BFC Group-Healthcare Investment Banking

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2024 BFC Global Healthcare BD & Investment Conference

On January 7,2024, the 7th Annual BFC Global Healthcare BD and Investment Conference was held at The St. Regis in San Francisco. The event brought together over 800 global healthcare industry leaders and professionals for a day of insightful discussions and networking opportunities.  Addressing diverse aspects of business development and investment, the conference provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities shaping the industry in 2024.

Opening the conference, David Preston, Managing Director of BFC Group, delivered an impactful speech outlining the current trends and landscape in the US and Asian biopharmaceutical capital markets.

David Preston, Managing Director, BFC Group

The first panel, "Great Science, Great Challenges: Partnership with Big Pharma" delved into the complexities of collaborating with multinational corporations (MNCs), also touched upon topics such as the favorite biotech deal from the past 18 months and the most creative deals between pharma and biotechs. The panel explored the impact of partnering on global commercial strategies, determining when deals should be global, and assessing the dynamics and compelling factors in the US, Europe and Asia, offering valuable insights and advice for biotechs seeking partnerships with big Pharmas.

From left to right:Thijs Spoor, CEO, Perspective Therapeutics; Guillaume Vignon, Global Head BD&L Transactions, Novartis; Andrew Wong, Global Head of Bayer Co. Labs / BD&L and Open Innovation, Bayer; Michael Lai, General Manager, AstraZeneca China; Herwig Janssen, Vice President, Regional Partnerships, Emerging Markets, Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine; Matthieu Merlin, Global Head of Business Development, General Medicines, Sanofi

The second panel, " Great Science, Great Challenges: New Market and New Deal Strategy " began with an assessment of the pharmaceutical market last year, prompting speakers to highlight what was "new" compared to the previous year. Following this, discussions centered around "new" strategies and approaches employed by companies in seeking partnerships and external innovation, covering therapeutic areas, assets, technology platforms, and geographic shifts, particularly in Asia. The panelists shared perspectives on their execution of these strategies and predicted trends in business development.

From left to right:Marya Postner, Partner, Cooley; Philippe Alen, Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, Galapagos; Markus Sieger, CEO, Polpharma Group; Shaan Gandhi, Vice President and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Pfizer Ignite; Oliver Kast, Global Head, BD&L Oncology, Boehringer Ingelheim; Betty Huang, VP and Head of Collaborate to Cure Hub China, BD&L and Open Innovation, Bayer

The midday session, "Great Science, Great Challenges: Developing the Right Exit Plan in the Current Market" explored various options to raise capital and generate returns for investors in the current market conditions beyond public offerings. It delved into the landscape of biotech mergers and acquisitions (MA) in China, examining its viability as an exit option and addressing challenges associated with cross-border MA deals. Panelists provided advice for biotech companies based in Asia considering global MA opportunities and preparations necessary for successful MA deals.

From left to right:Yiming Liu, Partner, Cooley; Bing Li, CEO, Shanton Pharma; Rama Padmanabhan, Partner, Cooley; Huaizheng Peng, CBO, China Medical System Holdings; Lili Zheng, Partner, Deloitte; Jeff Zhou, Executive Director, China Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan

After a delightful lunch reception which provided attendees with the opportunity to network and engage in meaningful conversations, the conference continued with a Company Road Show session, allowing companies to showcase their innovations and garner attention from potential partners and investors.

The final session, " Deepening and Enduring Partnerships between East and West," discussed meaningful topics such as the establishment of contact with multinational corporations (MNCs) and Chinese biotechs, offering advice on initiating connections and engaging further. Panelists shared insights into the diligence process, emphasizing critical aspects, including clinical data generation locations, dataroom preparation, timelines, and the complexities of Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). The discussion extended to deal structure, terms, and agreements, highlighting China-specific considerations and the importance of retaining China rights.

From left to right:Stephan Lensky, CBO/COO, EpimAb Biotherapeutics; Birgit Reitmaier, Executive Director, Head of BD Asia Pacific, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Ziping Wei, CEO, Bliss Biopharmaceutical; Lila Hope, Partner, Cooley; James Burt, CEO, Pharmanovia; Ramon Valencia, VP, Business Development, SystImmune; Martin J. Murphy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Society for Translational Oncology & AlphaMed Consulting,Inc.

The 7th Annual BFC Global Healthcare BD & Investment Conference concluded with a vibrant exchange of ideas and a renewed commitment to advancing healthcare through collaboration. Looking forward to continued collaboration and innovation, the conference set the stage for future breakthroughs in healthcare business development and investment!