No 1 2011
The Magazine about Life and Science in Medicon Valley
THE € 100 MILLION WOMAN Kirsten Drejer, CEO, Symphogen "What really drives me is developing new drugs that can make a genuine diﬀerence” Page 18
10: DANISH-SWEDISH BIOTECH DEFIES THE CAPITAL SHORTAGE 22:
Denmark on the stem cell research world map
32: A breakthrough in Japan
Do-it-yourself biology (DIYBio)
LifeSciences Insight no. 1 2011 LifeSciences Insight is distributed in Denmark and Sweden to: • Named decision-makers in the life science industry • Investors • Science parks • Hospitals • Universities • Life science media • Relevant MPs in Scandinavia • Medicon Valley Alliance’s members and collaboration partners In addition, the magazine is available at all relevant exhibitions and fairs in Europe, North America and Asia.
Contents The column – Too little, too late? Research highlights from the universities in Medicon Valley The Baton – Need for greater cooperation in Medicon Valley Danish-Swedish biotech defies the capital shortage Biotech companies need greater internationel vision On the trail of eradicating cancer
Circulation: 15,000 Publisher: RASK Media ApS Frydendalsvej 3 1809 Frederiksberg C Denmark +45 3326 9520 email@example.com www.raskmedia.com Partner: Medicon Valley Alliance www.mva.org Editor in chief: Carsten Elgstrøm Editorial team: Mikkel Ais Andersen, Susanne Bergstrøm, Claus Clausen, Lone Frank, Fredrik Hedlund, Anne Katrine Nørgaard, Birgitte Aabo, Jorun Christoffersen, Chris Tachibani. Articles: Suggestions for articles can be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Sales Manager: Mads Elgstrøm +45 2887 0776 Key Account Manager: Robert Arvidsen +45 2887 0775 email@example.com Cover photo: Symphogen A/S Photographer: Lars Kaae Proof-reading and English language revision: AAC Global Layout and print: Zeuner Grafisk as Next issue: May 2011 ISSN: 1904-4755
Denmark on the stem cell research world map Medicon Valley’s own matchmaker in Boston A breakthrough in Japan People – Together we are a real force in the life sciences We are all biologists (DIYBio) First Brain Prize to be awarded New possibilities for clinical research in Denmark Meteoric young medics with both feet on the ground Latest members of Medicon Valley Alliance Major international events Events by Medicon Valley Alliance
3 6 8 10 14 18 22 26 32 36 42 46 48 52 57 58 59
Too little, too late? By Lone Frank It was toast speeches all round in November when it was revealed that Denmark is now to have a centre for stem cell research. DanStem will be located at Copenhagen University and will receive DKK 65 million from The Danish Council for Strategic Research and DKK 350 million over the next ten years from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The headlines spoke of commitment and everybody was enthusiastic. As the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation put it: “Now Denmark is to join the world elite!” It sounds splendid. However, if you look beyond the generous funding, the new stem cell centre gives rise to reflection on Danish politicians’ feeling for research in general. Because the story of stem cell research in Denmark is the story of lack of due diligence. For almost a decade it has been patently obvious that stem cells will become one of the future’s very big medical technologies, with potential throughout a broad range of diseases. And for almost as long Denmark has had the opportunity to stake its share in the development. However, where the scientists have thrown themselves into the race, the politicians have lingered in the starting block.
appointed UK Stem Cell Initiative delivered a 10 year strategy plan for research and development of technology and therapy. Recommendations that were quickly adopted by the Government and implemented. In Scotland, a country the size of Denmark, the local parliament in 2007 launched the Scottish Stem Cell Network with the task of coordinating the basic re-
The politicians hesitated – and Denmark was passed over In 2003 the Danish Act on Artificial Fertilization was amended allowing research into embryonic stem cells and rather quickly several Danish laboratories joined the frontrunners in this field. Indeed, so far at the front that the American Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation offered a large amount in millions of dollars to support Danish stem cell research because the potential was seen in Denmark. The only requirement of the foundation was co-funding from the Danish system. Despite the amendment of the act and passionate rhetoric, money could not be found for stem cells, so the Americans went instead to Sweden and Finland.
Great Britain launched a 10 years strategi plan Also in other countries they have been ready to seize the opportunity. In Great Britain the then prime minister Tony Blair stated that stem cells were a field in which the country should be in front and the words were followed by action. In 2003 alone British stem cell researchers received DKK 500 million and a broad public and political debate was launched leading to one of the most liberal pieces of legislation in the field. Then in 2005 the politically
Photo: Lars Kaae
Photo: Su-Chun Zhang
Human stem cell
search with hospitals and industry. The commitment provided momentum, which amongst others made the American stem cell company Geron invest in a Scottish project on development of liver stem cells for transplantation. With more than DKK six hundred million as a start package, the Scottish politicians then launched the Scottish Center for Regenerative Medicine. Under this label the aim was not only to gather just under 250 academics but also to set up facilities approved for clinical production of stem cells and, besides, establish an incubator for newly started companies grown out of the research.
Good scientists are not enough Denmark has a problem. We have excellent researchers but poor research politicians. There is much talk of ‘world class’ and ‘innovation’; however, there is markedly little understanding of how to create them. A commitment requires more than toasts and scattered one-off grants to particularly inspired scientists. On the contrary, research must be made part of a much more comprehensive and smoothly running innovation engine. It is a question of a political-scientificindustrial package, and precisely the stem cell field illustrates how it works.
F A C T S
Lone Frank • is an author and scientific journalist with a background as a researcher and with a Ph.D in neurobiology. • is known to be a distinguished debater and opinion maker in relation to health, medicine, technology and ethics. • has so far written four books - the latest “Mit smukke genom” (My Beautiful Genome) is a very personal study of the revolution in the personal genetics.
If a new research area is to develop and fulfil its promises, a suitable regulatory framework is required as well as a network constantly overseeing what legislation is going to look like in the future - partly to provide research with optimum conditions and partly to ensure that the general public feels its cultural values are protected. On this basis it is possible to make long-term public investment in research and ultimately fulfill an essential role in the hard commercial side, actively involved in attracting venture capital and encouraging small biotech companies to join the field. While this message has hit home very precisely in other countries, Danish stem cell researchers have witnessed their politicians turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to this. Now, as there seems to be willingness, we can only hope that the story of stem cell research in Denmark is not going to be the story of arriving too late for the party.
The column is input to a topical debate and does not necessarily reflect the magazine’s opinion.
Promoting investment and exports Invest in Skåne’s life science team will be investing bigtime in 2011. The organization will be participating in and organizing a large number of activities in the east and west, north and south, to promote investment and exports.
Invest in Skåne Invest in Skåne is a publicly owned company responsible for exposing Skåne and Scanian businesses to the world and attracting international investors to existing projects and to Skåne. These services are free of charge to both local and international players. ”Invest in Skåne is an important resource when it comes to consolidating and selling Skåne’s fantastic life science skills,” says Anna Chérouvrier Hansson, business development manager and the person in charge of life science activities at Invest in Skåne. In addition to Anna Chérouvrier Hansson, Invest in Skåne consists of Ulf Åberg, Lovisa Sunesson and Ying Ying Wang.
In cooperation with other key players Together with Copenhagen Capacity and Medicon Valley Alliance, Invest in Skåne is actively supporting Medicon Valley by promoting the internationalization of the companies in the cluster. ”We are arranging seminars and conferences in association with various global partners. That will give companies and researchers from Medicon Valley a chance to create valuable contacts with conceivable business associates in pharma, biotech and medical technology,” says Anna Chérouvrier Hansson.
”In the process, some 50 job opportunities were rescued and additional employees taken on later” Anna Chérouvrier Hansson reports. In 2010, Invest in Skåne succeeded in offering relevant activities and networking events in attractive places like Montreal, Boston and Paris. This year new locations and areas are in the pipeline.
Lund as research city In addition, eight new investments in Skåne were created during 2010, four of which relate to companies that have set up offices in the region. ”There are expertise, ambition and space for new growth companies here”, she says. Thanks to the transformation of Astra Zeneca’s premises to a life science village, Lund is going to be the largest research city in Europe, a factor set to make Skåne even more appealing.
