As the industry moves forward in 2013, it again faces one of its regular bugaboos—uncertainty. “Where are we headed?” has been a standard phrase among bioindustry observers since the early 1980s. As it turns out, the biopharmaceutical business must once again deal with a number of important issues this year.
For example, G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Co., points out that the cuts mandated by the U.S. Congress’ sequestration fiscal policy may slow basic research as well as patient access to new therapies. Burrill further notes that the sequestration is taking place in a weakened financing atmosphere for the life sciences. According to Burrill, global venture financings for life sciences companies totaled $582 million in February, a 47 percent drop from the same period last year.
Also, pharma company pipelines are drying up as their blockbuster drugs go off patent and competition from biosimilars is picking up. Global pharmaceutical market growth is expected to remain in the single digit range through next year.
Nevertheless, significant advances continue to be made in the life sciences, especially in fields such as personalized medicine, epigenetics, and agbiotech. So, taking an overview of the bioindustry environment, here are my picks for the top ten “can’t miss” sessions at the 2013 BIO International Convention in Chicago this April:
- Bridging the Productivity Gap: Big Pharma Strategies for Accessing Early-Stage Innovation: 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 23
- Massive Health Care Consolidation and Its Impact on Biotech: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23
- How IP Issues Impact Innovations in Biomarker Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine: 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Monday, April 22
- Global Regulation of Biosimilars: Issues of Importance in Latin America: 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 24
- Demonstrating Product Economic and Clinical Value: Know What Investors Are Looking For: 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 23
- Say What????: Understanding “Regulatory Speak” & Best Practices for Optimizing FDA-Sponsor Communication: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23
- Fashion or Innovation?: Learning From Trends in Dealmaking Over the Past Decade: 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23
- Can Israel Become the Next Biotech Start-Up Nation?: 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 23
- Epigenetics: More than a Mere Expression: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 24
- Challenges and Opportunities for Small Companies in AgBiotech: Collaborating and Competing with the Majors: 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 23
To learn more about the program and available registration packages for Convention, please visit here
John Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.