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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

Friday, Governor Greg Abbott issued three new Executive Orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas.
Within these orders, the Governor has established the Strike Force to Open Texas—a team of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas.

Within the orders, select activities and services that pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to reopen using a "Retail-To-Go" model, certain restrictions on surgeries have been loosened, and schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Governor Abbott launches small business webinar Series to provide timely, relevant, and actionable information on COVID-19 recovery resources- Today's Webinar will feature North Texas
Additional regional webinars will be held throughout the months of April and May and announced on the EDT website in the coming days.

Texas' Response

Economic Outlook for the US and Texas: Projected Recession and Recovery from COVID-19 by The Perryman Group
The forecast calls for significant losses this year, but a fairly rapid recovery is expected once the worst virus issues have passed. Assuming the underlying structure remains essentially in place, the downturn, while sharp and painful, will likely be more of a pause than a fundamental change.

THBI Events

Virtual Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Policy Summit, June 18th
As the leading health policy voice in the state, THBI has been influencing legislation that has led to economic investment and medical breakthroughs for over 20 years. This annual Summit is the premier health policy conference in Texas. The event will include panel discussions and keynote presentations focused on public health policy and our industry's response to COVID-19. 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.

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.

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. 

Updates from Congress

White House, Congress reach deal to replenish small business loan program

The deal totals more than $480 billion and appropriates $320 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion of which is set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions. It also includes $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program; $25 billion for testing; and $75 billion for hospitals, according to details later released.

Updates from Leading COVID-19 Agencies

Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance and accompanying list are intended to support state, local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers. The most recent update on April 17, 2020, clarifies the description of a small number of essential services and functions in the list.

Joint statement by WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
While we are heartened by the remarkable research efforts and the rapid mobilization of public and private resources to develop COVID-19 health technologies, we call upon governments to implement policy measures that can further facilitate their research and development, and to promote their rapid dissemination within countries and across borders so as to ensure equitable access to those technologies.

Our Members Response

Pfizer and BioNTech announce regulatory approval from German authority to commence first clinical trial of COVID-19 vaccine candidates
The trial is the first clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate to start in Germany, and is part of a global development program. Pfizer and BioNTech will also conduct trials for BNT162 in the United States upon regulatory approval, which is expected shortly.

Johnson & Johnson will run an eight episode social-first show titled “The Road to a Vaccine” aimed at helping viewers to understand the steps in the process involved developing a COVID-19 vaccine
Ling also indicates that the show will break down the vaccine development process step-by-step so that it can be easily understood by the layman, as well as giving progress reports to a global audience.
Novartis to test efficacy of old malaria drug against COVID-19
Novartis said it got the go-ahead from the FDA for the trial and it hopes to start recruiting 440 patients within weeks at more than a dozen U.S. sites. Results will be reported as soon as possible, the company added.

Sanofi taps Luminostics to develop a smartphone-based COVID-19 test
Sanofi has begun working with California startup Luminostics to build an at-home test for COVID-19 that would use a sample reader powered by a user’s personal smartphone.

Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) is the trade association that leads the effort to advance medical technology in order to achieve healthier lives and healthier economies around the world
AdvaMed has produced a helpful tool kit with op-eds, press releases, and general statements on the medtech industry’s ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic:

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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