The future As well as focusing on Skåne’s success areas of diabetes, cancer, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, and medical technology, Invest in Skåne is also looking at new areas of excellence. ”We intend to grow and pursue future trends like clinical research organizations (CRO), e-health and elderly care,” says an enthusiastic Anna Chérouvrier Hansson. Dynamic, creative and supportive – these are the adjectives which the representatives of Invest in Skåne regard as best describing the organization’s activities.
Worldwide During the year there will be trips to China, France, Middle East, Korea, Japan, and USA, among other places. Trade fairs, conferences and delegation trips are the principal venues where Invest in Skåne and the local companies will be presented at seminars and workshops. ”For us, it’s a case of identifying the needs that exist and offering the skill-sets in Skåne to meet those needs. In addition, we wish to create contacts with equivalent clusters at that particular location.” Invest in Skåne arranges visits so that interested parties can meet their counterparts and embark on collaboration. China is a growing market, and seminars in Beijing and Shanghai are being planned during the spring as a follow-up to the drive in October 2010 at the World Expo in Shanghai. Skåne has very positive experience of Chinese investors since the Chinese company Dongbao Pharmaceutical Co. previously took over Ferring’s operational premises in Limhamn.
Anna Chérouvrier Hansson, Lovisa Sunesson, Ying Ying Wang and Ulf Åberg make up the enthusiastic life science team at Invest in Skåne: ”Our mission is to help generate international contacts that lead to business for industries and universities based in Skåne”
Research highlights from the universities in Medicon Valley Photo: ScandinavianStockPhoto
By Susanne Bergstrøm
The brain can repair itself following a stroke Researchers at the laboratory for Experimental Brain Research at the University of Lund have together with American researchers discovered that rats’ own genes are able to be influenced to recoup their brain functions following a stroke, if they are injected with a substance that activates a certain protein. Until now the only treatment available following a stroke has been an anticoagulant agent which only works if given shortly after the stroke has occurred. A Japanese pharmaceutical company has recently launched a similar clinical test on patients suffering from strokes.
The world’s first Parkinson’s register is Swedish A comprehensive database containing information about each patient’s history of the disease provides new opportunities for being able to see the efficacy of different treatments. Lund University reckons it will be able to start the first test runs of such a database during this spring. The statistics for large populations made available in this way will make it easier to identify any possible beneficial effects of a given treatment. The database will be available to all Swedish hospitals.
Formula for dopamine A team of scientists at Copenhagen University have devised a model for the way in which the brain releases
the signal substance dopamine. Dopamine is a reward substance which is released when we undertake a given action, for example eating, making love or taking drugs. The model shows that the signal substance functions as a learning signal which makes us repeat the action which released the dopamine, even if that action is taking harmful narcotic substances. The scientists reckon to be able to use the model in order to understand the processes that are involved in drug abuse and in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Good-bye to the needle Scientists at the Pharmaceutical Faculty of Copenhagen University are cooperating with the pharmaceutical industry on the development of a vaccine plaster with nanoparticles. The plaster’s antigens are built into so-called Posintro™ nanoparticles developed by Nordic Vaccine A/S. When the vaccine plaster comes into contact with the skin, the immune system is activated, which results in vaccination against the disease concerned. At the moment the plaster is only directed towards tetanus and hepatitis.
Protein kp7 as a vaccine Biotech Research and Copenhagen University’s Innovation Center have observed that the protein kp7 functions as a vaccination. The protein activates the killer T-cells, a part of our immune defences, which prevents chronic inflammation of the tissue, as can occur in illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, sclerosis and allergic asthma.
This discovery opens up wide perspectives since chronic inflammatory diseases constitute the greater part of all chronic diseases in the Western world.
Nanobodies against cancer Knowledge of the camel family’s immune defences leads to better drugs. Camels, llamas, alpacas and certain shark species have special antibodies in their blood which can be cloned into nanobodies, the “drugs” of the future, for example against cancer. Peter Durand Skottrup, a post-doctoral scientist at the Pharmaceutical Faculty, Copenhagen University, is working on the design of new types of natural and artificial antibodies. Trials show that nanobodies, because of their minimal size, penetrate more easily into cancer nodes. Skottrup has just been granted DKK 1.3 million by the Lundbeck Foundation to continue his work on nanobody technology. Skottrup has an agreement with Copenhagen Zoo which supplies him with the small amounts of camel blood that he is going to use in his research.
Lund adopts chromosome 19 Through their work on charting all the proteins that belong to chromosome 19, researchers at Lund University will be contributing to the worldwide task of showing what all 46 human chromosomes look like. This work is coordinated via the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) and has been referred to as “Adopt-a-chromosome” by the journal Nature. Results from Lund will be included in a publicly accessible database which scientists all over the world can access.
Stem cells from your own skin cells Scientists at Lund have received funding from AFA Försäkring for research into stem cells as a possible method of treating, for example, strokes, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. The idea is to re-programme stem cells from the patient’s own tissue to form other types of cell which can then be transplanted without risk of rejection. The researchers are from the Stem Cell Center, the Department of Neurology and the Department of Immunology.
New course in medicine and technology for chartered engineers The Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, will in 2011 establish a new course for chartered engineers. The course will combine medicine and technology. The programme has been developed in collaboration with the medical technology industry and is intended to give students the knowledge they need in developing future technology in the field of medicine. The course will focus strongly on biology and medicine, something that will serve to alleviate the industry’s shortage of specialists with a cross-disciplinary knowledge of how the human body works.
Sources: Copenhagen University Lund University Technical University of Denmark www.videnskab.dk www.vetenskap.se
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Need for greater cooperation in Medicon Valley In this edition Life Sciences Insight introduces a new column, The Baton. The first recipient of the Baton is Bertel Haarder, Danish Minister of Interior and Health, and Life Sciences Insight has asked Bertel Haarder about his vision of Medicon Valley in 2020. In the next edition Bertel Haarder will pass the Baton on to the Swedish Minister of Education and Research, Jan Björklund, with the question: ”How can we develop cooperation between hospitals and universities across the Oresund”
Photo: The Danish Ministry of Interior and Health
”Bertel Haarder, what are the greatest strengths and challenges for Medicon Valley as a life science cluster?”
Fortunately, there are many strengths to the life science cluster in Medicon Valley. We have a very high concentration of life science companies, from small, creative and innovative biotech companies to large national and multinational companies, as well as leading universities and hospitals. The diversity means that we are able to support the entire process from the development of ideas and basic research in the product development and from clinical trials to treatment and commercialization. In addition, there are areas where we have very unique skills in this region. This applies, for example, to our understanding and appreciation of metabolic disorders, bio-imaging and certain neurological diseases. With the
Bertel Haarder, Danish Minister of Interior and Health: “I have appointed myself spokesman for a Sound Growth agenda, the very point of which is to promote public/private cooperation on research and innovation”.
future establishment of European Spallation Source (ESS) which will take place in Lund the next 10–15 years, we will also gain access to a research facility of a unique nature, which among other things will be able to con tribute to an improved understanding of illness in a number of areas, but will also attract researchers from abroad and contribute to profiling the region. There are two important challenges to which we must relate. First of all, our region is small in an international context. We are competing with life science clusters in China and India where the investment is massive, and the possibilities of conducting fast clinical trials on a large amount of patient groups are far better than in our country in that patients and trial subjects are easier to recruit there . We therefore have to stake our efforts on the quality of our research, which calls for a collaboration between us. The lack of cooperation is precisely the other challenge I wish to underline. Now that we have so many companies, universities and hospitals, each of which commands a whole plethora of skill-sets, it is also important for them to work together. I have appointed myself spokesman for a Sound Growth agenda where the main issue is to promote public/private cooperation regarding research and innovation. We need to promote a culture in which companies and public research institutions find it natural to cooperate. In addition, we need to face the world. The size of our country means that we have no choice but to collaborate with other life science clusters throughout the world. Otherwise, we will find ourselves lagging behind. ”How should Medicon Valley look like in 2020 – and how are we set to achieve that?” If we are to have a life science cluster in the Oresund Region in 2020, we will have to confront the challenges I have just mentioned. Recognizing that we are a small cluster, we must retain and develop the positions of strength we already have; then we have to become better at cooperating and committing ourselves to collaborative projects with life science clusters elsewhere in the world. Even now there are some projects in progress that will be interesting to follow. I believe they can set an example for the way we need to factor Sound Growth (see factabox) into the future. I would like to emphasize the future centre for stem cell research which is located at the University of Copenhagen. In my opinion, the centre is a fine example of the way public and private research expertise can be combined and turned into an advantage. Apart from the University of Copenhagen, the centre consists of Rigshospitalet Copenhagen University Hospital, a Swedish biotech company and a Danish pharmaceutical company. The financing will come partly from the Danish Council for Strategic Research and partly from a major Danish foundation. I believe that this structure will turn out to produce results, for one thing
Baton with Points of View LifeSciences Insight is introducing ”The Baton”, a Point of View feature about life science in Medicon Valley. It is written by business people, researchers, politicians and opinion-shapers with a personal and extensive commitment to Medicon Valley. The holder of the Baton passes it on to a new person along with one or more questions related to life science in Medicon Valley.
