Networking meeting with the partners of the Life Sciences Platform at the IZB
Interesting presentations on innovations and industry dynamics. 30 multipliers of the biotech industry accepted the invitation of the “Platform Life Sciences” on November 16, 2022 to the Faculty Club G2B (Gateway to Biotech) at the Innovation and Start-up Center Biotechnology (IZB). Six exciting presentations later led to lively discussions among the participants.
Dr. Markus Rieger, Executive Board GoingPublic Media; Dr. Viola Bronsema, Managing Director BIO Germany; Dr. Kerstin Bode, MD, PhD, Managing Director of Bioscience Valuation BSV; Karin Hofelich, Publishing Director Plattform Life Sciences; Dr. Frauke Hangen, Managing Director BioRiver; Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director IZB; Dr. Thomas Gottlieb, Vice President Pharmaceuticals – Commercial Operations, ITM Isotope Technologies Munich (f.r.t.l.)
“The start-ups already based at the IZB have raised a total of EUR four billion in capital through deals or financing since 2015 alone. And with companies such as Atriva Therapeutics, Tubulis, Insempra and Invitris recently added to the site in 2022, this trend continues unabated.”
Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel
Managing Director IZB
- “Growth Dynamics at the IZB”, Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director of the Biotechnology Innovation and Start-up Center (IZB)
- “There’s something going on – scalding reports from interactions with government on technological sovereignty, bioeconomy and industrial health economy”, Dr. Viola Bronsema, Managing Director BIO Germany.
- “How R&D strategy impacts value”, Kerstin M. Bode-Greuel, MD, PhD, Managing Director Bioscience Valuation BSV.
- ‘”Theranostics – The modern targeted way of cancer treatment”‘, Thomas Gottlieb, Vice President Pharmaceuticals – Commercial Operations ITM Isotope Technologies Munich
- ‘”German Health Data: How much longer lean food for our healthcare industry?”, Dr. Jens Wiehler, Managing Director DigiMed Bavaria, BioM Biotech Cluster Development.
- “30 stocks, 5 exchanges – the Biotech & Co. Basket”, Markus Rieger, Board of Directors GoingPublic Media
Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director IZB
Vibrancy and growth at the location
Right at the beginning of the network meeting, Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director of IZB Fördergesellschaft, underlined the high and positive growth dynamics of the industry using the Martinsried Campus as an example. In recent years, for example, the center has grown from an initial 1,000 m2 to 26,000 m2. The start-ups already based at the IZB have raised a total of EUR four billion in capital through deals or financing since 2015 alone, he said. And with companies such as Atriva Therapeutics, Tubulis, Insempra and Invitris recently added to the site, this trend continues unabated. According to Zobel, the arrival of Andera Partners is another sign of this. In order to be able to cope with this growth, investments of more than 3 billion euros are planned in Martinsried in the coming years.
Dr. Viola Bronsema, Managing Director BIO Germany
Policy on the pulse of time
The view that “something is happening” was shared by Dr. Viola Bronsema, Managing Director of the biotechnology industry association BIO Deutschland. She pointed out, however, that not enough has happened so far; the German government has only talked about “the opportunity” to develop Germany into the world’s leading biotechnology location, but has so far only made insufficient commitments to turn opportunities into realities. And yet there are now finally justified reasons to hope that there will be some movement on the part of politicians, according to Bronsema. Shortly before the network meeting, she had taken part in an event organized by the German government at which industry associations, research institutions and NGOs were invited to submit concrete proposals for shaping the planned “strategy for the future”.
Viola Bronsema had spoken there about the aspects “technological sovereignty” and “technology transfer via heads”. She positively emphasized that the strategy would also include concrete, precise, measurable goals and voluntary commitments. In the areas of biotechnology, life sciences, bioeconomy, innovation promotion, business start-ups and related areas, there would already be 133 targets with benchmarks. Bronsema reiterated to the German government that further more concrete voluntary commitments would have to be added in the areas of mobilizing venture capital, establishing bio-based production, strengthening patent protection and promoting sustainable key technologies.
Dr. Kerstin Bode, MD, PhD, Managing Director of Bioscience Valuation BSV
Prevention of “product heart attacks”
Kerstin Bode, MD, PhD, Managing Director of Bioscience Valuation BSV, also spoke about future strategies at the network meeting. She explained how critical the valuation of life sciences assets is to corporate success and how to increase their “robustness.” The simple triad of “active ingredient, target, price” alone is no longer sufficient for a market launch, Bode said; especially not when investments are spread over several stages of product development and market launch.
The decisive factor, therefore, is the valuation strategy chosen to achieve an increase in value. Using the example of a startup partnered with a larger pharmaceutical company, she highlighted the importance of pilot drug efficacy studies despite cost pressures. However, a more robust evidence base would be a risk mitigation that would ultimately pay off. In addition, good monitoring of value growth is essential, as the numbers are ultimately critical for investors.
Dr. Thomas Gottlieb, Vice President Pharmaceuticals – Commercial Operations ITM Isotope Technologies Munich
Curative innovations in biotechnology
Dr. Thomas Gottlieb, Vice President Pharmaceuticals – Commercial Operations ITM Isotope Technologies Munich, showed the participants what a successful proof of concept looks like. He spoke on the topic of “theranostics”, the interlinking of therapy and diagnostics. Specifically, he presented a form of therapy in which tumors are marked and combated with radioactive isotopes, so-called radionuclides. For this purpose, molecules to which a kind of cage (chelator) is attached are injected directly into the bloodstream. The molecules target tumors in the body. Depending on the type of radionuclide, these make the tumor visible in imaging procedures or irradiate and thus destroy the cancer cells.
The whole thing functions according to a lock-and-key mechanism, which makes it possible to precisely localize tumors in the body and, based on this, to deliver targeted radiation therapy. “We treat what we see and we see what we treat,” Gottlieb said.
Dr. Jens Wiehler, Managing Director DigiMed Bavaria, BioM Biotech Cluster Development
Innovation inhibitor data insufficiency
Finally, Dr. Jens Wiehler, managing director of DigiMed Bayern, BioM Biotech Cluster Development spoke about the availability and handling of health data in Germany. This, he said, is extremely inadequate for medtech, pharma, diagnostics and digital health companies. On the basis of a study that has not yet been published, which was recently conducted on the basis of more than 130 companies surveyed, he derived the need for action for politics, but also for business and science, in order to be able to retain and develop the companies that are absolutely dependent on this data in Germany. Dependence on data from abroad would have negative consequences for partnerships, competitiveness and investment decisions.
Markus Rieger, Member of the Board GoingPublic Media
IPOs in Germany
Markus Rieger, board member of GoingPublic Medi,a recently presented the “Biotech & Co. basket”: An Overview of 30 Shares on Five Stock Exchanges, which includes the most important companies from the DACH. The list shows, among other things, that 64 percent of the total market capitalization is based on five large companies whose stock market value is greater than one billion euros. The basket impressively shows that no more than ten companies are even in the focus of international investors. Moreover, most of the “German” companies have not chosen a German legal form and are not listed on German stock exchanges. Although the scene as a whole is still very young, “there is definitely more to be done,” says Rieger. The last IPO in Germany was eight years ago.
After these numerous presentations, the Life Sciences Platform invited participants to dinner. There, the discussions, which were stimulated by the impulses and had already begun in large numbers, continued passionately until late in the evening – lively, rewarding networking!