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The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Virtua to Present ‘How Healthcare Is Boosting Regional Economy’ Forum April 4

Vorhees, New Jersey, February 28, 2013Virtua will present a forum entitled “How Healthcare Is Boosting the Regional Economy and Beyond” on Thursday, April 4 from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. at the Virtua Voohees Health and Wellness Center in Vorhees, NJ. 

The keynote presenter will be Trayce McDaniel, President and CEO, Choose New Jersey, an independently funded and operated nonprofit corporation created by New Jersey’s business leaders to position the state as a world-class leader in the competitive global marketplace.   Continue reading

HINJ Responds to PolitiFact Story on NJ Pharma Job Losses

New Brunswick, NJ, February 28, 2013 — In a letter to the editor of The Star-Ledger, the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ) on Monday responded to a PolitiFact story regarding job losses in the New Jersey pharmaceutical industry.

The PolitiFact article about pharmaceutical jobs in New Jersey that appeared in the February 24 edition of The Star-Ledger stated that “In December 2012 New Jersey had 28,100 pharma jobs.…”

However, HINJ pointed out that, according to its latest economic impact report, 19 of 30 HINJ member companies reported employing 51,619 people in 2010.  Furthermore, this number does not include employment at the hundreds of non-HINJ pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical technology companies in the state. 

HINJ’s letter to the Ledger editor further noted that “employment figures are reported by our member companies and include all job functions, whereas the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) separates job functions into distinct classifications, so you may need to look at more than one classification to get the full picture.”

“In fact, in its 2012 ‘Life Sciences Cluster Report,’ Jones Lang LaSalle, using BLS statistics, reported that the Northern/Central New Jersey and New York City area employed more than 106,000 people in the life sciences,” HINJ said.

The HINJ letter concluded, “Merger activity, changing business models and global economic forces have impacted the industry worldwide; New Jersey is no exception and has experienced its share of job losses.  In spite of these challenges, New Jersey remains a strong, global leader in the life sciences.”

Former NIH Director: Sequester Will Be ‘Disaster for Research’

Washington, DC, February 22, 2013 — In a Washington Post interview conducted by Dylan Matthews, Dr. Elias Zerhouni sounded the alarm regarding the potential damaging impact that a federal budget sequestration could have on innovation and research in the United States.

Dr. Zerhouni led the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2002 to 2008 and currently is director of research and development at Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical firm.  

Asked what impact an 8.2 percent across-the-board cut would have on the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni, said, “I think the suddenness of it and the depth of it would be a disaster for research, which is not an activity that you can turn on and off from year to year.  It’s an activity that takes time.”

The most impacted, Dr. Zerhouni added “are the young, new investigator scientists, who are coming into science, and will now abandon the field of science.  There will be a generational gap created.”

Dr. Zerhouni told the Post’s Matthews, “People have crocodile tears for all the various types of cuts, but this kind of cut is damaging.  It’s not something that you can manage year to year.  It’s an investment.  They cannot go up and down with the political winds.”

To read Mr. Matthews’ full interview with Dr. Zerhouni in The Washington Post, click here.

PhRMA CEO Says ‘CBO Numbers Tell the Story’

Washington, DC, February 15, 2013 — In a blog posting on The Hill’s Congress Blog, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President and CEO John J. Castellani writes : 

“In this era of deficit debates and fiscal cliffs, Washington, DC is focused on large numbers and complex math.  In the State of the Union address, the President discussed many numbers and there is no doubt robust debate filled with even more calculations will follow.  And these numbers often lead to very differing views. 

“There is one thing, however, most policymakers can agree on.  The arbiter of Washington’s numbers is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) .… When CBO speaks, Washington listens. 

“Of note, the CBO recently updated its methodology for calculating the cost of Medicare policies to reflect the effect of prescription medicines on total medical costs.  For the first time, the CBO will begin to account for the savings from use of medicines that reduce the need for other costly medical services, such as hospitalizations.”

Mr. Castellani continues to write on The Hill’s blog:

“As policymakers consider the future of Medicare, it will be critical to recognize the value of medicines and their offsetting effect on other medical spending.  Otherwise, short-term policies designed to produce quick savings could result in unintended consequences.

