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The 2018 BIO Fly In - Amplifying the Voice of Bioscience in DC

Posted By BioKansas, Thursday, May 17, 2018

Last month, a small delegation of BioKansas members made their way to Washington DC for the 2018 BIO Fly In.  The group was diverse, with representatives from higher education, animal health, agribusiness, industrial biotechnology and human pharmaceuticals, and was fortunate enough to get face time with four of the six Kansas legislators, including Representatives Estes, Marshall and Yoder and Senator Roberts.  We hit on diverse topics driven by the interests of our members, including:

  • Support of Senate bill S. 2615, “Advancing Emergency Preparedness Through One Health Act of 2018”, and development of Federal funding mechanisms for One Health Research & Initiatives. 
  • Biobanking of Avian Flu vaccines, to allow for rapid response in the event of another major outbreak
  • Reduction of redundant, overlapping and burdensome regulations at organizations such as the FDA, EPA and USDA
  • The need to continue to develop a properly skilled workforce in Kansas including in rural areas
  • The need to continue to highlight the impact of regional assets such as the Animal Health Corridor, the University of Kansas Cancer Center and the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) while also embracing areas of opportunity such as digital health & pet food
  • Support for the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

We asked one of the attendees, Jody Donohue, Communications Manager at Ceva Animal Health, to write up a short summary of her first Fly In experience.  Read below to get her perspective, and consider joining us in DC for next year’s Fly in.  Help us amplify the voice of our industry!

Dennis Ridenour
President & CEO, BioKansas



Whether you’re a political junkie who never misses a chance to spend a day in D.C. or a professional or entrepreneur with the desire to be more politically active, the BIO FlyIn is a great opportunity to learn about and talk policy.

The annual BIO Fly In was held on April 17th and 18th this year. BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, organizes the event which drew nearly 300 individuals from across the U.S. Even if you are a full-time government affairs professional, there is no way to stay informed about all of the legislation which could positively or negatively affect human, animal or plant health.  The team at BIO did a great job of highlighting about twenty initiatives important for attendees to be aware of and take time to discuss during our appointments. 

From new proposals around the protection of intellectual property to discussions around biofuels and from the need to modernize agencies to funding for public health initiatives, the discussions were diverse but relevant and positive.  Many of the topics warrant ongoing conversation between elected officials and their constituents. 

One highlight of the day was to present Senator Pat Roberts with an award for his support of Bioscience. Another was the opportunity to discuss a proposal to elevate discussions around One Health initiatives at the federal level. 

We are very fortunate to have such an engaged congressional delegation.  Many of them were able to take time out of their busy day to discuss bills working their way through Congress and what they could do to support a positive regulatory and business climate.

Besides the opportunity to discuss issues and opportunities, the chance to network with other companies and professionals in this space is outstanding. Our group had the opportunity to spend time with MOBIO the Missouri Biotechnology Association.

This was my first BIO Fly In, but it won’t be my last.

Jody Donohue
Communications Manager, Ceva Animal Health

Tags:  Advocacy  Animal Health  BIO  Digital Health  Education  Entrepreneurship  One Health  Workforce Development 

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Why digital innovation matters whether you work with patients, in the lab or on clinical trials...

Posted By Dennis Ridenour, Friday, February 23, 2018

Next Wednesday, February 28th, BioKansas is partnering with Stinson Leonard to host the Digital Health Business Summit, the capstone of a three part series originally developed to support the burgeoning digital health community that has formed in Kansas City and the surrounding region.  With two events under our belt and a multitude of introductions and connections later, I can look back in hindsight and declare that the title of the event is too narrow in scope.  Many people in the region, upon hearing the title of the event, will immediately tune out and think that this event has no relevance to them or their organization.  But rest assured, we have put together a fantastic program that will be relevant to you, even if you’re working with patients, in a lab or on a clinical trial.  Matt Condon, Founder & CEO of Bardavon Health Innovations and Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, is our keynote speaker, and will give a talk on what KC has been doing, and can do, to disrupt and innovate in the healthcare space.  We’ll hear FDA Digital Health Updates from Sheva Sanders and Tricia Kaufman of Stinson, and will also engage two thought-provoking panel discussions, the first on one health approaches to digital health and the second on disruption and how technology is changing the way we develop drugs, perform clinical trials and treat patients.  To round out the event and provide a chance to continue the discussions started during the afternoon programming, Stinson will host a networking reception, complete with food and drink and glorious views of Kansas City from their 29th floor offices. 

