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Biocat has signed a collaboration agreement with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), which represents more than 600 biotechnology companies and organizations in that state, in order to drive internationalization of companies from the BioRegion. Biotechnology is a global industry and a company’s success depends on establishing cooperative links with R&D groups and other partners around the world that complement their activity. Thus Biocat, the organization that coordinates, dynamizes and promotes biotechnology, biomedicine and innovative medical technology in Catalonia, promotes the internationalization of companies in the BioRegion, aware that this is one of the best ways to improve their positioning in the global market.

Massachusetts is home to more than 400 biotech firms, 60% of which are devoted to developing new therapeutic drugs. In that state alone, 1,100 biotech drugs are developed, according to MassBio, making up 8% of the total global drug portfolio. Through this agreement, Biocat has become a member of MassBio in order to participate in the wide range of programs and events organized by this association.

The agreement, valid for one year with a commitment to yearly renewal, is a pledge from both organizations to promote the biotechnology industry in both bioregions and encourage collaborative links among Catalan and American organizations and companies. Among others, this will include actions to facilitate international investment and collaboration; to support companies interested in establishing an office or laboratory in either Massachusetts or Catalonia; to promote business meetings; and to foster the exchange of information between executives at the two bodies in order to facilitate mutual learning and allow them to share their respective cluster development strategies and expertise on policy, projects, initiatives and activities.

MassConnect Program, entrepreneurs from Catalonia in Boston

The agreement signed by MassBio and Biocat also deals with facilitating participation of Catalan companies in the International MassConnect Fellow program, the first activity in which was held this September. MassConnect is a program geared towards entrepreneurs in the bio sector that have started up a company still in the early stages of moving into the industry and seeking out funding.

The MassConnect program encompasses a series of mentoring and training actions for companies from a variety of countries, which run from September through December of this year. The idea is to link new businesspeople with more experienced biotechnology professionals, who can transfer their expertise and advise the newcomers on areas that are key to creating value, such as business development, pre-clinical development, clinical development and regulations, and marketing. These mentors also provide guidance for entrepreneurs who have recently started up a company and need to find funding and improve their business plan.

With Biocat’s support, Sagetis Biotech, winner of the 2009 BioEmprenedorXXI Award, participated in the first edition of this program in Boston from 12 to 16 September. The program will continue over the coming months through a series of teleconferences that will allow the mentors to provide guidance for entrepreneurs participating in MassConnect.

Sagetis Biotech is a spin-off devoted to designing new biomaterials and other related materials. Sagetis has two lines of R&D, one focusing on the development of a thermoplastic compound for bone tissue regeneration and the other on developing nanoparticles that can cross the blood-brain barrier to administer drugs.

The BioRegion of Catalonia present at the Join the oncology network in Toulouse

Under the framework of international promotion, Biocat has offered special conditions for Catalan representatives in order to foster participation in the Join the oncology network event organized this September by the European Cancer Cluster (ECCP) in Toulouse, France. Over three days, representatives from GP Pharm, the Barcelona Science Park and the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation participated in a number of debate and networking sessions with 200 other companies, institutions and oncology research centers from 19 countries.

Companies and institutions that cover the whole value chain in cancer research and treatment met in a number of work sessions and one-to-one meetings in order to seek our new ways to collaborate on driving innovation in cancer treatment and on building new international networks. Among other topics, they shared the latest breakthroughs in molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine.

For interviews with Eduard Diviu, CEO of Sagetis Biotech and participant in the MassConnect program, contact the Biocat Press Office.

Related news (15/9/2011)

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Silvia Labé • M. 662 315 400 • Tel. +34 93 310 33 69 •

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Silvia LabéDirector of Marketing, Communications and Competitive Intelligence
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Laura DiéguezHead of Media Relations and Content(+34) 606 81 63
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