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George Cox, Joe Conaty, Jim Roberts, Jason Semple, Mark Riedy, Christine Meis McAuliffe, US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, US Sen. Jon Kyl, US Rep. Jason Altmire, US Rep. Kevin Brady, James Murphy Jr., Bernadette Dunham, John McKearn

Frederick (Md.) Innovative Technology Center Incubator Names Lawyer to Board
George Cox has been named to the board of the Frederick (Md.) Innovative Technology Center, after serving the incubator as a member of its client selection committee.
Cox represents several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as an associate with the Baltimore law firm Miles and Stockbridge, where he is also a member of the firm’s life sciences team, focusing on intellectual property and business law.
Cox previously accumulated almost 20 years of biomedical research experience, as a senior staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and earlier as an assistant professor of pharmacology and molecular and cell biology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

NC Commerce Department Names Life Sciences, Tech, Existing Industry Specialists
North Carolina’s Department of Commerce has named two new business development specialists and a business specialist focused on the eastern side of the state:
  • Joe Conaty has been named life sciences business development manager for international trade. Conaty will advise biotechnology and other life sciences companies in the state on regulatory issues, especialy export controls and export licensing. Conaty, who is moving back to North Carolina from Washington, DC, worked most recently for the US Department of Commerce as an export policy analyst and licensing officer. Conaty has an undergraduate degree in international relations and East Asian studies from William and Mary College and an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
  • Jim Roberts has been named technology business development manager for international trade. Roberts will assist North Carolina companies in the technology sector, which includes information technology, nanotechnology and environmental technology, to export products and services overseas. That assistance includes market research and international marketing plans. Roberts, of Chapel Hill, worked most recently as executive director of the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council and Blue Ridge Investors Network. His background includes technology entrepreneurship, business plan preparation, mentoring and networking. Roberts has a BA in advertising from the University of Florida.
  • Jason Semple has been named existing industry specialist for the state’s Eastern region. Semple will serve as a liaison between North Carolina businesses and state and local economic development groups and allies within a 13-county area. A Greenville resident, Semple comes to Commerce from the Martin County Economic Development Corp. in Williamston, NC. He earlier worked as a reporter and editor. Originally from Tennessee, Semple has a BA degree in English from Emory University in Atlanta.
Roberts and Conaty will work out of Raleigh, in the state commerce department’s international trade division. Semple will work out of commerce’s eastern regional office in Greenville, NC.

Mark Riedy Retiring From Board of BioMed Realty Trust After Four Years
Mark Riedy will retire from the board of directors of BioMed Realty Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust headquartered in San Diego, effective with the company's annual stockholders’ meeting on May 21.
Riedy, the Ernest W. Hahn Professor of Real Estate Finance at the University of San Diego and executive director of its Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, has been a member of BioMed Realty’s board since its initial public offering in 2004. He also served as a member of the board's compensation committee and as past chair and current member of the board's audit committee.

Biotech Practice Chair Joins Expanding Law Firm’s New Phoenix Office
Christine Meis McAuliffe will join the Denver-based law firm Holme Roberts and Owen next month when it opens a new Phoenix office, its seventh in the US and ninth worldwide.
McAuliffe co-chairs the biotechnology and life sciences industry group of Jennings Strouss and Salmon PLC. She is one of five Jennings Strouss attorneys to join HRO, which said in a statement its expansion was intended to grow its presence in Western cities and bolster several key practice areas.
A registered patent attorney who practices in the areas of patent, trademark and copyright law, McAuliffe’s background includes experience in patent prosecution; patent validity and infringement options; patent litigation; registration and protection of trademarks and copyrights; litigation concerning patents, trade dress and copyrights; negotiation of assignments, licenses and other tech agreements; and counseling on tech acquisition and transfer, joint ventures and strategic alliances; and intellectual property portfolio development, management and assessment.
She earned a BSci degree in biology in 1997 from Creighton University; a JD degree with honors four years later from Arizona State University College of Law; and an LLM degree, with specialty in biotechnology and genomics, in 2007 from ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Two Senators, Two Representatives, Two Others Win BIO ‘Legislator of the Year’ Honors

The Biotechnology Industry Organization on April 16 awarded ‘Legislator of the Year’ Honors at its BIO Legislative Day Fly-In to the following winners:
  • US Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for being “a reasoned voice during the ongoing patent reform dialogue.”
  • US Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), for “his leadership during the patent reform process and his ongoing support for health care issues.”
  • US Rep. Jason Altmire (R-Pa., 4th district) for “his leadership in the New Democrat Health Care Task Force and his consistent support of our industry,” reflected in part by his support for the Small Business Investment Expansion Act.
  • US Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex., 8th district) for sponsoring the American Life Sciences Competitiveness Act of 2007.
  • James Murphy Jr., assistant US trade representative for agricultural affairs, for working with industry and European officials to resolve the World Trade Organization’s agricultural biotechnology moratorium trade dispute.
  • Bernadette Dunham and the staff of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, for completing in February a controversial global risk assessment concluding that foods from livestock clones and their offspring are as safe to eat as foods from any animal.
More than 200 biotechnology industry representatives from 36 states participated in the legislative day fly-in, seeking to sway senators and representatives on a variety of industry issues. BIO represents more than 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the US and more than 30 nations.

Former Kalypsys CEO Joins St. Louis Life Sciences Venture Capital Firm
John McKearn has been named a venture partner at RiverVest Venture Partners, a St. Louis venture capital firm focused on financing life sciences companies.
McKearn previously served as CEO of Kalypsys, a privately held biotechnology company in San Diego, for which he raised more than $150 million in private equity during his three years with the company. He joined Kalypsys in 2003 as chief scientific officer, and was promoted two years later to CEO.
Earlier he served as head of research for Pharmacia (since merged into Pfizer) and a predecessor company, GD Searle, where he contributed to the discovery, development and launch of eight new prescription drugs — including the anti-arthritis drug Celebrex. Before joining Searle, he held a pharmaceutical R&D position at DuPont.
McKearn serves on the boards of IDM Pharma, formerly Epimmune, and for Keel Pharmaceuticals. He holds a PhD in immunology from the University of Chicago and a BSci in biology from Northern Illinois University.

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.