NCBIO Connections Newsletter : April 2019

Justice Dept. won't challenge MFN pricing injunction


The U.S. Department of Justice decided not to challenge a U.S. District Court’s injunction blocking the implementation of the “Most Favored Nation” prescription drug reimbursement plan.

In November, President Donald Trump announced the interim final rule to implement the Most Favored Nation drug pricing model, which would tie prices of Medicare Part B drugs to the lowest prices .

BIO led a lawsuit challenging the plan, joined by the California Life Sciences Association and BIOCOM California.

The U.S. District Court of Northern California granted an injunction, blocking the government from implementing the rule until it proceeds with a formal notice and comment rulemaking.

On Jan 8, the DOJ decided not to challenge the injunction.


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Legislative Update


In his inaugural address, Roy Cooper pledged to build on successes in job creation and efforts to improve health care access and public schools across the state. He praised the response to the pandemic, as well, and called for both parties to find ways to work together.

“Let’s cast aside notions of red counties or blue counties and recognize that these are artificial divisions,” Cooper said. “Let’s place integrity at the forefront. We are all North Carolinians. These times of triumph and trial have shown us that we are more connected than we ever imagined.”

The call for the political parties to find ways to work together was echoed by legislative leaders of both chambers and parties in their swearing-in session on January 13. Both chambers remain under Republican control. Sen. Phil Berger continues in his role as president pro tempore of the Senate and Rep. Tim Moore returns as speaker of the house. Legislators will be back at work on Jan. 27 as the General Assembly convenes at noon. 

The Life Science Caucus will reconvene this session, and we anticipate the return of our co-chairs, Sen.Paul Newton, Sen. Mike Woodard, Rep. Donna White and Rep. Robert Reives. Reives was elected minority house leader, which could affect his availability to chair the caucus.

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Tillis, Hudson recognized as champions of innovation


Sen. Thom Tillis (l), Rep Richard Hudson (r)

NCBIO participated in presenting the American Life Sciences Innovation Council’s 2020 Champion of Healthcare Innovation award to Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Richard Hudson. Tillis and Hudson have been strong proponents of innovation and intellectual property protections. NCBIO was able to thank them and continued to stress the importance NC’s role in life-science innovation. MORE on TILLISHUDSON

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NCBIO asks company members to participate in national survey


NCBIO is participating in the biennial Coalition of State Bioscience Institutes National Workforce Trends report, which identifies the most pressing talent needs of the life sciences industry and actions needed to develop talent that will drive innovation in the industry.

The report is intended for:

  • industry employers who are making strategic business decisions about finding and developing talent and who advocate for H1B visas and promote the life-science industry in state legislatures and on Capitol Hill,
  • academic institutions who are preparing the next generation of talent,
  • legislators who administer workforce training and research dollars and
  • economic and workforce development organizations seeking to attract and support businesses in their region.

The information will be aggregated so individual companies will not be identified.

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Bio Jobs Hub is live


The new Bio Jobs Hub is for people considering a career in life sciences but who may not have a strong background in STEM. Initial outreach has targeted workers displaced by the pandemic as part of the federal CARES Act that funded the site’s creation. The first phase of the site’s development concentrates on biopharma manufacturing companies, which are rapidly adding jobs.

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BioNetwork seeks new staff members


The NC Community College program, BioNetwork, which supports the life science industry, has several positions that are now available. NCBIO works with the program to ensure that training courses are available for the industry. For more information, visit

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New biopharma group at NC State


The Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing Interest Group has been set up at NC State University. BMIG is an initiative of the Office of Research and Innovation and the Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center at NC State University. Established in the spring of 2020, the BMIG brings together regional specialists in biopharmaceutical manufacturing to provide students, postdocs, researchers and scientists valuable networking opportunities to share and gain knowledge and expertise. MORE

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Member News


To be included in Member News, send information about your organization to David Etchison.

AgBiome, a leader in developing innovative products from the Earth's microbial communities, announced Dr. Marijn Dekkers as the company’s Chairman, effective January 1. MORE

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. announced that Katherine High, MD, has joined the company in the newly formed role of president, therapeutics, and will also serve on its Board of Directors. MORE

Biogen Inc. announced that the first patient has been treated in the global clinical study, RESPOND, assessing the clinical benefit and the safety of SPINRAZA (nusinersen) in infants and children with spinal muscular atrophy who still have unmet clinical needs following treatment with gene therapy Zolgensma.  MORE

Bluebird bio, Inc. announced its intent to separate its severe genetic disease and oncology businesses into differentiated and independent publicly traded companies. MORE

Chimerix's stock offering raised $100 million to fund clinical trials, and the company acquired Oncoceutics, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing imipridones, a novel class of compounds. MORE

G1 Therapeutics named William C. Roberts VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. Roberts brings nearly 30 years of broad communications and scientific research experience to G1. MORE

Grifoils Grifols will begin a clinical trial in Spain to evaluate a new COVID-19 drug based on the Grifols immunoglobulin Gamunex®-C and containing anti-SARS-CoV-2 polyclonal antibodies produced in Clayton from plasma donors who have recovered from the disease. MORE

Mycovia announced positive topline results from its Phase 3 clinical trial for oteseconazole (ultraVIOLET), its drug candidate for treating patients with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis, commonly known as chronic yeast infection. MORE

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BIO Business Solutions


NCBIO members are eligible for BIO Business Solutions volume-based discounts and favorable contract terms on lab supplies, waste removal, microscopes, shipping, gases and more. This is a benefit of your NCBIO membership. Review the cost-savings offered by clicking here, and choose the programs you're interested in. Email Bob Dearth or call 781-716-7555 with your choices, and he will get you started. For all the latest news, promos and event information, follow BIO Business Solutions on LinkedIn.

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NCBIO members get 15% off an annual subscription for Article Galaxy document retrieval from Research Solutions. There’s also a 14-day free trial with no commitment. LEARN MORE 

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To view full calendar, click.


Precision Medicine World Conference: 21st Century Precision Medicine in the Age of COVID-19

Monday to Wednesday, Jan. 25 to 27

Outlook for Tech

Wednesday Jan. 27

The Art and Science of Naming Drugs and Medical Devices (Part One)

Wednesday Jan. 27

IEEE SA Use Cases and Technical Considerations for In-Body Wireless Medical Devices

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 28 and 29

BioGrow: Training and Education Across North Carolina Symposium

Thursday, Jan. 28

SBIR/STTR Education Seminar

Wednesday, Feb. 10

BIO CEO & Investor Digital Conference Tuesday to Thursday, Feb. 16 to 18

Course: Plant Biosafety

Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26

Duke Dept. Of Population Health Science Summer Institute 2021
(Discounted registration through Jan. 31)

Monday, June 7 to Friday, June 18