BIO-Europe Spring 2011 Spotlight Panels Focus on Innovative Paths to Market

ZURICH & MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Scientific innovation without creative financing and partnering seldom sees the light of day. With that in mind, BIO-Europe Spring® will point its spotlight at emerging approaches to partnering in a challenging and changing environment.

In “The Road Less Traveled: Understanding Unconventional Financing and Partnering Options,” VC and industry experts will examine the outmoded venture-backed financing models and will delineate newly emerging partnering structures and funding avenues. The panel will be led by Morrie Ruffin, Adjuvant Global Advisors, and will include panelists Kenneth A. Bertram, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command; Jurgen Langharig, Bavarian Nordic; Eric I. Richman, PharmAthene; and Karen Hehenberger, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

According to Hehenberger, bringing a cure for diabetes to market while developing better therapeutic techniques and preventive medicine presents a number of opportunities for unconventional financing and partnering. “We are working with stakeholders all along the drug or device development pathway to leverage funding, to influence strategy and to engage the considerable capabilities of pharmaceutical companies,” said Hehenberger, whose foundation has pioneered “virtual ownership” in moving novel candidates for diabetes treatment or prevention from bench to bedside.

Early investment will be another part of this year’s spotlight discussions. With increases in costs and red tape and a decrease in exit opportunities, the science minded herd of VCs is thinning. The effect of recent legislative and industrial initiatives on early-stage funding will be explored by moderator Michael Gilman of Stromedix. He will be joined by panelists Kevin Johnson, Index Ventures; Elaine V. Jones, Pfizer; Nilesh Kumar, Merck Serono Ventures; and Manuel Lopez-Figueroa, Bay City Capital.

With domestic investment facing its own set of hurdles, the lure of Asian markets is poised for increasing VC activity. Co-development, joint ventures, financing, and services will be discussed in spotlight panel “Successful Approaches for Biotech Companies Entering China.” The forum will include panelists Paul Grayson, Access BioVentures; Alicia Hong, WilmerHale; John Oyler, BeiGene; and Peng Wang, Simcere, and will be moderated by Ian Wisenberg, ChinaBio® Capital Partners.

The one constant element in the business of biotech is the importance of the deal. Seeing business development opportunities through to completion, however, becomes more complicated in a constantly changing marketplace. In “Deal or No Deal? The Changing and Increasing Importance of BD in Pharma and Biotech,” battle-tested executives share their experience from the field and address how approaches to pharma and R&D are changing and how these changes are affecting best practices. Mike Ward, Scrip Group, will be joined by panelists Gil Ben-Menachem, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and Neill Moray Mackenzie, CMP Therapeutics.

About EBD Group

EBD Group is the leading partnering firm for the global life science industry. Since 1993, biotech, pharma and medical device companies have leveraged EBD Group’s partnering conferences, technology and services to identify business opportunities and develop strategic relationships essential to their success.

EBD Group’s conferences are run with the support of leading corporations and international trade associations and include:

  • BIO-Europe® and BIO-Europe Spring®, the world's largest stand-alone life science partnering conferences, supported by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
  • BioPharm America™, the fastest growing partnering event in North America
  • EuroMedtech™, EBD Group’s partnering event for the innovative medical technology industry
  • BioEquity Europe, the investor conference co-organized with BioCentury Publications and BIO
  • ChinaBio® Partnering Forum, the first dedicated biotech/pharma partnering conference in China, co-produced with ChinaBio® LLC
  • Biotech Showcase™, a unique forum in San Francisco for presenting to investors and business development executives, co-produced with Demy-Colton Life Science Advisors

EBD Group’s sophisticated web-based partnering service, partneringONE®, is used as the partnering engine at numerous third-party events around the world. Outside of the conference format, EBD Group’s consultants provide hands-on assistance for firms seeking to in- or out-license products and technologies. EBD Group has offices in the USA and Europe. For more information please visit


EBD Group
Constantine Theodoropulos, +1 760-930-0500
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   Europe  Switzerland  Italy

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Medical Devices  Pharmaceutical  Professional Services  Finance  Research  Science