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RGA Policy Summit - Governor, Chris Sununu, Kelly Gillespie, and Governor,  Larry Hogan - Nashville, TN  - 5/27/21

Republican Governors Association Summit  6/2/21

At the Republican Governors Association Summit in Nashville, MOBIO represented Missouri's biotechnology and biomedical industry during the panel discussion on Securing America’s Medical Supply Chain. This plenary session focused on strengthening America's medical supply chains and sharing lessons learned from vulnerabilities exposed during the COVID-19 health care crisis.


Kelly Gillespie's remarks focused on raising awareness of the national security and public health security risks when other nations shut down their biomanufacturing facilities or closed their borders to the exporting of active pharmaceutical ingredients for essential medicines, as we experienced in March 2020. The US biopharma community needs to address taking market-appropriate steps to increase our domestic biomanufacturing capacity and develop a plan with the government for reshoring API and other essential medicines.


MOBIO pointed out that Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals 154-year-old company located in St. Louis, is the nation's largest API manufacturer by volume, with 1,600 experienced employees and a well-positioned urban campus with solid expansion potential for future API lines and antibiotic API lines.


The pandemic could have been much worse if essential investments made in Missouri were not available. Pfizer's global research center opened in 2019 in Chesterfield, played a crucial role in developing that company's vaccine platform. Washington University's depth of biomedical expertise allowed it to build and deploy a saliva-based, high throughput COVID diagnostic test at a time when testing resources were in short supply and taking too long. This test received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA in August 2020 and is another example of everyone leaning in to do what they could last year.


Gillespie also spoke on:

• the need for strong public-private partnerships

• prioritized policy environments for stable pro-business and pro-science approaches

• commitments to workforce development

• sharpened investments in higher education and research

• commitments to growing our own companies through innovation ecosystems

• pandemic preparedness and local resiliency expertise from looming supply interruptions

· raising awareness of the state bioscience associations presence in being important partners for state governments

• the need for executive leadership that persistently takes care of the day-to-day needs while following a long-term plan for the good of the citizens.


Moderating the panel was Gov. Chris Sununu (NH). Fellow panelists with Gillespie included Gov. Mike Parson (MO), Gov. Larry Hogan (MD), Gov. Henry McMaster (SC), and Stanton McComb, President McKesson Medical-Surgical, and Joshua Walker, COO Nomi Health.


Twenty-one of the nation's governors attended this event. Missouri was well-represented, and it was great to see state capitol colleagues: Drue DuncanAndrew BluntMike TalboySean Grove, MPAJeff RoeJeff DavisJeff CraverTed PowersBrian BuntenTerry McCurrenJoseph HrdlickaBradley WestmorelandTom KrewsonAaron Willard, Kevin Webb, and Gordon Reel.