“Those consequences are likely to be increased costs borne by taxpayers today and by future generations.  But perhaps even more importantly, poorer health outcomes would jeopardize the health and quality of life for many Americans.  With this in mind, policymakers should take a fresh look at what the numbers reveal.”

To read Mr. Castellani’s entire blog posting, click here.

NJIT Entrepreneurs Work to Patent Needle Technology

Newark, NJ, February 14, 2013 — NJBIZ’s Katie Eder reports that an entrepreneurial group of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) undergraduate students is one step closer to patenting and marketing painless needle technology after securing $6,000 in seed capital by winning two recent contests sponsored by Capital One Bank.

According to Eder’s story, in spring 2012, Isaac Daudelin, a sophomore biology major at NJIT, enrolled in an interdisciplinary design studio course in the university’s honors college, where students work with faculty advisers on their own unique research projects.  

After agreeing on the idea to create an inexpensive medical device that would eliminate the pain of needles during shots or blood tests without the use of anesthetics, Daudelin and his team members — mechanical engineering major Brian Taylor, biology major Jeremy Jen and electrical engineering major William Heberling — developed a basic prototype of their invention through $3,000 provided by their professor, who entered their TouchCare company into Capital One’s Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge.

After receiving a $3,000 prize at that competition last fall — as well as pro bono small-business services and mentorship to further develop the concept through a fellowship at Capital One’s learning laboratory in NJIT’s technology incubator — Daudelin and his business partners were entered into a multi-college contest sponsored by the banking giant, where they took home the first-place ribbon and another $3,000 in seed capital on Feb. 8.

After the students finish testing their TouchCare device on live neurons to guarantee its application, Daudelin said they will apply for a patent and attempt to obtain necessary approvals to bring their company to the marketplace.

In the meantime, Eder reports, the students are hoping to secure yet another $3,000 round of startup funding from Capital One, as the bank is currently giving its social media audience a vote to distribute the additional capital to one of the three winners of the Cross Campus Challenge through its “Investing for Good” Facebook site.

To read Eder’s NJBIZ story, click here.

 

Acting Governor Guadagno Announces Governor’s STEM Scholars Program

Trenton, NJ, February 13, 2013 — Continuing the Christie Administration’s commitment to innovation, academic excellence, and support for New Jersey’s brightest students, Acting Governor Kim Guadagno today announced the establishment of the Governor’s STEM Scholars.

 The new program is in partnership with the Research and Development Council of New Jersey to pair industry leaders with the state’s most talented high school and college students in STEM subject matter — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  It will serve as a mentoring program for New Jersey’s best and brightest STEM scholars in collaboration with the leading research companies in the state.  

Acting Governor Guadagno was joined by Kim Case, Executive Director of the Research & Development (R&D) Council of New Jersey; Anthony Cicatiello, President of the R&D Council; Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner Chris Cerf; and Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks for the announcement.

“One way to keep the best and brightest students in New Jersey is to introduce them to the research community at an early age, particular in these key disciplines to strengthen these highly-educated, high-paying industries for our state,” said Acting Governor Guadagno.  

“The U.S. Department of Commerce predicts that STEM occupations will grow by 17% from now until 2018, compared to 9.8% growth for non-STEM occupations,” Acting Governor Guadagno continued.  “This program is a major step forward in ensuring that the young people who demonstrate a talent in this area of STEM education are encouraged with real world experience by the industry.”

Established in 1962, the Newark-based Research & Development Council of New Jersey (RDNJ) was created to serve as a unified voice for the three R&D sectors — industry, academia and government — to create an environment R&D could thrive in.  It is a member of InnovationNJ.

For the complete announcement, click here.

NJ’s Business Action Center Aims to Convince Execs They’ve Got a Friend in Trenton

Trenton, NJ, February 8, 2013 — NJBIZ’s Beth Fitzgerald reports on the New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC), which was created by the Chris Christie administration to reach out to businesses considering moving to New Jersey or expanding here — and to intervene when discouraged companies consider pulling up stakes.

It is part of the administration’s Partnership for Action, which so far has worked with companies to attract or retain 67,000 jobs, according to Catherine Scangarella, marketing director for the BAC.

“We are the one-stop shop for the business community, and we use all our resources to bring all state resources to bear” to stimulate business investment, said Lauren H. Moore Jr., deputy executive director of the BAC, during a meeting with NJBIZ.  

