BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) announced that Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has been elected as the new BVGH Board Chair for a term of three years. BIO is the world’s largest biotech industry organization, representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.
“Jim’s leadership of the BVGH Board is an important signal to the global health community of BIO member companies’ ongoing commitment to solving global health issues, including the eradication of neglected infectious diseases such as Ebola,” said BVGH President Jennifer Dent.
“BVGH’s mission to spur new life science research and partnerships in global health is in perfect alignment with BIO’s efforts to address health challenges facing developing and emerging countries throughout the world,” said Greenwood. “BVGH has rapidly executed an impressive level of research partnerships and innovative scientific programs over the past three years. I look forward to working with and advising BVGH’s team as we increase patient access to biologic therapies, cures, vaccines and diagnostics that are helping patients around the globe who are suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and numerous other serious diseases and conditions.”
In his new role, Greenwood succeeds Don Joseph, former CEO and Chairman of BVGH, who remains on the board of directors. BVGH was established in 2004 by then BIO President Carl Feldbaum. In a speech to the BIO membership at its 2004 Annual Meeting, Feldbaum laid out a vision of the need for BIO member companies to collaborate on new solutions and technologies with all people in the world, not just those in developed nations. BVGH later became independent from BIO.
BVGH recently released its second compilation of WIPO Re:Search Partnership Stories 2013-2015, a collaboration of stories featuring partnerships accelerating the scale of neglected infectious disease research and product development. WIPO Re:Search, established by the World Intellectual Property Organization in partnership with BVGH and several leading pharmaceutical companies, brings scientists from academia and biopharmaceutical companies together to develop new therapies for diseases centered in developing nations.
BVGH initiates these partnerships by identifying relevant research assets in pharmaceutical companies and matches them with academic researchers working on neglected tropical diseases. African researchers and institutions play a significant role in a number of the partnerships featured in this story book.
The BVGH publication showed a jump in membership from 30 members in 2011 to 100 members across 27 countries in 2015, and from 13 research collaborations in 2012 to 96 collaborations by end of 2015. Takeda and Johnson & Johnson recently joined Pfizer, Novartis, GSK, Merck (MSD), Sanofi, Alnylam, Eisai, and Merck KGaA in contributing their resources to advance neglected tropical disease research programs.
Currently, WIPO Re:Search has expanded into 13 different disease areas. Research focused on malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis represent the majority of these collaborations. These four diseases affect millions of people in Africa, Latin America and other developing countries. Almost half the world’s population, 3.2 billion people, are at risk for malaria, which alone killed nearly 600,000 people in 2013. Tuberculosis is endemic in 146 countries and is the second leading killer among infectious diseases.
“Many of these collaborations have already achieved important milestones and we are connecting some of the brightest minds across the globe to tackle these diseases together,” added Dent. “The scope of these partnerships has expanded from sharing compounds to sharing cutting-edge technology, data, samples and scientific research expertise. This contributes to helping researchers in endemic countries advance their own product research and scientific capacity.”
BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO’s blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.
BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH) is a results-oriented nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA whose mission is to engage private industry in global health initiatives. BVGH engages global health stakeholders in partnerships to accelerate the development of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics that address the unmet medical needs of the developing world. Working at the crossroads of the biopharmaceutical industry and global health, BVGH creates customized programs that fit the needs and capacity of partners and impact health in measurable ways.