Anthony Franchini: Resources for keeping up on biopharma and biotech through social media
The PhD/Postdoc blog series features scientists at different stages of career development as they explore and plan for their next steps. Over the course of six months, Yeonwoo Lebovitz, Anthony Franchini, Megan Duffy, and Celia Fernandez will give monthly updates on their progress. Check back every Wednesday for new posts.
Current position: Postdoctoral Research Fellow studying Microbial Disease, Immunology, and Toxicology; Fellow at Kerafast, Lead Consultant @CBETHNK
Program start date: July 2014
Institution: University of Rochester
Before I dive into the main focus of the post today, I wanted to give a shout out to a URBEST event held yesterday, on November 1st, 2016: Dr. Alan Wahl, Principal of Westwahl LLC and previous VP of Discovery at Ambrx Inc. came and talked to the trainees here at URMC about his career path and shared some science with us. I was pretty hyped about it because Dr. Wahl is not only an alumni who has done some great science, but also because at this point in his career he is also doing some Venture Capital Consulting. Do I see a potential mentor or career arch to mimic here? You bet. I wanted to hear his take on it and how his work in a range of biopharma and biotech companies has informed how he approaches that role. He’s had numerous successes in drug discovery. That said, I figured I would direct my readers to the URBEST blog post he wrote as a preamble to the talk. The consultant/VC-aspect of his work probably won’t last long (he’s a thrice confessed lab rat), but hearing his take on entering the field by way of biotech was informative. I’m looking forward to continued correspondence with Dr. Wahl as we share this common path.
Now, onto the main event! Before I started down this path, it was glaringly obvious to me that I knew absolutely nothing about this area. I touched on this in my first post: I didn’t have a handle on the lingo, nor did I know the major players (still probably don’t, actually!), and I didn’t know any reliable sources of information from which to learn. So after I went to what would was the first CBETHNK meeting (our Consulting group spin out from URBEST), I sat down and started searching for resources and primary literature I could read and catch up to the others whom already had experience thinking and working in the VC/Consulting space. All that said, I figured it was time to share some of these resources here, so that the NIHBEST blog readership can take advantage of them as they wish. What’s the worst that happens? You passively learn something while procrastinating on twitter?
Worth your time twitter follows:
Obviously, you should follow my group and I @CBETHNK! (Oh, and we’re working on a website too, that’s for a future post!)
Dan Primack – @danprimack – Formerly of Fortune Magazine, Dan tweets about everything from finance, stock market movements, and biotech.
WSJ Science – @WSJscience – News focused on where science meets business
Andy Biotech – @AndyBiotech – Biotech Investor, “recovering” Scientist
NEJM Catalyst – @nejmcatalyst – News source for healthcare innovations
BioPharmCatalyst – @crusadernz – Biotech stock watch feed and toolset for the interested investor
Yali Friedman, Ph.D. @jcommbiotech, editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology – Yali is someone whom I’ve personally interacted with after finding his journal on LinkedIn. His connections run deep and the fact that he is very approachable makes him that much better of a follow.
Ves Dimov, M.D. – @DrVes Allergist/Immunologist at Cleveland Clinic. Associate Professor at FAU. Tweets about biotech and life science start-ups in clinical phases.
Jonathan Fritz – @TrepAttorney – IP Attorney, CSO/New Ventures Symphony Corp., TEDMED Research Scholar, and Director of the WI Tech Council
True Ventures – @trueventures – Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage technology startups.
NIH SBIR/STTR – @NIHsbir – NIH’s SBIR/STTR programs award seed funding to small businesses that are creating innovative technologies to improve health Privacy
SDBN – @sdbn – San Diego Biotechnology Network: Building a community and providing news and events for the local life science industry.
Brian R. Dorn, Ph.D. – @BiotechPatent – Patent Attorney and in-house IP Counsel at a Naples, FL medical device & biologics company; BioFlorida Board member.
Podcasts to keep you awake while pipetting:
*These podcasts are not specifically life sciences/biotech related, but give you a glimpse behind the scenes at how some companies got started, the lucky breaks that happened, and the work necessary to succeed. A reminder that it is not just the technology but the people behind it that lead to success.
Notable Biotech Blogs:
Biotech Due Diligence – An aggregate of so many other blogs and news sources I don’t have time to list them all. Definitely worth checking out!
Investopedia is a good news and advice site for those who want to know a little more about managing their wealth (if you have anything from those years in grad school…) or are starting to plan for the future. Personally, the reference section of this site is what I have found to be the most useful. Everything from C-note to Zombie banks are explained.
And then there is Markets and Markets. The company routinely puts out market analysis and growth projections for basically everything. The majority of which are behind a paywall you wouldn’t pay for access to unless you were another major corporation (reports are $5000 USD and above, EACH). But they do provide a snapshot into where the markets currently are. I subscribed to their newsletter solely for this. Pro tip: The free brochure does not net you anything extra, it is usually just a list of all the figures and tables within. And it nets you marketing calls. Take te newsletter at face value, nothing more.
Of course, this is in no way a complete list of the blogs, news, and analysis out there. It’s just where I started. I wouldn’t even suggest reading/following/listening to all of them at once. But take a little time, follow one or two, and see if it holds your interest.