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: Maturing 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.
HOW TO OVERCOME THE SHORTAGE OF BIOENTREPRENEURS IN EUROPE?
Europe is currently benefitting 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 towards 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 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.
- Exploring the growing relationship between pharma, digital health companies and data providers
- How can animal innovation and human applications be mutually beneficial?
- How can collaboration in rare diseases be an asset in a highly competitive yet fast moving market?
- How are collaborations key to improve innovation in metabolic diseases?
MATURING 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 the scientists’ commitment. It aims to underline the difficulties for maturing early-stage assets. How can we transform science into business more frequently and efficiently?
- How can we define a mutually beneficial collaboration between a start-up and the originating academic institution?
- How can we encourage the founding scientists to remain committed? To what extent should they manage the future of the spin off? What is their role within a new professional management team?
- Which role to play for the TTO in the early development of the spin off?
- Assessing the opportunity in licensing early-stage projects:
- 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 whether to spin out?
- Should IP be licensed into a start-up or should ownership be transferred (acquisition)?
BIOENTREPRENEURS’ CHALLENGES AT PRE-SEED, SEED & SERIES A STAGES
The right mindset, a solid presentation and business model are not the sole requirements that bioentrepreneurs must fulfil at pre-seed, seed and Series A stages. What are the expectations of project maturity from seed 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?
- “Crash course: How to value your start-up?” – A 30-minute workshop coaching session to kick-off the Start-up Slams
- Where will European pre-seed, seed and Series A investment go in 2018?
- Shared risk or competition for emerging assets: How should the pharma-VC relationship function?
- Focused therapeutic funds: Is this the new trend in financing early-stage innovation financing?
Back on BioFIT 2016 programme:
Focusing on current issues in Life Sciences, BioFIT 2016’s conference programme was composed of a varied and rich agenda, featuring the latest opinions on trending topics.
Supported by its prestigious Steering Committee, the sessions focused on three themes:
• Showcasing best practices in collaborative research
• Highlighting key issues in licensing and tech transfer
• Discussing early-stage innovation funding
2016 PLENARY SESSION
Scheduled on 30th November from 11.30 am to 12.00 am, followed by a panel discussion on Is Europe competitive enough in life sciences innovation.
Description will be available soon. Session held on 30th November from 11.00am to 1.00 pm
2016 TRACK 1:
BEST PRACTICES IN COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH
The recent rising popularity of the open innovation model has led pharmas, biotechs and academia to consider this as a win-win opportunity. Many types of partnerships have been developed and tested to analyze their strengths and weaknesses and how they advance innovation. We will debate the potential of this exciting, emerging model in cross sector collaborations as a new driver for rapid market access.
” Recent developments such as mobile health devices and big data are transforming the way we translate medical advances into new medicines. This track highlights how academia and industry are taking a more open and networked collaboration approach to improve the quality and richness of biomedical research. ”
Corporate Vice-President, Global Research Networking, Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany)
Do public-private collaborations work the same way around the world? What best practices can one collaboration learn from the other ? Should that be regarding content, financing and governance of these partnerships, what are the Do's and Don'ts when shaping and managing public-private collaborations ? Find out with 15 renowned seasoned experts from USA, Europe, ISrael and Asia, ready to asnwer your questions and share their experience.
- Could standardized conditions be implemented by default in collaboration contracts?
- How would these contract-types be applied to the life sciences sector
- How will they influence the deal-making process: will it be a challenge or an opportunity?
Session held on 1st December from 4.00pm to 5.00 pm
- Hear from industry and VC accelerators
- Testimony from 1-2 previously incubated/supported companies
Session held on 1st December from 9.30am to 11.00am
2016 TRACK 2:
KEY ISSUES IN LICENSING AND TECH TRANSFER
While academia aims to highlight knowledge and innovation, industry’s goal is to leverage this expertise and bring it to market. However, when an innovation appears from academia as a spin off or as a transferred license, many IP, due diligence, management and financing challenges arise. This track will discuss the processes and models available and the consequences on translational research.
