The five-day Bio-Europe Spring 2020 conference, possibly the first ever life sciences partnering event staged in an all-virtual format, ended on Friday, March 27, with high hopes that the industry would return to face-to-face interactions next year in Barcelona.
Biopharma industry leaders in China who were the first to experience the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic shared their thoughts during a closing plenary session of the virtual Bio-Europe Spring 2020 meeting.
At the beginning of this week, the digitally-delivered Bio-Europe Spring 2020 conference launched with 6,000 partnering meetings, 45 company presentations, more than 50 virtual exhibits and 12 panel discussions scheduled.
Before becoming the global head of Johnson & Johnson External Innovation, William Hait spent 30 years in academic medicine focused on oncology. Whenever he speaks to a group, the first question he asks is if there is anyone in the room that would like to get a disease.
DUBLIN – Bio-Europe Spring’s virtual panel on the partnering dynamic between big pharma and microbiome-focused biotech firms was essentially an in-house webinar hosted by Seventure Partners, a Paris-based venture capital fund that has led the way in investing in microbiome-related therapeutics, diagnostics and other products.
Business as usual only three months ago has transformed into health care industry overdrive as biopharma and med-tech companies scramble to test and scale-up treatments, vaccines and diagnostics to address COVID-19.
DUBLIN – For quite some time, cardiometabolic disease has been largely off the map for most small biotechs and for the venture capital investors that support them. Is that situation about to change? Maybe, maybe not was the mixed message arising from a Bio-Europe Spring 2020 virtual panel discussion on cardiometabolic disease.
Like Berlin patient Timothy Ray Brown before him, London patient Adam Castillejo, whose case was top story of the 2019 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), energized the HIV cure research field by his sheer existence. Curing HIV, Pablo Tebas told the audience at a themed discussion on curative strategies, “has been considered [for] a long time the holy grail.”
CYBERSPACE – Continuing improvements in HIV treatment and progress toward a cure notwithstanding, an effective vaccine will be necessary to gain the upper hand in the decades-long fight against the pandemic.
With Friday’s last-minute decision to move to an all-virtual format, the opening session of the 2020 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) was certainly an unusual one. “We are in uncharted waters,” conference co-chair Sharon Hillier, Richard Sweet Professor of Reproductive Infectious Disease at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told the audience via livestream.