By David Beier and Bob Kocher

This article first ran in BioCentury on January 28, 2021

The U.S. is not ready for the next pandemic. Our public health infrastructure and planning process are not up to the challenge, our capacity to treat at-risk citizens is insufficient, and we are not making enough of a new category of antiviral that can treat emerging viruses: mAbs derived from patients.

The bottom line is this — we are poised to make the same mistakes again unless we act now. Five measures would help the U.S. scale up testing, therapeutics and vaccine development. The…

With the launch of the Rebuilding Fund, California has laid a foundation for small business recovery, but much more needs to be done

This article, co-authored with Pedro Nava and Sean Varner, fellow Little Hoover Commissioners, was first published by Cal Matters on December 8.

On Nov. 20, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the launch of a key program to support small businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic — the California Rebuilding Fund. While we commend this strong start, the state must marshal more resources to address the pandemic’s impact on our small business communities.

Image via Cal Matters (iStock)

The Rebuilding Fund is a partnership…

An Open Letter from more than 70 scientists and public health advocates

We the undersigned, scientists and public health advocates, urge public officials and leaders in communities and the private sector — corporate and nonprofit — to step up our efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We all know that masks, hand washing, physical distancing and targeted stay at home directions are sensible public health directives in the fight against this pandemic. We also urge rapid advances on safe and effective therapeutics and vaccines.

We write to say it is time for a national effort to focus…

By Max Bronstein and David Beier

This article ran in BioCentury on March 7, 2020

As the world eyes a return to post-COVID crisis ‘normalcy,’ a robust global recovery will depend on effective treatments and ultimately a vaccine. Yes, more than 400 research and clinical programs are already under way, but coordinating these efforts is a major challenge.

That’s why when NIH announced the formation of a public-private partnership among biopharmaceutical companies, the CDC, and global regulatory authorities, the news offered real hope for COVID drug development (see “Collaborating to Clobber COVID-19”).

NIH Director Francis Collins announced the public-private partnership “ACTIV” on April 17, 2020. Photo credit Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

Nothing as important as this has occurred since…

Harvard Business Review just published an opinion article on realistic public health steps that should be taken to increase the chances of a positive set of outcomes from the economic re-engagement that is occurring in many parts of the US.

My coauthors and I argue that an aggressive social protection plan, with the strategic use of masks and broader, measurable goals, can work well enough even without perfect testing regimes and incomplete contact tracing.

We conclude that best efforts at testing, tracing and masks can lower the spread by getting the RO lower. Yes, there are risks, but the risks…

Start with lessons learned, then turn the page

By David Beier and Andrew Sullivan

The surreal scene of an emergency field hospital in Central Park, NYC. Photo Credit: NY1/Spectrum News

We’re in the midst of one of the gravest tests America has ever faced. It’s a moment to set aside partisanship and make decisions in the interest of the American people. While we’re depending on President Trump to provide sober leadership, our collective health and financial well-being depend not on him alone, but on all of us. We all have to do our part. But we also need a national plan on testing.

It’s never too early to draw lessons from a crisis. This is the context for a piece which assesses the federal…

President Trump’s February 26 press conference discussing the government’s efforts to combat the coronavirus

By Alex Karnal and David Beier

In The Great American Drug Deal, biotech investor Peter Kolchinsky outlines a vision for the future of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s a future in which the interests of society align both with the firms developing new medicines and the patients who depend on new treatments and cures.

Now that might sound far-fetched when you consider no industry stands in lower regard among Americans than the pharmaceutical sector, according to Gallup’s latest data. That’s exactly why Kolchinksy’s contributions are timely. In compulsively readable prose, he is proposing a new social contract between biopharmaceutical companies and…

Image credit: Nicolas Raymond (adapted by MWI)

By David Beier and Nelson Cunningham

When the world’s first power plant switched on in 1882 — steam engines, fired by coal, lighting lower Manhattan — policymakers probably didn’t ask what this breakthrough would mean for America’s rivalry with Germany, the rising industrial and military power of the day.

This century’s breakthrough technology is artificial intelligence, as consequential today as electricity was to the 19th century. Which nation leads on AI will lead on, well, everything. And that brings us to America’s rapidly escalating conflict with today’s rising power, China.

AI will profoundly improve human society, affecting the daily lives…

David Beier

Managing Director, Bay City Capital, San Francisco, CA. Previously Chief Domestic Policy to Vice President Al Gore. Senior corporate officer DNA and Amgen

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