Sound Growth – a new growth agenda in the health field Sound Growth is a political initiative by Bertel Haarder, Danish Minister of Interior and Health. By means of nine initiatives, Sound Growth seeks to generate economic growth and development in the Danish healthcare industry and thus improve treatment for patients.
Danish Council for Strategic Research The Council works to ensure that strategic research in Denmark is organized so as to address the challenges facing Danish society in the best possible way. With the aid of financial support, the Council seeks to help safeguard Denmark’s position as a front-runner in welfare both in economic and scientific terms and in global context both in the short and the long term.
European Spallation Source (ESS) ESS is a multi-scientific research centre under construction in Lund in Sweden. The research centre is based on the world’s most powerful neutron source and works like a giant microscope, in which materials can be studied even at molecular level. ESS is a collaborative venture between 16 countries and is expected to open in 2019.
because it ensures that a centre of a certain size can be built, and for another because the centre can accommodate both basic and clinical research at once. I believe that we need more committed investments of this sort if we are to have a life science cluster in this region in 2020. Moreover, I believe the ESS will be the litmus test of whether or not we can get an ambitious collaborative project across the Oresund to work. I am quite confident of that, because I believe that it is the direction we must follow. The cross-Sound collaboration between hospitals and universities needs to be developed. I will let the recipient of the Baton give a qualified answer to how we are going to ensure this. Bertel Haarder hands the Baton on to the Swedish Mi nister of Education and Research, Jan Björklund.
Danish-Swedish biotech defies the capital shortage Only a year ago around half of the smaller biotech companies in Medicon Valley were on the verge of bankruptcy. Things did not turn out all bad according to a new survey from Medicon Valley Alliance. However, the shortage of capital is still a serious problem for the biotech industry, the organisation warns.
By Claus Clausen Things look brighter for Danish-Swedish biotech than they did just a year ago. This is evident by a new survey conducted by Medicon Valley Alliance who asked 44 Danish and Swedish non-quoted biotech companies about their capital requirement. On general terms, last year the companies succeeded in raising EUR 73 million. To
this must be added the capital of EUR 100 million raised by Symphogen, which was made public at the beginning of this year. The Danish-Swedish biotech companies therefore raised a total of DKK 1.3 billion in 2010. The survey shows that there has been no wave of bankruptcies per se, however, six companies are now inactive. In addition, 12 companies are planning an exit, which means that their businesses are being transferred to new ownership. The biotech companies in Medicon Valley expect to expand their work force by five per cent in the current year.
Easier to raise capital “This indicates that the biotech companies are now finding it a little easier to raise capital than at the peak of the financial crisis. At the same time prospects for meeting the acute capital requirement look brighter for 2011. Despite this improvement, a large number of biotech companies still face a serious challenge in terms of capital shortfall. Their level of activity is lower, the companies have adapted their organisations to the cur-
Photo: Medicon Valley Alliance.
Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Medicon Valley Alliance: “For many of the smaller biotech companies the financing situation is fundamentally problematic. It is a remarkable fact that half of the activity level in Medicon Valley can be attributed to five biotech companies”.
rent situation on the capital market, and the picture in the industry is very mixed”, says Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Medicon Valley Alliance. The biotech companies in Medicon Valley expect to raise a total of just under EUR 173 million in 2011. 13 companies must raise EUR 6 million during the next six months merely to survive. Last year this figure was EUR 17 million divided between 25 companies.
Societal problem The five largest biotech companies in Medicon Valley account for 52 per cent of the employees in the business in the region. At the same time 59 per cent of the companies have fewer than five employees. “It is a remarkable fact that half of the level of activity in Medicon Valley can be attributed to just five companies,
Symphogen (DK), Santaris Pharma (DK), Camurus (SE), NSGene (DK) and Alligator Bioscience (SE). A distinction must be made between this handful of larger companies and the remaining smaller biotech companies. For many of the smaller biotech companies the financing situation is fundamentally problematic. It is a societal problem for both Denmark and Sweden because the life science industry, biotech, pharmaceuticals and medtech, are all continuously pointed out as an industry that can lead to future growth. If they do not succeed in obtaining the required capital, the many billions invested in the form of public and private research funds will go down the drain. It is not a question of the capital shortfall of the companies being financed by public funds in Denmark and Sweden, it is rather a question of having optimised general conditions for the life science industry and becoming far better
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internationally at marketing the skills and competence of Medicon Valley”, Stig Jørgensen says.
Necessary tax incentives The challenge resides in the fact that Medicon Valley is under pressure from a global perspective. Resources
have become more mobile, and the region must compete for the same scarce capital and human resources with well over 250 other life science regions around the world. “We urgently need greater backup from the politicians in Denmark and Sweden. If Medicon Valley is to compete on an international stage, it is important that we have
Life science has not been a focus area to Danish Business Angels The varying extent to which of Business Angels are used throughout Medicon Valley is quite striking. On the Danish side only two per cent of the biotech companies have raised finance from Business Angels, whilst in Sweden it is 31 per cent. On the other hand a larger number of Danish biotech companies (69 per cent) raises venture capital than Swedish biotech companies (51 per cent). Torsten Freltoft is “Lead angel” in Business Angel Øresund, a network of about 30-40 Business Angels who are focused on startup companies, including high tech, in the Copenhagen metropolitan area. “In recent years life science has not been a focus area for our network. We have, among other areas, had a larger attention at IT. In the network we have earlier on also only had a couple of members with a background in the life science industry. It is often by coincidence, what kind of business background a Business Angel brings to the network”, says Torsten Freltoft, who himself is the CEO of Sophion Bioscience. He estimates that the network have had assessments of less than 10 projects within life science over the past 3-4 years. However, he has no know ledge that these projects have resulted in financing from Business Angels in the network. “We have priviously had very few projects related to life science, but interest is increasing as more of our members in the network has a relevant background. Life science projects turns up more often,” says Torsten Freltoft.
3,000 Business Angels in Sweden At CONNECT Skåne, which is a network for the development of innovative companies, CEO Nicholas Jacobsson points out that Sweden has a solid culture for the use of Business Angels. “Business Angels have traditionally played a keyrole in the development of many large Swedish industrial companies. One estimate indicates that there is a total of about 3,000 Business Angels in Sweden. We also see this reflected in the life science industry on the Swedish side of Medicon Valley, where environments like Lund University Bioscience and PULS In-
vest also have roots in capital from Business Angels”, says Nicholas Jacobsson. Last year nine percent of the total projects in CONNECT Skåne was related to life science. CONNECT Skåne has some 175 members in the network and Nicholas Jacobsson estimates that approximately 25-30 members have a background within the life science environment. “Though it’s hardly essential, how many in the network that have knowledge of life science. One can also easily be interested in life science without a life science background”, says Nicholas Jacobsson. The fact that Swedish biotech companies raise capital to a far higher degree from Business Angels may in the long term prove a potential stumbling block for the companies, Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Medicon Valley Alliance points out. “If you have Business Angels among your investors the process of also attracting risk venture capital later on may be more difficult. Some Business Angels have a tendency to overvalue a company, and this limits the interest of venture capital funds. Also venture capital funds have a tendency of doing business together with collaborators, that they are already familiar with”.
