Biopharm America, which is designed to spur strategic relationships by way of a Web-based service that sets up face-to-face meetings and more, kicks off today in Boston with more than 450 companies, 680 delegates and 770 licensing opportunities on the roster.
“It’s real important to be doing touch-base and updates with pharma all the time, and with other biotechs,” Douglas MacDougall, president of MacDougall Biomedical Communications, told BioWorld Today, and the timing of Biopharm makes for “good grounding” among the other events he tells his clients not to miss: the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) annual convention, the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference and BIO Europe.
The Biopharm event, produced by the partnering firm EBD Group and MassBio, a trade organization for the Massachusetts biotech industry, features panel talks, company presentations and an exhibition hall. New this year is the Biotech Startup Day on Wednesday, during which participants can meet up, in an interactive format, with early-stage companies and nascent projects that have been vetted by a committee of scouts from top pharma companies.
Another new feature is Partnerships in Regenerative Medicine and Advanced Therapies Day on Thursday, with programs that EBD said are designed to bring together "key players in this game-changing paradigm in human health.”
For the fifth year, MacDougall brings to Biopharma his popular pitch session, wherein audience members are given 30 seconds to sell their ideas or products to a lineup of judges from the biopharma industry, with a winner declared at the end.
The plenary session will deal with the growing phenomenon of heavy hitters leaving big corporations to lead small companies. It is being moderated by Evercore Partners Senior Managing Director Francois Maisonrouge, who will be joined by Deborah Dunsire, president and CEO of FORUM Pharmaceuticals; Jeffrey Kindler, CEO of Centrexion Corp.; Jeremy Levin, chairman and CEO of Ovid Therapeutics; and Christopher Viehbacher, managing partner with Gurnet Point Capital. All five, after stints with big pharma, joined innovative, less-established firms.
About 73% of Biopharm attendees originate are from the U.S., with 21% from Europe and 6% from Asia. Roughly 32% are from the biotech sector, with 20% from pharma, 17% from professional services such as consulting and law, 12% each from finance and biotech research and development, and 7% in the “other” category, including government agencies and the media. Many (42%) are senior management, with 34% described as top management and 24 percent middle management.
The Biopharm event runs through Thursday.