Posted by: Audrey Erbes | October 10, 2011

Takeaways from Windhover PSA Meeting plus Upcoming Events


I recently attended one of my favorite conferences, the Windhover (now owned by Elsevier) Pharmaceutical Strategic Alliance Conference. The meeting drew over 450 pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals representing licensing and partnering functions as well as heads of research and CEOs from over 200 companies. I often refer to this meeting as a “watering hole” for those looking to speak with movers and shakers doing pharmaceutical/biotech business development licensing, partnering and collaborations.

I find that this program attracts those looking to also hear about the latest trends, insights into dealmaking and stimulation for strategic planning at their own companies. The topics reflected the questions of industry BD executives as they face demanding challenges.

Highlights of some selected takeaways for me included:

  • Watch Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) established in 2010 and funded by Stimulus Fund in 2009 and Health Care bill of 2010 for impact of comparative effectiveness research. Payers will be looking to make clinical evidence-based decisions and patient electronic health records will expand from 28% in April 2011 to 89% by Sept. 2012—a year from now.
  • Deal trends show:
    • Increase in academic alliances from 16 in 2010 to 30 in 2011
    • Companies with corporate venture funds had higher step ups than those without
    • Slight decline in option-based deals
    • Rebound in private biotech M&A
    • Increase in value of entering clinic with product has declined
    • Big Pharma moving to work with peers to pool assets to develop technology which is okay because deals are structured to separate this activity from later competition on molecular basis among companies
  • R&D guiding principles and core behaviors espoused by George Scangos, Ph.D., CEO, Biogen IDEC:


    • Put patients first and focus on therapeutics that make a difference
    • Maximize resources-allocate resources to highest potential program and make clear, crisp decisions.
    • Play to win-Be the best, work with the best or get out of area


    • Honesty, integrity; be candid and speak out as well as listen respectively
    • Support decisions or find different job
  • Primary care isn’t dead but will undergo tremendous changes in its selling model, including usage of B2B channels, and growth of power of payers while MD autonomy declines; emphasis will be more on quality and coordination of care with accountability for cost and total well being of patients
  • Biosimilars will be sold as brands and cost savings will only be between 20 and 40%. The model of what’s happening in Europe under EMEA may not be the best guide for U.S.—Europe only allows approval of biosimilar of already approved biologic; pathway requirements suggestions included presence of extrapolation and interchangeability, different from EMEA

Highlights of events this coming week include:

