Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Are You a Social Media Goofus, or Gallant?

If you grew up in the US, you likely remember two characters from Highlights magazine (often found in doctor office waiting rooms) who helped us learn manners. The cartoons would describe a situation and how the fictitious boy Goofus and Gallant would respond. We’d learn to follow Gallant’s example and not Goofus’. Being involved in social media, and moderating a few LinkedIn groups, I’ve seen several of each (but I won’t be a Goofus and call out the missteps). As we discussed at the SDBN Social Media for Scientists event, it’s all about ‘paying it forward,’ and while this may seem counterintuitive, you’ll see after looking through the examples below, that you gain much more in the end by viewing it this way. Let’s see how Goofus and Gallant react to the world of Social Media….(can you almost smell the doctor’s office waiting room?) Goofus and Gallant Take on Social Media Goofus Gallant On Twitter, Goofus posts only items that will benefit him, and does not engage with others. On Twitter, Gallant posts useful resources, answers others’ questions, and has frequent conversations with others, often learning in the process. On LinkedIn, Goofus posts frequent, self-serving items to large groups, and […]

Read more

WordPress Wrevolution

When I started Comprendia little over a year ago, I actually had some doubt as to whether WordPress, a software popular for blogging, could be used to create my entire site. With the knowledge I had of web programming and WordPress, some through my personal usage, I quickly developed a branded, web 2.0 site. Now, it appears to me as if WordPress is taking over. If you look closely, you’ll see many websites are using it. Several nice examples of corporate WordPress sites exist here and here. Why is WordPress so great? It has a highly customizable front end, with a user friendly back end as well. This translates into professional-looking websites which can be easily edited by non-professionals. This combination creates the potential to make businesses of all sizes more functional on-line and responsive to their customers, even if they choose not to use WordPress blogging feature. It is a stellar example of open source software, meaning that developers literally all over the world have written ‘plugins’ and ‘themes’ for it, making it infinitely customizable. Using it, I created the Comprendia site and the SDBN site quickly. Both are branded sites with many web 2.0 features, and I am […]

Read more

To Blog or Not to Blog…Is That the Question?

I got an e-newsletter recently from a company announcing that they had ‘entered the blogosphere.’ I thought this comment was odd because it was as if they started a blog just for the sake of starting a blog. This ‘on the bandwagon’ sentiment is common and likely in response to all of the hype surrounding social media and blogs. You probably know that in general I believe that yes, companies should have a blog, and I’m usually happy when any life science or biotechnology company starts one, even if the initial intentions are misguided or vague. One of the catch-22’s of social media is that you don’t often understand a medium until you experience it, something we discussed in our Social Media for Scientists presentation to the SDBN. I do think that the above mentioned company will ‘get it’ over time. They’ll begin seeing a much faster-paced and informative dialog with their customers which will ultimately result in improvement of their products and the attraction of new customers. However, because of the ‘chicken and egg’ phenomenon of social media, an overall change in perspective will take some time. It will probably be similar to the collective realization by companies that […]

Read more

Getting Personal With Your Customers

When I was in grade school, my Dad became very irritated with the administration at my school because of the letters they would send when I’d get a good report card. In those days (dating myself) letters were typed with typewriters, and to save time, they’d photocopy (Xerox in those days) what was called a ‘form letter,’ with a blank for the student’s name. Then, they’d only have to type in each students’ name rather than re-typing the whole letter. These letters must have been easy to spot, and my Dad felt strongly that if the school was going to truly praise the children, they should hand type each letter. Now, I was oblivious to all of this and likely did not notice that the letters were not as ‘special’ as they could be, but I think it proves a point that I’m experiencing again in the age of new media. If you’ve been reading Seth Godin, you know that he has long sung the praises of so-called ‘permission marketing,’ where you use tools such as e-newsletters to develop a relationship with customers whereby they sign up to hear from you. Godin points out that the tenets of ‘old school’ […]

Read more

Launch and Learn: What Does it Mean for Biotechnology?

One of the tenets of new media and marketing is a strategy called ‘Launch & Learn.’ It refers to executing marketing campaigns, launching products or websites quickly, setting up metrics to determine their success, and redefining as necessary. The benefit? Begin building brand loyalty and communicating with your customers early, rather than delaying launch, or waiting until your website or product has achieved perfection. The new paradigm has been driven by the growth of tools to create ‘web 2.0‘ websites, where users can interact and give feedback. This has accelerated the pace of business and the feedback loop cycle, and companies have quickly learned the benefit of launching campaigns and products sooner rather than later. What about Biotech products? We all know that there are many factors that come into product development and doing business in Biotech. Our products are not T-shirts which we can design one day and toss out the next. So, the products we launch are unlikely to hit the market any more quickly. However, engaging customers through web 2.0 tools, and testing ideas or campaigns can surely benefit any product or company. In biotechnology, especially, where so many directions for products can be taken, from tools […]

Read more

SDBN July 21st Event Featuring Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent

The San Diego Biotechnology Network is pleased to feature Fate Therapeutics and Stemgent at our July 21st networking event. These two companies represent exciting, interdisciplinary biotechnology research being done in San Diego that holds direct promise for making a difference in our quality of life. The event will feature a short talk followed by networking […]

Read more

BIO 2009: The Ubiquitin Protease System: Deja Vu, or Something New?

