Good (& Free) Biotechnology Blogs to Follow

Updated Dec 25, 2013. Added: (news) & Pharma Boardroom (blog)

With how accessible information is nowadays, it's easy to simply spend 15-30 minutes every day to catch up on the latest happenings in biotech and pharma. This is a good daily routine that can be completed during mundane tasks such as waiting in line or riding the subway. It is also an important component in personal R&D that should be done routinely and can be started right away.

One strategy I found that is effective (check out this blog post to learn how to take advantage of the cloud): 1) Add the following news sites and blogs to your RSS reader of choice (I use feedly, since Google Reader was discontinued). 2) Download a reader app for your mobile device (examples include Pulse News, Google Currents, etc. I also use feedly for reading as it refreshes every time the app is opened and has a clean interface. 3) Set it to update daily and whip out the device whenever you have 5 minutes to spare.

Another strategy would be to sign up for email updates - all news sites and blogs should have this (including this one). At first I thought this was a great idea, until I tried it and realized that I could not keep up with the reading and my inbox kept getting poured with 30-40 updates a day. My advice would be to dedicate a single email account (or use Gmail categories) specifically for news updates, and use Pocket to read on-the-go.

For people with no prior business experience, it may take a long time to get up to speed on all the business terminology and ideas. Don't worry, just stick with it for a few months and you'll get it. You may need to learn the basic mechanics of the biotechnology industry first. This business text book on biotechnology is a great place to start.

Here are some good news sites and blog sites I follow:

News sites:

BIO SmartBrief This subscription is a must-have. It is highly organized and covers the top news for a broad range of sections, e.g. Healthcare and Policy, Company and Financial News, Agriculture, etc. Many people in the industry have recommended this to me and I can see why. 

Burrill Report By the media arm of legendary biotech business investor Steve Burrill's company Burril & Co. Sign up for the weekly news digest (scroll down to the bottom to subscribe) or download the quarterly Burrill Reports that are great reads. I highly recommend the weekly interviews of industry professionals. They offer perspective on latest industry news and trends. 

BioSpace GenePool The standard newsletter from Biospace, has updates on all the latest pharma/biotech industry news, including major clinical trial results, mergers/acquisitions, FDA updates, and financing updates for startups, updated daily.

DeviceSpace and ClinicaSpace These newsletters focus mainly on medical devices and clinical trials news, respectively, and have quite a bit of overlap to the Biospace GenePool newsletter, updated daily.

FierceBiotech A comprehensive newsletter similar to Biospace that is good to follow, updated daily.

Xconomy This site is unique in that it offers a very fine breakdown of different topics in technology (not just biotech), divided by city and specific topics, e.g. health IT, cleantech, lifesciences, startup funding, etc, updated daily.

BioOnNews (aka 生物谷, Mandarin only) It took me a while to find this as there doesn't seem to be a lot of established biotech news sites for the Chinese market. I use it exclusively for my Chinese biotech news. It is divided into 91 sections, each with its own RSS feed, that covers generics, CROs, CFDA, healthcare reform (in China) etc. I'm only subscribed for the biopharma RSS at this time. (aka E药脸谱网, Mandarin only). This was sent to me by a classmate at Fuqua and contains very nice news articles and trends on global biopharma. Contributors include the Country Manager of Pfizer China and the director of the China Pharmaceutical Enterprises Association. The only problem is I couldn't figure out how to get RSS for the site, nor will the email subscriptions or follow links work. For folks with WeChat, you can scan the QR code to follow on the app.


All of the following are actively updated, unless otherwise noted.

BiotechBlog This blog is run by my friend and mentor, Yali Friedman, who is also the author of the textbook Building Biotechnology, 3rd Edition. He is also the chief editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology (JCB). Many topics relevant to biotechnology are covered here, ranging from drug patent expirations, JCB updates, and other latest industry analysis. Yali's blog, book and journal are all definitely worth looking into. Updated every 3-5 days.

Life Sci VC A blog by Atlas Venture (Cambridge, MA) partner Bruce Booth. This blog provides valuable insight on early and growth stage biotech companies up to the industry as a whole. Because the author comes from the perspective of a VC, there are a lot of updates on VC industry trends, investment returns, and advice for startups. This is especially relevant to scientists who are interested in starting their own companies. Updated every 1-2 weeks.

Pharmalot A blog by the publishers of Pharmalive, also a pharma news site. It is written by Ed Silverman, a journalist who has covered the pharma industry for the past 18 years. Nice analysis of trends in the industry. Also has a daily newsletter with the top stories of the day. Highly recommended.

FDA Law Blog The official blog of Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. A friend who is an IP attorney focused on the life sciences recommended this blog to me. It updates very frequently and publishes a daily email. However, it probably goes into way too much detail from a business perspective so most blogs are worth a skim. It's a great resource to be on the forefront of the FDA regulations. Updated almost every day.

Pharma Boardroom This really isn't a blog, but a site that regularly publishes interviews of executives in biopharma companies across the globe. The interviews offer personal insight on the thinking of these business leaders. Valuable stuff.

BiotechStart An awesome blog site that publishes very useful business information for entrepreneurs. They've been publishing more frequently and regularly (roughly one post per week) and topics have included financial modeling, intellectual property, raising money from VCs, etc. 

Tradesecrets This is an official Nature blog, and discusses industry trends and gives thoughtful opinions.

Persistent Change This blog was previous version of BiotechStart (see above), but has lots of valuable posts from earlier in 2012. No longer updated.

Venture Valkyrie Blog by Lisa Suennan, founder partner of Psilos Group Managers and discusses interesting topics in healthcare.

Mike Volker Lots of great reading for business related issues in startups.

Jay Caplan on Medical Devices Interesting medical devices blog.


  1. I noticed that the blogs you listed are not only for biotech, but for all of health care. Just wanted to point that out =)

  2. PharmaaVoice and CenterWatch are also great news resources.


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