Besides the BAC, the Partnership for Action, led by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, includes the state Economic Development Authority, which provides loans and tax incentives to companies, and Choose New Jersey, an independent nonprofit that recruits businesses to move here.

Guadagno is well known as a highly visible member of the administration who meets with companies, speaks to business groups and often ends such engagements by giving out her mobile phone number.

To read Beth Fitzgerald’s complete NJBIZ story, click here.

Report: NIH Sequester Cuts Will Harm Life Sciences Jobs, Economy

Washington, DC, February 7, 2013The Hill has reported that advocates are warning that the budget sequestration will curtail $3 billion in economic activity if cuts hit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 1.

Advocacy coalition United for Medical Research (UMR) released new figures that show the NIH supported more than 402,000 jobs and about $58 billion in economic output in 2012.

The NIH budget will be cut by 5.1 percent unless lawmakers act in the next month.  UMR warned that if sequestration takes effect, approximately 20,500 life science jobs would be lost along with $3 billion in economic activity.

In a statement, UMR President Carrie Wolinetz said, “We cannot allow budget cuts, such as those looming from the sequester, to undermine the biomedical research enterprise, causing the loss of jobs and prosperity, as well as setting us back at a time when we are on the cusp of exciting new advances.”

To read the complete story in The Hill, click here.

PwC Health Research Report: Biopharmaceutical Industry Facing Hiring Difficulties, R&D Talent Gap

New York, NY, February 5, 2013 — A talent gap in the scientific workforce has biopharmaceutical companies searching outside for fresh skills and alternate approaches to R&D staffing, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI) in a new report.

In addition, the research found that new R&D organizational models based on partnerships, alliances and even crowd sourcing are changing talent needs, challenging traditional talent management strategies and redefining the role of human resources (HR) in R&D productivity. 

HRI’s report, “New Chemistry: Getting The Biopharmaceutical Talent Formula Right,” takes an in-depth look at the changing R&D model and what it means to workforce design.  Among its key findings:

  • 51 percent of top executives report that hiring has become more difficult than before.
  • Only 28 percent feel very confident they will have access to top talent.
  • 72 percent of executives said their organizations are looking to increase R&D capacity over the next 12 months, and six in 10 intend to increase investments over the next three years to create a more skilled workforce.
  • HR must be more tightly integrated to R&D organizational decision making and a strategic function in all cases.
  • Developing and managing outside partnerships and regulatory science are the two most sought after R&D skills.
  • Performance incentives should combine “soft” and “hard” metrics.
  • Scientists want career paths that recognize and reward their passion and commitment to science.

For the entire PwC press release, click here.

Patent or Tech Hubs: Does the Innovation Narrative Need to Change?

Washington, DC, February 1, 2013 — Blogging today for The Washington Post, Dominic Basulto writes that the typical narrative about innovation is that a small number of high-tech hubs — places such as Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston — are largely responsible for the bulk of innovation happening in America today. 

Yet, a new report from the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program — entitled “Patenting Prosperity: Invention and Economic Performance in the United States and its Metropolitan Areas” — may end up challenging that narrative with new data about patent activity.

In a survey of patent activity across the nation during the period 1980-2012, the Brookings Institution found that some of the most inventive metropolitan areas in the nation were actually places such as Burlington, VT; Corvallis, OR; and Rochester, MN.  In contrast, New York City, Boston and Washington, DC didn’t even crack the Top 10.

So, Basulto asks:  Should we be talking about patent hubs rather than technology hubs?  And should local government officials be shifting their focus away from Internet start-ups and towards the types of companies, such as biotech, that are especially prolific when it comes to patents?

One of the most interesting observations within the nearly 50-page report is that there is a strong correlation between the presence of a leading research university in a region and the overall inventiveness of a region.

That may explain, Basulto writes, how a metropolitan hub such as Trenton, New Jersey — rarely, if ever, mentioned in the same sentence as Silicon Valley — ended up in the top 15 metropolitan regions for inventiveness, according to the report.  He continues:

“This counter-intuitive finding can only be explained by the fact that Princeton … is also located in New Jersey’s Mercer County.  And, to top it off, consider that a growing number of top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are also located in the Princeton research corridor.  In its analysis, Brookings notes that biotechnology patents are driving innovation in the Trenton-Ewing metropolitan region.”

For the entire Washington Post story, click here.