Networks does not work well enough Christian Walther, CEO of Vidensbanken (the Knowledge Bank), which administers a nation-wide network of Business Angels in Denmark, is not surprised that only two per cent of the Danish biotech companies in Medicon Valley have raised capital from Business Angels. Vidensbanken is highly critical of the industry to which the bank itself belongs. “To be brutally honest, the Business Angel networks does in general not work well enough in Denmark. Out in the networks there is often a lack of professional approach to this task. Instead of competent, constructive sparring, the local networks of Business Angels often have an overcritical approach to potential projects. It is more a question of scaling down projects than actually evaluating the business potential”, says Christian Walther, CEO of Vidensbanken.
Funding last 12 12 month Fundingsources sourcesthe the last months
Money MoneyRaised raised
Bank Loans 2%
Raised in the 12 months, 173 Mio. Euro, 21%
Deals and Alliances
Raised more than 12 months ago, 670 Mio. Euro, 79%
Institutional Funds 4%
Venture Capital 51%
Source: Medicon Valley Alliance
The 44 biotech companies in the survey have raised a total of EUR 843 million since they were established. They have a total of 32 drug candidates in clinical trials, most of which are in phase 1 or 2.
competitive conditions for the life science industry. Not least there is a need for tax incentives for small research-based companies. This could give biotech companies the necessary boost to their budgets while they complete their projects”, Stig Jørgensen says. He points out that investors are turning their attention to countries such as England, France, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA and Norway, where regulations have been introduced whereby small research-based companies can have up to 50 per cent of their research costs refunded directly by the state, in return for which they obviously cannot deduct the expenses from corporation tax later on. The survey from Medicon Valley Alliance shows that the Danish and Swedish biotech companies in Medicon Valley overall invested almost EUR 100 million in research and development last year (DKK 615 million on the Danish side and SEK 115 million on the Swedish side). In Denmark the far majority of biotech companies are located within Medicon Valley, whilst in Sweden there are also a large number of biotech companies outside the Medicon Valley region. “To induce tax incentives for small research based companies across Denmark and Sweden will, roughly estimated, cost DKK 350-400 million in Denmark and a corresponding SEK 350-400 million in Sweden. This would help creating knowledge-intensive jobs within R&D ; jobs that are very important to the economies in both Denmark and Sweden”, says Stig Jørgensen.
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Biotech companies need greater internationel vision The biotech companies in Medicon Valley think too little along international lines according to a survey conducted by Medicon Valley Alliance. A more international composition would also help the companies in their work of attracting international risk capital. By Claus Clausen tion of the boards in 43 private and public biotech companies in Medicon Valley. On the Danish side of Medicon Valley 31 companies account for 38 per cent foreign board members, whilst the 12 Swedish
companies have 15 per cent board members of foreign extract. If the so-called â€œacademic spin-offsâ€?, is included, (biotech companies with roots in the research environment), the Danish companies have 32 per
Photo: Medicon Valley Alliance
The biotech industry is international, but this does not necessarily rub off on the Danish and Swedish biotech companies. This is indicated by a survey carried out by Medicon Valley Alliance on the composi-
According to Medicon Valley Alliance biotech companies should focus on a more international representation in board of directors and Advisory Boards; people who know how to develop drugs commercially and how to assert themselves on the international scene to create risk capital.
how to assert themselves on the international scene to create risk capital”, says Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Medicon Valley Alliance.
Composition of boards (Biotech companies in Medicon Valley)
Danish-Swedish neighbours overlook each other
Source: Medicon Valley Alliance
cent foreign board members whilst the figure for Sweden is a zero. “Many of our destitute companies have too many Danes or Swedes in their work force. The companies should expand their skill base on the
basis of a more international representation of experienced people, not just among their staff but also in boards of directors and Advisory Boards. People who know how to develop drugs commercially and
The results correlates well with the capital survey just published and conducted by Medicon Valley Alliance. It points out, as far as the Danish companies are concerned, that 54 per cent of the capital raised in 2010 came from Denmark; 28 per cent from North America; 9 per cent from the rest of Europe, 7 per cent from Asia and 3 per cent from Sweden. Among the Swedish biotech companies, 85 per cent of the capital raised was generated inside Sweden and 15 percent came from North America. The Swedish biotech companies did not raise any capital from Asia, Europe or Denmark. “Besides the fact that there is no major international focus in Medicon
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Valley, it is remarkable that there is no more synergy between the Danish and Swedish capital markets. In Denmark, for example, there are large venture capital funds which should be of particular interest to Swedish biotech companies. But no Swedish biotech companies have raised capital in Denmark”, points out Stig Jørgensen.
Origin of investments 85% Sweden 3%
Ambassadors must generate capital In order to make Medicon Valley more international and market the region towards foreign investors, Medicon Valley Alliance has developed the Life Science Ambassador Programme. In addition to identifying risk venture capital, the programme involves establishing partnerships with innovative and leading life science clusters in North America, Asia and Europe. Medicon Valley Alliance posts Life Science Ambassadors out to foreign clusters for a period of three years and the foreign clusters post ambassadors to Medicon Valley. The Medicon Valley Alliance now has Life Science Ambassadors posted in Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada and hosts a Life Science Ambassador from British Columbia, Canada. “A priority task for the ambassadors is to identify risk capital. The purpose of the Ambassador Pro-
Rest of Europe
Source: Medicon Valley Alliance
Figures show where Swedish companies (red colour) and Danish companies (blue colour) has raised capital. For instance 85 per cent of the Swedish companies has raised capital in Sweden.
gramme is to create a web of contact points and clients which can help companies and universities in Medicon Valley to establish new international collaborations. We need international
input into the research environment in Medicon Valley. At the same time the rest of the world must know what opportunities are on offer in Medicon Valley”, says Stig Jørgensen.
Few women on biotech boards Only 11 per cent of the board members of Medicon Valley’s biotech companies are women. This is shown in the survey carried out by Medicon Valley Alliance on the composition of the boards of 43 private and public biotech companies in Medicon Valley. “11 per cent of women on the boards of directors is too low a proportion, but unfortunately it is of course also a problem which is well known in other industries. Women make up well over half the candidates that come from the health science training courses, but this does not, de facto, reflect the number of women who later end up in managerial careers or on boards”, observes Stig Jørgensen, CEO of Medicon Valley Alliance. “However, I believe that the biotech companies will be seeing more women in both the managements and on the boards. Fortunately there is a tendency in society generally for an increase of female managers, and at the same time women achieving top posts are becoming role models”, says Stig Jørgensen. The average of 11 per cent women on the boards of directors in Medicon Valley conceals the fact that the Swedish companies are a little better in taking female board members on board. Here the proportion is 12 per cent, whilst the number in Danish companies is 10 per cent.
An executive privilege
We have received a new shipment of Werkswagen cars from the star dome in Stuttgart. We’ll be the first to admit these are not cars for everyone. But then again, the finer things in life rarely are. In case you’ve been too busy to be familiar with the Werkswagen concept, here’s the executive summary: Werkswagen cars are used company cars, driven by the top level management of the Daimler corporation. These cars leave nothing to be desired in terms of equipment, yet they have only been in use for a very short time.
A Werkswagen car comes with a complete service history, and it’s been tended to by staff from the factory. Also, these cars are rare models, where the first, large write-off is already accounted for. However, they are also sold by Starmark. So we’ve given them an overhaul of our own as well. Just to make sure they’re as immaculate as you’d expect them to be. See the available cars on www.starmark.dk or swing by a dealership close to you.
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On the trail of eradicating cancer The small biotech company Symphogen attracts international attention as it succeeds in raising DKK 750 million to develop an anti-cancer drug.
By Birgitte Aabo The suits and ties throng around Symphogen’s CEO Kirsten Drejer as she steps down from the rostrum in the densely packed hall. The only bit of her that is visible from a distance is her fair bob of hair. She is one of the first speakers who have been given a speaking slot at the international finance house JP Morgan‘s annual health conference this January. And interest in finding out more, dropping off a business card or arranging a meeting is overwhelming.
