Finance Day 2016
Biotechnology continues to increase in importance as a key interdisciplinary technology. Reliable financing is frequently a crucial issue for life-science companies. Finance Day helps businesspeople decide which form of financing best suits their company.
analytica’s fifth Finance Day on May 12, 2016 welcomed nearly 500 visitors. It featured four panels and three lectures that gave biotech entrepreneurs a chance to meet with investors. Renowned industry specialists gave them information about the latest financing trends and models that pertain to biotechnology.
The program of this year’s Finance Day was strongly influenced by the United States and ways that German biotechnology companies can gain a foothold there. International speakers gave tips to those interested in founding companies or investing in the United States. Naturally, the status quo of financing in the biotechnology sector was also a topic of the 5th Finance Day.
New solutions for closing the financing gap
The financial gap facing new life-science companies in Germany is a problem that dates back a long way. Moderated by Prof. Horst Domdey, Managing Director of BioM Biotech Cluster Development GmbH, experts explained potential solutions and ways to eradicate shortcomings.
Matthias Kromayer, a board member at MIG Verwaltungs AG, explained: “Many companies are developing good technologies, but in many cases, they do not have a meaningful business model. So they don’t work out a solution for a concrete market need.”
Andreas Huber, Senior Investment Manager and Scientific Director Life Sciences at Bayern Kapital GmbH, summed up: “The founders that come from the universities have outstanding scientific expertise. But, as a rule, they do not have any business experience, which is a critical requirement.”
The conclusion of Volker Wedershoven, CFO of Imevax GmbH: “Future managing directors must learn to speak the same language as investors.”
“IPO—where to go?”
Dr. Siegfried Bialojan from EY moderated a session on finding a suitable stock exchange. Dr. Florian Fischer, CFO of Affi med N.V., said that there is a certain reluctance among European investors. He explained that companies in an early stage of development in particular have a hard time getting their companies listed in Europe.
According to Fischer, the motto in the United States is “Let’s make it.” Despite their early-stage status, companies that go public on the NASDAQ or the NYSE can generate high issue proceeds. However, preparing an IPO in the United States is considerably more complicated than in Europe or Germany, especially for European companies.
Big Pharma needs biotech innovations
The panel discussion on “Collaboration & Licensing” focused on collaboration between Big Pharma and biotech. Moderated by Peter Homberg, a partner at Dentons Europe LLP, specialists gave insight into the challenges facing large pharma corporations.
The so-called “patent cliff”, i.e. when a company’s revenues go off a cliff when patents on blockbuster pharmaceuticals run out, was also an important topic. In addition, many corporations’ own development pipelines are relatively empty. That is why demand for new ideas from smaller biotech companies is increasing.
“Big Pharma needs innovations,” emphasized Dr. Cord Dohmann, CSO of Evotec AG. “And those innovations are coming from biotechnology.”