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 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.
- 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 and non-human animals. Which are the conditions to be gathered to make innovation happen ? What is the importance of necessity, opportunity and free resources in this context?
- Which types of collaborations can be put in place? What are the successful examples? What are the limits to such collaborations?
- How can the availability of huge amounts of data, computational tools that can effectively analyse that data, and targeting therapeutics to specific populations, 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 those big data companies offer them a leader role in the projects?
To what extent does the coordination of the activities of funding agencies, academic researchers, companies, regulatory bodies, and patient advocacy organizations and partnerships with the European Research Infrastructures maximises the collective impact of global investments in rare diseases research ?
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?
- 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)?
- How can the TTO smoothen the relationship existing between academic spin-off generation and the research performance of enterprise founders?
- What are the consequences of an entrepreneurial activity on a scientist’s research activity?
- 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?
- Once the university has decided on its involvement with the spin-off, how can we nurture the collaboration and make it long-lasting?
- How do universities keep on providing support to the start-up?
- How to handle the relationship between entrepreneurial activity and research activity by researcher-entrepreneurs?
BIOENTREPRENEURS’ CHALLENGES AT PRE-SEED, SEED AND 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 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?
- How often are new types of early-stage investors involved in financing rounds (including philanthropic and specialised ventures)?
- We will set out to understand better where venture financing over the last decade has been put to work in terms of disease area and novelty of research in rare diseases.
- To which diseases is shifting the distribution of venture equity in early-stage ?
- 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?
- Are we talking Entente Cordiale or open rivalry?
- What is the part to play for Corporate VC in that context?
- What is the state of pre-seed, seed and Series A funding in Europe?
- What are the investment opportunities to watch for in 2018?
- What are the models, therapeutic area or innovative techniques to highlight when looking for financing?
- Can we expect a rise of pre-seed and seed money in Europe for 2018?
- What are the expectations of project maturity from investors in 2017?