Wednesday I attended the ‘Where to Find the Drugs: The Ubiquitin Component Systems, Are They the Next Generation Kinases?’ Breakout Session (see Tuesday’s post for more details), and learned about the extraordinary opportunities and challenges for drug discovery in this area. Velcade is the first drug targeting the Ubiquitin Proteaseome System (UPS), introduced by Millennium in 2007 for multiple myeloma and generating $1B revenue in 2008. While success of a drug targeting a class of molecules is often ‘paves the way’ for future drugs, it was clear from the session that a lot research is still needed to explore the mechanisms that can be exploited for therapeutics. The UPS is a complex network of enzymes and protein components designed to break down proteins, part of the the important ‘ecosystem’ necessary to maintain the proper functioning of the cell and prevent malignancy (2006 review). The borders between the UPS and kinase signaling systems are essentially non-existent, and there are many parallels. The E3 protein components represent the largest family, with 600 members, similar to kinases. There are a wide variety of enzyme functions found in the UPS, which makes it distinct from the kinases, which mostly catalyze one type of reaction. […]

Read more

BIO 2009: Biotech: A Place for Social Media?

Tuesday at the BIO convention, I attended a session titled ‘Spreading the Word: New Technologies Mean Everyone is a Journalist,’ which covered how new media such as blogs and twitter are being used and are shaping communication in the biotechnology industry. The panelists were Brian Reid, Media Director, Weisscomm Partners, Ed Silverman, Bureau Editor, Elsevier Business Intelligence, Jen S. McCabe, Chief Patient Advocate at Organized Wisdom, Shwen Gwee, Lead Business Analyst, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, and Jerry Johnson, Executive Vice President, Brodeur Partners. Ed Silverman was the only ‘classical’ journalist in the panel (by training) and commented early in the session that although the canons of traditional media have legitimate reservations about this new class of ‘reporters,’ that they can be seen as ‘insects’ that are quicker and will likely take over when the ‘dinosaurs’ of old media crumble. Ed has watched the dynamics and power of new media as Pharmalot, the blog-style Pharma news website that he pioneered, rose to meteoric fame. Jen McCabe, who gave her presentation in clear ‘web 2.0’ style, walking through the audience, clarified that she sees herself as a ‘recorder, not a reporter.’ She proved this by twittering from her pink Mac throughout the event. This […]

Read more

2 Days, 2 Knights: Sir Philip Cohen Speaks About the Ubiquitin Proteasome System Today

Sir Elton John gave an inspiring and eye-opening keynote speech yesterday about the success and shortcomings of HIV/AIDS research, and I know many of us are still thinking about how we can further the science and make the necessary improvements in education to make a difference. Today, BIO is featuring Sir Philip Cohen, another Knight of the British Empire, often seen as the ‘father’ of kinase biology/phosphorylation research, and one of the most cited scientists in Europe. Sir Cohen, Director of the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, and Director of the Scottish Institute for Cell Signaling, is speaking in a Breakout Session this morning titled ‘Where to Find the Drugs: The Ubiquitin Component Systems, Are They the Next Generation Kinases?’ He is cited as saying “I am very confident that the (Ubiquitin Proteasome System) market has the potential to become even bigger than Kinases.” The speaker lineup at this 10:00 a.m. session is impressive, including Dr. Frank Mercurio, CSO, BioTheryX, Dr. Mark Manfredi, Director of Cancer Pharmacology, Takeda/Millenium, Prof. Mike Tyers, CH Waddington Professor of Systems Biology at Univ. Edinburgh, Dr. Giovanni Ferrara, ITI Life Sciences Advisory Board, and Dr. Sheridan Snyder, Founder, BioCatalyst International. This session was […]

Read more

BIO 2009 Spotlight: Innovation in Ireland: Merrion Pharmaceuticals

I spent part of Monday morning in the Ireland Pavilion (#3303) talking with them about the biotechnology they’re highlighting at the BIO convention, as well as the region as well. I spoke with Jonathan O’Connell, Chief Financial Officer of Ireland’s Merrion Pharmaceuticals, about the announcement they made last week (PDF) regarding preliminary results on Orazol™, a tablet formulation of the Novartis drug Zometa®. The company acquired a unique drug delivery technology from Elan in 2004 which boosts absorption in the intestine. As a result, therapeutics that are normally given only by injection can be formulated as tablets, leading to many benefits, including safer treatment, less pain, and improved pharmaeconomics. At BIO 2009, Merrion is focused on partnering their Phase 2 compounds, and continues to develop and seek out therapeutics which are amenable to their technology, including, notably, insulin, which they are working on with Novo Nordisk. Personally, I found the technology to be very promising and I suggest that you seek them out in the Ireland Pavilion. I also spoke with Sean Davis from Enterprise Ireland (EI), which ‘fosters’ companies like Merrion in their early development phase. Davis says that EI has been around for 35 years and currently takes […]

Read more
Page 20 of 22« First...10...1819202122

Latest Posts