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it’s off their balance sheet, essentially. It’s another version of how you get capital behind discovery, without having to put it on your income statement. So there’s new thinking coming back on how to fund discovery research.”
Bradbury on the importance of networking in San Diego:
“The network is critical for San Diego to continue to be a major hub of innovation. I believe it will be. If you look at stem cells here, the Center for Regenerative Medicine, the way that was created with UCSD, Scripps, Salk, (Sanford Burnham), all working together, that’s probably pretty unique to San Diego.
Gage on the big opportunity he sees in life sciences over the next two decades:
“There are great opportunities for bioinformatics startups to support the onslaught of genomic data that is spinning out.”
Bradbury on how genomics is transforming the pharmaceutical industry:
“The amount of information, and the speed at which we will have that information, and the lack of cost in getting that information is astounding. It’s almost unfathomable how much information that will generate. That sequencing cost is just going through the floor. There’s a lot of opportunity for companies in San Diego to be formed around that.”
Schimmel on the future for bioinformatics:
“I was on the original founding scientific advisory board for Illumina, getting it started with David Walt and some of his colleagues here in San Diego. They are now probably the leading genomics information obtaining company in the world. They have capacity to generate detailed genomic information about everyone in this room very quickly. But we don’t know what to do with that information for the most part. At the same time, the research being done to make connections between polymorphisms and mutations in genes and human disorders is being changed every day in real-time. There’s a huge opportunity there for the right computational people to be able to get those databases and transmit that information. Ultimately, it will be an iPhone application. You will have an application on your iPhone that will basically, every day, give you the latest information that’s relevant to your particular DNA sequence.”
“There’s far more to do than any one group can do. I was talking recently to Phil Sharp at MIT, who’s a founder of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. I asked him to predict a hot area going forward in neuroscience that you could jump into quickly. He said computational neuroscience. It’s going to be an absolutely explosive area, relevant to all kinds of disease diagnosis and treatment. San Diego is well positioned for this. You’ve got to think more about how to build bridges between things that are already here. You have Illumina already here. You have Qualcomm already here. You have people who are very good at computational work already here. There’s a huge opportunity in finding out how to build clever bridges and starting something up. Before you know it, it will be something everybody is buzzing about.”
Mendlein on what’s missing in San Diego biotech:
“We have our work cut out for us. We do. The Boston area is on fire right now. San Diego has a lot of fires here in terms of companies, but if we want to keep pharma research centers here, we have to work on it. There are firms doing it, but it’s an essential element. We are at a slight disadvantage for a good reason, because of time zones. There’s been a lot of investment in the Boston area by Big Pharma. I’d like to reverse the trend in the San Diego area. If you look back, there are different tributaries of funding that come into this area, and we want to keep all of it flowing as much as possible, and pharma is an important one.”
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