Xconomy Forum: The Biotech Odyssey and Xconomy’s Ode to Innovation and Clean Air

12/15/09Follow @bvbigelow

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support innovation at Alynlam, Maraganore says the biotech set a reasonable timetable to reach its internal goals and shunned “benchmark” management, which he describes as, “what can we do to become more ordinary.” He also emphasized the importance of protecting innovation through extensive patent filings.

We also got a look at a rising generation of young biotech innovators in a panel discussion among San Diego Xconomists, including chemist Sheng Ding of The Scripps Research Institute, Trey Ideker, chief of genetics at the UCSD School of Medicine, and cell biologist Peter Kuhn of The Scripps Research Institute. When moderator David Kabakoff, a San Diego-based partner with Sofinnova Ventures, asked them to identify the special attributes of innovation in San Diego, the panelists’ consensus was San Diego “clean air” and the spirit of collaboration here. “I just felt this was a good place to seed ideas and be creative,” Ideker said. Ding added, “You want to collaborate. You want to open yourself to new possibilities. In my experience, The Scripps Research Institute has been very supportive [of collaboration], the institutional barriers in that regard are very low. We cannot be experts in everything. So collaboration with others, with UCSD, comes naturally.”

David BaltimoreBaltimore echoed their view during his keynote chat with Drew Senyei, managing partner of San Diego’s Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, when he said, “The clean air of San Diego is a reality. There is some sense of opportunity and comfort here. I was here when UCSD was two buildings, and it was just the most wonderful creative, collaborative, and innovative environment.”

For us at Xconomy, however, one of the most satisfying moments came when someone in the audience asked the young innovators’ panel, “What are we not doing in San Diego to encourage innovation?” and Ideker responded, “We’re not having enough of these Xconomy forums.”

Hey Trey, we’ll see what we can do to remedy that.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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