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COVID-19 Update
March 5, 2021
IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.

If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at

If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.

IowaBio Member Update

The winner of the 2021 Iowa Biotech Leader Award was announced and presented on March 3, 2021 at IBSC, IowaBio’s annual conference, to the team members of Project Upstanding—The COVID-19 Diagnostic Project at Corteva Agriscience. This group of Corteva researchers received the award through a call for nominations and was selected by a panel of industry experts.

Most years, the award recognizes an individual who, in the past year, demonstrated leadership in their organization and within the industry, an ability to bring innovative biotechnology products and services to the marketplace and a commitment to advocate for Iowa’s biotechnology industry. Considering the unique circumstances and challenges brought by COVID-19 over the last year, this year’s selection committee felt it was appropriate think outside the box and offer the award to a team, rather than an individual.

In March 2020, when the pandemic’s impact was being fully appreciated, scientists at Corteva saw a need to dramatically increase the availability of reliable, affordable COVID-19 tests in Iowa. An all-volunteer group of Corteva Agriscience employees, representing expertise from across the company, were quickly recruited. Together, the team was able to design, build and staff a lab with the capacity, certifications and know-how needed to address the challenge—all in a matter of weeks.

“Corteva Agriscience has long been a leader in plant genetic analysis, developing systems that equip our researchers with the information and insights needed to develop more productive, resilient seeds. Transferring these insights to the analysis of COVID-19 tests was a natural progression, allowing us to serve our community at a time when it’s needed most,” said Sam Eathington, SVP and Chief Technology Officer at Corteva Agriscience.

Since those early days, Corteva has forged collaborations with hospital systems, universities, nursing homes and other private institutions across Iowa to press the horizon on testing systems. This group of leading scientists rose to the challenge to meet a pressing public need and were a natural fit for this award.

“The men and women at Corteva who rapidly came together to execute Project-Upstanding—The COVID-19 Diagnostic Project certainly deserve to be honored for their efforts not only in science, but also, collaboration, and their spirit of community. They united in this effort to help others during the pandemic in a way nearly no others could. I am proud IowaBio gets to recognize the significance of their achievements through the Biotech Leader Award.”
Key Statistics

The overall number of vaccines administered is 768,426 an increase of 63,275 since Monday, with 366,055 receiving their first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and 208,409 receiving their second dose. To find vaccine providers in your county, click here or scroll to the bottom of the vaccine dashboard. If you need a vaccine appointment, has launched to help connect Iowans eligible for the vaccine with providers.

Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard 366,055 positive tests were reported, up 2,370 from our update Monday morning, with a total of 4,121,416 tests.

65 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 5,536 deaths.

The total 14 day rolling average positivity rate is 4.0% the past 7-day average is 3.8%.

The latest on hospitalizations, can be found here. There are currently 176 hospitalized patients—down 8 since yesterday-- with 39 in the ICU, and 35 admitted in the last 24 hours.

Total Cases 28,580,198
Total Deaths 517,224
Total Vaccination Doses Administered 82,572,848

Total Cases 115,681,088
Total Deaths 2,569,422

BIO Pipeline Tracker
841 Unique compounds in development
209 vaccines
239 antivirals
393 treatments

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
Copyright © 2021 Iowa Biotech Association, All rights reserved.

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