Ben brings both biopharma expertise and diverse experience. For the past five and a half years, he was a senior manager in PwC’s Health Research Institute. He developed reports on various policy issues and business trends, particularly in the pharma and medtech sectors, provided research for clients and spoke at industry events. Previously, he was a journalist with Pharmaceutical Executive; Medical Marketing & Media, PRWeek and Direct Marketing News; and Ad-Fax Media. During his college days, he taught English in China.
He lives in Orlando, Fla. Outside of work, Ben enjoys playing guitar, welcomes your recommendations for great novels and avidly pursues hiking, biking and other outdoor activities.
Latest From Ben Comer
An early childhood fascination with the natural world led Cesar de la Fuente into the fields of microbiology and immunology. A PhD from the University of British Columbia – and postdoc work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – helped him combine computer science principles with biological processes. As the leader of a machine biology group and lab at the University of Pennsylvania, de la Fuente is working to develop new antibiotics to treat deadly bacterial infections.
Missteps on convalescent plasma and the revoked authorization of hydroxychloroquine – paired with US president Trump’s cheerleading for the rapid approval of a COVID-19 vaccine – has eroded public trust in the US FDA. Can a safety and efficacy pledge from vaccine developers tamp down public skepticism?
Fresenius Kabi’s decision to add radio frequency-identification (RFID) tags to 24 products used in hospital operating rooms will help the company’s hospital pharmacy customers reduce waste, increase efficiencies and facilitate tighter medication inventory control, executives told In Vivo. However, only 10% of US hospitals are currently equipped to scan and process RFID tags, despite larger adoption rates in other industry sectors. COVID-19-related revenue losses may push more hospitals to adopt automated RFID medication management systems to save time and reduce labor costs.
Investigational uses of psilocybin and MDMA – two illicit drugs associated with recreational use and abuse in the US – will soon enter the later stages of clinical development for the treatment of CNS disorders including depression, addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. Janssen’s experiences marketing Spravato, an inhaled form of ketamine indicated for severe forms of depression, may be instructive for companies working to bring other psychoactive compounds into mainstream use as therapeutics.
A two and half year-old partnership between Adaptive Biotechnologies and Microsoft that began with a focus on Lyme disease has transitioned to mapping immune responses to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. By identifying and matching T cell receptors to antigens associated with the virus – and leveraging the power of machine learning – the companies hope to improve COVID-19 vaccine development, locate potential antibodies for drug development and create better, more sensitive diagnostics.
The massive need for a COVID-19 vaccine and treatments has heightened the biopharmaceutical industry’s visibility among consumers and the world’s largest biopharma companies are getting a boost in positive perception this year, according to a new FutureBrand survey. If sustained, this could have dividends in areas such as attracting industry talent and clinical trial participants. But much remains to be seen as biopharma navigates the final stretch of clinical development, regulatory review, distribution and patient access.