The BioFIT 2017 conference programme is designed to address the needs of its audience constituted by academia, TTOs, research institutions, pharma, biotech companies, but also law experts and investors in pre-seed, seed and Series A. The BioFIT agenda aims to provide solutions, best practices for every player of the sector.
BioFIT’s 2017 wide-ranging programme has been redesigned around three tracks:
- Track 1: New players involved in innovation in the health sector
- Track 2: Nurturing and licensing early-stage assets
- Track 3: Bioentrepreneurs’ challenges at pre-seed, seed and Series A stages
This year’s aim is to focus on bioentrepreneurship, explore the mutually beneficial relationships between academia and industry, address access to seed capital, and oversee new trends in financing early-stage innovation.
The event reflects the fast-paced and dynamic Life Sciences sector.
Europe is currently benefiting from a unique level of academic research and the access to equity investment has also improved. Despite this, Europe is still lacking bioentrepreneurs. How can we attract entrepreneurs in Life Sciences? How to convince talented scientists to become entrepreneurs? Can the support from technology transfer offices, incubators and early investors provide sufficient mentorship and a wide enough network?
NEW PLAYERS INVOLVED IN INNOVATION IN THE HEALTH SECTOR
Big data and health IT companies provide key expertise to potentially increase efficiency in the discovery, preclinical and clinical stages of development. What will be their position and involvement in the therapeutic innovation chain: Will they participate or lead? Examples of collaborations between biotech, pharma, IT companies and academic research will be highlighted. However, these new players don’t only originate from the big data sector, they also come from various areas such as animal health or e-health.
- Examples of successful collaborations to improve innovation in metabolic diseases.
- Through the presentation of several case studies: We will discuss how are collaborations key to improve innovation in metabolic diseases.
- This session will features one collaborative model, one innovative start-up project, and a successful academia/pharma collaboration.
We will address innovation opportunities and pitfalls to be avoided when engaging in collaborations between human health players and animal health actors. Which are the conditions to be gathered to make innovation happen? Which types of collaborations can be put in place? What are the successful examples? What are the limits to these collaborations?
How can the availability of huge amounts of data, computational tools that can effectively analyse this data, and targeting therapeutics to specific populations can make this relationship grow faster for the benefit of innovation? With the right tools, do R&D professionals have the ability to rapidly mine data from the literature, regulatory documents, clinical trial data, electronic health records and other patient-centric information to help innovation move forward ? To what extent will the growing place of big data companies offer them a leader role in the projects?
How does the specific context of rare diseases (including fast-track status, low prevalence score) work in favour of long-lasting and shared partnerships between start-ups, pharmas, academia, regulatory bodies and patient organisations?
NURTURING AND LICENSING EARLY-STAGE ASSETS
Early-stage assets evolve in an ecosystem in which TTOs, scientists and entrepreneurs are closely connected. This subject will focus on assessing opportunities in licensing early-stage projects, discussing the mentoring role of TTOs and exploring scientists’ commitment. It aims to underline the difficulties for maturing early-stage assets. How can we transform science into business more frequently and efficiently?
UK enjoys a very dynamic life sciences sector ensuring synergies between academic excellence, startup pools and industrials. Several possibilities can be highlighted in this workshop:
- Successful examples of collaborations UK academia/ European Industry or UK start-up/ European industry
- Cross border M&A to expand internationally
- Venture capital & early-stage funds in the UK
- What factors should be considered whether to out-license a technology or develop it towards a start-up?
- At what stage should the decision be made whether to out-license or to spin out? How does the decision, whether to license or spin-out, impact the commercialisation or ‘transfer’ strategy?
- What are the assets that an academic could think about when considering to spin out?
- Should IP be licensed into a start-up or should ownership be transferred (acquisition)?
- Building the management team and completing initial financing rounds are key moments in the emergence of a new company. To what degree are TTOs involved with these two aspects of the project? How do they help newly-funded companies interact with their industrial and financial partners?
- To what extent should the scientists manage the future of the spin off?
- What is their role within a new professional management team?
- Can we impose on a scientist the role of being a CEO? What are the pro’s and con’s of the Professor becoming the CEO of his own spin-off?
- What needs to be considered when forming a company and what does that mean for the founding scientist?
- How can we nurture a long-lasting collaboration between a university and its spin-offs? How do universities continue to provide the start-up with the support required? After the initial licensing deal, how often do academic institutions supply start-ups with additional licensing opportunities?
BIOENTREPRENEURS’ CHALLENGES AT PRE-SEED, SEED AND SERIES A STAGES
The right mindset, a solid presentation and business model are not the only requirements that bioentrepreneurs must fulfil at pre-seed, seed and Series A stages. What are the expectations of project maturity from investors in 2017? How often are new types of early-stage investors involved in financing rounds (including philanthropic and specialised ventures)? How does the angels/seed investors relationship work? Are there increasing interactions and partnerships between pharma and VCs at these initial stages?
Which non-profit and non-dilutive sources of funding are available? Are these new actors equally active at maturation, pre-seed and seed stages? What potential leverage to accessing grants and other non-dilutive sources of funding does venture philanthropy offer to newly founded companies?
What do these therapeutic funds bring to the companies and community of investors in terms of quality of expertise and specific network opportunities? Does the presence of focused therapeutic funding in the early stages ease the co-investment of more generalist funds?
What are the consequences of the increasing interactions and partnerships between pharma and VCs at the initial stages of pre-seed, seed and Series A? What is the role of Corporate VCs in this context?
What is the current state of pre-seed, seed and Series A funding in Europe? What are the investment opportunities to watch out for in 2018? What are the models, therapeutic areas or innovative techniques to highlight when looking for financing? Can we expect a rise in pre-seed and seed money in Europe for 2018? What are the expectations for project maturity from investors in 2017?