What I’ve come to realize in coordinating these events, and what we hope to convey at next week’s event, is that digital and data applications have become integral, and often sizable, components of nearly every industry segment our members work in.  For example, next week’s event will feature Doug Dockhorn, Vice President of Global Data and Advanced Analytics at PRA Health Sciences.  Most people in the community would recognize PRA as one of the largest life science employers in the region, with more than 500 employees split between their two facilities in Lenexa.  However, most people are unaware that that number includes more than 70 employees working on the technology side, including data analytics and processing, automation, and even artificial intelligence. 

I was blown away when I first heard those numbers, and I think most others will be as well.  And that’s just one example in an industry that has finally started to realize the value of the data that’s being generated.  The healthcare industry has long understood that there is considerable value in the access they have to all of the patient data on their systems - just ask Cerner.  But drug development companies and contract research organizations have been much slower to come to the realization that there is also considerable value in the data being generated in pre-clinical animal studies and clinical trials.  And as research brings us closer and closer to precision medicine, the need to be able to merge all of this disparate data will only grow and grow.  The focus of one of our panels at next week’s event will be on the opportunities to impact human healthcare by integrating human and animal data.  On the panel will be Professor Jerry Wyckoff, who is leading the efforts behind 1Data, a human-animal health database designed to help save lives and improve the quality of life for humans and animals, as well as Brad White, Director of the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State, and Joe Young, President of AGL Technologies, who are both developing technologies that can track animals and animal health, and allow for intervention and treatment at much earlier stages of illness.  The application of similar technologies in humans will one day be a game changer.

What I’ve also come to realize is that Kansas City has the assets, expertise, and community support needed to grow into a leader in this space.  Kansas City is home to a large number of digital health companies, many of whom are thriving and have been able to find both the talent and the capital they need to grow.  But there is still much to be done and much that you can do.  At next week’s event, you’ll hear from folks like Jeff Dunn of Redivus Health, who will participate on the disruption panel, and will provide his insights not only on how Redivus is disrupting healthcare delivery, but also how Kansas City can better support companies like his.  You’ll also hear from Karen Fenaroli, who will be moderating the disruption panel, and who has been working tirelessly to attract General Assembly to Kansas City to develop a robust talent pipeline that all of us can benefit from.  So as you can see, whether you work at a straight up tech company, or at a healthcare, pharmaceutical, or contract research organization, there’s a little something for everyone at the Digital Health Business Summit next week.  We hope you’ll join us for the event, and add your voice to the discussion as we look to make Kansas City a hub for healthcare innovation.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO REGISTER 

Tags:  Animal Health  Connect  Digital Health  Education  Entrepreneurship  One Health 

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The Intersection of Liabilities for Digital Health Companies

Posted By Travis Holt, Partner at Brush Creek Partners, Thursday, October 19, 2017

Are you providing a technology platform to improve the way physicians communicate with their patients? Does your website help employees better use their health insurance plan? Does your software analyze post surgical patient data and provide information to reduce the incidents of infection? If so, you’re one of many companies who may be wondering what type of exposure you have to professional liability claims related to a failure of your technology.

Let’s get one thing out of the way quickly, you should assume your general liability policy will provide no coverage for a technology failure or cyber incident. While general liability is intended to cover bodily injury, almost all general liability policies have professional liability and cyber liability exclusions. A failure of your technology is going to be considered a professional or cyber exposure, thus falling into one of those common exclusions.

To better understand your professional liability exposure, you should first ask yourself.....READ THE ENTIRE ORIGINAL BLOG POST FROM BRUSH CREEK PARTNERS

Want to talk with Travis and other experts about cybersecurity and the liabilities of digital health companies?  Join us next week for breakfast on October 26th for the next installment of our Digital Health Business Series.  

Tags:  Cybersecurity  Digital Health  Education  Entrepreneurship 

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