The top biotechnology fair in the world will be held in California from 23 to 26 June
The Catalan delegation, coordinated by Biocat, will have 22 companies, 6 with their own booth, and 4 institutions
Barcelona, 16 June 2014.- A total of 22 companies and 4 institutions make up the Catalan delegation to BIO San Diego 2014, the most important biotechnology convention in the world, which has been held for the past 20 years. This year’s edition will be in San Diego (California), from 23 to 26 June, with the slogan Connect, Partner, Innovate.
California is home to one of the three main life sciences clusters in the United States and 28% of the country’s biotechnology pipeline. Activity in this sector is concentrated mainly in the areas around San Diego and San Francisco, particularly in the fields of biopharmaceutical products, industrial biotechnology, biofuel and diagnostic and medical devices, among others.
The scope of the BIO International Convention and the profile of participants ensure that companies and research bodies that participate will have multiple business and collaboration opportunities. And the figures back this up: the 2013 edition, held in Chicago, brought together more than 13,500 delegates from 62 countries and 1,722 exhibitors and a record-breaking 25,573 partnering meetings were held.
The BioRegion of Catalonia at BIO 2014
The BioRegion of Catalonia will have a booth at BIO 2014, in the Spanish pavilion, measuring 223 square meters. Other bioregions, like those of Andalusia and the Basque Country, will also be present there.
In addition to the 22 Catalan companies, 4 institutions will also participate: ACCIÓ, the Government of Catalonia business competitiveness agency; the Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona (IRB); the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) Biomedical Engineering Research Center (CREB); and Biocat, which is coordinating the Catalan delegation to BIO for the eighth consecutive year.
6 Catalan companies with their own booth
Of all the companies participating in BIO 2014 with the Catalan delegation, 6 will have their own booth in a privileged location. One of them is biotechnology firm Oryzon Genomics, focused on epigenetics. Based in Cornellà de Llobregat, this company has recently been the object of the largest transaction in the Spanish biotechnology sector, closing an agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche. In addition to having their own booth, CEO of Oryzon, Carlos Buesa, will participate in the seminar on funding in the field of biotechnology being held by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX) on Sunday 22 June before the official inauguration of BIO 2014. And on Thursday 26 June, Buesa will give a conference on public-private cooperation in the Spanish biotechnology sector.
Bioiberica will also have its own booth: “On one hand, the fair will allow us to make new contacts and open up new business opportunities. On the other, Bioiberica will contribute its experience in the field of osteoarthritis and joint health.”
Specific Pig, a breeding and biomedical research center specializing in model pigs, shares the same motivation for attending BIO: “It will help us raise awareness of the company on an international level, in order to open up new business opportunities and possible collaborations around the world.” The company acts as a preclinical CRO (Contract Research Organization), supporting biomedical research centers, hospitals and pharmaceutical, veterinary and medical-device companies.
Plasmia Biotech, an industrial biotechnology company based on a collection of enzymes to improve the synthesis process of various drugs, says that BIO allows them to “compare the activity of other companies in our field and forge new collaborations.”
Laboratorios Salvat has been participating in BIO since 2007: “Thanks to the contacts we’ve made, we’ve closed several licensing agreements.” At this year’s event, their main goal is to find commercial partners for a pediatric product they are developing for the United States. This product is in phase III and combines an antibiotic with a corticosteroid in drops to treat otitis.
Another Catalan company with its own booth is Bcn Peptides, which manufactures bioactive peptides for pharmaceutical and veterinary applications.
Partnering tools for all participants
As in other years, all participating companies and organizations will be able to set up one-to-one partnering meetings with the rest of the participants at the BIO convention. Of the companies that make up the Catalan delegation, 16 will participate in this mode, launched for the first time by Biocat and ICEX. This type of registration, which is more affordable than that available through the fair itself, sets partnering meetings at the exhibitors pavilions instead of in the Business Forum, a separate space from the exhibit area.