This year, Kirsten Drejer is perceived by many of the conferees as the personification of the success story in biotech – something that may have the potential to develop into a true adventure, a drug blockbuster, with a sales potential worth more than a billion dollars annually. So far the small biopharmaceutical company Symphogen has succeeded in raising DKK 750 million – a record among unlisted European biotech companies. That commands international respect for the Copenhagen-based
company at a time when getting hold of investors is a never-ending battle: ”Although it’s really a lot of money, it’s badly needed. We generally work on the basis that it costs about DKK five billion to develop a drug,” says the Kirsten Drejer, who is therefore not ruling out listing on the stock exchange. But she has no plans along those lines at the moment. Her faith in Symphogen ending up with an anti-cancer drug has been unshakeable over the past decade, and she has worked hard to realise that goal. However, when first presented with the idea of starting up a biotech company in 2000, she was not immediately convinced it was a good idea: ”Initially, I thought it all sounded a bit casual, and I gave no serious thought to handing in my notice at Novo Nordisk where I held a good position. But that changed when we found the technology that makes it possible to use several antibodies at once. Since then I’ve believed in it and worked for it. I’m like a relay: Either switched right off or switched right on. You can’t be a part-time entrepreneur”.
A stirring creative urge At that time her desire to follow her entrepreneurial spirit had been stirring for some time. Actually, the urge
S T O C K H O L M
O S L O
Kirsten Drejer, 54: 1980: Master of Science in pharmacology 1980: Biopharmaceutical developer, DAK Laboratory, Danish Pharmaceutical Association 1983: Novo Nordisk, including Director of Dia betes Discovery and corporate facilitator 1992: PhD in pharmacology 2000: Managing Director of Symphogen 2006: Member of the Board of Directors of Danisco Lives in Hareskov, Copenhagen, has two grown-up daughters and a partner
to be creative has always been in Kirsten Drejer, dutifully supported by her father, with whom she had long conversations from a very early age. The two of them would take long walks across the fields near a farm in Kolding, Jutland, where she grew up as the fourth child out of five siblings. A favourite topic of conversation between father and daughter was ideas for creating and developing something new. The father would listen to his
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daughter’s ideas and gave her the confidence to believe that they were valuable and that things are possible. When she had completed secondary school, she moved to Copenhagen to study pharmacology. Research and development were what interested her, so when she graduated, she found Novo Nordisk to be the most attractive company to work for. Here she had a career, among other things, as a project manager, head of diabetes research, and three years as a corporate facilitator, where she had a hand in implementing Novo Nordisk’s managerial philosophy across the breadth of the company. During this period she met a lot of different managers in the company and gained an insight into other departments which she had never had previously: ”It was a real eye-opener for me. During that threeyear period I figured out something I hadn’t been aware of: What really drives me is developing new drugs that can make a genuine difference to patients. So even though I had an exciting job at Novo Nordisk, I was ready to be cherry-picked”.
Reverse process When one of Kirsten Drejer’s former colleagues rang to ask whether she wanted to be manager of a new biotech company which would be working with antibodies, she kept an open mind, but remained hesitant. It was not until a new technology was broached, invented and patented by researchers at Boston University, that her interest was aroused, as this technology would enable them to re-create the polyclonal antibodies produced by the body’s own immune system. In that respect, Symphogen came about in a slightly reversed way compared to most other biotech companies, which usually start out with a researcher making a discovery and then commercialises it. The group behind the company, which would eventually become Symphogen, met in a basement in Copenhagen and agreed that their biotech company should work with antibodies, without any knowledge of the Boston method. When they caught wind of it, they bought the patent and in the summer of 2000 they opened for business: ”I’d worked at Novo Nordisk for 18 years, so I was up for a move away from home. And in several ways you can compare the support I got from my old workplace with the support given to a young person flying the nest. I could always call home and I was supported in my ventures out into the world. Together with the Danish Fund for Industrial Growth, Novo Nordisk was the first to inject money into the company. That was hugely significant as they were a seal of approval for us,” says Kirsten Drejer, who is regularly highlighted as a female role model. She has, however, slightly mixed feelings about this part of the venture: ”I’m definitely not a flawless superwoman who knows how everything should be done, but I do agree that having role models can be good, so I’m happy to talk about my experiences”. One of them is that being a woman when in the USA
Kirsten Drejer is confident that Symphogen will end up with an anti-cancer drug.
can be an advantage, if anything, because female managers are so few and far between that you stand out and are easier to remember. ”At the same time, I’m very conscious that I run the risk of someone saying, ’well, it’s just because she’s a woman’ if I have a different view to the others around the table. So I often choose to be diplomatic rather than confrontational”.
Quest for money Apart from three researchers in Boston, only Kirsten Drejer and the director of research, John Haurum, were on the payroll at Symphogen initially. Having to consider pay and salaries was a great upheaval for the newly appointed managing director: ”That was actually the greatest change for me. At Novo Nordisk I used to work hard too, but I never gave a thought to where the wages came from. The financial insecurity was entirely new, and it had to be dealt with from the first time wages were paid out”. Today, there are 80 employees on the payroll as result of a steady progress following the first six months, which were spent demonstrating the results of the patent. Experiments on mice showed that ’Sym004’s mixture of two antibodies not only stopped the cancer developing,
but the drug also caused the cancerous lumps to disappear. In March 2007 Symphogen succeeded in obtaining permission from the US health authorities to test a mixture of antibodies on humans for the first time ever, and in 2008 Symphogen was elevated to a new division when an agreement was signed with the largest antibody company in the world, the American Genentech. During the past ten years there has, however, been various periods with great challenges too, but Kirsten Drejer is quick to put those behind her: ”When you find you’ve weathered a tough storm, there’s something cool about having succeeded in coming through unscathed,” she says, while assuring us there will be more challenges and she will be ready to take them on. Work is currently in progress to test how high a dose of ’Sym004’ patients can tolerate. This dose will then be given to 16 patients with terminal cancer of the colon. By the turn of the year, approximately, the outcome will be known. If all goes well, a drug may be ready in 2014 or 2015. Whatever happens, it will be some years before the product is ”good to go”. That’s why Kirsten Drejer has also decided she should curb her workload a little now that she has managed to raise a whole stack of money: ”I’ve had virtually no time for anything other than work
’Sym004’ – a possible blockbuster The monoclonal antibodies on the market inhibit the cancer cells’ ability to divide, but the tumour does not disappear. When treated with ’Sym004’, which is a combination of two antibodies, it does do so – in mice, at any rate. The antibodies not only block the receptors, which are located on the outside of the cancer cells and enable it to grow and divide, the receptors also disintegrate completely, thus starving the cancer cell, which disappears. ’Sym004’ has been developed to fight colonic cancer but is expected to have the same effect on head and neck cancer. Symphogen has a number of other drugs at the developmental stage.
in recent years – I had to raise money after all. Now I’ve decided that I have to make more room for exercise and socialising”.
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Professor Henrik Semb, DanStem: "We will employ only the best".
Denmark on the stem cell research world map Professor Henrik Semb is to set up the new stem cell research centre ‘DanStem’ at the University of Copenhagen. His vision for the centre, which opens this year, is to create one of Europe’s leading stem cell centres. By Jorun Christophersen “What attracts me is the huge challenge of setting up a stem cell centre with real potential to compete with the rest of the world,” says Professor Semb, who is currently director of the Stem Cell Center in Lund, Sweden. In his opinion the University of Copenhagen, the leading Scandinavian research centre, has such a potent research environment that DanStem will benefit greatly from cooperating with them.
One centre – two sections The centre will have two sections – BasicStem and TransStem. It will serve as an international hub for basic
and translational stem cell research aiming to develop new therapeutic approaches for diabetes and cancer. BasicStem’s focus will be basic mechanistic research on the developmental biology of stem cells, beta cells and cancer cells. TransStem aims to convert and develop the promising basic research results into new strategies and goals for developing new therapies for cancer and diabetes. The DanStem researchers will thus be able to see themselves at the forefront of both basic stem cell research and development of new therapies for the two widespread diseases; diabetes and cancer.
Beta Cell Development and Stem Cell Biology
Cancer Stem Cell
The centre will consist of two separate departments: The Novo Nordisk Foundation Section for Basic Stem Cell Biology – also called BasicStem – and The Section for Strategic Translational Stem Cell Research and Therapy – also called TransStem.
The industry is an advantage
Recruitment of researchers is of vital importance
Professor Henrik Semb considers the productive cooperation between the academic world and the industry in Denmark as one of the most important advantages when it comes to converting basic research results into clinical applications that benefit patients. The academic world cannot take this step alone. According to Semb it is this cooperation that provides DanStem with the essential advantage which makes it capable of competing with the rest of Europe.
