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Berlin to go, english edition, 03/2017

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TALK OF THE TOWN BIOTECH

TALK OF THE TOWN BIOTECH PAYS A VISIT TO BERLINText: Ines Hein BIO-Europe is the largest annual partnering conference in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry From November 6 to 8, 2017, CityCube Berlin will host a who’s who of the international biotech scene. Investors, startups and leading decision makers from the biotech, pharmaceutical and finance sectors will gather for three days of intensive exchange at the international BIO-Europe. High-ranking guests will participate in workshops, panels and those popular pre-scheduled one-onone meetings that make the conference so unique. The aim of the get-together is to foster innovative and value-generating ideas by uniting joint interests and expertise. In 2016, roughly 3,700 decision makers representing 2,000 international companies accepted the invitation to the BIO-Europe conference, where more than 20,000 one-on-one meetings engendered multiple cooperative agreements, projects, development mandates and innovative business models. Roughly 65% of participants came from Europe, roughly 20% from North America. Berlin will host the 2017 BIO-Europe with support from Berlin Partner’s HealthCapital Cluster, which will showcase its activities to international guests and also work to bring regional actors together with decision makers from Germany and abroad. The cluster’s agenda will focus on support for internationalization, regional excellence and future-oriented innovation. Carolin Clement, head of Unit Biotech/Pharma at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology, which manages the HealthCapital cluster, noted: “Our tasks this year include highlighting the life sciences region internationally and facilitating the creation of new companies and cooperative activities. Tradeshows and congresses like BIO-Europe offer the ideal platform to do just that. We provide custom-made location tours and information to all guests, and our in-depth knowledge of the region’s major business and science stakeholders, infrastructure and commercial sites makes it possible for us to generate the right contacts for each respective need.” The capital region certainly has a lot to offer. As a leading international location for the life sciences and health care industries, Berlin and Brandenburg comprise a unique landscape of industry, hospitals and R&D. Roughly 21,000 health care companies, including giants like B. Braun, Carl Zeiss, Pfizer Germany, Sanofi-Aventis and Bayer, are at home in the region. Together they employ a workforce of over 360,000 individuals and generate an annual turnover of roughly €23 billion. Next to the more than 130 regional hospitals and clinics, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin is one of the largest teaching hospitals in Europe. Science and R&D also work hand-in-hand here at non-university institutes. Among the region’s over 30 independent life science facilities are the renowned Max Planck, Leibniz and Fraunhofer institutes and the various centers belonging to the Helmholtz Association. BIO-Europe will also be especially interesting to Berlin-based biotech companies. This year, they won’t have to travel abroad to engage in fruitful exchanges with other industry professionals. The region’s roughly 5,000 employees at over 240 companies make a significant contribution to the 10

federal state’s expanding expertise and economic strength. Roughly 90 % carry out R&D in the realm of biomedicine. Today, digitization is the theme driving many of these companies: “In the future, big data will be essential to the life sciences. The challenge will be to derive new knowledge from this multiplicity of complex data, for example, in cancer research and in the field of personalized medicine,” notes Dr. Kai Uwe Bindseil, manager of the HealthCapital cluster. Here, the emphasis is placed on first-class R&D facilities such the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), which focuses on translational research and precision medicine. The region is also a leader in drug development: according to clinictrials.gov, in 2016, Germany maintained its second-place world-ranking in the field of clinical studies carried out by pharma companies. Within Germany, Berlin facilities play the number-one role in this field, participating in 201 of the total of 532 studies completed nationwide. advantage of international meetings that take place at a different location each year. As cluster manager Dr. Bindseil argues, visitors to Berlin are consistently most fascinated by the impressive industry numbers, the verve of the city and its unique entrepreneurial spirit: “The large pool of international talent and the dynamic founders’ scene continue to inspire companies from all over the world to come to Berlin and launch development centers here. Large pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Pfizer seek out contact to startups and work with them on innovations and new business models in labs, incubators and special startup programs.” A fruitful exchange between traditional and future-oriented ideas is decisive to boosting the potential of health care startups in the sector, with special startup boot camps helping to drive this networking forward. »In the future, big data will be essential to the life sciences.« Photo: Monique Wüstenhagen BIO-Europe will no doubt generate considerable attention for Berlin among the global community of experts before, during and after the conference. International guests will be given a great opportunity to personally acquaint themselves with the capital as a leading location for the biotech and pharma industry. This is indeed the unique Sanofi Deutschland is already working in this vein with partners such as BioNTech, Evotec, Apeiron Biologics, MAB Discovery and Curevac. Cooperation is the key to innovation and thus success in a sector driving fundamental transformation. Partnering conferences like the BIO-Europe make a significant contribution to this process. 11

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