Partnering on the rise at Biopharm America

November 20, 2013

INCREASED COLLABORATION MARKS 2013 CONFERENCE

BioPharm America™ 2013 drew more than 900 biotech and pharma executives from 535 companies and 35 countries, and saw a record 2,950 one-to-one partnering meetings with more than 750 licensing opportunities, a record high for the conference, now in its sixth year. MassBio, in partnership with EBD Group, the leading partnering firm for the life sciences industry, hosted BioPharm America™ Sept. 17-19 at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

“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 & 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.”

Recognizing the importance of collaborations between industry and academia, for the first time BioPharm America also featured an Academic Innovators™ Showcase, which included presentations on translational research opportunities from leading academic institutions and hospitals.

In addition to partnering opportunities, BioPharm America 2013 featured a robust program agenda.

Sept.17 began with a workshop on investment strategies and a lively pitch competition in which 23 members of the audience participated and delivered 30 second pitches to the panel of judges, moderated by Douglas MacDougall, President of MacDougall Biomedical Communications. Thej udges were deadlocked and awarded two winners: Milton Werner and Nadim Shohdy, both of whom were given a private 30-minute meeting with the judge of their choice. Werner met with Kevin
Johnson of Index Ventures and Dennis Purcell of Aisling Capital, while Shohdy met with Brian Gallagher of SR One. The day continued with a keynote address from Peter Sorger from the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School.

After the keynote, the conference-wide plenary panel entitled “Strategic R&D
Planning: The Chameleon Rubik’s Cube” began. This panel featured moderator Vaughn Kailian (Managing Director, MPM Capital) and speakers James Hoyes (President, EMD Serono), David Meeker (President & CEO, Genzyme) and Barbara Yanni (VP & Chief Licensing Officer, Merck). The program continued with roundtable discussions within four tracks: The Future of Dealmaking, External and Internal Drivers, Therapeutic Spotlight; and Welcome to the Digital Age, and the first day concluded with a plenary discussion around the important topic of personalized medicine entitled “Personalized medicine: The path to broader adoption.” This session, moderated by Chris Varma (CEO and Co-Founder, Vision Medicines), featured industry leaders Josh Boger (former CEO, Vertex), Peter Hirth (former CEO, Plexxikon), Peter Kolchinsky (Founding Partner, RA Capital), Raju Kucherlapati (Principal Investigator, Kucherlapati Lab, Harvard Medical School), Christoph Lengauer (CSO, Blueprint Medicines) and Mark Levin (Partner, Third Rock Ventures).

The second day’s program featured a number of company presentations, workshops and roundtables, and concluded with a popular panel: “Who will be funding early stage biotech in the future?” moderated by Luke Timmerman from Xconomy. Venture capitalists Bruce Booth from Atlas Venture, Alexis Borisy from Third Rock Ventures, Jens Eckstein from SR One, Dennis Purcell from Aisling Capital and Gregory Simon from 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.

BioPharm America has become a major hub for engaging new partners in the life sciences industry and attracts top dealmakers from biotech and pharma, as well as leading bankers and VCs. Powered by EBD Group’s sophisticated partnering system, partneringONE®, the event enables delegates to efficiently start partnerships with companies across the life sciences value chain.

BioPharm America will return to Boston next year, taking place Sept. 22-24, 2014. See video highlights from this year’s event at www.ebdgroup.com/bpa/media/videos.php.

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