7th Biotech Press-Lounge
New Technologies from the IZB are revolutionizing medical diagnostics
Over 100 guests from the biotech, pharmaceutical and venture capital industry met on February 8th, 2018 at the 7th Biotech Press-Lounge in the Faculty Club G2B (Gateway to Biotech). “I am pleased that such renowned international pharmaceutical companies and M&A experts as well as key stakeholders in the industry are coming to the IZB to exchange views with the top researchers from the Campus Martinsried”, emphasised Dr. Peter Hanns Zobel, CEO of the IZB. This time speakers at the Biotech Press Lounge were Prof. Dr. Stefan Jaroch (Head, External Innovation Technologies, Bayer Pharma AG), Peter Homberg (Partner and Head of German Life Science Practice, DENTONS Europe LLP) and Ph.D. Mikkel Noerholm (Vice President of Product Development, Exosome Diagnostics). The IZB managed to win over Joachim Müller-Jung, chief nature and science editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, to moderate the event.
As the first speaker Prof. Dr. Stefan Jaroch discussed Bayer’s research collaboration models in the Pharmaceuticals Division. In addition to traditional R&D collaborations and strategic partnerships, Bayer has established various Open Innovation formats such as the crowdsourcing Grants4Targets initiative or an incubator model (Bayer CoLaborator). These initiatives are aiming at promoting the internal and external innovation spirit, supporting internal research activities and expanding Bayer’s research network, also to identify potential future collaboration partners.
Peter Homberg emphasised the importance of “Soft Factors” for Exit-Transactions. At some point, many successful founders will be confronted with the decision to sell their own company (share deal) or parts of the company (asset deal) or to grant an (exclusive) license for their technology to another company. However, a successful exit transaction does not only require attractive balance sheets and valid contracts, but is also worthwhile to devote special attention to so-called „soft factors“, like a well coordinated communication strategy.
Mikkel Noerholm, Vice President of Product Development at Exosome Diagnostics, introduced a non-invasive test to avoid unnecessary biopsies which utilizes Exosomes. Exosomes are tiny vesicles, shed from cells in the body, and carry with them important molecular information about the activity of the cells they came from. Exosomes end up in biofluids and can be isolated from blood or urine to provide new diagnostic insights. “Based on this discovery Exosome Diagnostics has developed a simple urine test for prediction of prostate cancer, which can help reduce the number of unnecessary prostate biopsies, and the associated over diagnosis and over treatment of prostate cancer”, depicted Noerholm.