Skip to main content

The first edition of RESI Europe 2024, the leading partnering event for startups in the life sciences and healthcare sector, was a success. This conference, organized by Life Science Nation (LSN), brought together more than 450 participants from nearly 350 companies all over the world from June 17 to 19, 2024. The first day of the event was in person and the last two online, so the networking opportunities could go global, without any geographic limitations. 


Three Catalan companies win Innovator’s Pitch Challenge Awards

The Innovator’s Pitch Challenge saw noteworthy participation from talent in the BioRegion of Catalonia: 23 of the 42 participating companies are based in Catalonia, highlighting Catalonia’s importance as an innovation hub for the life sciences sector.

Three Catalan companies won awards in this contest: Gate2Brain won first place, Ysotope Theranostics, second, and DyCare, third. All three captivated both the audience and the judges, showcasing the high level of participating Catalan startups. The awards were presented by Dennis Ford, president of Life Science Nation; Jaume Baró, executive director of Entrepreneurship and Business at Barcelona Activa; and Robert Fabregat, CEO of Biocat.

gate2brainMeritxell Teixidó, CEO and CSO of Gate2Brain.

Advanced therapies in Catalonia

In addition to the pitch sessions, there were very interesting debates on June 17. Robert Fabregat moderated a panel discussion on the key role Catalonia’s advanced therapies will play in innovation and clinical breakthroughs in Europe. The panel featured Fina Lladós, vice president and general manager Iberia at Amgen; Silvia Martín, advanced therapies manager at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO); Antoni Matilla, co-founder and CEO of BIOINTAXIS; Lluis Pareras, founder and managing partner of Invivo Partners; and Esteve Trias, executive medical director at Leitat Technological Center.

According to Robert Fabregat, 40% of Spanish publications on advanced therapies originate from Catalonia. In terms of clinical trials, there are around 130 advanced therapy studies in development in Catalonia, with 20 of them being directly led by local institutions. This places Catalonia fifth in Europe and eighth globally in participation in such clinical trials.

Lluís Pareras emphasized the high quality of Catalan research: "We are performing exceptionally well. In the field of advanced therapies and synthetic biology, we have some of the best scientists in Europe and the world, achieving notable results in both science and the translation of initiatives."

Esteve Trias highlighted Catalonia's strength at the beginning and end of the value chain but underscored the need to "build a bridge between research and transfer. Technological centers like Leitat can enhance this transfer to ensure these therapies effectively reach patients."

For the roundtable participants, the main challenges associated with advanced therapies include attracting qualified talent and ensuring patient access to therapies. According to Silvia Martín, "we have started creating multidisciplinary work groups because one person alone cannot possess all the necessary expertise in this field. This means that researchers, clinicians, and regulatory professionals must work hand in hand in developing advanced therapies." Fina Lladós stressed the need to scale up the production of therapies and ensure patient access: "It makes no sense to invest in and attract innovation if it does not reach the patients."

To address these and other challenges in advanced therapies, Antoni Matilla highlighted the recent creation of the Catalonia Advanced Therapies Network, coordinated by Biocat, which integrates over 45 public and private entities. This network aims to promote research, manufacturing, and the development of advanced therapies to make them accessible to the public efficiently and sustainably.

The first edition of RESI Europe took place in Barcelona thanks to the collaboration of Biocat, the Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia. These institutions worked together to make possible this event that drives innovation and development in the life sciences in Catalonia and Europe.

Recover the best images!
Sign up for our newsletters

Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events and trends in the BioRegion.