Talks and Publications

The July 2009 issue of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology is now available. The links below will take you to the abstract for each paper:

Volume 15, Issue 3


The impact of the global financial crisis on biotechnology development PDF
Yali Friedman


Can genetic engineering prevent food-poisoning? PDF
Henry Miller


Bottom line compliance for biotechnology: Six secrets PDF
John Avellanet
Maturation of the biotechnology industry changes job opportunities for scientists PDF
Helen Liu, Molly B Schmid
Biotechnology business models: An Indian perspective PDF
Viren Konde
Tracking progress: Two approaches to biotechnology development – Cases from Central Europe PDF
Tomasz Mroczkowski, Heather Elms
Umbilical cord blood banks: Modern day alchemy PDF
Helen Smith
China 10-Point Patent Checklist: Integrating patents into an overall business strategy for a Western manufacturing entity in China PDF
Catherine Sun, Sharon R Barner, Harold C Wegner

From the Classroom

Bioscience enterprise: Postgraduate education at Cambridge and Auckland PDF
Linda Allan, Joerg Kistler, Chris Lowe, Wendell Dunn, Claire McGowan, Geoff Whitcher

Legal and Regulatory Updates

Legal and regulatory update PDF
John Wilkinson

Book Reviews

Book Review: Spin-outs: Creating businesses from university intellectual property PDF
Arlen D Meyers
Book Review: Venture capital and the European biotechnology industry PDF
Leonard Lerer

Here is a recent keynote I gave for the Delaware Valley Innovation Network. The group is working on coordinating the activities of community colleges — and other parties —  between the adjacent Delaware, Philadelphia, and New Jersey regions. My objective was to use case studies to show that drawing circles around regions to count combined assets (as is too frequently done) is not enough; it is also necessary to find ways to drive collaboration.

The slideshow is shown below:

After months of preparation, the Scientific American worldVIEW project has launched.

I had the pleasure of serving as lead editorial consultant of this project, and my mission was to cut through the marketing messages and develop a coherent measure of biotechnology innovation on a country-by-country basis. You can hear me talk about the project and some of the findings here, and you visit the worldVIEW site here, and you can see the innovation scorecard here. My perspective on why, and how, biotechnology blossomed in the United States is here.

Update: You can see Jeremy Abbate, director of global media at Scientific American, and I discussing the project here.

The Scientific American WorldView project, where I’ve been serving as lead editorial consultant, is ramping up for its May 20th launch at BIO 2009. One of the objectives for the project was to put marketing-speak aside and objectively measure biotechnology innovation progress around the world. Going beyond gross regional measures, we compare individual countries to distill best practices, opportunities for growth, and uncover hidden gems.

Intrigued? You can hear me talk more about it on BIO’s BIOtech Now blog, and the full publication will be available at BIO 2009 in Atlanta.

I’ll be giving a talk at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Entrepreneurship Conference on March 21st titled “Entrepreneurship: What Not to Do.” The talk will cover cases in failed entrepreneurship in biotechnology, elucidating some of the forseeable and unforseeable factors which can lead to failure.

Hope to see some readers there. If you can’t make it, you may want to check out “Beyond the Business Plan” or Building Biotechnology, on which this latest talk is based.

I am extending my “Best Practices in Biotechnology” book series with additional books in specific niches in biotechnology commercialization. This project is based on my observation that details on many of the critically important elements in biotechnology business development – including managing global operations and regulations, communication and public relations, financial management, and using marketing to drive R&D decisions – do not receive sufficient attention in readily-accessible sources.

I am soliciting articles from industry insiders with deep experience in these areas, and welcome your proposals for chapter submissions. I feel quite strongly that a comprehensive book series covering the aforementioned topics can complement my existing books quite well and can leverage the strong textbook, trade, and library channels they have established.

This is a call for chapters on biotechnology marketing. Specifically, I am looking for case studies, best practices, guidelines, etc. in biotechnology marketing.

Examples include:

  • Using marketing to drive R&D decisions
  • Lifecycle management
  • Using marketing to distinguish a firm from competitors (and, potentially, their controversies/failures)
  • Driving product sales
  • Novel marketing methods or challenges
  • Guidelines for dealing with FDA oversight
  • etc.

I am also planning books on related topics such as communication, so let me know if you have any proposals for topics other than marketing.

Currently I am seeking interest in chapter contributions. The rough timeline for delivery is fall 2009, enabling publication in 2010. If you are interested in participating in this project or have any questions, please use the contact form.


I’ll be giving a talk at the Kogod School of Business on Tuesday February 24th on “Drug Development – Balancing National and Commercial Needs”. The basis of the talk is that countries need access to medicines, foreign currency, and tax revenues, while drug developers need profits (or else they will cease to exist). I’ll be covering strategies used by nations and drug companies to meet their respective needs, and describing case studies in which these needs are at odds with each other, and those in which they coexist in harmony.

Looking forward to a good discussion.

I will be opening the Business Matters for Scientists program at Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business on March 6th 2009. My focus will be providing an extensive overview of the biotechnology industry and insights on paths to entrepreneurship and business planning considerations. In addition to laying out the fundamentals for success, I will also address practical considerations in developing biotechnology companies and illustrate the diversity of entrepreneurial approaches and cases of unforeseen hurdles in biotechnology business development.

For those who cannot make it to Baltimore for the certificate program, two other options exist:

  1. is an online biotechnology education platform offering self-directed courses covering the scientific, legal, regulatory, political, and commercial aspects of biotechnology.
  2. My book, Building Biotechnology, is a comprehensive biotechnology industry primer.