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    robert coughlin said:

    Statement from Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO of MassBio:

    MassBio stands 100% behind all of the employees of our member companies around the world. The greatest minds from around the world made this industry what it is and it will take the greatest minds globally to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, and the hundreds of diseases impacting human health.

    The recent refugee and immigration executive order is a threat to the sustainability and growth of the life sciences industry throughout the United States and, in particular, in Massachusetts, and a threat to scientific discovery.

    We at MassBio stand by to work with any of our member companies or employees that are facing uncertainty as a result of the order. We have been communicating with our elected officials and the Massachusetts delegation and offer our help in finding solutions immediately and longer term.

    We will continue to work with our partners in government to advocate for and advance policies that will allow the best and the brightest people from across the world to join our cluster.

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    mark levin said:

    Thank you Jeremy, Steve, John, Paul, Ron and Bassil for penning the letter which I support with every aging mitochondria and shortening telomere in my body. And Bob, thank you for your statement of support from Mass Bio.

    I have been in pharma, biotech and venture capital for 40+ years and have watched our industry, from Lilly in the 1970s, to Genentech to the Mayfield Fund in the 1980s, to Millennium in the 1990s and to Third Rock in 2017. I have been involved in dozens of companies with extraordinary colleagues from around the world and have seen the incredible globalization of our industry to today where when you walk into any biotech company, you will get the opportunity to interact with passionate and committed people from every continent of our increasingly “Flat World”. And it is through this diversity of people and their thought processes that has driven our industry to another level of success over its 4 decade history. At Third Rock we use a term, “GROUP GENIUS” which we borrowed from an academic researcher in Creativity. Group Genius for us, is to have the diversity around the table to ensure the best hypothesis and ultimately the best decisions. We derive Group Genius from multiple cross sections of people- gender, expertise, experience, lack of experience, race, ethnicity, religion, older, younger and all of the “mad ones who are mad to live”

    And I do want to make another point today to add to the importance of Immigration Policy. All of us in Biotech strive every day to build hypotheses, drive evaluations, get data, iterate and draw conclusions on REAL STATISTICAL DATA and NOT ALTERNATIVE FACTS. I am an engineer and I strive hard to live up to the “Scientific Method’/ “Design Thinking” that we all believe is necessary in discovering and developing health care products that will make a difference in patients and their families lives. And as hard as we strive to utilize data driven decisions, it is still darn near impossible to bring breakthrough products from basic research to the patient. Imagine what would happen if we were not driven by what the data tells us and our willingness to change our mind and move forward.

    When I read the paper or watch the news these day and hear statements such as— Science is a partisan issue, Climate Change is just not happening , Intelligent Design is the only explanation for the Universe, Vaccines cause Autism, Schools need guns to keep grizzly bears out, Stem cell scientists are threating our fundamental principles, Wind farms are disgusting looking and bad for people’s health, Environment friendly light bulbs can cause cancer and unfortunately the list is endless.
    These statements are coming from our current and future leaders of our country. These statements are scary because they are not based on facts but what is even more scary, is the thought process that is used to draw these conclusions. Imagine where we will be in a few years with decision making based on whims, political outcomes and just plain ignorance. And I also worry about the retaliation environment that is being created towards people who speak out – what will happen to their career and the ideas they may have expressed. The stifling approach to opinions is something we all know and have seen in meetings and in many companies- there is nowhere to go but down when opinions and ideas, as crazy as they may seem, cannot be expressed in an open and encouraging society.

    The Administration will soon pick the head of HHS, the FDA, the permanent head of the NIH and the NCI , PCAST members and the Presidents key Science Advisor among many. And if there is one thing we know in Biotech/Venture Capital, is that Leadership and their thought process/decision making is key to the company’s success. So, we should worry about who are future Science Leaders are and their thought process for drawing important conclusions for our country and for the planet. And the “thinking or lack of thinking environment” that this culture will be creating for our kids and their kids.

    I was in WDC with my family for the Women’s March a few weeks ago. An extraordinary day with lots of wonderfully diverse opinions on human rights, education, inequality and how we can all work best to create a bright future for ALL OF US. And now there is a March coming up on April 27th – MARCH FOR SCIENCE. It is not only a March For Science, but a March for a way of thinking that allows us all to share our best ideas, develop hypothesis and go solve important problems in society based on the data/facts. As it says on the SCIENCE March Website – “Science should neither serve special interest nor be rejected based on personal conviction. At its core, science is a tool for seeking
    answers.”

    So its seem to me that the STIFILING IMMIGRATION POLICY is part of an overall trend that is focused on a STIFLING THOUGHT PROCESS POLICY where ultimately many of our opinions and data driven ideas are not valuable –only the whim of a few will count.

    We should get a Biotech/Device/Diagostics/HealthCare group together and go to WDC in April and express our opinion. The data and facts should guide policy in our country- not personal opinion.

    Now, I should mention that I speak only for myself and of course, that is what makes this country great is that we all can have our own opinion without retaliation. Although, I would argue a few facts never hurt when you express your opinion.

    have a great day everyone
    mark

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    Lori Lindburg said:

    The vibrancy of California’s life sciences sector depends heavily upon providing employers and research institutions with a talent pool that is second to none. The California life sciences industry attracts the best and brightest scientists, students, faculty and other experts from around the globe. These individuals must comply with existing requirements (e.g., visas or green cards) to receive permission to visit, study or work for our industry in the U.S.

    It is critically important for California’s ongoing life sciences leadership – in a sector that employs nearly 300,000, and creates products that enhance and save millions of lives – that such individuals can travel to and from the U.S. under a clear, efficient and predictable framework of rules. Such a framework must also be rigorously focused on its purpose of mitigating threats to U.S. citizens and be non-discriminatory. We urge the Administration to move quickly to ensure that legitimate travel is not obstructed, so that our position as the global leader in life sciences innovation, investment and job creation is sustained