“All recruitment will take place internationally and we’ll employ only the best. That’s the only way we can build something that can become truly competitive. Very much depends on whether I succeed in attracting the most competent researchers from the start, but so far it looks very encouraging,” says Professor Semb. His aim is to recruit three young professors in stem cell and developmental biology. This means there will be four strong researchers at professor level in BasicStem.
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Professor Henrik Semb Henrik Semb is presently Professor in Functional Genetics and Director of the Stem Cell Center at Lund University. On January 1, 2011 he became Director of the new DanStem Center at Copenhagen University.
Research profile During the past 15 years his research has focused on elucidating basic mechanisms in beta cell development and tumor cell invasion and metastasis by using a combination of in vivo and in vitro genetic and cell biological experimental tools. Presently, the focus is on human embryonic stem cells and pancreas developmental biology with the ultimate goal of using human embryonic stem cells as tools to study human pancreatic beta cell development and beta cell dysfunction as well as a source for transplantable beta cells for type 1 diabetes therapy.
Awards and honours He is the recipient of a “Repatriating grant” from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, a strategic research grant (10 years) in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine from the Swedish Government, Beta Cell Biology Consortium’s (NIH) grants and European Union grants in the 6th framework programme (Beta Cell Therapy). He has served as member of the International Stem Cell Initiative’s steering committee is a member of the Programme Board for Stem Cell Research at the Norwegian Research Council. Dr. Semb also serves as an editorial board member of “Stem Cells”. Stem cell
They will operate in one of the best equipped centres in Europe. With such facilities professor Semb reckons it will not be difficult to recruit new young researchers. The aim is to eventually have 100 employees and thus become one of the largest in Europe. However, Professor Semb stresses it is of the greatest importance to create an innovative and confidential research environment with mutual commitment to solve the centre’s tasks and stimulate a continuous scientific discussion. And this may be jeopardised if the centre becomes too big. One section of the Centre, TransStem, is already operating at BRIC – Biotech Research & Innovation Center – where leading researchers in the field of cell biology and cancer therapy already works, while the new beta cell/stem cell part of the centre is being set up at the Panum Building, that houses University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health Sciences. Professor Semb brings research in beta cells and diabetes to BasicStem from
his research at Stem Cell Center Lund. He has projects in both sections of DanStem as his research embraces both the basic stem cell and developmental biology and research more specifically aimed at therapy for diabetes.
The finances are in place One of the key strengths of DanStem is its long term funding. With DKK 350 million from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and DKK 65 million from the Danish Council for Strategic Research over the next 10 years, Professor Semb is of the opinion that the Centre is better equipped for taking on a long haul research into stem cells than many of the competitors. This has also been decisive for him accepting the position as director of DanStem. “With ordinary university funding it’s impossible to recruit the most competent researchers. You may have all the ideas and plans in the world, but without funding you get nowhere,” says Professor Semb.
Photo: Lunds University
starting up new enterprises based on emerging discoveries.
DanStem aims to convert promising basic research results into new therapies for cancer and diabetes. Photo: post.doc Sune Kobbnerup and professor Henrik Semb.
Cooperation across Oresund In a Medicon Valley context there are great expectations for the new centre to play a vital role in creating first class cooperation between the University of Lund and the University of Copenhagen.
There are strong, internationally recognised researchers on both sides of Oresound who will strengthen and develop the cooperation between the universities. The firm expectation is for even stronger cooperation with the industry and for
“Stem cell therapy, of course, already exists when you, for instance, transplant skin and bone marrow. Consequently, we know that the concept of using stem cells in replacement therapy does work. When we talk about important chronic diseases like diabetes and Parkinson’s, it is, however, clear that we will not be able to cure them within the next couple of years. It will take much longer. In my opinion it will take more than 10 years. I don’t find this pessimistic but realistic, considering that the potential source of cells to treat or cure these diseases is human embryonic stem cells that were discovered only 12 years ago. To be able to cure these two widespread diseases in the immediate future is completely unrealistic,” says Professor Semb.
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Torsten Jepsen, Medicon Valley’s new Life Science Ambassador in Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts, US: “My task will be to brand Medicon Valley and create a meeting place in the US, which Medicon Valley stakeholders can use to build relationships of collaboration and business development. Essentially I will be a matchmaker who can get the right people to meet across the Atlantic”.
Medicon Valley’s own matchmaker in Boston Torsten Jepsen is Medicon Valley’s new Life Science Ambassador in one of the world’s leading life science clusters, Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Located in Boston, the new ambassador will create contacts across the Atlantic. Identifying American risk capital will be one of his key tasks. By Claus Clausen Business-driven, analytical, a skilled networker with an excellent ability to visualise ideas so that they result in concrete business. These are some of the words 34-year-old Torsten Jepsen uses to describe himself. He can now write “Life Science Ambassador” on his business card as part of the expansion of Medicon
Valley Alliance’s Life Science Ambassador Programme, which now includes not only Japan, South Korea and Canada but also the US. In practice this means that companies and universities in Medicon Valley have their own representative to call on in the US, the world’s largest life science market. The new Life Science Ambassador will be located in Boston-
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Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, but will also focus on the rest of the east coast. Torsten Jepsen comes from a position as Senior Project Manager in Medicon Valley Alliance (MVA). Over the last three years he has, among other things, been responsible for building closer relations to leading European life science clusters and for facilitating strategic discussions among public and private stakeholders in Medicon Valley on how to strengthen regional competitiveness. “I have a good insight into the Medicon Valley region. My key task will be to brand Medicon Valley and create a platform in the US, which Medicon Valley stakeholders can use for establishing relationships of collaboration and business development. Essentially, I will be a matchmaker who can get people to meet across the Atlantic”, says Torsten Jepsen, who will be based at an office in the Cambridge Innovation Centre, a neighbour of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
World class universities The Life Science Ambassador Programme aim to establish partnerships between Medicon Valley and leading life science clusters in North America, Asia and Europe. Medicon Valley Alliance posts Life Science Ambassadors to the foreign clusters for a period of three years. The ambassadors create an extensive network that can be used to help companies and universities establish new international collaborations. Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz, Executive Vice President of Medicon Valley Alliance and responsible for the Ambassador Programme, emphasize that expansion to the US is important for Medicon Valley. “In Massachusetts you find some of the best universities in the world, and the concentration of life science companies is impressive. Small and medium-sized
Ambassador Programme forms contacts Medicon Valley Alliance began developing the Life Science Ambassador Programme in 2006. The programme involves establishing partnerships with innovative and leading life science clusters in North America, Asia and Europe. The ambassadors create a web of contact points and clients which can be used to help companies and universities establish new international collaborations. The Medicon Valley Alliance has currently posted Life Science Ambassadors in Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada, and hosts a Life Science Ambassador from British Columbia, Canada. Read more at www.ambassadorprogramme.com
biotech and medtech companies in Medicon Valley will benefit from being able to call on a Life Science Ambassador in Boston. For many of these companies close collaboration with a foreign partner will be impossible, because individually they do not have the resources to develop the necessary contacts, nor do they have the time to maintain such contacts”, says Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz.
Broad scope of work Torsten Jepsen is before his departure occupied building a portfolio of interesting projects in close dialogue with
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relevant stakeholders in Medicon Valley. The last month before leaving Denmark this work will be intensified and he will meet a large number of companies and universities. “The scope of work is very broad”, says Torsten Jepsen. “I will basically be working on three different levels: A policy level where I will analyze and bring home best practices from Massachusetts on how to optimize framework conditions and our regional life science ecosystem in general. A platform level with the aim of bringing larger groups of stakeholders together, and last an organizational level, where I will help companies and universities on individual basis to identify and meet potential partners”. A key priority is attracting US venture capital. American biotech companies raised in 2009 five times as much capital than biotech companies in the entire continent of Europe. “The US is the most important source of venture capital for the life science industry. My task is to develop a model that makes Medicon Valley more interesting to the American venture capitalists. I will monitor their investments closely and develop personal relationships with them. After meeting each other for coffee a couple of times or after playing tennis together for the second time, a useful relationship may very well develop. Hope-
Cluster development in an international focus has been an integrated part of Torsten Jepsen’s career. Before he came to the Medicon Valley Alliance, he worked as a consultant in Rambøll Management on major international projects. He has worked in Tanzania and Russia and has been project director on several large projects in the former Eastern Europe.
fully they will find interest in what our companies and universities in Medicon Valley have to offer”, says Torsten Jepsen. “My approach to get integrated swiftly in the life science society in Massachusetts will be to ask: How do you manage to do so well? And, how can Medicon Valley stakeholders support your key objectives? Having a contributing, positive, curious approach is far better than
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merely saying: How can you help me and the life science environment in Medicon Valley”?
