The annual trip to BIO provides One Nucleus with an excellent opportunity to build on our international collaborations to consolidate the global network and reach we have nurtured over the years in order to benefit our members. This year at BIO saw an exciting agenda of activities for One Nucleus, commencing on the Sunday evening ahead of the show and finishing during the convention as we entered a series of collaborations.
Sunday, June 14th was the annual One Nucleus Bio-Executive Dinner, this year held on board the prestigious Moshulu ancient ship. The evening got off to a great start for networking on the Poop Deck where the 100 attendees spanning major Pharma, investor, biotech and service sector mingled over cocktails. The buzz only interrupted by the need to relocate below deck for the dinner (and to avoid the thunderstorm!). Sanjay Vinaik, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Boston explained to the group the importance J&J places on accessing the innovation pipeline and ecosystem in key global hubs. Their collaboration with One Nucleus being a fruitful tool they use as part of their strategy to access the UK science and innovation base.
The discussion over dinner seemed to be wide ranging on many of the tables. Topics included the challenges of navigating a gathering the size of BIO, differences between US and UK management teams and how future healthcare and reimbursement policies will reward innovation. Themes that in hindsight were a great preview of what, in addition to the weather, would be hot over the following days.
A new Assay Depot – One Nucleus Collaboration to create a dedicated One Nucleus marketplace on the global R&D services procurement platform was announced at the dinner. It is modelled on the AstraZeneca Innovation Marketplace announced in March 2015 developed with Assay Depot in order to provide pre-clinical scientists at AZ with a means to search and procure the latest innovations in a speedy and cost-effective manner.
1. For those buying services – gain the same opportunity as AZ and other Pharma to access innovative assays, models and services and reduce operating costs when out-sourcing
Early Monday morning ahead of BIO, saw the annual One Nucleus—Stockholm Uppsala Life Sciences Breakfast discussion. Evolving from previous years, this session marked a slight change of direction and ambition. Electing to develop the break-fast sessions into a series of focussed closed discussions around a single topic, with follow on events throughout the year up to BIO 2016, our plan is to develop an innovative challenge suitable for a funding call to Sweden’s Bio-X grant fund or similar initiatives elsewhere. This session assembled experts from the UK, Europe and US discussing the top line challenges in the development and com-mercialisation of biomarkers and companion diagnostics. The aim of the hour long discussion was to identify key themes to be debated within the subsequent series.
1. How do we engage Pharma in the challenge in a more transparent manner?
2. The need to be clear on whether we are focussing on biomarkers or companion diagnostics, since the challenges differ
3. How do we encourage venture capitalists to allow emerging biotechs to invest in biomarker development within their strategy?
4. Is the development of biomarkers and companion diagnostics pre-competitive or non-commercial and thus should it be publicly funded or funded via an alternative mechanism involving Pharma and payers such as health insurers?
5. And what of IP ….?
The roundtable was followed by a wider networking breakfast and seminar, hosted and led by Polsinelli and UK Trade & Investment on “Entering the US market” highlighting the key components that should be on the check list for aspiring ex-porters in the areas of finance, regulation and IP
Extending the One Nucleus international reach, BIO provided an excellent forum to follow up on the recent Pennsylvania delegation visit to London and our joint event by signing a Collaboration Agreement between Pennsylvania Bio and One Nucleus. The targeted benefits of the agreement are to work together in order to provide our respective members with enhanced awareness of opportunities within each other’s net-works, to provide enhance visibility of key events, trends and member news across our domains and provide introductions for our travelling members to experts able to provide a local steer on making the most of their visit.
Launch of the CEBR Medical Device Directory. The Council for European BioRegions built on the successful delivery of a global biomarker directory at last year’s show to this time launch a directory of innovative medical device companies from across Eu-rope. The session was opened by CEBR President, Frederic Druck of BioWin. It included presentations by key contributing regions, including One Nucleus, on the Life Sci-ence strengths of various regional trends in areas such as convergence and high-lighting a selection of profiled companies. For One Nucleus the three chosen companies were Aseptika, Endomag and QuantumDx.
As the UK Pavilion emerged from its packaging over the preceding weekend, it was clear there was a new look for 2015! Brighter imagery, some bold statements about the excellence in R&D and business environment and top reasons to invest in the UK were complemented by the attendance of a group of 30 companies under the London Mayor’s Export Programme delegation and, across the aisle a selection of strong ‘ambassador’ companies from Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the middle, there were ample tables and chairs for 1-2-1 meetings to develop any negotiations further.
The visit to One Nucleus by Governor Christie of New Jersey in February this year saw some enthusiastic engagement by our members seeking to understand the opportunities available in the state in terms of the innovation pipeline, venture funding landscape and for R&D collaborations. One of the tangible outcomes from our growing relationship was manifested at BIO where a One Nucleus—BioNJ Collaboration Agreement was signed to create a framework by which both sets of member organisations will be kept aware of developments, opportunities and sector insights from both regions.
So a week packed full of ….
1. Insightful discussions, seminars and roundtables
2. Execution of collaboration agreements that provide a delivery mechanism for One Nucleus to increasingly assist our member companies in gaining knowledge, contacts and access to key US market opportunities
3. Networking opportunities through which to build on our existing relationships and initiate new ones…. and of course all had to be complemented by some relaxation and devilment thanks to the kind hospitality of the reception hosts prior to quiet reflection at the airport and on the flight back to the UK. More details on the above activities will follow, but as a round-up of the week that was, hopefully this provides a snapshot of what is included the One Nucleus portfolio of current and future activities.