Welcome to New England Bio
Welcome to New England Bio--I say "welcome" as way to re-introduce New England Bio. The organization has of course been active since its start in 2008, but we've made some changes and added resources to be more effective and more of resource for you.
First, we've added a full time staff in addition to our active Board of Directors. In addition to my Board duties, I now serve as New England Bio's President and Chief Executive Officer. Therese Wallace has joined the organization as Director of Operations. And we've established a relationship with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA). In addition to offices and first-class meeting space, the CBIA gives New England Bio access to a host of resources, including communications expertise, website design and maintenance and social media.
Our work in Connecticut will be accomplished mainly through the CBIA’s Bioscience Growth Council, which I chair. The Council consists of the CBIA biopharma member companies and is supported by the CBIA’s deep bench of government affairs expertise.
In the other New England states I will work with our partner organizations and patient advocates to bring another strong voice for biopharma to state capitols in Providence, Concord, Montpelier and Augusta. Given how effective Mass Bio is, our role in Boston will be confined to supporting Mass Bio as it directs.
Second, we've added many new biopharma and a wide array of patient groups to New England Bio’s membership. They will partner with us to speed the discovery and development of cures and treatments, and ensure access to new (and existing) medicines, devices and therapies.
Finally, we've devoted considerable time and energy to consider how we can be most effective. Our mission is straightforward: to be an advocate for patients before policy makers across New England and in Washington.
Our message is simple: well funded basic, translational and industry research, coupled to robust industry clinical development, is what brings new medicines to pharmacy shelves quickest. A corollary is that the huge R&D costs of biopharma must be recouped or the R&D will not happen. You will see and hear us articulate this message in the coming months at state capitols, in op-eds, in the media and through social media.
A Personal Note
As I've indicated, New England Bio's mission is first and foremost about patients. This focus of course reflects what is central to our members. It is also why I’ve taken on this job and devoted so much of my career to advocacy for the biopharma industry and its R&D efforts.
I was with a patient, my brother Edward, at Sloan Kettering when he received a diagnosis that the cause of his slurred speech was not dehydration from too much marathon running, but glioblastoma—the kind of brain cancer that killed Senator Edward Kennedy.
This news was the stuff of nightmares. If there was any silver lining, it was the clarity of mind, the senses of what is important and what is not—for him, me and, I think, most patients and their loved ones in such situations. In that moment what you want becomes crystal clear: doctors, scientists and the people who pay their salaries, build and fund their labs and run the marathon of clinical development through to the finish line of FDA approval, fully motivated and working hard to find treatments and cures.
That clarity of purpose—how important it is to foster new medicine development in every way possible—is in essence what New England Bio is all about.
-- Paul Pescatello