Recently Cleary Simpson (CEO), Keith Fargo (Chief Scientific Officer) and Susan Ruediger (Co-founder and Chief Mission Officer) traveled to San Diego for the annual BIO International Convention. BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization) brings together thousands of people from pharma, small biotechs, and patient organizations to drive a revolution that aims to cure patients.
The CMTRF’s mission at BIO2022 was to educate drug researchers and manufacturers on the urgency of helping find a treatment or cure for CMT. For example, in 2019, we introduced DTx to CMT at BIO and now, three years later, they are on a path toward clinical trials for a CMT1A treatment.
Scouting for new partners and projects that will expand the research into CMT and lead to treatments and cures faster is a primary part of CMT Research Foundation’s mission. Even though not every meeting will result in a partnership, we are able to greatly increase awareness about CMT within the pharmaceutical industry.
This year, we met 32 different companies. About half were already working in CMT, but the other half, like DTx, had never heard of CMT before. Keith, Cleary and Susan were encouraged by the interest and the conversations we had; in fact, many have already advanced into deeper follow-on dialogues that include ideas for new research projects to fund.
There was a discernible uptick in and enthusiasm for CMT. In years past, we were asking for most of the meetings we had. This year more than half of our meetings were requested by the other party. The word about CMT is out and companies are demonstrating a strong interest in joining our mission to eradicate CMT.
BIO Is my favorite meeting of the year. Having the opportunity to meet so many different companies through the partnering platform allows us to efficiently find new potential partners and help evangelize the urgency of solving CMT .
BIO sees the CMTRF as a leader in patient driven research. In fact, they recommended we present on a panel in a session about the importance of collaboration between patient organizations and the pharmaceutical industry.
Moderated by Hollie Schmit of the Accelerated Cure Project for MS, the panel included Susan Ruediger, Melissa DuPont from Sanofi, Danielle Kerkovich from IFOPA to speak about how patient organizations must work with industry to drive drug development.
Participating in this panel led to three interviews.
Susan was asked to speak to Science Advisory Board, a media group reporting on the discovery and development of life sciences, and CGTLive, a media outlet reporting on cell, gene, regenerative and engineered medicines.
Video of Susan with Science Advisory Board at BIO2022
Link to come when video is live
Keith was invited to be interviewed on camera by BIO, discussing the power BIO has for patient groups like the CMTRF. And BIO invited us to several “by invitation only” networking and leadership events that increased our visibility among the pharma industry.
BIO has become a very powerful platform for the CMT Research Foundation and we are grateful for their collaborative partnership. And we’re excited about the many relationships that have been created through their platform. We will continue to update you on outcomes from our BIO meetings throughout the year. For now, we will get to work on assessing these companies and helping them understand how they might contribute to ending CMT.