BIO-Europe Spring® 2016 kicked off in Stockholm, Sweden yesterday with a full program and hundreds of partnering meetings.
Morning workshops ranged from new partnerships and market access to precision medicine and vaccine development.
Mid-morning, the Stockholm Business Region released their oncology summary report “Oncology, world-leading research and business opportunities in the Stockholm-Uppsala Region” at a press conference in the Exhibit Hall. Ylva Hultman, Business Development Manager, Stockholm Business Region Development, was joined by Anna Frejd, Marketing and Communication Director, Stockholm Science City Foundation; Åsa Andersson, PhD, Medical Scientific Advisor; and Anders Rylander, CEO, Biovica International AB. The report is an oncology summary including the centers of excellence, innovations, current research projects, biobanks and business opportunities in the region. It is available online here, or read the announcement on the BIO-Europe Spring media page.
A highlight of the day was the welcome by Anna Chrisman of EBD Group and Karin Wanngård, the Mayor of Stockholm, and remarks from Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, Sweden, followed by a state of the industry overview by David Thomas, Senior Director, Industry Research and Analysis, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Thomas’ presentation slides will be published in Nature Biotech soon.
The opening plenary discussion “Environment in 2016: Reverse engineering the ecosystem” was moderated by Denise Scots-Knight, CEO and Founder, Mereo BioPharma Group Ltd. and featured panelists Shaun Grady, VP, Business Development Operations, AstraZeneca; Jan M. Lundberg, Executive VP, Science and Technology and President, Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company; Richard Mason, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation London; Bernd R. Seizinger Executive Chairman, Aprea AB; and Christian Zahnd, CEO, Molecular Partners AG. Grady remarked that he is “pretty confident” AstraZeneca will meet their target of hitting 2014 level pharmaceutical sales by 2017, amidst several blockbusters going off patent. For more on the plenary, look for an upcoming article here.
The panel “Connecting drug pricing to value: The industry’s greatest challenge” was led by Ed Saltzman, President of Defined Health who was joined by panelists Joseph Damond, Senior VP, International Affairs, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Paul K. Gallagher, President, Compass Strategic Consulting, Inc. The three spoke to a wall-to-wall audience on the drug pricing controversy now raging in the US and comparisons to the EU model. A recent Stat News podcast by Luke Timmerman and Meg Tirrell entitled “Episode 7: How much are we willing to pay for cures?” highlights some of the questions central to this debate.
The Monday afternoon panel “It’s not a mirage: The promise of cell and gene therapy is real” sought to address the challenge of how cell and gene therapy companies can make money once they get into the clinic. Moderator Morrie Ruffin, Managing Partner of Adjuvant Partners, asked the panelists about the differences today versus five to ten years ago, in terms of efficacy, data, safety issues, and manufacturing. The panel will be the topic of an upcoming blog post. Slides from the presentation are available on the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM)’s website.
The day wrapped up with a Champagne reception in celebration of BIO-Europe Spring’s ten-year anniversary at the EBD Group booth, followed by an evening event at Stockholm City Hall.
For more coverage, see Cormac Sheridan’s summary in BioWorld.
Also see this article on BIO-Europe Spring and the plenary on LaBiotech.eu.