Successful CEO & CFO Meeting held at Schloss Hohenkammer
On 1 and 2 December, some 80 senior executives from the biotechnology industry and sponsoring companies met at Schloss Hohenkammer near Munich for the annual CEO & CFO Meeting. The event, now in its 24th year, provided the usual informal atmosphere for exchanging ideas and making new connections and entertained those attending with a varied programme.
Oliver Schacht, Chairman of the Board of BIO Deutschland, opened the conference with a welcoming speech. Sylvia Wojczewski, Managing Director of BioSpring as well as a BIO Deutschland board member, then gave insights into how her company, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, grew to become the leading international oligonucleotide provider for CRISPR applications. Apollon Papadimitriou then spoke about the development of the company he heads, iOmx Therapeutics, a Martinsried near Munich-based drug developer that focuses on cancer immunotherapies. Also celebrating a milestone birthday this year was YUMAB. Its CEO, Thomas Schirrmann, described the journey from the founding of his company as a self-funded start-up in 2012 to becoming a globally active contract research organisation that specialises in the development of human therapeutic antibodies.
Christian Schwarz introduced his company Numaferm, a solution provider in the field of the recombinant expression of peptides, pepteins and proteins. The company, which is only five years old, started as a spin-off of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf and today serves both national and international clients alike with its biochemical synthesis platform Numaswitch.
The first day of the conference closed with a discussion led by Horst Domdey, Managing Director of the Bavarian Biotech Cluster BioM, which examined whether there is still hope for Europe’s biotech ecosystem. The participants agreed that Germany and Europe have very great potential as a biotech location and that there are promising signs that the right course has been set.
A highlight of the evening was the festive tribute to Horst Domdey, who is retiring at the end of the year after 25 successful years as the head of BioM. Simon Moroney, founder and former CEO of MorphoSys, had come especially to give a laudatory speech honouring Domdey’s tireless dedication to the Bavarian and German biotechnology industry. The CEOs and CFOs present then showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. Even the German football team’s elimination from the World Cup that evening couldn’t dampen the good mood.
The conference programme was rounded off by pitches from both established companies and start-ups. Sponsors of the event were Boehringer Ingelheim, Citeline (formerly Pharma Intelligence) and Thermo Fisher Scientific. The sponsors presented their activities and offerings over the course of the event. The CEO & CFO Meeting is held exclusively for the managing directors, CEOs and CFOs of BIO Deutschland’s member companies. The annual meeting takes place in a different location each year.