Agenda - Past events
Read more about various events in the LSH sector of which Health~Holland is partner.
Fifth meeting for strategic public-private partnerships
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Knowledge for Growth welcomed more than 1200 life sciences actors
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Dutch Biotech event 2018: a perfect day for biotech
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Dutch Biotech Event 2018: a perfect day for biotech
Blessed with awesome speakers, a great audience and wonderful weather, HollandBIO’s Dutch Biotech Event 2018 was a big success. Nearly 200 biotech professionals biotech professionals gathered to be inspired by leading biotech entrepreneurs, to meet peers and to upgrade their professional skills during hands-on workshops.
In her opening speech, HollandBIO’s Annemiek Verkamman stressed the importance of biotechnology for our society. Biotech contributes to no less than 11 of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, for example to Good health and well-being and Climate action. Unfortunately, authorities are struggling to keep up with the innovative nature and drive of our sector. Through active and effective advocacy, HollandBIO aims to remove obstacles that prevent biotech frontrunners to thrive in a global market. And thanks to the support of our growing member base, HollandBIO’s impact is on the increase too.
Open for collaboration – David Nicolson
The first keynote speech was delivered by a true biotech veteran, David Nicolson. As the EVP and Chief R&D officer at Allergen, he gave an impressive overview of Allergan’s many and most recent research areas. Allergen has all types of partnerships with biotech companies, on a broad range of health. And the company is ever looking for more collaborations. But, for those active in immune-oncology, David’s presentation came with a warning. He urged the audience to work on different drug areas as well: “… Or we’ll be lemmings on a cliff.”
Hybridize wins the Venture Challenge
Chrétien Herben, Director at LifeSciences@Work, announced Hybridize as the winner of the Venture Challenge 2018 spring edition. In addition to flowers and a big round of applause, the prize included a cheque worth 25.000 euros. Hybridize is a LUMC-spinoff, recently founded by Anton Jan van Zonneveld and Jurrien Prins. The company develops a RNA treatment against BK virus, which major cause for severe complications in kidney transplant patients.
VarmX completes €12.5m Series A funding
Hybridize wasn’t the only company with a reason to celebrate. During the plenary programme, Colja Laane and Hans Schikan had the honor to announce the completion of a series A funding for VarmX, a company co-led by BioGeneration Ventures InnovationQuarter. VarmX aims to turn snake venom into treatment and will use the 12.5 million euros to bring their company to the next level.
A radically new way to treat disease - Sebastian Nijman
The keynote of Scenic Biotech’s founder Sebastian Nijman addressed the potency of evolution-inspired medicine. Scenic Biotech is applying a novel approach to target discovery by harnessing genetic suppressors. Sebastian explained his fascination: “Among us, there are people that should be sick, based on their genes, but they are not.” In these people, other genes might be turned on which suppress disease. Scenic’s genetics platform Cell-Seq allows the discovery of genetic suppressors for future target development, yielding radically new ways to treat disease.
In biotech, simple often is difficult enough – Arthur Lahr
Bringing his rich experience to one of The Netherlands most advanced biotech companies, Arthur Lahr took on the job of CEO at Kiadis Pharma. The company’s lead product, ATIR101, a patient-specific immunotherapy, is designed to reduce the risk of Graft Versus Host Disease and relapse after stem cell transplantation. If all goes according to plan, the product will be launched in the EU in the second half of 2019. Although the future of a biotech is always uncertain, Arthur felt attracted to Kiadis because of the relative simplicity and elegance of its lead product. A perfect match to one of the most important lessons he learned in his career: in biotech, simple often is difficult enough. Simple as that.
WORKSHOP - Trends in deal-making
Deal-making is a hot topic in the biotech industry. Attracting almost half of the event’s participants, the deal-making workshop confirmed this once again. The presentation of M. Ventures’ Roel Bulthuis immediately led to a passionate discussion about trends in deal-making and the role of VCs, emerging biotechs and established biopharmaceutical companies. One of the session’s hot topics: wearables. Although in most cases used for personal use, wearables can really change the way of gathering clinical data. And with more and more VCs seeking a piece of the pie, this trend will open up opportunities for biotech companies all over the world.
WORKSHOP - Frontiers in science
Guided by Genmab’s Martine van Vugt, Arie Baak (Euretos) and Peter de Keizer (UMC Utrecht & Cleara Biotech) shared recent scientific developments with a possible profound effect on therapy development. Euretos has brought Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the level where it not only analyses data, it provides biological evidence as well. Peter the Keizer’s research identified senescent cells as a key factor in aging and cancer. Peter recently founded the company Cleara Biotech which discovered a way to eliminate senescent cells by steering them into apoptosis. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. But at HollandBIO, we can’t wait to see the full impact of these frontiers in science.
