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LETTERS

Amid biotech boom, still quiet on women’s health front

JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

In Scott Kirsner’s article “Now, we’re the hub of the biotech universe” (Page A1, June 16), he highlighted just how booming the Boston biotech space has become in the past year. While quite the accomplishment, we’re still lacking in one glaring area: women’s health research.

Last week, at the Brigham and Women’s National Summit on the Health of Women, experts across biomedical research, policy, and industry talked about the concrete steps we need to take to improve health outcomes for women, who make up half the population. Those include greater gender equity in medicine, innovative and transformative research on those diseases that most affect women, and yes, increased investments in women-focused biotech development.

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We know that Alzheimer’s disease and autoimmune diseases disproportionately affect women and that both conditions strike women differently, as does heart disease. New research commissioned by our organization shows that investments focused on women’s health research yield higher economic returns than investments in general research. Can you imagine how much progress we could make if we increased our funding for biotech for these diseases?

There is an incredible opportunity for Boston to further define its leadership in biotech by ensuring a commitment to sex and gender inclusion across biotech research, company leadership, and investments. It’s good for women, good for our families, and good for our entire economy.

Carolee Lee

Founder and CEO

Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM)

Greenwich, Conn.