BASEL, SWITZERLAND - The BIO-Europe Spring event is one of Europe's largest biotechnology partnering events, with discussions ranging from cutting-edge tech in the life sciences to drug development and biotech investments in pharmaceuticals.
This year's event, held in Europe's booming biotech powerhouse of Basel, began with a welcome reception on March 19 that ushered in 3,500 attendees from over 1,400 companies into a three-day proceeding with various lineup sessions, fireside chats, and panel discussions. The following are some highlights and key takeaways from this gala.
Mergers and acquisitions are here to stay
Moderator Melanie Senior jumpstarted the keynote session at the exhibition with a direct question following current industry trends: Is big pharma moving away from mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and focusing more on partnering?
Panelists Susanne Kreutz, global head of Corporate and Business Development at Novartis, and James Sabry, global head of Pharma Partnering at Roche, shared largely positive yet also diverse insights on how the power of partnerships is shaping the future of biotech development.
Kreutz argued that M&As are still very much a factor, though the focus is likely to shift more to the few high-quality, high-impact, late-stage assets where reimbursement and regulatory approvals are relatively straightforward. Sabry agreed, noting that, although M&A activity is relatively subdued for now, biotech companies innovating game-changing targets will continue to offer the best partnering opportunities.
Senior, who also acted as panel chair, urged the need for biopharmaceutical companies to become faster and more efficient in developing drugs. "We have all these great sciences, yet we still struggle to improve the success rate of drugs while adding new technologies," she said. InThe content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.