2021 Boston Biotechnology Virtual Summit Program will be announced soon

INTRODUCTION from Shahin Gharakhanian, MD, DPH. Soheila Gharakhanian. October. 2020

In 2016, the co-founders of the Boston Biotechnology Summit® started their journey to create an essential event. They decided that their mission was to create an exclusive Trans-Atlantic Bridge designed to foster innovative synergies between biotech and pharma companies, healthcare-focused cities and regional clusters, and institutional, philanthropic and strategic investors. Their intent was to spark projects, their financing and strategic deals in order to solve unmet medical needs and globally improve the lives of patients. Over the past three years in Paris (France), Boston MA and Philadelphia PA, over 80 Leaders and Experts have discussed their views and presented their work to over 700 professionals from the biotechnology community, representing close to 300 organizations from nearly thirty countries or US states. The central theme of the first edition was an introduction to the biotechnology ecosystems in Boston and Paris, which were also highlighted in terms of innovation and leadership. The Summit’s framework for its 2nd edition was “From the promise of raising capital to the reality of clinical trials” and featured speakers from the academic, biotech, investor, legal/regulatory and pharma worlds. Collaboration is an increasingly important component in the next stage of biotechnology’s evolution, for at least three fundamental reasons:

  • First, no single technology is likely to generate all the drug innovations required to treat the complex range of diseases that constitute unmet medical needs in our societies.
  • Second, no single company or entity can possibly possess all the answers,
  • Third, the risky nature of the economics of biotechnology is such that no single region can achieve results on its own.

By choosing Collaboration as its central theme, the third Summit further ensured that it could offer an efficient and cost-effective forum that would add value for the professionals and organizations in attendance. We have found confirmatory inspiration in David Epstein’s #1 New York Times Bestseller, Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. The Boston Biotechnology Summit offers a hand-crafted, generalist forum for professionals from the biotechnology and health industry.

On 30 December 2019 a ProMed email from the International Society of Infectious Diseases (IDSA) contained information on , thus alerting the world to what was to become the worst health crisis in 100 years. On 24 January 2020, the New England Journal of Medicine (2020, 382: 727-733) published a brief report from the China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team: “In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing”. That same day The Lancet (2020, 395:497-506) published the clinical features of patients in Wuhan “The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of the disease need fulfilment by future studies”. The pandemic that followed has been compared to major events in human history and has had profound economic, political, psychological and sociological effects (please refer to references). On 31 May, the Boston Globe reproduced an article first reported in the New York Times <In Geneva – one of the world’s richest cities – a mile-long line for free food” A formidable challenge was thus posed to Public Research Institutions and the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries in particular. The Boston Business Journal has since reported that some 30 companies in MA are focused on Covid-19, and clinicaltrial.gov accessed in August 2020 listed over 3000 studies. In October 2020, we will be approaching the first anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Summit Organizers & Program Committee have decided to focus on a Special Virtual 4th Summit on Covid-19: State-of-the Art.

2021 Virtual Summit

Schedule 10:00 AM US EDT = 16h EU CET

Program is under construction


Opening Remarks

  • Baton Handover from the previous Summit: 2020 Video Summary


11:05 AM

Will be announced soon

11:50 AM

Core Topics: Will be announced soon


12.00 PM

Core Topics:





3:50 PM

Closing Remarks 

References & Bibliography

    1. 2017-2018-2019 Summit Contents, Press Coverage & Synopsis.
    2. bostonbiotechnologysummit.com
  • Barnes, M, Sax PE. Challenges of “Return to Work” in an Ongoing Epidemic. New England Journal of Medicine 2020, 383:8. Special Report August 20, 2020.
  • Ducharme J. Eleven (11) Medical Breakthroughs (from Boston). Boston Magazine2017; 87-96.
  • David Edwards. Creating Things That Matter. The Art and Science of Innovations that Last. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 2018.
  • David Epstein: Range. Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. New York: Riverhead Books, 2019
  • Fukuyama The Pandemic and Political Order https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2020-06-09/pandemic-and-political-order. Foreign Affairs July/August 2020
  • Gardini GL (Editor). The World Before and After Covid 19. Intellectual Reflections on Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations. European Institute of International Studies Press, Salamanca-Stockholm, 2020
  • Gates B. Responding to Civid-19 – A Once in a Century Pandemic ? April 30, 2020
    New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 382:1677-1679
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2003762
  • Huang C, Wang Y, Li X et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet 2020 Feb 15;395(102223):497-506. PubMed https://pubmed.gov/31986264. First clinical publication.
  • Kamps BS, Hoffmann Ch. COVID Reference. CovidRefence.com Fourth Edition. 2020-4. Steinhäuser Verlag publishers.
  • Kamps BS, Hoffmann Ch. COVID Reference Top 10. Daily Science Steinhäuser Verlag publishers.
  • ProMed (IDSA: International Society for Infectious Diseases). Undiagnosed pneumonia – China (HU): RFI. Archive Number: 20191230.6864153. Full Text: https://promedmail.org/promed-post/?id=6864153. This email is the first message that alerted the world.
  • The Forum for the Industry Executive. 2020 Year in Preview. PharmaVoice Special Issue. 2019; Volume 19, No.10. November/December 2019.
  • Novel coronavirus – China. Jan 12, 2020. http://www.who.int/csr/don/12-january-2020-
  • Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W et al for the China Novel Coronavirus Investigating and Research Team. A novel Coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. Published on January 24, 2020 @ NEJM.org. New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 382:727-733. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2001017. February 20, 2020.

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