10th Annual Life Science Innovation Northwest Highlights
Hundreds from the life sciences community from 15 states, Washington, D.C., and seven countries -- Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom -- attended Life Science Innovation Northwest held March 16 and 17 in Seattle.
“We’re extremely pleased that so many outstanding professionals attended this year’s event,” said Chris Rivera, President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association. “It demonstrates continued growth in the life sciences industry and a growing global understanding that Washington state is taking its place among top leaders in innovation."
Attendees were treated to two days of panel discussions, a state-of-the-industry report by G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, the keynote address by Rajiv Shah, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and presentations by life science companies and leading research and global health organizations.
Burrill & Company joined WBBA to co-sponsor this year's event.
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Summaries of keynote address and topical life science panels
Welcoming Address: Chris Rivera, President, Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association.
The 2010 Life Science Innovation Northwest conference was rebranded to focus on two critical factors: Innovation and our region’s dramatic presence in the global health care community. The conference program included more than 60 presentions from companies and innovative organizations. Attendees included investors, partners and media from the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, China and Japan. Five conference panels and the keynote address were available live via webcast, with translation into Chinese.
State-of-the-Industry Report: G. Steven Burrill, Chief Executive Officer, Burrill & Company.
A confluence of technology will vastly change diagnostics in the next decade. Biomedicine should be prepared for a consumer-driven health care system where patients will be connected electronically and pharmaceuticals will be priced globally in a pro-generics environment.
Download presentation slides from G. Steven Burrill's presentation Biotech 2010 Life Sciences: Adapting for Success
The Innovation Economy and Commerce Priorities: Travis Sullivan, Director of Policy and Strategic Planning, U.S. Department of Commerce.
The U.S. Department of Commerce under President Obama is focused on removing barriers to innovation. Key initiatives include additional funding for the National Institutes of Health, revival of stem cell research, an extension of research and development tax credits, patent and trademark reforms, federally funded laboratories and easing travel barriers for foreign scientists.
Luncheon Keynote Address: Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has allocated $63 billion during the next six years for its global health initiative. Priorities include HIV/AIDS, a tuberculosis vaccine, improved testing facilities and timely data transfer. Initiatives are centered on achievable goals that will save lives and promote economic development.
From IP to IPO: The journey to the intial public offering
Chris Rivera, President, WBBA; Clay Siegall, Seattle Genetics; Greg Demopulos, Omeros; Shawn Cross, Burrill & Company; George Milstein, Wedbush Pacgrow; Mark Monane, Needham & Company.
Investment in “great science generated by passionate scientists” will continue in a tight capital market, despite serious concerns about politically driven FDA policies, difficult exit strategies and the loss of jobs to Europe, Asia and China. The IPO market is “awful” with most companies motivated to attract buyers, rather than raise capital.
The VC Model at a Crossroads - Where Next?
Mark Heesen, NVCA; Ali Bebahani, NEA; David Schechner, Canaccord Adams; Dayton Misfeldt, Bay City Capital; Robert Nelsen, Arch Ventures; Carl Weissman, Accelerator & OVP.
Summary: Life sciences investment is strong and remains the largest sector for venture capital, despite the downturn in 2009. Acquisition activity is increasing, a good sign for things to come. Top concerns include the effect of health care reform on the industry and the conservative and unpredictable FDA approval process, which remains counterproductive to cost effectiveness.
Public/Private Partnerships - Beyond normal limits
Melinda Moree, BVGH; Hannah Kettler, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Hugh Chang, PATH; Ken Stuart, Seattle Biomed; Leander Lauffer, Malaria Vaccine Initiative.
Non-profit and non-governmental organizations are finding innovative ways to partner with for-profit companies, universities, government and other NGOs on major health care initiatives. A recent study by the Washington Global Health Alliance showed that the state’s nine major non-profits are currently conducting more than 500 projects in 92 countries with more than 600 partners.
Local Media Insights
Roger Nyhus, Nyhus Communications; Luke Timmerman, Xconomy; Keith Seinfeld, KPLU; Kristi Heim, Seattle Times.
Good stories drive coverage of bioscience and technology and Washington’s biomedicine and global health community shouldn’t hesitate to contact local media with good ideas. Reporters and editors, however, urge company representatives to get to know them before they pitch a story. Relationship development is critical.
Investment or Partnership - What is the best deal for your company?
Steve Edelson, BioCentury; Michelle Burris, Trubion, Marty Simonetti, VLST; Randy Schatzman, Alder Bio; Mark Murray, Tekmira.
Market conditions and trends, transaction timing, the product development cycle and market place exit strategies represent critical concerns as C-level decision makers consider whether to invest or partner to secure the financial futures and success of their companies.
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Chinese delegation learns about life sciences in Washington
Representatives of the growing Chinese life sciences community learned first hand during Life Sciences Innovation Northwest that they should pay close attention to Washington State as they develop partnership and investment opportunities in the United States.
The visit stemmed from a visit by WBBA President Chris Rivera to China last year.
“I noticed a growing interest among my hosts to invest and partner with the U.S. life sciences industry. Unfortunately, many Chinese organizations assumed that opportunities were confined to places like New Jersey and San Francisco. We wanted to showcase the growth of life sciences in Washington and build awareness of China’s natural geographic ties to our region.”
In addition to hearing presentations from Washington’s life sciences companies and global health organizations during LSINW, the delegation was addressed by Travis Sullivan, director, policy and strategic planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, during a welcome dinner and reception at the Bellevue Towers.
Sullivan discussed Northwest partnerships with Chinese innovation industries, his views on job creation in green industries and U.S. trade and promotion strategies.
The Washington State Department of Commerce was a co-sponsor of the Chinese visit.
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