5th Biotech Press-Lounge
A relaxed atmosphere at the IZB: MorphoSys, Rigontec and Wellington Partners provided insights into their current research as well as an update on the life science venture capital market.
More than 100 guests from the life sciences and venture capital sector participated in the fifth biotech press lounge in the Faculty Club at the Innovation and Start-Up Center for Biotechnology (IZB) on May 11, 2017. In the opening speech Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel said: “Here, we are sitting door to door with top scientists and Nobel Prize winners. The dynamics of the location continue unabated. Over the last half year, three new start-ups have become established at the IZB, namely Immunic, SciMab and MetaHeps.” Julia Gross von Euro on Sunday moderated the talks of the speakers Dr. Markus Enzelberger (interim CSO of MorphoSys AG), Dr. Christian Jung (Principal of Wellington Partners) and Dr. Christian Schetter (CEO of Rigontec GmbH).
“The Biotech Press Lounge and the IZB are an excellent places to benefit from mutual exchange and inspiration. MorphoSys AG also benefited from these synergies during its time at the IZB between1997 and 1999, and has now developed into a leading company for therapeutic antibodies,” said Dr. Enzelberger. In his talk he provided a glimpse into the history of developing the antibody Guselkumab. This drug candidate is being developed by the MorphoSys partner company Janssen for the treatment of psoriasis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Tremfya™ (guselkumab) on the 13th of July 2017.
Immunotherapy is currently a highly relevant topic and will also continue to gain importance in the area of cancer therapy. In his short speech, Dr. Christian Schetter, CEO of Rigontec GmbH, explained how the new technology of the company is spectacularly combating tumors with the help of the immune system. He pointed out the enormous potential for establishing a new standard in the immunotherapy market. Rigontec recently announced administering the lead drug candidate to the first patient in a Phase I / II clinical trial.
As part of his talk “Update to the Life Science Venture Capital Market”, Dr. Christian Jung, Principal at Wellington Partners, once again emphasized the importance of venture capital-financed companies as drivers for innovation in the health care market. “Established companies increasingly rely on purchasing from VC-financed companies to replenish their product portfolio. Nine out of the 10 best-selling medications in 2015 were originally developed by biotechs,” according to Jung.