BioFIT 2019 conference programme is tailored to fit the expectations of its audience, whose sharp minds evolve in the fast-paced and dynamic Life Sciences sector. Built around 12 sessions and 1 plenary session, the 2019 programme is rooted in three custom-made tracks, addressing the right funding sources for early-stage innovation, best practices in academia-industry R&D collaborations, and nurturing early-stage assets.

Plenary Session

What is pharma looking for nowadays?
Collaboration and licensing opportunities pharma is looking for, while changing from a drug developer to a healthcare solution provider

A lot of pharma companies declare that they no longer want to be purely developers of drugs, and thus they progressively transition to become healthcare solution providers, trying to seek broader solutions to answer the patient needs, and changing the way they look at assets: What does it mean for the industry in terms of orientation of their scouting efforts, particularly for early-stage assets?
This session aims to understand pharma’s viewpoint, the consequences for the orientation of deals, the way it is going to influence the relationships with academia and biotech start-ups. How does this strategic intention modify the type and the nature of deals that pharma have with start-ups & academic institutions? How is it affecting early-stage licensing deals?

BioFIT 2019 also features a conference programme shaped around 3 tracks to match the interests of every player in the sector.

Best practices in academia-industry R&D collaborations

What are the outcomes of long-lasting commitment between universities and pharmaceutical companies?

To which needs do these numerous collaboration schemes answer? What are the specificities of these agreements in terms of management models and R&D means mutualisation. Are short-term reports and industry constraints coherent with multi-years academic agreements?

How can big data fuel collaborations between pharma and academic institutions?

How to ensure the full transparency and compliance in the use of academic-origin data in order to abide by ethics? How can consolidating and mutualising data between industrial and academic players unlock the full potential of these partnerships?

What are the recent successful industry-academia collaborations in Artificial Intelligence?

What are the good examples of partnerships in this field? How have they proved to be fertile in innovation for the benefit of both parties?

Managing pre-competitive collaboration in Life Sciences: Testimonials on outcomes, limits, constraints and benefits of European consortia.

Which research topics are considered good candidates for competitive consortia at the time of precision medicine? Are the current collaborative models (IMI, H2020…) adapted to the research needs? How to balance each party’s interests and define the domain of precompetitive research. How can IP problematics be managed?

To what extent are patient organisations qualifying as a partner when collaborating with pharma and academia?

Everybody wants an increasing commitment of patient organisations in collaborative projects in healthcare, as they bring background, knowledge and real-life evaluation to the table. How do they influence the way collaborations are carried? How do they participate to R&D financing efforts? How to capitalise on patient organisations’ legitimacy as real life evaluation experts?

Nurturing and licensing early-stage assets

How to objectively valuate an early-stage though promising asset?

To what extent do experimented actors help the bio-entrepreneur to aim for a realistic maturation and validation roadmap? How do they help the managing team to understand value inflection points? How do the industry players (pharma, biotech, VC) handle this issue of granting of value to those assets? How industrial players could help academic institutions and TTOs avoid making mistakes at the very early development stages?

What are the key questions an academic project should address to ensure a valuable licensing deal in the view of pharmaceutical industries?

How can a biotech company prepare for a due diligence by big pharma? Which areas are usually underestimated when preparing for a due diligence? What is an efficient due diligence plan? How to prepare an attractive asset to pharma and investors? What are the fundamentals of Due diligence? What are the legal aspects to get prepared to?

Which new forms of academia-industry partnerships to create seed and pre-seed tools?

Numerous tools have been created in the last years, how do these early-stage financing vehicles work? On which bases do they ground funds allocation? What are the expectations of the limited partners? Who are the players involved in such investment tools, and what do they await from their involvement in such early-stage funding and investment tools?

What do TTOs want to ensure the creation of a viable spinout opportunity?

What does viable mean for TTOs, and do we have the same definition everywhere around Europe? On which grounds are TTOs advising to create a spin-off rather than out-licensing the IP or a contract-based R&D collaboration? Which are the benefits, limits, constraints and indication of the spin-out model? What are the key factors to create a well-conceived spin-off company, how to exploit and maximise the value creation?

Early-stage innovation: Identify the right funding sources

What’s hot, what’s not? What’s on the investors’ wishlist for 2020?

How do the deals and lessons learned from 2019 investment let us peak at what can be expected for 2020? What are the tips for success for next year? Which therapeutic area will gain or reinforce interest from the VCs? How can you make sure that your business will be on VC’s radar?

On which bases does the pharma decide to get involved in the Venture Capital arena?

Whether that ‘d be as a limited partner of a firm, or creating its own corporate venture tool, what are the expectations of pharma to get involved in financing?

How to shape the corporate governance of biotechs at their very first steps to make them bankable?

How to cope with a pre-established governance from an academic spin-off? How can clashes of culture between researchers and industrials be beneficial and craft a balanced managing team? How are VCs expressing their demands and expectations and how are they filled up? To what extent is leaning on international strategic and scientific committees as soon as they are born a recipe of success?

Challenging conventional wisdom: Is early-stage capital as satisfyingly available in Europe as we like to believe?

How is it crucial to question the accepted common idea that Europe only lacks bigger funds for bigger roundtables and for more mature companies? Compared to European later-stage investment markets which are positively underfunded, it seems at first glance that the early-stage capital market is healthy and well-fuelled, but is it genuinely the case? Is the European early-stage capital market as rich in players and capital as it is said to be?

Which funding models to accelerate anti-parasitic and anti-infectious innovation?

Which funding to support new vaccines, drugs and treatment strategies in Africa? What is the role of philanthropic funding? How can foundations and governments form alliances to fund better R&D?