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Welcome to Barcelona—one of the most vibrant life sciences hubs in Europe

Guest article by BIOCAT, the Bioregion of Catalonia

After the great success of previous editions (2010 and 2013), the Bioregion of Catalonia is again hosting BIO-Europe Spring® 2017 (March 20–22), in the framework of a strong and dynamic life sciences ecosystem.

“Hosting BIO-Europe Spring again is an outstanding opportunity to bring together the international community and offer new partnering opportunities to the most relevant agents,” said Albert Barberà, CEO of Biocat, the organization that coordinates and promotes the health and life sciences sector in Catalonia.

In fact, according to the FDI European Cities and Regions of the Future 2016/2017 report (FDI Intelligence division of the Financial Times), Catalonia will be Southern Europe’s most attractive region for foreign investment. Furthermore, Barcelona is in the lead to be among the top 10 European cities of the future. (more…)

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UK Establishment upbeat about Brexit’s effect on British life science industry

Brexit may no longer be at the top of popular news, but it continues to be a key concern for biopharma companies in post-Brexit 2017. The sentiment of key players from the UK life sciences from a panel at #BiotechShowcase 2017 in San Francisco this week was overwhelmingly positive. Overall, the Brexit definitely means change for the industry and future collaboration opportunities, but change can be a good thing.

There are four key issues for consideration relevant to the threats and opportunities presented by Brexit, according to Steve Bates, CEO, UK BioIndustry Association: (more…)

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Taming the Wild West of digital medicine

The new paradigm of healthcare is widely becoming known as “The Digital Health Revolution,” referring to medical technology advancements so great that when combined with wearables, medication sensors and amplified data analysis, they can provide patients and physicians with greater power to measure and improve treatment outcomes.

But what does it mean to the current state and future of the healthcare industry? It’s our industry’s modern-day conundrum and much like the advancement of cell phones, the technology isn’t going away and adaptation is inevitable over time. (more…)

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Investors’ appetite for the life sciences continued in 2016

Guest post by Doro Shin, Thought Leadership Manager at Informa Pharma Intelligence

While 2015 was a record year for investments within the life sciences industry, investors became wary toward the end of the year and activities declined in the fourth quarter. Although enthusiasm appeared to wane, the downward trend didn’t carry over to 2016 according to an upcoming white paper, Finding Finance: Pharma, Biotech & Medtech Capital Raising 2016. Drawing on Informa’s Pharma Intelligence data assets Medtrack and Strategic Transactions, the analysis found that capital continued to flow into the life sciences sector and the industry remained an attractive place for investors in 2016. (more…)

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It’s all happening at Biotech Showcase™ Week

Guest post by Constantine Theodoropulos, President, GO Therapeutics

Thankfully there is a holiday between now and Biotech Showcase™ Week in San Francisco (Jan 9–11), because we are going to need to rest up for what promises to be a one of the most dynamic and productive life sciences industry gatherings of the year.

The triple play events of Biotech Showcase, Medtech Showcase and Digital Medicine Showcase is expected to attract 3,500 industry executives from hundreds of companies across the most significant segments of the healthcare industry. While JP Morgan Healthcare conference gets its fair share of the fanfare for hosting many of the largest companies in the industry, Biotech Showcase Week’s line up of events is where tomorrow’s leaders can be found and accessed. Speaking from experience, personal ambition is the only limitation on meeting with the companies, executives and investors who can potentially make a profound positive impact on your future. (more…)

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Lifetime trends in biopharmaceutical innovation: Recent evidence and implications

Guest blog post by Murray Aitken, Executive Director of the QuintilesIMS Institute

Adequate returns on life sciences investments underpin the sustainability of the innovation lifecycle.   And these are dependent to an important extent on the variable of time:

  1. Time taken from the discovery of a new molecule until it is approved and launched—reaching patients and beginning the flow of commercial returns
  2. Time that a specific molecule has exclusivity in the market based on patents or other forms of protection—determining how long a company has to recover its research and development investment in the specific molecule as well as those that fail to ever make it to market.


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Realities of Rare Disease and the Role of Patient Investors

Guest post by Nicole Boice, Founder & CEO, Global Genes – Allies in Rare Disease

Rare Disease represents the largest disease community on the planet!  With over 7,000 identified diseases, impacting over 350 million people worldwide and 1 in 10 Americans, the impact on our global population is real.  Today there are no cures and less than 5% of the 7,000 diseases have a treatment or effective therapy; it is clear that there are needs on both the business and human level. (more…)

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Digital Health Security: The Most Important Tradeoff Between Ease and Privacy

Guest post by Nicole Fisher, Founder & CEO at HHR Strategies, Inc., Forbes Contributor

Wayne Gretzky always said it’s better to look where the puck is going, not where it is now.

The introduction of smart devices and connectivity has made many of life’s activities easier. However, sharing information—even through one device or app—means that many third-party organizations and potential threats have access to information they previously did not. Digital medicine has grown leaps and bounds in the last five years, and the next five are unpredictable. Yet, the one thing we can count on is that as technology moves into the body and brain, the data we collect and share will become more and more valuable, as well as more and more accessible.

This will introduce a whole new assessment of what privacy means, and how to secure the information collected. (more…)

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Thirteen young people bucking the odds, finding paths to break into biotech

Luke Timmerman

Guest post by Luke Timmerman, founder and editor of the Timmerman Report, and a regular contributor to Forbes and STAT News.

Walking around San Francisco’s Union Square during biotech conference season in January—during this time of industry prosperity—you might expect it to be crawling with brainy young people. You might expect hot startups to come from students and postdocs, like in the tech industry, with VCs scrambling to get in on the ground floor.

But that’s not how it works in biotech. Venture capital tends to line up behind people with gray hair in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Young biomedical scientists with first-rate academic credentials face a tough job market: openings for new professors are few, and the pharmaceutical industry is quite picky, preferring to hire people with years of experience. The average life scientist is now 35–40 years old before obtaining his or her first permanent job, according to the National Research Council. You get your first peer-reviewed NIH grant, on average, at age 42. It wasn’t always this difficult—the average first-time NIH grant winner was age 34 in 1970, as I found in researching my new biography, Hood: Trailblazer of the Genomics Age. When it comes to vetting job candidates, the biotech and pharmaceuticals industry is the slowest, according to a 2014 survey by Glassdoor.

It’s discouraging. (more…)

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How Do Healthcare Investors and Payers Separate the Tools From the Toys?



Guest post by Nicole Fisher, Founder & CEO at HHR Strategies, Inc., Forbes Contributor

The healthcare sector does not behave like other industries when it comes to money. Early stage investing is minimal and the odds of capitalizing on a blockbuster drug or device are becoming ever slimmer. Next, the U.S. health system does not incentivize it and payers do not rush to financially support or reimburse the waves of new technologies flooding the market. Lastly, companies entering the market often fail to stand out from the noise of competitors, meaning that getting noticed by investors or being able to commercialize is near impossible.

In fact, according to Asher Rubin, Global Head of the Life Sciences and Healthcare Industry Team of Hogan Lovells, when separating the tools from the toys in digital medicine some of the first questions asked by potential investors are, “How will it be approved, or not? How will it be reimbursed? And will the industry even care enough to pay?” Therefore, health investors remain risk averse, and if the recent past has taught us anything, it’s that there are far too many options and an ever-changing industry that will ensure this trend continues. (more…)

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