BioPharm America™ 2013 in Boston renews industry optimism for dealmaking into 2014

September 26, 2013

Over 900 pharma and biotech executives gathered in Boston last week to attend the sixth annual international life science partnering event, BioPharm America™ 2013. Delegates representing 550 companies from 35 countries engaged in 2,950 one-to-one partnering meetings with over 750 licensing opportunities at BioPharm America. The yearly partnering forum is a strategic business development opportunity for executives in pharmaceutical companies seeking to advance their drug development pipelines by partnering with emerging innovator and startup companies, as well as biotech and multinational firms. Three days of intensive one-to-one partnering meetings, facilitated by partneringONE®, were the focus of the event, along with panels featuring industry executives from the life science sector.

“There was a really good energy at BioPharm America this year, and  generally high optimism within the sector, especially in the wake of the recent uptick in IPOs,” said Florian Schoenhammer, Group Managing Director of EBD Group. “Partnering is up, and our data shows that the number of partnering meetings per company is also on the rise. This is good news for biotech and we expect to see a big turnout at BIO-Europe partnering event in Vienna in November.”

“This year’s BioPharm America, which brought together industry leaders from around the world, saw the largest number of partnering meetings yet,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio. “These meetings are essential for the growth of our industry and the development of new treatments because, as we’ve seen increasingly over the past few years, collaboration is critical for the future of innovation here in Massachusetts and around the world.”

A very popular panel was “Who will be funding early stage biotech in the future?” moderated by Luke Timmerman of Life Science Initiatives, Xconomy. Venture capitalists from Atlas Venture, Third Rock Ventures, SR One, Aisling Capital and Poliwogg Holdings, Inc., gave their candid perspectives on the future funding of R&D, the effects of the JOBS Act, and the predicted resurgence of interest in emerging companies. Watch the VC panel here.

"The biotech venture capital world has been going through a historic contraction over the past several years, leaving fewer firms who are able and willing to make big bets on early stage life science innovations,” said Timmerman. “The VCs who are left in the game are going to have to coexist in a new world in which crowdfunding platforms are making it possible to bring many more angel investors into their portfolio companies. It's creating a fascinating new financing dynamic for biotech startups, and I was delighted to be a part of a lively conversation on this trend at BioPharm America. This is a story I'll be watching evolve over the next year."

A new track, the Academic Innovators™ Showcase, debuted at the event, and featured presentations on translational research opportunities from leading academic institutions and hospitals.

“The inclusion of the Academic Innovator’s Showcase in BioPharm America provided academic institutions with an opportunity to demonstrate their growing drug discovery capabilities which are forming the basis of academic-pharma partnerships such as those of Sanford-Burnham with Takeda and Janssen/J&J,” said Leslie Molony, Senior Director, Business Development, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. “These academic-biopharma relationships are increasing, as biopharma seeks to reduce the risk of internally funded target discovery and validation research.”

Full access to video coverage from BioPharm America is available on partnering360® | Insight. You can also keep the conversations going by joining partnering360®, the open online community of life science dealmakers.

BioPharm America is organized by EBD Group, the leading partnering firm for the life science industry, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio). One-to-one networking at BioPharm America™ is powered by partneringONE®, the leading conference networking solution for the life sciences.



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