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News and Press: MichBio News

January 'On the Road' with Stephen Rapundalo

Friday, January 30, 2015   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Trevathan
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 Stephen Rapundalo

The end of 2014 and beginning of the New Year was supposed to be a quiet time to regroup and refresh. Instead it turned into a whirlwind of reviewing, preparation, coordinating, and more planning.

Staff and I took the opportunity over the holidays to assess MichBio’s activities, programs, and value proposition. Such an exercise is conducted every year anyways, but this time called for an even deeper dive than normal. We believe that MichBio is at a tipping point in terms of what we do and how we do it. If we are to be sustainable and impactful then the organization needs to step it up to stay fresh and relevant. In a couple of weeks we will meet at a strategic retreat with our Board of Directors where we will better refine the organization’s services, programming, and resources and will remold them into an even better member deliverable in 2015 and beyond. A new MichBio strategic plan will emerge out of that effort. So stay tuned on that front. 

With the advent of the New Year, regular affairs started up again. In the first of January I met with Jeff Mason, Executive Director of University Research Corridor and Rick Neubig, MD, PhD, Chair of Michigan State University’s Department of Pharmacology to begin planning of an inaugural Michigan Drug Discovery Symposium. The event is now set for September 9-10, 2015 at the Kellogg Conference Center in East Lansing. The Symposium will showcase all the fine drug discovery efforts underway at our academic research centers. The program is currently being developed and more details will be unveiled in the coming weeks. In the meantime, save the date!

That same week I caught up with Frank Legacki, the local representative of the venture capital firm, Fletcher Spaight. And two MichBio committees, Medical Devices & Technologies and Clinical Trials convened to discuss various matters. In addition, two steering/planning committees held their first meetings: Women in Bioscience (a new event that we’ll launch in 2015) and the Michigan Bio-Industry Strategic Roadmap (learn more here).

The second week of January is traditionally the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. The largest healthcare/bioscience conference for partnering in the world, it brings together everyone who is anyone to one location for incredible networking—read my JPM Recap article for more details.

Last week, I attended my monthly life science cluster formation meeting at Genesys Health in Genessee County. Our statewide roadmap, MichBio strategic plan, and Drug Discovery Symposium planning continued with several meetings by the various steering groups. Those continued this week, along with squeezing in some time in Lansing to reach out to legislators on several key issues: biosimilars substitution, pharmacy practice and drug control (impacting device sector—yes, you read that correctly), and patent troll legislation—read more about these in my state recap here.

So that wraps up the first month of 2015. Many balls are in the air, and I’m sure more will be thrown in to really make life interesting. As always, let us know what you think and how we can best support your organization.


DataSpeaks, Inc. says...
Posted Saturday, January 31, 2015
I, Curtis A. Bagne, Founder and CSO of DataSpeaks, Inc., just returned from the Personalized Medicine World Conference in Silicon Valley ( with a wealth of ideas and feedback about where much of personalized medicine, drug development, and health care is heading. I would be happy to share these ideas during development of the Michigan Bio-Industry Strategic Roadmap. Curt also presented at This opportunity derived from SRI opening their Phase 1 drug development facility in Plymouth at the Michigan Life Sciences Innovation Center.

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