Ability to visualise Torsten Jepsen has a background in economic-geography with a strong focus on cluster development. His knowledge of the life science industry derives from his experience in Medicon Valley Alliance combined with a Diploma in Managing Medical Product Innovation (MMPI) from the Scandinavian International Management Institute (SIMI). “Essentially I have developed a sound knowledge of life science, from research to development and marketing. I find both the science side and business side of the industry very interesting due to the high level of complexity, so I read a lot to learn more. However, my role as a Life Science Ambassador is not to be an expert in every recess of research and development. Instead I must have a holistic overview to
understand the dynamics of the industry and a creative and engaging approach to develop new collaborations and alliances. As far as I am concerned, I must be able to explain the life science environment in Boston and Medicon Valley respectively, and where they can benefit from collaboration”, says Torsten Jepsen. Cluster development in an international focus has been an integrated part of Torsten Jepsen’s career. Before he came to the Medicon Valley Alliance, he worked as a consultant in Rambøll Management on major international projects. He has worked in Tanzania and Russia and has been project director on several large projects in the former Eastern Europe. “I am used to developing novel solutions in complex environments. I am highly analytical in my work, and I have an ability to visualise projects and get people to cooperate on common objectives”, says Torsten Jepsen.
Torsten Jepsen will bring his family to Boston and he recently became father to a baby boy born in January. His wife, Cecilie, is an anaesthetist and is planning to take a PhD at Mass General Hospital in Boston. “It will be an exciting challenge for our family to create a new life in the US. I feel unbelievably privileged to have the opportunity to work on this task”, says Torsten Jepsen. Spare time will be a rather scarce commodity to begin with, but in the long run Medicon Valley’s man in the US hopes that he will have time to experience the large continent with his family, preferably from an open convertible. His base in Boston is also ideally located to explore his hobbies of kite surfing and skiing. “I am also planning to take up rowing as there are fine old traditions at the Boston universities’ of rowing on the Charles River. This will also be a way of networking and profiling Medicon Valley”, says Torsten Jepsen.
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Facts on life science in Massachusetts Industry strength
There are more than 400 biotechnology companies located in Massachusetts; 235 of those companies are developing therapeutic drugs. 2,364 drugs (chemical- and biological-based) are being developed in Massachusetts, representing just under 7% of the global drug pipeline. With 1,092 biologic drugs in development, almost 8% of the global biologics pipeline is based in Massachusetts. (Bio Pharm Insight, 2009) 16 of the top 50 biopharmaceutical companies by revenue in the Forbes 500 list have a Massachusetts presence. (Forbes 500, 2009)
Massachusetts is a hub for biotechnology investment. In 2009, Massachusetts maintained a strong share of national biotech venture capital investment, capturing just over 18% of all U.S. biotechnology venture capital investment. U.S. Venture Capital Investment in MA Companies, 2004-2009* 25.00%
Massachusetts is home to 5 of the top 8 NIH funded hospitals*: 1. 3. 6. 7. 8.
Massachusetts General Hospital Brigham and Women’s Hospital Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Children’s Hospital Boston
% of all US VC
% of all US Biotech VC
*2009 numbers are preliminary
* National Institutes of Health, 2009
A network of senior consultants Any of the below companies can be contacted directly or IWA Consulting will redirect your query to the relevant company
provided by a network of consultants in all regulatory fields
www.regunic.com Regulatory Affairs are…our affair Local contacts in all EU countries – Direct contact to NCAs where needed
A breakthrough in Japan A number of Japanese pharmaceutical companies are taking a closer look at the companies in Medicon Valley. Swedish EXINI Diagnostics has just concluded a contract with the Japanese FUJIFILM Pharma Co.
By Claus Clausen
Search for in-licensing candidates Significant Japanese groups such as Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Eisai Pharmaceuticals, Daaichi-Sankyo, Astellas Pharma Inc., Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma and Shionogi & CO., Ltd have all shown considerable interest in the region and there have been repeated visits to Medicon Valley by Japanese companies. Japan’s second largest pharmaceutical company, Daiichi Sankyo, has visited Medicon Valley
cardiovascular metabolics as our priority areas for research to earlystage development. Many Bio Ventures in Medicon Valley have focused on these areas. We are also pursuing wide-ranging research in new areas to address unfulfilled medical needs”.
three times in their search for inlicensing candidates. Oncology and cardiovascular metabolics are its priority areas. Ms. Yuko Shiozawa, Business Development & Licensing Department manager, explains that Daiichi Sankyo’s interest in Medicon Valley is due to the great volume of life science activities. Ms. Shiozawa and other representatives of Daiichi Sankyo have held a series of meetings with companies and research organisations in Medicon Valley. “We are searching for in-licensing candidates to enrich our R&D pipeline. We have designated oncology and
Ambassador Programme as the door opener
A contract just concluded between the Swedish EXINI Diagnostics and the Japanese pharmaceutical company FUJIFILM Pharma Co. Ltd. is the latest development in a steadily growing Japanese interest in companies and universities in Medicon Valley. For EXINI the contract is worth a potential 24 million SEK over the next three years. EXINI Diagnostics has developed software to help doctors analyse X-ray images and it is the product EXINI Bone, which FUJIFILM Pharma Co. Ltd. are now launching onto the Japanese market. “A number of major Japanese pharmaceutical companies have all taken a closer look at biotech and medtech companies in Medicon Valley. At the same time there is considerable interest in early-stage innovations from our universities”, says Thomas Jonsson, Medicon Valley’s Life Science Ambassador in Japan and South Korea.
Magnus Aurell, CEO EXINI Diagnostics: “Thomas Jonsson, Life Science Ambassador in Japan, played a decisive role in our suc cess concluding the contract with FUJIFILM Pharma Co. Ltd”.
It is the Ambassador Programme under Medicon Valley Alliance which has opened the door to increasing Japanese interest. The programme involves establishing partnerships with innovative and leading life science clusters in North America, Asia and Europe. Medicon Valley Alliance posts Life Science Ambassadors out to the foreign clusters for a period of three years, and the foreign clusters sends ambassadors to Medicon Valley. Medicon Valley Alliance has currently Life Science Ambassadors posted in Japan, South Korea, the US and Canada, and hosts a Life Science Ambassador from British Columbia, Canada. “The ambassadors form contacts and relationships which can help companies and universities in Medicon Valley establish new international collaboration. These efforts have now borne fruit in Japan”, says Executive Vice President of Medicon Valley Alliance, Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz, who is responsible for the Ambassador Programme.
Extended arm in Japan EXINI Diagnostics’ contract with the Japanese pharmaceutical company
behalf in Japan and we were able to take advantage of his presence in all matters relating to the Japanese market. Thomas Jonsson will also become an important resource for our further expansion in Japan”, says Magnus Aurell, CEO of Exini Diagnostics. Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz points out that Japan is a large and important market within pharma, biotech and medtech. “It is very significant that we have aroused considerable Japanese interest in Medicon Valley. Japan is a market which requires patience and a long-term strategy. However, this is not an insurmountable task, which is also confirmed by Exini’s breakthrough in Japan”, says Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz.
Photo: Medicon Valley Alliance
FUJIFILM Pharma Co. Ltd has just been concluded as a result of close collaboration with Medicon Valley’s Life Science Ambassador in Japan. The ambassador Thomas Jonsson has been assisting EXINI Diagnostics for a long time with projects relating, among other things, to development, patenting, sales and cultural barriers. These are projects which had to be completed to establish the cooperation contract. Whilst the management of EXINI Diagnostics was based in Sweden, Thomas Jonsson was able to act on behalf of EXINI Diagnostics in Japan. “Thomas Jonsson, Life Science Ambassador in Japan, played a decisive role in our success in concluding the contract with FUJIFILM Pharma Co. Ltd. He worked on our
Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz, Executive Vice President of Medicon Valley Alliance: “The Ambassador Programme forms contacts and relationships which can help companies and universities in Medicon Valley establish new international collaboration. These eﬀorts have now borne fruit in Japan”.
