ABINGDON, England, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The increasingly central role of corporate venture, the adaptation of the traditional venture model to the economic times, and the return of the bull market were all raised as themes at this year's BioTrinity conference. OBN is the membership organisation supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life science companies, corporate partners and investors.
The first day of the conference opened with senior figures from AbbVie, SR One, Boehringer-Ingelheim Venture Fund, Takeda Ventures & MP Healthcare Venture Management and SV Life Sciences Advisors LLP, discussing the significant role corporate venture firms play in providing life science companies with investment and whether they are indispensable to life science funding in a panel entitled Corporate VC 2013. Now Part of the Furniture.
Corporate Venture Panel chair, Hamish Cameron, Partner, SV Life Sciences Advisors LLP, said: "Corporate Venture Funds are playing an increasingly important role in biotech financing and their support, know-how and strategic interest is warmly welcomed. It was great to see the first panel at BioTrinity showcase some of the best examples of today's corporate venture activity."
The challenges of today's economic climate and how it affects venture capital investment choices compared to previous years were drawn out in another panel The Seasoned Hands at Venture Investment: Is This Crisis Different? including senior executives from Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, SR One, Shire, Abingworth, and Forbion Capital Partners.
The chair of the panel, Oliver Litzka of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, commented: "The question of whether this crisis is different than the one before in biotech history, was discussed by seasoned VCs and entrepreneurs with agreement that we all have seen scarcity of money for early stage companies before. We have also seen IPO windows opening and closing cyclically, and many of us always thought that me-too products would be put under pressure sooner or later. This is now a reality even in the US. On the other hand, the structural changes in big pharma, as a consequence of first the financial debt, then the economic and finally the governmental debt crisis, has had a deeper impact on our "food chain" than in other periods of difficulties. Consequently, a very important degree of discipline in investing, company building and drug development is needed nowadays."
Day one concluded with a focus on the public markets in a panel What will the European fundraising landscape hold for life sciences in 2013/14 - The view from the markets, with speakers from Akesios Associates, Peel Hunt, Nomura Code, Life Science Partners, and WG Partners LLP.
Juliet Thompson, Managing Director at Nomura Code, commented: "Funds are always available for a strong management team with a good story to tell. With commodity prices declining and the recent volatility in the bond market the outlook for investment in equities is much improved. Also, after five long years investors have had enough of 'doom and gloom' so we could be about to enter a much wanted bull market."
Dr Jon Rees, CEO of OBN, said: "The panel discussions at BioTrinity 2013 are addressing the key issues of the day for life sciences industry, addressing how the healthcare innovation ecosystem is adapting and aligning to increase the translation of science into new biomedical products, from bench to bedside.
"Understanding how the current economic conditions have impacted the sector, better alignment of pharma and venture capital, the growing role of corporate venture, new innovative structures for funds, innovation in deal making, the importance of the European science base - and the hope that we as a sector have for the future - all addressed in the highest level speaker line-up yet."
Other panels on the day discussed themes around exit structures between venture capital companies, pharmaceutical and early stage companies, and whether the ten year limited partnership model for private equity funds is at risk. The panels included speakers from EP Vantage, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, Forbion Capital Markets, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Novo A/S, AstraZeneca, Syncona Partners LLP, Medimmune Ventures, Index Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, NeoMed, and Novartis Venture Fund.
OBN is the membership organisation supporting and bringing together the UK's emerging life science companies, corporate partners and investors within the Golden Triangle biocluster (formed by the cities of Oxford, Cambridge and London) and beyond, providing networking, partnering, group purchasing, advocacy and cluster consultancy.
Through our delivery of Europe's 3rd largest annual biopartnering and investment conference 'BioTrinity', which attracts 900 delegates from 30 countries, OBN generates more R&D-company-to-investor interactions than anyone else in Europe.
OBN runs regular 'BioTuesday' evening networking events which typically feature three speakers talking on a topic of business, financial or scientific interest, followed by two hours of networking over wine and canapés, attended by about 100 delegates.
OBN delivers a number of key executive level dinners in the life sciences calendar including the OBN Annual Awards Dinner at the Ashmolean, the OBN Annual Executive Dinner and OBN Christmas Networking Dinner. In addition OBN offers the Senior Executive Breakfast Club with up to 30 CEOs, CFOs and COOs coming together regularly in Oxford, Cambridge and London with industry figures to network and discuss topics of mutual interest under Chatham House rules.
OBN offers members discounted rates on lab supplies and services through more than 30 suppliers, office supplies, private medical insurance, among over 40 offers on products and services through the group OBN Purchasing Scheme.
OBN has also established a thought leadership group called the "OBN 2020 Vision Group" which provides thought leadership on concepts to support the emergence and sustainable growth of emerging life sciences R&D companies. The "OBN 2020 Vision Group" member companies are located across the Golden Triangle and beyond.
OBN delivers consultancy projects on regional and national life sciences clusters, independently benchmarking the status of bioclusters on behalf of government clients.
OBN is also involved in a number of multi-cluster networking projects including HealthTIES, the EDCA and we are a proud to be member of CEBR.
For further information on OBN and its activities, please visit: http://www.obn.org.uk