Posted by: Audrey Erbes | January 23, 2011

Not All Innovation Was at the JP Morgan Meeting Plus Upcoming Events

Despite the enthusiasm to develop new branded generic companies in the BRIC countries and hiring of staff there with savings from layoffs in the U.S. and European countries, the CEOs of Big Pharma companies always got around to the subject of their continuing focus on INNOVATION. Most of the innovation was to be found in the presentations from smaller public and private companies at that meeting. But not all the innovation discussed in San Francisco in early January was inside the St. Francis Hotel.
I had the chance to attend some company sessions at the Biotech Showcase conference, Jan. 10-12 where 195 companies presented for 15 minutes sessions to 1,200 registrants. Note that companies who don’t bank with JP Morgan don’t get invited to speak at their conference so the uninvited companies as well as some who were also presenting at JP Morgan’s meeting had the opportunity to present to interested investors already assembled in town.
One of the company sessions I attended was that of Biovista, a private company located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The President Aris Persidis,Ph.D. gave an interesting presentation on the business and science of reprogramming/repositioning existing small molecule drugs using their proprietary platform (called Discovery AlgorithmicsTM) technology. Their pharma services, software solutions and drug repositioning work are all supported by this extremely powerful and flexible technology. Their focus is indication expansion and patient inclusion/exclusion using mechanism of action to profile their side effects. Currently, they are collaborating with the FDA on prediction of drug adverse events, with Pfizer on indication expansion and other companies on safety and drug discovery. They have intellectual property which includes filed patents on 60 drugs. Biovista is developing its own pipeline of drugs in multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, specific cancers and auto-immune diseases.
Another company presentation I found interesting was that of Dr. Randal Chase, President and CEO, of Immunovaccine, Inc., a public company located in Canada. Immunovaccine Inc. (TSX-V:IMV) is a clinical stage vaccine development company focused on the commercialization of its patented DepoVax™ vaccine
delivery technology and product candidates in oncology and infectious diseases. Their vaccine delivery technology has minimal or no T-cell suppression as opposed to other vaccine delivery systems which suppress T-cells. Their approach provides a “stronger, longer response.” Exposure of antigen presenting cells to the optimized mixture of antigens and immune activators found in each DepoVax™-based vaccine allows the generation of strong cellular and humoral immune responses with a single dose.
You can view the profiles of the public and private companies presenting at Biotech Showcase at http://www.ebdgroup.com/bts/promo/company_profiles.php.
Here’s the highlights for this week’s upcoming events where you can be a sleuth searching for innovation and enrich your knowledge as well as excite your interests in the cutting edge of our industry:
  • Biotech Bay Career Fair, Monday Afternoon and Evening, Jan. 24, 2011; Event: Biotech Bay Career Fair
    Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, Jan. 25, 2011; Topic: “Show Them the Money – Building a Commercial Story that Will Interest Investors and Management;” Speaker: Candace Engelsen, MBA, Principal, BioMed Marketing
  • LES Silicon Valley Chapter Meeting, Wednesday Mid-Day, Jan. 26, 2011; Topic: “The Economy in 2011 – The Critical Role of Innovation;” Speakers: Adit Khorana, Partner, WilmerHale and Jim Anderson, Founder ad President, SVB Analytics
  • Palo Alto AWIS, Wednesday Evening, Jan. 26, 2010; Topic: “Pragmatic Advice for Advancing Your Career;” Speaker: Judy Heyboer
  • BayBio Therapeutic Focus, Thursday Late Afternoon, Jan. 27, 2011; Topic: “VC Spotlight | Changing Biotech Business Models;” Moderator: Simeon George, M.D., Partner, SR One; Panel Speakers: Brian Atwood, Managing Director, Versant Venture; Michael J. Finney, Ph.D. Principal, Finney Capital; Karl Handelsman, Managing Director, Life Sciences, CMEA Capital
  • PDA’s West Coast Chapter, Thursday Evening, Jan. 27, 2011; Topic: “Successful Supply Chain for Parenteral Products;” Speakers: Frank Matarrese, GxP Consultant & Chapter Board Officer Elections
  • East Bay Association for Women in Science (AWIS), Thursday Evening, Jan. 27, 2011; Topic: “An Evening of Networking”
  • Deadline for discount UCSC Extension Bioscience Product Marketing course is Jan. 27th
You can access the downloadable pdf file by right clicking on the highlighted title Audrey’s Picks here. The list includes events of which I’m aware from January-March.
The discount for my Bioscience Product Marketing course is Jan. 27th. Don’t miss out on this saving. See details at http://www.UCSC-Extension/BPM.
Audrey
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