iC3 Summit: Life Science Leaders Talk Product Placement, Entrepreneurship & More

The summit brought industry leaders together to discuss the future of health care, the impact of new technology, financial strategies communication, and entrepreneurship.

iC3 2017 BionorthTX summit: Clockwise, from left: Eric Olson, Tony Johnson, Ignacio Nunez, Frank Rosinia, Jon Weidanz, Kevin Nelson.

BionorthTX held its third annual iC3 Life Science Summit at the University of Texas at Arlington Thursday. The summit brought industry leaders together to discuss the future of health care, the impact of new technology, financial strategies communication, and entrepreneurship. Here are some takeaways from the event: 

INNOVATION TO COMMERCIALIZATION

Kevin Nelson
Founder and CSO of TissueGen Inc.
Play hard, jump in, do it with both feet. It’s a wild ride. If you want to just cruise along through life, that’s fine. If you want to have a challenge and an extremely interesting potential opportunity then there’s no better ride. 

Jon Weidanz
Co-founder and CSO of Abexxa Biologics, Inc.
Make sure you know what you’re getting into, and it’s what you want to do. Once you jump into it and you’ve raised financing you now have lots of people you’re responsible for — and counting on you fully to do so. So really make sure this is something that’s inside of you.

“Entrepreneurship, because of our frontier here in Texas, is in our DNA.” 
Halden Conner

Halden Conner
CEO of Nacuity Pharmaceuticals
Entrepreneurship, because of our frontier here in Texas, is in our DNA. That’s our greatest asset. It prevails our institutions and our great colleges. In many ways, we’re more risk takers down here and people are friendlier, happier, and like family. It’s just a unique environment. If you have a good idea, can articulate on it, and collect a team that believes they know what to do about it, you can find the money. My dad said, “One thing I can tell you, in my entire life I never failed to get money I deserved.”

INNOVATION TO COLLABORATION & PARTNERING: NAVIGATING THE STEPS OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT

Frank Rosinia
Executive vice president and chief quality officer for JPS Health Network
 
From what I see in my ecosystem in Fort Worth, for us to lift off and accelerate the growth of clinical trials, we need to look different. Especially if we are going to beat the expectations. 

Ignacio Nunez
Chair of board of trustees at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital
 If you really want to expand what you’re going to sell, find the right physicians and have those conversations. Get the product in front of the right people. 

“As supply chain executives, we are guardian of dollars in a sense.”
Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson
Senior vice president and chief supply chain officer at Baylor Scott & White Health
I’m a little biased. If you want to get your products and services into a health facility, find out who’s controlling the money streams. That’s a part of what you do because everything will converge there. As supply chain executives, we are the guardian of dollars in a sense. We’re not the final decision makers, but we have a lot of influence on what happens. We’re not just looking at finding the cheapest product. Find out what the needs are. 

KEYNOTE
CORRECTION OF DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY BY GENE EDITING

Eric Olson
Director of the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine
We decided to ask whether we can take a new approach — not to treat the symptoms of this disorder, but to try to treat the cause of this disorder.

“You can think about CRISPR as molecular scissors that can surgically identify and eliminate any mutation genomes.”
Eric Olson

We decided to apply what I believe is the most revolutionary technology in decades in the field of molecular biology — the technology of gene editing, often referred to as CRISPR editing. You can think about CRISPR as molecular scissors that can surgically identify and eliminate any mutation genomes. CRISPR can identify a single cell letter rapidly and correct that cell mutation.

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