WORKSHOP – The patient’s perspective in the driver’s seat
To develop products and treatments which are truly focused on the patient, the patient must be involved from day one. But this is easier said than done. Maryze explained that people often forget to think about what it takes for a patient, for example to come over and share their experiences. That clearly needs to change, because it often takes a lot. During this interactive session everyone shared their experiences on bringing patient engagement into practice. It turned out to be a educative session where everyone could learn from each other’s best and worst practices.
WORKSHOP - How to sell your story
What it the first thing that to mind when you hear DSM? Yeast? Too bad. Biotech companies often start with what they are doing. Instead, to sell your story, you should start your story with why you are doing what you do. The “why” is the sole purpose of a company’s existence. The purpose of DSM is to create brighter lives for people today and generations to come. How? By delivering innovative business solutions for nutrition, health and sustainable living. During this workshop, Ellen Oerlemans urged the public to think about the story of their company. And, lucky for our sector, each and every biotech company has a strong story to tell, as biotech contributes to 11 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
FIRESIDE CHAT – Lessons in leadership
During the last session of the day, HollandBIO chairman Markwin Velders invited seasoned biotech entrepreneur Hans Schikan to unravel the secrets of successful leadership. In a cosy and laidback setting, Hans shared the ups and downs of his impressive career. After studying pharmacy, he gained experience at Organon. At a junior position, you have to do a lot of work yourself. Moving to leadership position, you need to learn to use your team to get things done. Driven by his inborn high dose of enthusiasm, Hans eventually made it to leadership positions at Organon, Genzyme and Prosensa. His tips for the audience: lead by example, never despair, just make it work, and bring a healthy dose of humour.
BEERS & BBQ
The weather, the view, the beers and BBQ delivered a perfect ending to a perfect day, offering our guests plenty of opportunity to network. HollandBIO is already looking forward to next year’s edition!
Photography: Nils van Houts
Fifth meeting for strategic public-private partnerships (PPPs): (inter)national funding opportunities
On 19 June, the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) organised the fifth inspiration and information session for strategic PPPs in the LSH sector. During these quarterly meetings LSH stakeholders and representatives of these PPPs met each other to learn more about the strategic direction, collaboration and funding opportunities.
New funding opportunities
During the day several new financial PPP instruments were addressed. NWO will launch a crossover call to enable significant impact on societal challenges by connecting the strengths of multiple top sectors. For this call roughly 40 million euros will be made available at the start of 2019. From a more business perspective, three ministries are setting up an investment agency – called Invest-NL – to support innovative enterprises and projects with a focus on impact, growth and international opportunities. InvestNL is expected to be launched in spring 2019 and will have a budget of 2.5 billion euros. Finally, funding opportunities outside of the Netherlands, such as the new EU calls and EIT Health, were explained during this meeting.
Strategic development and status of public-private partnerships
Over the past few months, many PPPs have visited the Top Sector LSH to extensively discuss their status, ambitions and plans. One year after the publication of the Knowledge & Innovation Agenda 2018-2021, most consortia have made enormous progress.
Besides the kick-offs of Oncode Institute, IMDI 2.0 and SPRONG platforms, initiatives such as Health Innovation Initiative (Hii)~Holland (evaluation of innovation) and mICF (mobile International Classification of Functioning) have set out their plans and are gathering their first funding. Next to Health-RI, these generic cross-PPP initiatives will be a crucial addition to the strategic development of many disease-specific PPPs. Both Hii and mICF presented their status and ambitions to the audience.
Meet & Match
During the extended lunch session, a meet & match was organised to stimulate interaction between the strategic PPPs and representatives of the LSH governance and LSH stakeholders: the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, NWO-TTW and SGF More information about the PPPs is available in the strategic agenda (pages 28 – 34).
The next strategic PPP sessions will be held on 23 October 2018 and 7 March 2019. If you are interested in participating, please contact Hanna Groen of Health~Holland.
Knowledge for Growth welcomed more than 1200 life sciences actors
Ghent was the biotech capital of Europe on 17 May
The cream of the European life sciences community attended the 14th edition of Flanders.bio’s annual Knowledge for Growth business conference. This event attract decision makers from biotech, pharma and med-tech as well as investors, universities, top-notch research institutes, policymakers and competence providers.
Get a glimpse of the event and the Dutch representatives by watching the after movie.