Pharma and Biotech Experts Meet at the 10th European Business Development Conference
Berlin (29.09.2016) – This year’s European Business Conference for Pharma and Biotech (EBDC) took place 27 and 28 September in Offenbach, a city close to Frankfurt Main in the middle of Germany. The tenth edition of this successful partnering event organized by the German Biotechnology Industry Organization BIO Deutschland attracted around 120 business developers and decision makers from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The one and a half day program offered a variety of topics ranging from neurological diseases, immune-oncology, cell therapy, gastrointestinal diseases, orphan medicinal products and finances. Carolyn Green, Executive Director, Strategic Investments, for Pfizer’s Worldwide Research and Development, opened the conference with her keynote on Pfizer’s activities in early stage R&D partnerships. She emphasized that biotechs approaching the Pfizer team should know exactly what they are looking for in a possible collaboration. The acute problem of antibiotic resistance particularly with gram negative bacteria was the focus of Peter Hamman’s keynote who is Head External Innovation TSU Infectious Diseases at Sanofi and Head of the Fraunhofer NP Center of Excellence.
The still hot topic of immune-oncology was highlighted by speakers from Janssen Cilag, MSD and Rigontec. Here the MSDs blockbuster drug pembrolizumab and its effects on various different cancers were presented as well as the curative power of RNA therapeutics to trigger the innate immune system to fight tumor cells. Representatives of the newly listed AC Immune, Affiris, Probiodrug and origenis discussed clinical and preclinical approaches to fight Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. Regulation of approval of orphan medicinal products and patient access were the focus from experts from Alexion and admedicum.
The financing situation for biotechs in the EU and particularly in Germany was discussed by specialists from the business angel network BAND, BioMedPartners, the European Investment Bank, MacDougall Biomedical Communications and Sunstone Capital. The panel agreed that Germany has very good scientific resources, but only limited possibilities for funding. Prompted for advice for money seeking German biotechs, some recommended to look abroad. Changes in the legislation to make equity investment more attractive was also one of the suggestions put forward.
The EBDC also featured two well received breakout sessions on liver and gastrointestinal disease and cell therapy, respectively. Additionally, start-ups had the possibility to pitch to investors which was supported by Science4Life.
“Our business development conference for pharma and biotech is the ideal format to network and to get an overview of current developments in the industry”, said Peter Heinrich, president of BIO Deutschland. “We created this format ten years ago to specifically offer a smaller more private setting for partnering. A number of partnerships have originated from this conference so far. This year’s event showed once more how valuable contacts can arise from a meeting like this”, added Heinrich.
The conference was supported by Hessen Trade and Invest. Merck and Miltenyi Biotec supported the event as gold sponsor, Bayer as silver sponsors.
The EBDC took place during the European Biotech Week which celebrates biotechnology all over Europe www.biotechweek.org
Please find the full text of the press release here.