Now that President Joe Biden has taken office, there will soon be a host of new faces in positions with significant influence over the life sciences industry, as the first item in our roundup this week explains. These include new leaders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services, key roles in the federal government’s COVID-19 response and countless other agencies and boards. Understanding these new leaders’ backgrounds and priorities will shape life science business leaders’ plans for what comes next.
We also look at how changes in technology and bioethics are helping to drive clinical trial diversity, what the start of 2021 looks like for initial public offerings, and how robotics continues to change both surgery and medical device manufacturing.
Each week, we aggregate industry news and highlight five things you need to know about in the life sciences space. Here’s the latest.
As the Biden administration assumes power in the United States, a new slate of leaders will take roles that have critical significance for the life sciences industry. Although the article from Stat (linked above) focuses on positions for the government’s COVID-19 response, many of the people included in this list will also have a broader impact in life sciences and health care.
2020 brought heightened public attention to clinical trials, including scrutiny about whether trials were diverse enough in relation to the populations that would eventually receive the drug. In some very public cases, researchers found that the answer was no. This article looks at two companies that are joining forces to develop better modeling and analytics to ensure that trials are designed in a way that encourages inclusion.
Pregnant women were once excluded from clinical trials – now bioethicists are slowly changing their tune
Much like CROs are examining how technology can help them make trials more inclusive, bioethicists are reexamining their guidance on who should be included in trials. Traditionally, pregnant women have been one of the groups precluded from participating in trials, which has led to significant gaps in our understanding of drug safety and efficacy in pregnancy. This Scientific American article outlines how that is starting to change.
There is always a risk, when an industry has a record year, that it won’t be able to live up to it the next year. In 2020, life sciences was a bright spot in capital markets and saw record IPOs and investment. It will be a hard year to match, but 2021 is starting off strong with 12 IPOs so far. This Endpoint News article highlights the four most recent IPOs and a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) focused on life sciences.
At the 2021 J.P. Morgan Health Care Conference earlier this month, a number of medical device companies highlighted their latest robotic surgery systems and plans for continued development. These announcements included an optimistic outlook by Intuitive Surgical, new indications by Zimmer, and the use of robotics at Medtronic both in patient treatment and on the manufacturing floor. One note of caution came from the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, who stressed that he sees robotic surgery as a long-term trend that may require a decade of development before it becomes mainstream, as this article mentions.