“Biotechnology has saved the world”

First F2F event after the Corona period at the IZB: Network meeting of the Life Sciences platform

Video of the Partner Network Meeting Platform Life Sciences at IZB

Under the motto “Financing. Investments. Framework Conditions”, representatives of the industry (finally) met once again in person at the invitation of the Life Sciences Platform at the Martinsried Biotechnology Innovation and Start-up Center (IZB), and under the best external conditions at the end of July. (see adjacent video and the photo gallery).

By way of introduction, Dr. Hubert Birner, Managing Partner of TVM Capital, gave his “view of Germany as a biotech location” and stated: “German biotechnology has saved the world. The VC companies have been able to raise a lot of money as a result – so a lot can be expected for the future.” The short keynote address by the “Chief Genomics Officer” of the Rostock-based company CENTOGENE, Prof. Dr. Peter Bauer, then brought the “C-theme” into this corona-compliant event as well. He described first-hand how the US listed company from the segment of “rare genetic diseases” was able to convince investors to switch completely to corona testing. Thanks to this change – also justified in the absence of the usual sample materials from the actual focus field – CENTOGENE was able to help shape the “Rostock model”, which was later described more frequently in the media, with consistent testing at close range and described it to the participants at the IZB. According to this, no school had to close in Rostock; more than 50,000 tests had been carried out there continuously, of which only about a handful were positive. Through early detection and isolation, however, a spread and subsequent group quarantine with school closure could thus be avoided – throughout the entire pandemic.

Dr. Georg Dönges, CFO of local Leukocare, a tenant in the IZB with a huge appetite for expansion, described news in terms of financing, as the company had just succeeded in bringing a new US investor on board. He said that the company’s own technology expertise in drug formulation was the basis for this, as well as for its major growth in the area. The other participants represented local companies such as ChromoTek and adivo as well as national companies such as Rentschler Pharma from Laupheim. In addition to the representative from Rostock, the CFO of Hamburg-based Evotec, Enno Spillner, had also found his way to Martinsried. He commented on the meeting: “It is wonderful to meet in person again. But also the mix of participants and topics makes it very interesting and valuable.” As an event expert, Pam Putz, Managing Director of the EBD Group in Munich, was also delighted with the personal exchange: “After all, we have had to rapidly convert to digital events ourselves, and not least the largest European partnering event, BIO-Europe, admittedly lacks these personal encounters quite a bit.”

Markus Rieger, CEO der GoingPublic Media AG; Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director IZB; Prof. Dr. Peter Bauer Chief Genomics Officer, CENTOGENE; Dr. Hubert Birner, Managing Partner TVM Capital; Dr. Georg Kääb, at that time editor in chief Plattform Life Sciences; Dr. Georg Dönges, CFO Leukocare

Dr. Rainer Strohmenger, Managing Director and Partner of Wellington Partners, also had some words of caution in his luggage, as he felt it was already a “suspension of the laws of gravity” how much cheap money was currently flooding the markets. The hope is that more European investors will also invest in the local high-tech landscape and no longer see only the USA as a target area. Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, head of the Martinsried start-up center, was pleased about the personal meeting and the current situation in the industry, and emphasized the successes: “In this half-year alone, our tenants have already been able to conclude financing deals for more than EUR 140 million – that speaks well for the location and the technological approaches here.” ITM (Garching) was another such company, which has recently been able to attract large amounts of private financing for its innovative approaches to radiopharmaceuticals. The youngest tenant of the IZB, the start-up mk2 biotechnologies with Managing Director Dr. Sebastian Mangold, was also pleased with the exchange: “Finally being able to talk to other start-ups and investors again in a relaxed atmosphere, and to experience all the ramifications of the network, creates a lot of motivation and anticipation for the coming development steps.”