  • BioCentury TV Today, See the Webcast Sunday, October 9, 2011, Continuously available starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Biotech’s Liquidity Crunch;” Speakers: Stuart Duty, Global Co-Head of Healthcare at Piper Jaffray; Mark Heesen, President of the National Venture Capital Association; Atul Saran, SVP of Corporate Development & Ventures at MedImmune LLC. The panel is accompanied by commentary from biotech CEOs on what Washington needs to do to help investment capital; Dr. Harvey Berger, Chairman & CEO of Ariad Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Russell Ellison, CEO of Ventrus BioSciences; Dr. James Manuso, Chairman & CEO of Astex Pharmaceuticals; Stephen Simes, President & CEO of BioSante Pharmaceuticals
  • Stanford Center for Law and the Biosciences, Monday Late Afternoon, Oct. 10, 2011; Topic: Gene Patents and Controversy: Panel on Association for Molecular Pathology v. US (Myriad patent case); Panelists: Daniel Ravicher, plaintiff AMP’s attorney, and Ed Reines, a patent litigator at Weil Gotshal who teaches as an adjunct at SLS; Moderator: Professor Mark Lemley
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, Oct. 11, 2011; Topic: “MD as CEO: Pro or Con;” Speaker: Steven R. Deitcher , MD, President & Chief Executive Officer, Talon Therapeutics
  • Biotech Bay Career Fair, Tuesday Afternoon, October 11, 2011; Date and Time: Tuesday October 11, 2011, 1pm to 6pm; Location: San Francisco Airport Marriott, Burlingame, CA
  • East Bay AWIS, Tuesday Evening, Oct. 11, 2011; Event: Join Us! October Networking Social
  • Parexel Free Webinar, Tuesday and Thursday, Oct. 11 and 13, 2011; Topic: “FDA Drug Approval and U.S. Market Access Trends: A 2011 Assessment;” Speakers: Mark P. Mathieu, Director of Strategic Research, PAREXEL Consulting and Charles A. (Chuck) Stevens, JD, MBA, Vice President & General Manager, Commercialization Strategy, PAREXEL Consulting
  • HBA, Webinar for Members Only, Oct. 12, 2011; Event Topic: “Webinar: HBA San Francisco/San Antonio/Chicago/RTP -The “Net” and the “Work” in Networking; Speaker: Sue Bethanis, EdD, CEO, Mariposa Leadership Inc.
  • Harvard Business School, Health Industry Alumni Association, Wed. Evening, Oct. 12, 2011; Topic: “New Frontiers In Medical Devices;” Speakers: Dr. John Adler MD, Vice President, Chief of New Clinical Applications, Varian Medical Systems, Dorothy & TK Chan Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University– “Technology vs. Culture: Do Clinical Trials Dictate Success in the Medical Device Marketplace?; Dr. Catherine Mohr, MD, MSME, Director, Medical Research, Intuitive Surgical Inc. –“ Charting New Frontiers in Robotic Surgery
  • San Francisco AWIS, Wednesday Evening, Oct. 12, 2011; Topic: Social Networking: A San Francisco AWIS Event
  • BioE2E, Wednesday Evening, Oct. 12, 2011; Topic: “Financing Strategies for Therapeutics Companies;” Topic: “Financing Strategies for Therapeutics Companies;” Panelists: Ken Clark of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati will moderate the discussion. Panelist: Karl Handelsman, Managing Director of Velocity Pharmaceutical Development
  • San Jose Biocenter and UCSF, Thursday Morning, Oct. 13, 2011; Topic: “Meet with NCI;” Speakers: Michael Weingarten -Director National Cancer Institute SBIR Development Center; David Beylin – Director, National Cancer Institute SBIR
  • Advance Research Associates, The Fogarty Institute for Innovation, Mtn View Chamber & City of Mtn. View, Thursday Morning, Oct. 13, 2011; Topic: “Overcoming Challenges in Medical Device Development: An Honest Conversation;” Panelists for the event include: Dr. Fogarty of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, Ken Summer of Ethicon Endo, and Tessa Yamut of BioVentrix.
  • CCLS – SFSU Center for Computing for Life Sciences, Thursday Evening, Oct. 13, 2011: Topic: “Data Mining and Predictive Analytics – Research Applications;” Panelists: Nigel Duffy – Chief Technology Officer, Numerate; Pek Lum – VP of Life Sciences, Ayasdi; Nicholas Tatonetti – Biomedical Informatics, Stanford; Thomas Wu – Sr. Scientist, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Genentech; Moderator: Bob Dunkle – A.B.E.S Partners

I want to bring to your attention two outstanding UCB Extension intensive courses this month designed to meet today’s life science professionals’ needs for indepth knowledge to work successfully across departments in Bay Area companies. Recognize there are differences in quality of courses. Always check out the backgrounds of instructors for qualifications to teach the content of courses. These are in depth not superficial highlight slide courses.

  • UC Berkeley Extension Bioscience Project Management, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21-22, 2011; Topic of Course: Opportunities and Challenges in Managing Global Projects, Belmont
  • Bioscience Essentials for Industry Professionals: An Intensive Seminar, Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2011; Course Topic: “Bioscience Essentials for Industry Professionals: An Intensive Seminar,” Downtown San Francisco

Hope to see you at one of the above events. You can download the pdf list of all events through mid December with details by right clicking Audrey’s Picks.



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