21st CEO & CFO Meeting in the Bergisches Land

At the 21st CEO & CFO Meeting, senior executives from the biotechnology industry met this year in the rustically remodeled Hotel Land Gut Höhne in Mettmann near Düsseldorf. The two-day event, accompanied by blazing fireplaces and delicious food, gave participants the opportunity to exchange views on the state of the industry and make contacts in an intimate atmosphere. They were also given the chance to stay up-to-date on current developments, with keynote speeches, company presentations, a panel discussion, workshops and lectures by topic sponsors.

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After the welcoming speech by the Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland Oliver Schacht, Arndt Rolfs, CEO of Centogene, provided insights into the “Possibilities of genetic diagnostics: rare diseases at the crossroads of IT and multiomics”. Building a diagnostics company between the opposing poles of science, commerce and ethics was presented by Michael Lutz, long-standing CEO of LifeCodexx. Anna Eichhorn, founder and CEO of Humatrix, spoke about “Genetic diagnostics through changing times – from the Human Genome Project to the DNA Diet”.

In a panel discussion, Jürgen Eck (Brain), Klaus Pellengahr (Novozymes Berlin) and Carola Schropp (Hayim Group) discussed the current state of the bioeconomy with BIO Deutschland Managing Director Viola Bronsema. In an interactive workshop with participants, Enno Spillner, CFO of Evotec, discussed the appropriate financing mix for biotech companies as well as the opportunities that can be found on the U.S. capital market. Holger Zimmermann from AiCuris and Jens Schneider-Mergener presented the transformation of their biotechnology companies through the development and marketing of a therapeutic agent. Schneider-Mergener founded and sold Jerini and has recently been appointed head of Adrenomed’s management team. Zimmermann was a member of the founding team of AiCuris and is now CEO of the company. Nicole Faust, CEO of CEVEC Pharmaceuticals, gave a presentation on “The return of gene therapy – new challenges for bioproduction”.

The event’s sponsors were AiCuris, KPMG, Miltenyi Biotec and Qiagen. The association also welcomed its two new supporting members – Novartis and Thermo Fisher – to the event. The CEO & CFO Meeting is held exclusively for managing directors, CEOs and CFOs of biotechnology companies. The annual meeting takes place in a different location each year.

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