Nov 13, 2019

Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing bill threatens small biotech companies

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Small biotechs are worried that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing bill would dry up the venture capital funding that they need to survive, STAT reports.

Why it matters: These companies turn basic research into new drugs, and conduct 70% of clinical trials, according to data from BIO.

Between the lines: Small biotechs often don't even have drugs on the market — they're still experimenting to find new treatments and cures, dependent on venture capital to fund their endeavors.

  • If investors no longer have the promise of high profit margins, they may abandon the biotech industry, venture capitalists told STAT.
  • "We could end up shooting ourselves in the foot," Andrew Lo, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told STAT. "These efforts, while they stem from very reasonable and laudable motivations, they will have an unintended consequence of creating a chill on funding."

The other side: While progressive experts admit that the bill would reduce biotech investment, they disagree on the extent and whether the changes would be all negative.

What we're watching: It's looking increasingly unlikely that Pelosi's bill will become law before the 2020 election, but most of the leading Democratic presidential candidates are running on similar ideas.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

FEC commissioner fact-checks Trump's voter fraud claims

Federal Election Commission Ellen Weintraub during a committee hearing in the Capitol in 2017. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Federal Election Commission commissioner Ellen Weintraub posted an extensive fact-checking thread to Twitter late Wednesday refuting claims by President Trump and some Republicans that mail-in voting can lead to fraud.

Why it matters: Weintraub weighed in after Trump threatened to take action against Twitter for fact-checking him on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent, and she directly addressed Twitter's fact-checkin of the president in her post.

China approves Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong riot police round up a group of protesters during a demonstration on Wednesday. Photo: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers approved a plan on Thursday for a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that would criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 25 mins ago - World

Minneapolis unrest as hundreds protest death of George Floyd

Protesters and police clash during demonstration on Wednesday over the death of George Floyd in custody outside the Third Police Precinct. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

A man died in a Minneapolis shooting during a second night of clashes between police and protesters in the city over the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, per AP.

The latest: Police said officers were responding to reports of a stabbing just before 9:30 p.m. and found a man lying in "grave condition on the sidewalk" with a gunshot wound, CBS Minnesota reports. On man is in custody over the incident.