set to expire on September 30, 2022. These two programs are important to Pennsylvania’s life sciences community and Life Sciences Pennsylvania sent a letter – signed by more than 45 Pennsylvania organizations – urging Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation to reauthorize these programs critical to early-stage research and development companies. Life Sciences Pennsylvania will continue to urge its legislators to include SBIR/STTR reauthorization in the reconciliation of the United States Innovation and Competition Act and America COMPETES Act passed by the U.S. Senate and House, respectively.
TRIPS Waiver Update
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC12) endorsed a COVID-19 vaccine intellectual property waiver Friday, June 17. Life Sciences Pennsylvania has significant concerns on the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver that has been agreed to, especially considering the large number of excess vaccines currently available and production consistently outpacing the number of vaccines administered.
Strong, reliable, and predictable IP protections are what helped the United States’ life sciences ecosystem respond to the pandemic in record time with novel vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. This is a message Life Sciences Pennsylvania continually stresses to the Pennsylvania congressional delegation as discussions around IP protections – not solely TRIPS waiver-related – come before legislators and committees of jurisdiction.
As part of Life Sciences Pennsylvania’s efforts to further collaborate with international partners, we were pleased to host a delegation from the Emilia-Romagna Region of Italy and participate in the Memoranda of Understanding signing ceremony between the region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. International visits like this are an important opportunity to develop new relationships and reenforce existing relationships in what truly is a global industry. Thank you to our members who were able to participate in this discussion. We look forward to strengthening the life sciences ties between Emilia-Romagna and Pennsylvania.
Team from Emilia-Romagna and LSPA member companies convene at Life Sciences PA office in King of Prussia, PA
Visit with Senator Ryan Aument
LSPA was pleased to host Senator Ryan Aument in Pittsburgh June 3, 2022. During the Senator’s visit he toured member company, Peptilogics and met with a roundtable of Pittsburgh-based member companies to discuss the growing life sciences ecosystem in the Pittsburgh region. We are grateful to Senator Aument and his continued support of our industry. We remain supportive of the Senator and his Building a Strong Pennsylvania initiative as he works to improve the overall business climate throughout the Commonwealth.
Improving Business Tax Policy
Improving the business tax policy in Pennsylvania has been a key area of focus for Life Sciences PA this budget season. There are two key areas that we have focused our efforts: increasing the Research & Development Tax Credit cap, and reducing the Corporate Net Income (CNI) rate in Pennsylvania.
Currently the R&D Tax Credit is capped at $55 million annually. This cap has been in place since 2011, despite the fact that the credit is oversubscribed by $200 million annually. LSPA would like to see this cap increased to $100 million annually, and we are grateful to both PA Senate and House leadership that have been engaged and supportive as we’ve navigated discussions for this increase.
Pennsylvania has the highest non-graduated Corporate Net Income tax in the entire country. With a CNI of 9.99% the Commonwealth is currently ranked as 44th out of 50 states in the Tax Foundation’s Corporate Tax Rank. LSPA is supportive of efforts, whether it be through this year’s budget negotiation process or through individual legislative action, to reduce Pennsylvania’s CNI.
Prior Authorization/Step Therapy Update
In an important initial victory for patients and patient access to novel medicines and technologies, the Pennsylvania Senate passed SB 225 unanimously (50-0) June 29. SB 225 amends the Insurance Company Law of 1921 to provide standards for the prior authorization of health care services, exceptions to step therapy protocols, and improved transparency of health plans’ medical policies and clinical review criteria. Life Sciences Pennsylvania is proud to support this legislation and be a member of the coalition that exists to move it forward. The next phase of the legislative process is to help move HB 225 through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before it would ultimately be signed into law by the Governor.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP
April 22 & June 24, 2022 | Hosted Virtually
All Life Sciences PA Members who are looking for ways to build and improve their life sciences network are encouraged to attend Making the Most of Your Membership. This program is designed as the blueprint for new and existing members to utilize their membership and educate themselves on program and event offerings while fostering connections with other LSPA member organizations. Long time members join the discussion to emphasize the many benefits of membership, and give advice on how to maximize the opportunities LSPA offers. This program is integral in immersing new member companies into the organization, as well as reintegrating any current member looking to expand their network.
ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER
May 3, 2022 | Merion Cricket Club
Each year, Life Sciences Pennsylvania gathers the community to celebrate the achievements of the industry, and the lifelong commitment our scientists have made to bettering the lives of patients. After 2 years away due to the pandemic, LSPA was proud to host the Annual Awards Dinner as an intimate awards ceremony. Guests arrived at the Merion Cricket Club to honor the 2022 Annual Awards Winners, their colleagues, and the sponsors that make the event possible.
Congratulations to the 2022 Annual Awards Winners, and thank you for your dedication to the patients in our Commonwealth and our world.
FINANCE OPERATIONS SERIES - EDITION 2
May 4, 2022 | Hosted Virtually
One of LSPA’s most popular signature series, the Finance Operations Series brings experts from KPMG to give advice and provide feedback to member companies on their financial landscape. Attendees can earn CPE credits for attending the event, and gain invaluable knowledge from top experts in the field.
May 16 -17, 2022 | Hosted Virtually
BioBriefing is designed for the non-scientist working in the life sciences to gain a basic understanding of the biology behind the work they support. This two half-day event starts with foundational basics and gives a detailed overview of the entire process from discovery to commercialization. Attendees learn a bit of the science behind biotech products, the clinical research process, regulatory filings, and scale-up for manufacturing. Different types of products such as biologic drugs, biosimilars, personalized medicine, stem cell, and regenerative medicine are outlined.
ANNUAL AWARDS TAILGATE
After honoring our winners and finalists at the Annual Awards Dinner, hundreds of life sciences community members came to drop their tailgate and celebrate the industry at the Annual Awards Tailgate. With more than 960 registrants, attendees packed the parking lot with games, food and drinks, and decor to show their company pride. The best decorated block parties also won tickets to the Army/Navy game! Congratulations to the 2022 Annual Awards Winners, and thank you to the community partners that celebrated with us.
May 18, 2022 | Outside at LSPA Headquarters
Click the right arrow to see the 2022 best block parties!
LEGAL ANSWERS WORKSHOP (LAW)
June 9, 2022 | Hosted Virtually
The Legal Answers Workshop is a new quarterly series that answers members' legal questions and emphasizes the importance of understanding legal implications in business. This virtual event provides attendees an opportunity to gain insight from experts at Ballard Spahr, and network following the presentation. Presenters Scott Marty, Ryan Udell, and John Zurawski informed listeners about many possible legal obstacles that come with working in the life sciences industry, and answered many attendees’ questions in the discussion.
CONNECT@ JLL & GATTUSO
June 21, 2022 | 2500 League Island Boulevard
Attendees gathered to network over appetizers, cocktails and live music with colleagues at a premier life sciences flex/production/headquarters facility in Philadelphia's Navy Yard at Connect@ JLL & Gattuso. This ground-up facility is well into construction and will be complete by the end of 2022. Along netowrking outside the state-of-the-art life sciences facility, attendees were addressed by Federico Mingozzi, PhD, the Chief Scientific Officer at Spark Therapeutics. Dr. Mingozzi discussed the importance of facilities like this in the growth of the industry in Philadelphia.
Click the right arrow to see more photos from the event!
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR DE&I INITIATIVES
June 28, 2022 | Hosted Virtually
The second edition of Life Sciences PA's evolving DE&I series welcomed three more experts to discuss success and failures while implementing diversity and inclusion efforts in their organizations. Cristina Lara of Biogen began the conversation with an emphasis on the harsh realities we have been facing as a country, and the important role a company plays in acknowledging these issues, and supporting their employees. Seeing employees as people was the first step in creating awareness.
All speakers unanimously vouched for the importance of creating groups and forums that allow employees to express their concerns. It then becomes the leader’s role to synthesize that feedback and decide what action can be taken within the organization to promote employee health and well-being.
Lastly, the panel discussed the importance of retention of folks of color in the workplace, as it must be a constant conversation and effort to not only create an environment of inclusivity, but one of belonging. Attendees wrapped the conversation by networking with the panelists and asked questions on how to best implement the tactics discussed.
June 30, 2022 | Philadelphia & Pittsburgh, PA
LSPA day at the park - pick your location! At the same time fans cheer on the Pirates in Pittsburgh, they celebrate the Phillies in Philadelphia. This dual location event provides an opportunity for attendees to network and connect on a private catered stadium rooftop while catching a baseball game, all across the Commonwealth. Both events were even able to celebrate a win!
Welcome 2022 New Members!
Welcome 2022 New Members!
Welcome 2022 New Members!
Tarkett USA Inc.