“Pharma and biotech are looking increasingly towards academia for open innovation, explorative research and early stage discovery. But is academia prepared? Are the appropriate models and mechanisms in place to professionalise licensing and facilitate technology transfer? What about spin-outs and start-ups? Are the initial terms reasonable or a kiss of death? This track will challenge the current status of academic – industry relations. “
Chief Operating Officer, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Germany)
Coming from a joint initiative of Cabinet Beau de Loménie and De Gaulle Fleurance et Associés, BioFIT will consequently feature a workshop entitled “Could your innovations be protected efficiently by tools other than patents ? What about regulatory data protection, trade secret, blockchain & smart contracts?” on the afternoon of November 30th, at 4.30pm, in Matisse room. For an hour and a half, a panel of experts amongst whom Nicolas Marro, Patent Attorney at Beau de Loménie and Cécile Théard-Jallu, Partner at De Gaulle Fleurance et Associés, will share their expertise. This roundtable with legal, scientific and entrepreneurial experts in the Life Sciences sector aims at highlighting the best practices in the implementation of a strategic approach to the company's IP and understanding the various means & protections solution: are secrecy, data exclusivity, blockchain & smart contracts playing in the same league as patents? What can we learn from the new European commission directive on trade secrets? What is new for the Life Sciences actors in the EU General Data Protection Regulation? How are the blockchain and smart contracts implemented in IP protection? These are the questions that the panel will answer in the first part of the Workshop, enabling the audience to better understand these concepts. It is possible to compare the solutions to optimize asset protection, and through the presentation and explanation of these different tools, our experts are committed to bring out best practices in IP protection and raise more subversive questions: Are patents the Holy Grail of IP protection? Are smart contracts tomorrow’s solution for legal directions? Are we facing a war of worlds? No matter what the answers, it is crucial to understand the roles and complementarities of the weapons available in the legal gear, to protect our products and understand the future of legal protection. The panel discussion will be followed by an exchange exclusively dedicated to Question & Answer with the floor; during which Nicolas Marro and Cécile Théard-Jallu alongside fellow experts, will have the pleasure to answers your questions and address your concerns. Prepare your questions and come on November 30th at 4.30pm in Matisse room to ask the experts, who are readier than ever to discuss the tricks of the trade!
- Some researchers can become successful entrepreneurs, but often, an external CEO is brought into the company
- Are there successful models or mechanisms to help CEOs to create a wining scientific team?
- The importance/ role of the CEO to lead the company and face market and business challenges
Session held on 30th November from 2.30 pm to 4.00pm
- How does a university decide to what extent it gets involved with a spin-off?
- How do universities handle IP transfer and POC funding?
- How should we separate the responsibilities of business and university employees?
Session held on 1st December from 11.30am to 1.00pm
- How should TTOs choose between out licensing the IP, creating a spinoff or a contract-based R&D collaboration?
- What translation efforts don't fit into this classical TTO model?
Session held on 1st December from 2.30pm to 4.00 pm
2016 TRACK 3:
EARLY STAGE INNOVATION: IDENTIFY THE RIGHT SOURCES of FUNDING
In a difficult economic climate, in which investors prefer to fund later stage companies, finding financial resources to progress your early stage project is challenging. In this track, we will discuss how VCs assess risk, non-traditional funding mechanisms available to finance early stage innovation and what a young biotech should do in order to attract investors.
“It is critical to find funding for early stage innovation and it is challenging to know what sources are available. Funding in the future will most certainly evolve. What will the trends be? It is therefore important to hear about inspirational ideas regarding different solutions in the US and Europe.”
Vice President Operations, Karolinska Development (Sweden)
- New trends are being seen as European academic research centres start to invest in better supporting early stage projects (from the pre-maturation phase to the potential creation of an academic start-up)
- New models such as pharma funds are being developed in partnership with universities in order to finance POC projects (e.g. the recent Apollo Therapeutic Funds)
Session held on 30th November from 9.30 am to 11.00 am
- How former successful entrepreneurs stay active in the life sciences industry? How can they contribute to the growth of young companies? Advice or/and capital?
- How to attract the attention of experienced entrepreneurs?
Session held on 30th November from 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm
- Many initiatives are being seen at national levels in Europe to improve seed capital access, but does this exist at a European level?
- How to support the creation of a European seed capital market in order to finance research translation from academia?
Session held on 30th November from 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm
Description will soon be available
Session held on 1st December from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm