Six months have passed since the last time we opened the doors for the very first Labiotech Refresh, Europe’s most refreshing Biotech Conference. Last week we launched our second edition live from Le Machine du Moulin Rouge in Paris!
Were you not able to attend? Don’t worry! Here is our highlight video:
10h00 – 10h40:
How is Biotech changing the World? – Keynote by Philippe Pouletty, Truffle Capital
France is the best country right now to start a company.” – Philippe Pouletty
According to Philippe, France’s strongest advantage is having VCs with a scientific background that can identify disruptive innovations. For him, strong existing IP is essential for a company to bring their ideas to the market.
Philippe outlined how biotech has grown from mass-production of already known drugs to a field leading in innovation. He boldly stated that CAR-T and CRISPR are already the past; the future will bring great innovations in the next 10-20 years that no one can predict at the moment.
10h40 – 11h20:
Panel – Future Directions in Rare Disease
The speakers highlighted the trend towards a greater patient involvement, taking their expectations into account when establishing the endpoints of a clinical trial.
The ultimate aim is to reach the finish line and treat the patients.” – Karen Aiach, Founder & CEO of Lysogene
Without the patients, Genzyme wouldn’t exist.” – Christian Deleuze, President of Sanofi Genzyme France
In orphan diseases, targeting patients around the globe is essential.” – Rafaèle Tordjman, Managing partner at Sofinnova
11h40 – 12h10:
Fireside Chat with Thomas Hanke, Evotec – A European Biotech Success Story
Evotec is aiming to address the funding gap for translational programs that bridge academia and drug development with a fund that specifically focuses on projects coming from Universities. According to Hanke, the lack of companies like Evotec, focusing on preclinical drug discovery, is caused by the broad range of technological capabilities required.
He has found that there’s a more entrepreneurial spirit in the UK, particularly in Oxford, while in France or Germany it’s less common. His advice for researchers is to be more daring, think about translation and focus on applications
12h10 – 12h50:
Panel – Overcoming Microbial Resistance
The panelists agreed that the regulatory process and reimbursement are some of the most pressing challenges in the development of new ways to fight infenctions.
Franck Lescure, Partner at Auriga, remarked that temporary authorizations or accelerated approval programs could provide a solution for the regulatory challenges.
Achim Plum, CCO of Curetis, exemplified the reimbursement challenges with the case of Germany, where a simple test to distinguish a bacterial infection from a virus can take 10-15 years with no clear outcome.
Derry Mercer, Principal Scientist at NovaBiotics, mentioned the lack of investment late in the development process, which is originating a huge bottleneck.
One of the possible solutions highlighted was phage therapy, which has been around for a century but seemed to be forgotten. Big data could also play an important role in future developments.
14h10 – 15h40:
Startup Battle – Who will come on top?
Biosyntia wants to replace chemical production of vitamins using a cost-effective and fast bioprocess. The company reprograms microorganisms to survive only if they produce the target product.
Eligo Bioscience aims to use phages to deliver CRISPR and kill only nocive bacterial strains, leaving the rest of the microbiome intact and healthy. It already has proof of concept results in vivo.
Eurobiotix is improving faecal transplants outcomes by developing off-the-shelf products and a matching system for patients and donors. Pilot trials are already running across the UK!
GeneQuine uses a unique viral vector for gene therapy targeting osteoarthritis that has already shown efficacy in horses.
Moirai Biodesign is developing a test device to diagnose leukemia in record time without expensive equipment or trained personnel. They use a ‘plug and play’ approach that aims to be faster and cheaper than PCR or NGS.
And the winner was… Xavier Duportet from Eligo Bioscience!
16h10 – 16h30:
Fireside Chat with Marc Delcourt, Global Bioenergies – Advances in Synthetic Biology
Global Bioenergies aims to use renewable stock to produce exactly the same compounds that are currently derived from oil. It has signed a 5-year partnership with Audi to produce renewable gasoline for specific cars from the renowned firm. Marc is convinced that the trend to get rid of oil seen in countries like Sweden will continue growing in the next years.
Panel – Personalized Medicine: Has it Arrived?
The panelists highlighted how things are changing to facilitate reimbursement of personalized medicine technology. Agendia’s MamaPrint, a test to discern if chemotherapy is required in breast cancer, is on conditional reimbursement for 3 years, during which it’s evaluating the real outcome of the genomic assay.
The EU is starting to open for reimbursement.” Marjolaine Barldo, Head EMEA at Agendia
The next big thing will be the integration of specific biomarkers and drugs to adjust clinical trial design and accelerate development and approval.” Jemila Houacine, Associate at Medicxi
Liquid biopsy is a big trend. We’re developing such a personalized test focusing on patient follow-up.” Jean-Pol Detiffe, CEO of OncoDNA
17h10 – 17h40:
Fireside Chat with Eva-Lotta Allan, Immunocore – The potential of Immuno-oncology
Immuno-oncology will treat 50% of all cancers 10 years from now.” – Eva-Lotta Allan
Eva reckons Immuno-oncology is a huge leap forward that could eventually lead to a cure. Immunocore’s technology could make this kind of technology inexpensive by producing it in E.coli. The first product, targeting melanoma, could reach the market in 2019 the earliest.
Regarding the company plans, Eva stated that the company expects to remain private. She would also like to see more successful stories from independent European companies. Will hers be one of them?
Now we are working on the next Refresh event that will take place on June 8th 2017 in Berlin. We hope to see you there!