BFC Group-Healthcare Investment Banking

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2023 BFC Global Healthcare BD & Investment Conference

On January 8, 2023, the 6th Annual BFC Global Healthcare BD & Investment Conference hosted by BFC Group was held at The St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco. Although it has been three years since our last in person global conference, we could still feel the same enthusiasm from the audience as in previous events.  The conference venue was completely packed with excited attendees.

We were very honored to welcome so many of our domestic and international healthcare industry leaders in San Francisco to discuss business development trends, capital market landscape, and partnering opportunities.

David Preston, Managing Director of BFC, presented the opening remarks on the "State of Healthcare Investment" and shared the overall trends of the US and Asian biomedical capital markets over the past few years. He also reviewed the global pharmaceutical industry business development landscape. Many pharmaceutical and biotech companies are facing unprecedented challenges in the global capital market environment in 2022 due to the pandemic and other local and global factors.

David Preston, Managing Director, BFC Group

As David mentioned, the impact on the overall environment in the pharmaceutical industry over the past year has been dramatic. With this as the backdrop, the panel discussion which followed centered on the impact of the capital markets in 2022 on the healthcare industry.  The discussion topic was Survival and Success - Navigating Choppy Capital Markets, moderated by Denny Won (Partner, Cooley), with distinguished speakers John Whittaker (Managing Director, J.P.Morgan), Jeff Zhou (Executive Director, J.P.Morgan), Ran Geng (Vice President, OrbiMed Asia), Lili Zheng (International Tax Partner, Deloitte), Yiming Li (Partner, Cooley), and Mark Emalfarb (CEO, Dyadic International). Panelists shared how companies could "survive" and even achieve "success" under the current capital environment.  It was suggested that companies should consider combining financing, BD, and even M&A efforts in order to gain a competitive edge. Speakers also shared their outlook for the global pharmaceutical market in 2023.

From left to right:Denny Won, Partner, Cooley;Ran Geng, Vice President, OrbiMed Asia;Mark A. Emalfarb, Founder and CEO, Dyadic International;Lili Zheng, International Tax Partner, Deloitte;Jeff Zhou, Executive Director, China Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan;John Whittaker, Managing Director, Global Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan;Yiming Liu, Partner, Cooley

The second panel discussion was focused on the role of big pharma in the biotech industry on the topic “Survival and Success - Betting on Pharma.” Thijs Spoor (CEO, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting) was joined by five highly experienced executives including Guillaume Vignon (Global Head BD&L Partnering, Novartis), Matthieu Merlin (Global Head of Business Development, General Medicines, Sanofi), Michael Flaschen (SVP, Global External Innovation, Daiichi Sankyo), Roby Kanichay (Head of Technologies and Externalizations, EMD Serono) and Betty Huang (VP and Head of CtC Hub China, BD&L and Open Innovation, Bayer).  Given the harsh capital investment environment, it has been difficult for many public biotechs to have sufficient operational liquidity to advance their R&D pipelines. For private biotechs, a similar scenario existed as it was difficult to raise capital. However, many big pharmas are cash-rich and ready to acquire notable external assets, companies, and invest in innovations. For many biotechs, attracting investments from big pharmas was a strategy that was much needed to weather this difficult period. 

From left to right:Thijs Spoor, CEO, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting;Roby Kanichay, Head of Technologies and Externalizations, Global Business Development and Alliance Management, EMD Serono;Guillaume Vignon, Global Head BD&L Partnering, Novartis;Michael Flaschen, SVP, Global External Innovation, Daiichi Sankyo;Matthieu Merlin, Global Head of Business Development, General Medicines, Sanofi;Betty Huang, VP and Head of Collaborate to Cure Hub China, BD&L and Open Innovation, Bayer

The next panel was titled “Hunting for the Next Transformational Deal – When, Where, and How Much?” which was moderated by Christina Zhang (Partner in Charge – Shanghai, Cooley).  She was joined by Huaizheng Peng (CBO, China Medical System Holdings), Albert Ren (VP, Strategy and Business Development, Pfizer), Lila Hope (Partner, Cooley), Amit Kakar (Senior Partner and Head of Novo Holdings Asia, Novo Holdings Equity Asia), Kamran Siddiqui (Senior Director, Transactions, Global Business Development, Ferring Pharmaceuticals) and Diana Pignalosa (Head of Strategic Partnering, Debiopharm). The COVID-19 pandemic has made Pfizer's mRNA vaccine the best-selling drug in the past two years, and Merck’s Keytruda will soon overtake Humira.  Pharmaceutical investors and companies are eager to identify the next blockbuster drugs. Panelists shared their insights on promising drug targets, therapeutic areas, and technology platforms. Increasingly, innovations from Chinese companies are getting global recognition as evidenced by numerous cross-border transactions and collaborations.

From left to right:Christina Zhang, Partner in Charge - Shanghai, Cooley; Lila Hope, Partner, Cooley; Amit Kakar, Senior Partner and Head of Novo Holdings Asia, Novo Holdings Equity Asia; Diana Pignalosa, Head of Strategic Partnering, Debiopharm; Huaizheng Peng, CBO, China Medical System Holdings; Kamran Siddiqui, Senior Director, Transactions, Global Business Development, Ferring Pharmaceuticals; Albert Ren, VP, Strategy and Business Development, Pfizer

Jia En Chin (Executive Director, BFC Group) moderated the last discussion of the day.  She was joined by Detlev Mennerich (SVP and Global Head of BD&L, Boehringer Ingelheim), Petrina Kamya (Head of AI Platforms, Insilico Medicine), Jake Becraft (Co-founder and CEO, Strand Therapeutics), Markus Puhlmann (CMO, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting), and John Mayfield (Chief Business Officer, Be Biopharma).  The topic posed to these distinguished panelists was “Reshaping the Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry -- Next Generation Platform Technologies.” Each of them shared why they think this is one of the most exciting periods in the pharma industry as new technologies are being tested in the clinic that will transform the hunt for therapeutics and offer new treatments. 

From left to right:Jia En Chin, Executive Director, BFC Group; Jake Becraft, Co-founder & CEO, Strand Therapeutics; Detlev Mennerich, SVP and Head of Global BD&L, Boehringer Ingelheim; Markus Puhlmann, Chief Medical Officer, Viewpoint Molecular Targeting; Petrina Kamya, Head of AI Platforms, Insilico Medicine; John Mayfield, Chief Business Officer, Be Biopharma

The 6th Annual BFC Global Healthcare BD & Investment Conference which was attended by 1200 guests came to a successful conclusion after one capital market review, four panel discussions, and 18 company roadshows. BFC Group would like to thank you for your strong support. We will continue to build the platform for companies and investors to connect and cooperate. See you in San Francisco in 2024!