The BioFIT 2020 conference programme is tailored to match the interests of every player of the sector and fit the expectations of its stakeholders, whose sharp minds operate in the fast-paced Life Sciences sector. Built this year around 8 sessions, the 2020 programme is rooted in four custom-made tracks, addressing the right funding sources for early-stage innovation, best practices in academia-industry R&D collaborations, winning ways to nurture emerging assets and animal health highlights.

All  BioFIT’s attendees will have access to a mix of live and on-demand content during those 4 days. This content will be available for 30 days afterwards. They will also have the opportunity to debate with the speakers via interactive online chats.

DAY 1 – Monday, December 7th

5:00 – 6:30 pm CET

Panel discussion

Successful early-stage innovation deals: Pharma and biotech partners divulge specifics

What are pharma companies awaiting from the start-ups they would like to interact with?
Learn from success stories of pharma-biotech collaborations through successful deals they made. What were the hurdles to these deals? What are the keys to carry a good partnership? What are the factors of success and how to handle them? When is it the best time to go meet with pharma for a biotech start-up?

Learn from figures and statistics: how many people get a deal at the end? How to picture an innovation in the best possible way to make a deal? How interactions between early-stage projects and pharma help anticipate pitfalls at the very early development stages? How innovative products have proven to come out of these deals?

This session advocates that a problem shared is a problem solved.

Moderator: Gerald Law, Chief Executive, Innovation DB


DAY 2 – Tuesday, December 8th

4:00 – 5:00 pm CET

Toolbox session

How to differentiate as a potential partner on the crowded oncology playfield?

Differentiation is key for a biotech start-up or an academic asset to be noticed and stand-up on the busy field of oncology. Similarly, spotting ideal partnership candidates for pharma proves increasingly difficult. How to take R&D to partnership with pharma? What is the recipe for a successful partnership in a packed sector? How to anticipate the hurdles of sailing an overloaded boat?

Moderator: Tobias Silberzahn, Partner, McKinsey & Company

DAY 4 – Thursday, December 10th

5:00 – 6:00 pm CET

Panel discussion

How has the 2020/COVID-19 global health crisis led to unprecedented public-private partnerships?

COVID-19 outbreak has shaken the world and the entire life sciences industry has been committed to bring solutions forward in the fight against the pandemic. How have private and public players been joining forces to facilitate research and development? How have pharma, biotech start-ups, medtech companies, academia and public health agencies concretely been working together on diagnostic, treatments, clinical repurposing, and preventive vaccines? What can be taken away from the experimental partnerships and collaborations that have emerged in this global health crisis context?

Moderator: Rafaela Kunz, Professor of International Technology Transfer Management, bbw Hochschule


DAY 2 – Tuesday, December 8th

1:30 – 2:30 pm CET

Toolbox session

How is having a solid IP strategy crucial and how to design one?

IP is a critical point: how to secure your assets? A good strategy makes a whole lot of a difference, how is the necessity to have a strong IP strategy crucial in the new context of AI? What does “strong strategy” mean? What are good examples of successful strategies? What are the options?

Moderator: Jürgen Walkenhorst, Manager Patents and Licenses, PROvendis GmbH

DAY 3 – Wednesday, December 9th

3:30 – 4:30 pm CET

Panel discussion

Understanding the European R&D transaction scene: 2020 tendencies and 2021 expectations

Gain insight on the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on transaction volumes and valuations. How has this affected investment in venture creation?  How effective is virtual deal making? Over the last few years deals are being done at much earlier stages – what does this mean for valuations and how is risk being managed through deal structuring? As 2021 is in a  few short weeks, panellists will share their expectations for deal making in the New Year.

Moderator: Jill Ogden, Principal, Medius Associates


DAY 1 – Monday, December 7th

10:00 – 11:15 am CET

Panel discussion

Investor pitch & tips: What are early-stage investors looking for in the COVID-19 aftermaths?

10 minutes investor’s pitch. Each investor talks 5 minutes about what they are looking for and then take the questions from the audience. The goal is to help identifying the right investor for the right project.
The pitches will be followed by a 30-minute moderated discussion to gather the investor panel insights on how to raise and secure funds in the current context. How has COVID-19 pandemic influenced investors and what is the impact on early-stage pattern of investment? To what extent is the early-stage investment in Biotech and Medtech affected? What are the opportunities to beat the funding odds during COVID-19?

The panel will feature feedback from early-stage investors, discussing key figures and recent experiences as well as guidance for start-ups dealing with this additional funding challenge.

Moderator: Irene Fialka, CEO, INiTS

DAY 4 – Thursday, December 10th

3:00 – 4:00 pm CET

Toolbox session

How to valorise a technology platform?

How to get it financed? Which milestones to be reached to turn a technology platform into a valuable company? What are the VCs expectations? What is the way to maturity of this assets to become a financeable company?

Moderator: Laurie Rey, Director, Business, Toulouse White Biotechnology  


DAY 2 – Tuesday, December 8th

11:00 am – 12:00 pm CET

Panel discussion

Developing diagnostic and vaccines for emerging zoonosis

Financial considerations are often a major barrier to successful vaccine development, yet vaccination remains the most effective tools in the fight to help protect animals and livestock from countless new and emerging diseases. In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, what are the innovative ways to address the challenge of preventing epidemics? How can One health concept contribute to deeper collaboration and pooled funding in vaccinology? What are the latest breakthrough technologies for future vaccine development? What is the role of diagnostic tools and what about their implementation?

Moderator: John Hodgson, Data Editor, Pharma, Scrip 

A toolbox session is designed to provide practical skills, easy-to-follow guidelines and take-home tools which delegates can put into practice to deal with their current issues.

Moderated roundtable discussion consisting in an exchange of ideas and perspectives by international experts to delve into the latest challenges of the sector.