The 29th BIO-Europe in Munich was able to boast record figures: around 6,000 participants for the first time, over 30,000 partnering meetings for the first time at what was already the largest European partnering event for biotech and pharma. However, many other figures are currently pointing back to 2019.
Record figures and a much better mood in Europe than one is currently hearing from the USA. Financing is difficult at the moment and the US pharmaceutical giants in particular are resorting to smaller or larger restructuring programmes for the benefit of shareholders because sales figures are returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, the European scene is hardly used to anything other than a crisis and is dealing with it in a confident and almost relaxed manner – always in the hope that the major financiers from the US will soon return.
In the opening panel discussion featured by Daniel Chancellor (Citeline/Evaluate), Dr. Alexandra Zemp (Mc Kinsey) and Isma Hachi (IQVIA) the keymessages were: There are huge opportunities in oncology, and biologics and rare diseases are driving huge amounts of pipeline creation. But partnerships are shifting to the earliest stages both as a near-term source of funding, but also that the combined expertise can be deployed to shape development strategy and add value. In another panel about ‘What´s new in oncology’ former global oncology head of Novartis, Susanne Schaffert, stressed, that a Biotech has to put the commercialization in the center of any early development as early as possible and as a ‘must have’ to talk to Pharma.
Isma Hachi also stated, that diversity within R&D capabilities is necessary to provide the best new therapies for patients and that this is looked upon in forming partnerships as well. The party mood was crashed by Daniel Chancellor, resuming that investment is happening and recovering, albeit from the baseline established in 2019. But, as always at any BIO-Europe, the party mood cannot be crashed by any numbers and the running gag of the conference was whether these well organized and received parties on the Biotech-Titanic were just before hitting the iceberg. JPMorgan and the next BIO-Europe Spring or in autumn in Stockholm, Sweden will show.