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Newsletter

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

THBI is actively communicating and working with policy leaders, industry partners and Texas entities to ensure the state of Texas is on the forefront of combating coronavirus, and taking proper action to keep the state safe during the global outbreak.  During the current environment of COVID-19 and shelter in place restrictions issued across the nation, the THBI team has been hard at work on behalf of our members and the Texas life sciences industry to maintain a level of service and provide timely, important information. We have focused on shifting programming from in-person meetings to virtual platforms and I hope that you are finding the content timely and helpful. Please let us know how we can work with you to increase our efforts as an industry. 

   

Updates from the Texas Legislature

Governor Abbott launches small business webinar Series to provide timely, relevant, and actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources 
The Governor's Small Business Webinar Series for Central Texas was held in partnership with the Greater San Marcos Partnership, Greater Waco Chamber and Kerr Economic Development Corporation. Additional regional webinars will be held throughout the months of April and May and announced on the EDT website in the coming days.

Governor Abbott announced that his Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide $38 million in federal funds to local units of government in Texas. 
Jurisdictions may use this funding to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment, supplies, training, travel expenses, and addressing the medical needs of inmates in local and tribal jails and detention centers.

Texas' Response

Luminex Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization to Detect Virus Responsible for COVID-19 Disease
"The ARIES® SARS-CoV-2 Assay will allow hospital professionals to determine the appropriate course of treatment for patients suspected of having COVID-19 within approximately two hours."

THBI Events

Policy Summit- June 18th 
Due to the current environment of COVID-19, we will be taking the Policy Summit virtual on June 18th. We will now be hosting the Luminary Dinner and Expo in the fall, in conjunction with the Fall Summit. This is a critical time for our industry and we look forward to leading important conversations for policy makers to hear. Registration is complimentary.

Thank you sponsors PhRMA, Merck, Pfizer, UT Health San Antonio,Otsuka, Cancer Insight and Dispersol Technologies. 

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Email jhl@thbi.com to learn more. 

BioTexas Cafe 
Earlier this month we launched the BioTexas Cafe to host programming for THBI members and legislators.

Yesterday, we hosted “COVID-19 and the Importance of Policy on Public Health” with Dr.Rodney Rohde from Texas State University. We have had great participation from our members, legislators and legislative staff. 

We will be recording each webinar and have posted videos from both previous webinars on the website.  

THBI Member News

BioMed SA Looks to the Future with New Leadership, New Initiatives
BioMed SA, the non-profit corporation founded in 2005 to promote and grow San Antonio’s leading industry, healthcare and bioscience,has selected Heather Hanson as its President, ushering in a new era for the venerable organization as its Founding President Ann Stevens retires. 
   

BIO Busuiness Solutions

As the world has been dealing with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, BIO has been working with partners and member companies on business continuity, mitigation and contingency planning. As part of BIO Business Solutions Cost Savings Program, we have several benefits to help you run your business, access resources and reduce spending.

To become a THBI member and gain access to the BIO Business Solutions purchasing program, email julia@thbi.com.

Updates from Congress

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts
These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.

AdvaMed Commends Administration’s Announcement on Elective Surgeries
“We appreciate the President’s announcement that would safely allow elective surgeries to resume. The term ‘elective surgeries’ implies they’re procedures patients choose to have, but in reality means surgeries or procedures that are ‘scheduled,’ are important to the patient’s health, and must often be performed.”

Our Members Response

Merck employee puts work on hold, now helping care for patients in London
Merck has changed its volunteer policy to support employees like Dr. Ali with medical backgrounds.  Recognizing the need for additional health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and medical laboratory technicians, to assist in regions where COVID-19 is spreading

Abbott has launched its third test for COVID-19 — and this time it’s an antibody test
Antibody tests for coronavirus are an important weapon in the fight against the pandemic because they can also tell whether someone has had the virus in the past. Such information is crucial to evaluate how wide the virus has actually spread. Abbott plans to distribute 4 million tests by the end of the month, ramping up to 20 million tests a month by June.

Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment
Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week.

Become a THBI Member

THBI is the Texas policy voice for the healthcare and bioscience industry. With a focus on advocacy, public policy and industry vitalization, THBI works with government and industry leaders to enhance and further establish the life sciences in Texas, and to promote effective legislation at the state and federal level. 

There is no better time to join the conversation and become a member of THBI. Our members are on the forefront of collaboration and the research and development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to combat COVID-19. No matter the size of your company or level of involvement, your participation at the table is important. To learn more about membership opportunities, email julia@thbi.com. 

Resource Center

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES 
Many companies in Texas have the capabilities to provide significant resources to fight COVID-19. If your company is seeking funding, here are some helpful resources. 

Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) Coronavirus Business Resource Center

As many BIO members work to develop diagnostics, vaccines and treatments to address the global COVID-19 outbreak, BIO has provided resources to help companies continue their operations with minimum disruption and keep their employees safe and healthy. 

Stay Connected

THBI has published a COVID-19 page on www.thbi.com for more helpful resources and an archive of the THBI COVID-19 email updates. 
   
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