Lee Hartwell’s Next Career Move, Swedish’s Social Media Ace, Cell Therapeutics’ Lifeline, & More Seattle-Area Life Sciences News
This week, I profiled a person in his 70s and someone in her 20s. It really reminded me how covering the life science innovation beat leads to a lot of fascinating people at different stages of their careers.
—Lee Hartwell, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist who is stepping down as president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, talked in depth about what he plans to do in the next phase of his career. It’s a fascinating blend of personalized medicine, global sustainability, and science education. Hartwell also chimed in with an op-ed to specifically outline his ideas around science education.
—The other profile was about Dana Lewis, a person just starting her career at 22 as the social media ace at Swedish Medical Center. She told the story of how her interest in finding information online about her Type 1 diabetes morphed into a job, in which she coaches doctors on how to engage with patients and peers through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and any other form of social media.
—Seattle-based Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC) survived yet another cliffhanger moment, as the company was able to persuade shareholders to authorize the sale of another 400 million shares. The company was running low on cash, and now expects to be able to raise more money.
—Stewart Lyman kept the conversation going about ZymoGenetics, noting that he’s sad to see one of the strongest players in Seattle biotech disappear. While others have suggested the region doesn’t need a so-called “anchor tenant,” Lyman points out why he thinks this is important for the region’s future as a biotech hub.
—Paying down debt is a fashionable thing to do in 2010, and that’s what Vancouver, BC-based Tekmira Pharmaceuticals did this week. Tekmira agreed to accept a $5.75 million payment from Hana now, in exchange for reduced payments in the future from a drug development licensing agreement. Tekmira then sent the $5.75 million to debt holders to wipe out its remaining debt.