17th Biotechnology CEO & CFO Meeting held in Reutlingen

Attendees of the CEO & CFO Meeting held in Reutlingen

At the beginning of December, 90 board members and executives from the biotechnology sector gathered in Reutlingen for the 17th CEO & CFO Meeting of BIO Deutschland. The choice of Reutlingen as the location of the meeting was made in conjunction with BioRegio STERN. Barbara Bosch, head mayor of Reutlingen and deputy chair of BioRegio STERN’s supervisory board, welcomed the participants to the conference hotel atop Reutlingen’s landmark mountain. Along with lecture sessions, company presentations and panel discussions, BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Finance and Taxation also met to prepare its work agenda for 2016.

In addition to some 30 company presentations, the programme included talks on topics such as intellectual property protection, internationalisation and financing as well as on specialised industrial and medical biotechnology topics. Vir Lakshman, from main sponsor KPMG, gave a short talk entitled “What Next for Life Sciences?”, which addressed the topic of value-based pricing and how pharma companies are using digitisation strategies and big data techniques to reorganise themselves. “Carrots and Sticks for Entrepreneurship in Healthcare” was the title of the talk held by Günter Huhle from Janssen-Cilag.

Mitchell Sanders, from topic sponsor CMC Group, spoke about the development of IP portfolio management plans for biotech companies. In a workshop on R&D controlling, Gerd Grimm from KPMG showed that performance management in research and development also plays a critical role in the success of SMEs and small start-ups. Oliver Schacht discussed the growth and financing of his company, Curetis, which in November became the first German biotech company to go public. AbbVie’s pipeline and partnering strategy was presented in a talk given by Friedrich Richter, managing director of the company’s German subsidiary.

German biotech companies’ growth potential in international markets was the topic of a panel discussion in which Thorsten Eggert (Evocatal), Andy Goldstein (German Entrepreneurship), Peter Pohl (GATC Biotech) and Oliver Wehmeier (acCELLerate) shared their views and experiences. Asia expert Albrecht Läufer (Corvay) moderated the discussion.

At the dinner event, Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, founder and long-time CEO of AiCuris, delivered the keynote speech and spoke about the upheaval in pharma, big corporations, biotech and P4 medicine (short for predictive, personalized, preventive and participatory medicine). BIO Deutschland’s Chairman of the Board, Peter Heinrich, and its Managing Director, Viola Bronsema, used the festive occasion to recognise Peter Pohl for his contributions as a long-time member of BIO Deutschland’s board, presenting him with a badge of honour as a farewell tribute. After eight years in office, Pohl did not seek another term in October’s board elections.

The CEO & CFO Meeting is held exclusively for managing directors, CEOs, board chairpersons and CFOs of biotechnology companies. The annual meeting takes place in a different location each year. The 17th CEO & CFO Meeting received support from KPMG as the main sponsor and from CMC Consulting Group as the topic sponsor.

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