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.


PLENARY SESSION:
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?


TRACK 1:
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?

TRACK 2:
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)?

TRACK 3:
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


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. ”

Adrian CARTER
Corporate Vice-President, Global Research Networking, Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany)


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. “

Ivan BAINES
Chief Operating Officer, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (Germany)


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.”

Gunilla EKSTRÖM
Vice President Operations, Karolinska Development (Sweden)