The companies offering R&D services include BioIngenium, a benchmark in the field of recombinant proteins that aims to “make contact with potential clients” at BIO and raise awareness of the company on an international level.
Other companies are already present on the European or world markets, like ReadyCell, which will promote its kits to measure different parameters at BIO. Above all, they are motivated by “the possibility of doing a lot of commercial activity in a short period of time, in addition to learning the latest on what is going on in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry around the world.” Another company aiming to boost internationalization is Anaxomics, which hopes to focus on the discovery of biomarkers and explain its services to investors and start-ups at BIO San Diego. In fact, the company will present them in a workshop session on biomarkers held by the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR) on 25 June.
Another reason to participate in BIO is to scout for partners and investors. Nanomedicine company Cebiotex, which has participated in other editions of the fair, hopes to find some in order to further develop a solution to control and treat tumors locally in pediatric oncology, now in the regulatory preclinical phase. Likewise, GP Pharm aims to find potential new partners, in addition to believing that BIO is “an event that allows us to stay abreast of the latest trends, technology and developments in the pharmaceutical arena.” Sagetis Biotech, which develops innovative technology for unmet medical needs, says the same: they are going to the convention in order to “seek out collaboration agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies and meet with venture capital companies to tackle the company’s funding needs.”
Medtep, a success story in the field of e-health, will also participate in BIO 2014. Created in 2011 by two young entrepreneurs, the company provides a multiplatform solution to mobile, personalized healthcare. At the fair, they hope to “forge synergies with companies in the biotechnology arena that can lead to joint projects.” They add, “BIO San Diego is particularly important for Medtep, as the United States and Europe are our main markets.”
The pharmaceutical companies travelling to San Diego with the Catalan delegation are Mitelos Bioscience, which believes the convention is a “showcase” for its products and services, as well as a “source of inspiration for new products and business ideas.” The company will present 4 dietary supplements and a healthcare product that makes it easier to remove wax from the ear canal. Gebro Pharma, an Austrian pharmaceutical group with headquarters in Barcelona, is looking for “opportunities in advanced stages, nearly ready to go to market, to expand their product lines in pain, rheumatology, urology and other specialties.” However, the main reason Iproteos is participating in BIO is “to market the technology developed by the company and intellectual property licenses to its drugs,” to treat diseases of the central nervous system in humans.
Finally, in the field of biotechnology consultancy, participants in this year’s BIO will include Spherium Biomed, an incubator for biomedical projects developed in academic settings. Their goals at the convention are “to get a first-hand look at the latest industry trends, make contact with foreign companies and research institutions and strengthen our ties with national ones.” Oficina Ponti, which offers technical and legal services to protect and defend industrial property, sees the convention as “a great opportunity to establish collaborations with foreign companies and offer to manage their patent portfolios in Europe.”
Rounding out the Catalan delegation are Bionure, which has offices in California and is working to develop a molecule to treat multiple sclerosis, acute optic neuritis and glaucoma; Ferrer in Code, specializing in personalized medicine and genetic tests; Ability Pharmaceuticals, a drug-development and research company; and Hexascreen, which focuses on developing and marketing equipment for chemical, physical and biological analysis.
Other Catalan companies participating in BIO San Diego 2014 are Intelligent Pharma, Lacer, Caixa Capital Risc, Almirall and Grifols. In total, there will be more than seventy professionals from the BioRegion travelling to the fair.
The BioRegion of Catalonia in numbers
According to the 2013 Biocat Report, the Catalan BioRegion has 512 companies —nearly double the number in 2000—, 56 research centers active in the life sciences or related disciplines, 17 university hospitals and 11 universities with degrees in the life sciences. Moreover, the region has two large-scale research facilities: the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) and the ALBA-CELLS Synchrotron, 118 science and technology platforms, 12 technology centers and 16 science parks with activity in the life sciences, which are home to 24% of the companies in the BioRegion.
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