A novel format for the opening plenary session of the 20th anniversary edition of BIO-Europe®offered three keynote presentations by leading pharmaceutical companies, followed by a sit-down panel discussion among the three speakers. See video “Biopharma strategy: More focus, more value?”
The Head of Global Drug Discovery at Bayer HealthCare and a Member of the Executive Committee, Andreas Busch described the strategy underlying partnering efforts that he said have delivered a very significant value to patients as well as to shareholders.
Andreas Busch, Bayer HealthCare
“Our scientists hear my song every day, which is to focus on the patients. Millions of patients stand behind the sales numbers, and if we can meet the needs of millions of patients, if we do that right, the value will automatically develop.
“Partners play a critical role and externalization for us can come in many different facets. We have brought up a partnering strategy in which we try to apply every possibility for partnering from very strong involvement with shared labs, going across the spectrum to what are very loose, arm’s length interactions.
“The range of interactions can include crowd-sourcing, or build-to-buy models. What has worked very well for us is our Open Innovation platform that really gives us access to ideas and innovation that happen outside of our company grounds. We have launched several platforms which makes it easy to access simple information in a simple effort to show us whether there really is a possibility to bring in innovation.
“Promoting young life science start-ups plays an increasingly important role. We have a rather loose interaction with partners in our CoLaborators, one located in Mission Bay in San Francisco, and one at the Berlin campus of Bayer. Here we provide an infrastructure to young biotechs working in areas adjacent to our own researchers. This model gives a start-up potentially more than a laboratory equipment, if they want share information. We can give advice, have seminars together, even eat together in the cafeteria. It is an environment where biotechs learn they don’t need to be afraid of the big bad Bayer guys.
Busch said that strategic investments are another facet of Bayer’s externalization strategy, noting that this year the company made a significant investment in High-Tech Gründerfonds. In the afternoon, he led an announcement that Bayer was investing a further USD 25 million in the Versant Venture Capital V fund. Earlier this year Bayer announced a build-to-buy collaboration with Versant in Inception Sciences.
“Taking all this together, I think we can say we are committed at Bayer HealthCare to innovation, and looking at our pipeline we can feel comfortable about the innovation we can bring to patients over the next five, six years,” Busch concluded.
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