Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts from the ‘Emerging Markets’ category


I am excited to be attending, for the first time, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) international convention that takes place in Washington DC in just over a week’s time from Monday June 27 to Thursday, June 30th.

This meeting has something for everyone interested in the biotechnology industry whether it be deal making, partnering, licensing, drug discovery or personalized medicine. There are 16 specialized tracks where industry experts provide insight and best practices.

In addition, there are numerous networking and social events plus an exhibit hall that showcases the world’s biotech regions and how they are promoting innovation.

At meetings where there are parallel sessions, I apply “the law of two feet” (thanks to Podcamp for this) that says if you are not getting what you want from the session, it’s OK to walk out and go to another one.

My top 10 sessions at BIO reflect my personal interests in innovation, science and new product development:

Tuesday June 28

  • How will we afford Personalized Medicines?
  • The Biomarkers Consortium: Facilitating the Development and Qualification of Biological Markers
  • Personalized Oncology: The emergence of Personalized Medicine Strategies in Oncology Clinical Development and Deal Making
  • Navigating the New Law on Licensing Biosimilars

Wednesday June 29

  • Lessons from a Mature Public-Private Partnership. The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
  • Emerging Markets. The Future of Growth for Biologics?
  • The Role of Imaging Biomarkers in Early Phase CNS Drug Development
  • The Promise of MicroRNA-based Therapeutics in Cancer

Thursday Jun 30

  • After the Fall. Venture Capital and the Biotech Funding Landscape
  • Regulatory Issues for Tissue Engineered Products

If you have plans to be at BIO 2011 do say hello after one of the sessions or receptions. You can reach me at the meeting via twitter (@3NT).  See you in DC!

Follow 3NT on Twitter

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Today and tomorrow, Northern California’s Life Science organization BayBio has their annual meeting.  Entitled ‘Powering Global Innovation” it’s a meeting that covers a lot of ground from deal making to partnering, emerging markets and company presentations.

According to their website, they plan to be live streaming to their website.  However, if you are interested in following the Twitter discussion (hashtag #baybio2011), you can do so using the aggregator below – just click on the play button to see the tweets:

Thanks to Justin Chakma, a student at the University of Toronto, who brought to my attention an interesting article on innovation that he published on Vijay Govindarajan’s Harvard Business Review Blog.

Justin discusses how in emerging markets, venture capitalists (VC) create intentional links between the companies they invest in, compared to the more typical stand-alone investment model we see in Western countries.

By creating an innovation ecosystem, VC’s in emerging markets are able to leverage their investment in multiple companies.  I encourage you to read Justin Chakma’s article, in which he discusses the advantages of this approach in emerging markets.

However, he takes the analysis further and argues that a systems based approach to innovation also has relevance in developed markets.  As an example he states:

“It’s possible for a drug discovery start-up to identify the most relevant patients, and improve clinical trial success and reimbursement rates, if the VC invests in diagnostics or biomarkers at the same time.”

I certainly think that in emerging markets, where there may be a lack of infrastructure and service providers, taking a portfolio or systems based approach can help bring products to market, and capture value for the VC.

However, are venture capitalists in developed countries really interested in creating an ecosystem around their investments?  A VC investing in a biotechnology company has no need to buy a contract research organization for clinical trials, plenty exist nor is there a need to develop the whole system of outsourced service providers necessary to bring a drug to market. I am also not sure that VCs in America are interested in the huge cost of biomarker and diagnostics development for start-ups.

Many VC’s already diversify by investing in a range of companies within a sector.  Is there additional value to them in creating formal links and synergies within this portfolio, turning VC’s into mini-conglomerates?  I think we need to see more data in support of the idea that a systems based approach does in fact speed-up innovation and time to market.

Welcome to the biotech strategy blog which provides commentary and insight on current news and emerging trends in biotechnology.

As a strategy and marketing consultant with a background in clinical development I am interested in how biotechnology companies grow, manage alliances, partner with CROs and bring new products to market. I hope that you will find posts on this blog to be informative and interesting.

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