Everywhere in biotech, people are scrambling to come up with more sustainable business models. Entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, public biotech companies, and Big Pharma all have their different ideas, but it all boils down to a pretty simple theme. They all want to get a lot more bang out of every buck they spend on R&D.
That’s easily said and not easily done, so I’m really looking forward to asking a lot of questions about this trend on Oct. 16 at our next big Xconomy event in San Francisco, titled “Reinventing Biotech’s Business Model.” This conference, being held at Onyx Pharmaceuticals headquarters in South San Francisco, will bring together a stellar crew of speakers from all over the country.
This conference will feature a series of short, focused chats and case studies in which I’m going to ask people to talk about what they’re doing differently with biotech business models. Like with all Xconomy events, I’m going to ask a few questions of each of the speakers to get the conversation going, but will be sure to leave time for attendees to jump in for Q&A. There will also be plenty of time to talk with speakers directly during the networking breaks.
Here’s how you can expect the afternoon to flow:
1 pm. Registration and networking.
2 pm. Welcoming remarks, Onyx Pharmaceuticals & Xconomy.
2:10 pm. Opening keynote chat, featuring three biotech CEOs at publicly-traded companies who all have to deal with Wall Street investors that want to see them hold the line on R&D spending, and create a conveyer belt of great new products.
—Tony Coles, CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ONXX)
—Mike Morrissey, CEO, Exelixis (NASDAQ: EXEL)
—Robert Blum, CEO, Cytokinetics (NASDAQ: CYTK)
2:40 pm. Experiments with new biotech business models. I’m going to ask these speakers to share some specific stories about new ways in which to finance innovation in startups. These chats will be broken up into 20-minute bite-size chunks.
—James Sabry, VP of partnering at Genentech, & Mark Goldsmith, venture partner at Third Rock Ventures. These two will be able to talk about how they worked together to support epigenetics R&D at Cambridge, MA-based Constellation Pharmaceuticals
—Peter Thompson, a West Coast-based venture partner with OrbiMed Advisors, will be able to talk about why this big, diversified fund is concentrating on early-stage investments like Cambridge, MA-based Arteaus Therapeutics.
—Steve Kaldor, CEO of San Francisco-based Quanticel Pharmaceuticals, on Versant Ventures’ unusual partnership to advance this startup’s R&D program with Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG).
—Clare Ozawa, co-founder and chief business officer of Inception Sciences, and Brian Atwood, managing director of Versant Ventures, on creating an incubator that wants to spin out drug assets for Big Pharma to buy—not whole companies.
4 pm. Networking Break.
4:30 pm. In the late afternoon session, we’ll hear from speakers at Big Pharma companies who are charged with rethinking their relationships with innovators in academia and biotech. Each of these individual chats will go about 20 minutes.
—Jose-Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, senior vice president at Pfizer, on the giant drugmaker’s partnership to support innovation at UCSF and other top research universities.
—Jens Eckstein, president of GlaxoSmithKline’s SR One venture arm, on how “strategic” corporate venture groups have sought to fill the void during the decline of traditional VC.
—Diego Miralles, head of the Janssen Labs in San Diego, on the various experiments J&J is running to support innovations that it—or its competitors—may want to someday acquire.
5:30 pm. We will seek to put the afternoon’s stories in perspective, and hear some new ideas, from a trio of top biotech VCs. This closing keynote chat will go for about 30 minutes.
—Risa Stack, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
—Daphne Zohar, managing partner, PureTech Ventures
—Deepa Pakianathan, general partner, Delphi Ventures
6 pm. Networking reception
That’s it. There will be plenty of food and drink during the closing reception, by which time I should be able to take a breath and chat with readers. Space is limited, so don’t forget to register in advance to make sure you will have a seat. I look forward to seeing you all there, and hearing your stories on Oct. 16.