Nowhere is this partnership between technology and medicine evolving so strongly and quickly than the Bay Area of California—where new discoveries in the lab have the power to bring about new treatments meeting unmet medical need.
At the same time, the extensive risk biopharmaceutical companies take to bring about these new treatments are often met with partnerships from venture capital that seek to advance human health.
A recent event, hosted by The Atlantic, “Innovation Pipeline: Examining Modern Medicine,” explored the Bay Area’s evolving role in the biotechnology industry. With a diverse bench of talent and ample venture capital investment, the Bay Area’s technology sector has become instrumental to the future of medicine.
"Typically, the development of any new technology or new drug does not have a linear trajectory...but, you have to look beyond the dips to push a breakthrough technology forward."
Nils Lonberg, senior vice president, Oncology Discovery Biology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, joined key stakeholders and trailblazers to discuss what it means to put the "bio into biotech." Lonberg spoke about the need to overcome challenges, remain optimistic and harness the moonshots coming out of the technology sector.
Artificial intelligence represents one promising area researchers are exploring to advance biotech. "There is great promise in having artificial intelligence, machine based learning applied to the systems biology," says Sean Harper, executive vice president, Research and Development at Amgen. These innovations are key to creating a more streamlined and digitized health care experience, one that better meets consumer demands and prioritizes the patient.
Lonberg emphasized "the ability to recruit talented scientists is most important" in our ability to bring about new treatments. He went on to say, "we are getting fantastic young scientists from academic institutions around the Bay Area...and that's what is key to our success – a talented pool of people."
As biopharmaceutical researchers and technology experts continue to push the envelope and develop new, innovative treatments, Lonberg stressed the importance of collaboration across all sectors. "We're just beginning to uncover the basic science and understand this new biotechnology ecosystem. We all need to pool our resources, harness our best talent and engage in dialogue."