Axiom Healthcare Strategies
Ciscovery Bio Inc
Clear Thoughts Foundation
Cushman & Wakefield
D2 Groups, LLC
Gattuso Development Partners
Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP
Life Science Wealth
Little Hercules Foundation
National CMV Foundation
Nexstone Immunology, Inc.
Paragon Biosciences, LLC
Privacy Aviator LLC
QRD Pharma LLC
Radiant Biotherapeutics, Inc
Vittoria Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Tell me about your current role as the Membership Coordinator - what is your responsibility in helping grow the membership?
As the Membership Coordinator, I am the first point of contact for member inquiries, which can be very broad. It can be a billing question, additional resources or introductions - anything we can do to help members advance their business. Additionally, as part of my role, I oversee our Customer Relationship Management system which is where our entire member database lives. This is an important job because it’s how we connect with the membership. I am also responsible for assisting Lois Stephens, our Membership Director in growing the membership and reaching out to offer any help our members need.
What was the strangest member inquiry you’ve ever gotten?
I was asked at one point to find a certain live sample, and we were able to connect the member to someone who had it. We certainly aren’t growing cells here at the LSPA offices, but we found someone who did. That’s the most interesting one thus far, but I’ve only been here a year, so give it time!
What brought you to LSPA and this position?
I came from the YMCA prior to working at LSPA, so I have a really rich understanding of membership. I was a program director there, so I worked with members day in and day out, and did the same role there, but in a completely different industry. It’s been fun to learn the science behind what our members do and get a better understanding of the life sciences. This industry is a very driven population, especially in Pennsylvania, with a very strong start-up community. So many of our members are so dedicated to their work - it is very inspiring that I get to play a very small role in that and connect them to the resources they need. It’s really great to work with such a passionate population.
What qualities are required for someone to work in this industry or this organization?
Flexibility, creativity, and adaptability. Specifically in our role, we are constantly problem solving for members. You need to be able to change the plan at a moment's notice. For example, everyone plays a role in assisting with events, and we are constantly changing them, so it’s helpful to be able to change focus.
In your opinion, what is the best way for members to make the most of their membership?
You have to use it to get something out of it, and getting out there and getting to events is the best way to effectively use your membership. You never know who you are going to meet, and especially in this industry, everybody knows everyone. So get out there, meet people, attend events, and you’ll reap the rewards. Don’t shy away from things that might not look applicable. For example, members tend to not immediately gravitate toward our advocacy activities, but I find that those are great ways to engage because everyone has a story to tell and plays an important role in the Commonwealth. Going to those events is important, since that is one of our core accountabilities too - we advocate and we connect.
What is something you’d like the members to know about you? About LSPA?
At the end of the day, I work for you! No question is too big or too small, and if you have questions, don’t be afraid to approach the membership team. We are a really honest bunch, and we will guide you in the right direction, but you need to be in front of us to voice any questions you may have.
About LSPA - we’re really simple. We have 2 core accountabilities - advocacy and making connections. As a team, we work really closely with each other and are “all hands on deck” for our events. We all wear lots of hats, and are all willing to chip in to make our organization successful and the membership successful.
What is the most rewarding part of your job? The most challenging?
Hearing member stories and speaking with them - the work that is happening within the membership is incredible. Sometimes when I sit on new member calls and listen to the work they do, it is amazing to hear what they are doing. It’s cool to connect with them and then, again, play a part in getting them the resources they need. You REALLY want them to succeed.
The most rewarding and also most challenging is the creative problem solving that comes with the role. When you are getting “live cell” inquiries you have to think quickly on your feet to get the members the resources that they need. Also when I came on board, I assisted in implementing our new CRM database. It was definitely a challenge but it is so rewarding because we have been able to build efficiencies within our organization so that, in turn, we have more time to do more for members.
What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was really young, but as I got older and watched a little Grey’s Anatomy, I got into medicine and healthcare. I always really liked science classes in school, and found the perfect blend of people-facing work while getting my science fix in this role.
What do you fill your time with outside of work?
This is well known in our team but not with the membership - I am a synchronized/artistic swimming coach and judge! I coach swimmers from the grassroots, beginner level all the way up to national team members. I also judge the entire East Zone, so one step below a national level judge. I grew up synchronized swimming and speed swimming, so there is a lot of pool in my life and a lot of chlorine in my lungs. Otherwise I like to be outside - I like hiking and traveling.