BIO Investor Forum Kicks Off Amid Industry Optimism

Today, the BIO Investor Forum kicks off in San Francisco, Calif. BioWorld’s Catherine Shaffer paints a positive picture of the industry (subscription required) highlighting the strong IPO activity and heightened interest in the sector among investors. The conference reflects the upward momentum of the industry with increased expected attendance among both companies and investors. The JOBS Act is widely viewed as the underlying reason for these positive trends in the industry as the law helped to “jumpstart” IPO activity by easing the process for companies seeking to go public.

The BIO Investor Forum features public and venture-stage company presentations, expert-led business roundtables, one-on-one investor meetings and networking opportunities.

Several sessions will focus on the positive momentum highlighted in Shaffer’s story, including:

Opening Plenary Session: IPO Frenzy – Are the GoGo Markets Here to Stay?
Tuesday, October 8, 12:00 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

With 35 (and counting) life sciences companies having already placed IPOs on the market in the first 10 months of this year and others lining up for S-1 filings, biotech is buzzing about a revival of the IPO market – Is it a bubble? Will it translate to more funding? This panel will take a look at what this renewed interest will mean and won’t mean for the industry.

Lunch Plenary Session: Facing Reality – Debating the Conclusions of BioCentury’s 21st Annual Back to School Commentary
Wednesday, October 9, 12:30 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.

In its 21st Annual Back to School essay, BioCentury argues the biopharma industry has not faced up to the reality of austerity in the healthcare marketplace. The drug industry’s pricing power is in retreat. And governments, commercial insurers and patients are pushing back on the industry’s notions of innovation. In the real world, companies will have to engage with payers and patients to develop a new consensus on value for money. Small biotechs focused on scientific and technical innovation will not be exempt.

At this BIO Investor Forum plenary, BioCentury Editor Susan Schaeffer will lead investors and CEOs through a discussion of what emerging biotechs must do to address these existential forces.

Closing Plenary Session: Early Stage Venture Financing – Will Current Trends Continue in 2014?
Wednesday, October 9, 3:30 p.m. – 4:25 p.m.

Any early-stage biotech companies looking for funding can readily recognize the challenge. It’s getting harder and harder to secure dollars from the 10 or so venture capital firms left to consider an investment – but these firms exist and some even have success stories to tout. This panel takes a look at the VC firms considering early-stage investments and their investment models.

In addition to Plenary Sessions, the Investor Forum will feature Business Roundtables which will take a closer look at crowdfunding as a source of capital for smaller biotechs and how the JOBS Act is impacting the IPO process.

Business Roundtables include:

Crowdfunding in Healthcare & Biotech: Will It Bridge “The Valley of Death”?

Tuesday, October 8, 3:30 p.m. – 4:25 p.m.

Smaller private companies are constantly in search of capital, but many find it difficult to navigate the step between a “friends & family” round or one with angels and an initial venture round.  The JOBS Act, passed by Congress in 2012, created a new capital formation pathway for young companies:  crowdfunding.  Crowdfunding has been used in a limited number of examples for life science companies, but where is this pathway heading? How should a company look at opportunities for crowdfunding? The panel will look at life of a small company, as a CEO moderator asks a set of investors and others about both crowdfunding and other pathways.

The New Road to IPO in the Age of the JOBS Act
Wednesday, October 9, 2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

Whereas the investors on the opening plenary tackled questions about the IPO market and the opportunities it will or will not present for the industry, the biotech CEOs and industry experts on this panel will provide an in-depth look into the key elements for a successful offering. Topics will include how to engage with the board, investors and the JOBS Act.

To learn more about the BIO Investor Forum, including registration and program information, please visit here. Advance media registration is available here. Registration is complimentary for credentialed members of the media and qualified investors.

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