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Image analysis and biosafety are important when fighting virus By Jorun Christophersen navia from, for instance, Africa and Asia.
Vironova AB is able to diagnose new virus The Stockholm-based biotech company, Vironova AB has developed just that technology which is able to diagnose all viruses including the new mutated virus stems. CEO of Vironova AB, Mohammed Homman developed software for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) back in 2005, which can identify and diagnose viruses through image analysis. “The advantage of image analysis is that you’re able to diagnose a
virus much quicker than when using biological methods and that you can calculate the concentration of virus particles in sample when using TEM. By analysing the sample optically, we can identify completely new viruses much easier. Other methods employ a biological ‘finger print’ from each virus, but you loose those when a virus mutates and produces new variants,” explains CEO, Mohammed Homman. Vironova AB is an R&D company, which also develops drugs. The aim is to attack the structural proteins that are building blocks for virus thus preventing it from building new virus particles. Photo: Vironova AB
When a virus jumps from animals to humans, as happened with SAARS and the swine flu, it is potentially very dangerous because we lack the techniques to identify and diagnose the virus. This may result in the disease developing dangerously fast. Even though the risks are very slim that an animal’s virus alters and attacks humans, it has occurred a couple of times just in the past decade. The reasons for this could be that the numbers of animals and humans are growing and that we travel more frequently all over the world. Both travel activities and climate changes have increased the amount of exotic viruses in Scandi-
Vironova Biosafety AB’s opening reception on February 10, 2011. As a symbol of the close collaboration between the companies, Vironova AB CEO Mohammed Homman (left) and Vironova Biosafety AB CEO Doctor Bertil Eriksson open the new facilities for virus validation that are required when developing new biological drugs and vaccines. With its central location at the Karolinska Instituttet in central Stockholm, they are to serve the growing Nordic biotech industry.
Synergy CEO Mohammed Homman, Vironova AB
Developing drugs is extremely expensive and it is a very complicated project. It is therefore crucial that the company saves up for future research and development. This is one of the reasons why the subsidiary company Vironova Biosafety AB was established.
Virinova Biosafety AB – the latest addition
Vironova Biosafety AB is possibly the only biotech company in Scandinavia, which offers biosafety to small and middle-sized companies. Vironova Biosafety has specialised in virus safety studies of biotechnologically produced drugs whose components stem from humans or animals. “Vironova Biosafety AB is an independent company which has its own staff, strategy and focus.
“We all have experience from former work in biopharmaceutical companies, for instance AstraZeneca, where we took part in anti-viral screening and development of anti-viral medicine and we were also responsible for all kinds of clearing studies. We can help small and medium-size companies with advice in all phases of the manufacturing process. And we can remove or kill viruses in the starting material. Together with Vironova we can exploit synergies because we cover various different areas on the long road to the creation of new biopharmaceuticals”, Bertil Eriksson says. It is important to R&D companies not to forget to focus on selling their products and enter the markets and finding customers. This is the position they are in with the latest addition. Vironova Biosafety AB sells regular services. CEO Mohammed Homman says:
CEO Mohammed Homman has a cross-disciplinary scientific background with a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in chemistry from Uppsala University. As a researcher at the Karolinska Instituttet in Stockholm he focused on the virus structure and especially on how a virus forms its own protein capsid. Mohammed Homman found that a virus’s capsid forms a pattern that does not change, which is different from both the virus’s surface
Photo: Vironova AB
Photo: Vironova AB
It can provide the whole process in a biosafety study. It has an unique expertise with its industrial background and benefits from the synergy with Vironova’s expertise and TEM technology,” says Mohammed Homman. CEO in Vironova Biosafety AB Bertil Eriksson points out that the company has just been established and it will not be fully developed until autumn when all the staff is in place and they have been fully approved by the authorities. At the moment they are, however, capable of advising companies who have the capacities in this unique field:
TEM image of influenza virus. Vironova AB leads with a new influenza drug development programme with EU funding of € 6 million.
“The interesting and great challenge for us is to be able to both sell services and be able to develop drugs. This is why we’ve created the virus validation company.”
Virus imaging Vironova launched a web-based platform for virus diagnostics already in September 2008 – Virusimaging. The platform provides unique opportunities for global collaboration and exchange of experience in TEM for researchers, hospitals, national defence laboratories and other health authorities. The platform’s user network is already available in most of the world and provides an opportunity for quicker and safer diagnoses of viruses and thereby better preparedness in relation to future virus pandemics. If you are interested, you are welcome to try out the platform by registering at www.virusimaging.com
and genome, which has a high mutation rate. He developed software for an image analysis method for diagnosis of viruses and was rewarded with the Stockholm Stad inventor prize in 2005, which provided him with the starting capital for the company Vironova AB. The following year he was awarded the prize again for development of a drug that can combat herpes. Since then, he has been awarded many prizes in Sweden and abroad.
Together we are a real force in the life sciences Cooperation in the Oresund region needs to be strengthened further – that is the challenge issued by the newly elected Regional Commissioner for the Skåne region Pia Kinhult. Not least, it is vital that Sweden and Denmark act together as a strong entity in life sciences if we want to continue attracting global attention. By Birgitte Aabo
“We have what it takes to become a still stronger global player in the field of life science. But our strengths in the region aren’t simply bestowed by nature. We can’t just sit back, expecting that everything will happen automatically. We have to strive all the time to become better if we want to maintain our present positions and be a step ahead”.
Pia Kinhult leans forward in her chair in the meeting room at Medicon Valley Alliance in Ørestad to lend her words extra weight. As newly elected regional commissioner for Region Skåne for the Moderates, she speaks with great enthusiasm about the future she sees for the Oresund region and about her work to strengthen the region’s economic foundations. But if this future is to include life science industries capable of attracting the world’s attention, its orders and its money, there is a need, not least, for better and much more far-reaching cooperation between the countries in the region, allied to a common branding, says Pia Kinhult, who is also vice-chairman of the Øresund Committee.
Each in their own room “Unfortunately, both in Sweden and in Denmark people are inclined to sit privately and work things out. I’m not sure why, but the reason for this may be that they’re beginning to realise that we’re facing major challenges because of global competition. In that situation a natural reflex may be to safeguard our own interests. But what we really need to do is exactly the opposite: We must reinforce cooperation between countries and listen more closely at all levels, not least where public sector and political agencies are concerned,” says Pia Kinhult. In her experience, business benefits from cooperation: “Money talks in business. If there’s good sense and money in working together, then people are going to want to do so,” she says. And she has gained solid experience of owning a business before she entered politics. “I’m familiar with the difficult considerations and challenges you face in business life, and with the problems you have as a politician with wider responsibilities. When you know what things are like in both these environments, you’re well placed to try to explain and motivate
Photo: Annika Persson
– that way you can help build bridges rather than simply criticizing other people”.
From leisure to fulltime work Pia Kinhult grew up in Stockholm and began working in her father’s electronics business Temaki at the age of 26. In the 1980s, when the business was to move away from the capital and the family were looking for premises elsewhere, the choice fell on Ängelholm in Skåne. The business is still based in Ängelholm and Pia Kinhult also lives here in a wing of her parents’s farmhouse. Even though she still owns Temaki, she plays no part in the day-to-day running of the business since her job as a fulltime politician has gradually taken over since the 1990s: “As a young child, I never imagined that I’d become a politician. I’ve always been interested and involved in what happens in society, but I’d never thought of becoming an active politician and wasn’t even a party member,” says Pia Kinhult, although she has always sympathised with and voted for the Moderates. For that reason, she decided to attend an open meeting held by the party in Ängelholm, and, since then, politics has taken up more and more of her time.
“As the owner of a business, I was particularly concerned with the lack of understanding among politicians of what it is that irritates and inhibits the business community. I think it would be exciting to influence developments from within. Naturally, you learn that there’s is a logic in private business, but the same goes for the political sphere. The secret is for politicians and the business community to learn to interpret each others’ logic and language”.
Differences and similarities Her political potential was spotted quickly, and, as early as 1994, she was elected to the local council where, among other things, she made a name for herself with a campaign for a reduction of local taxes in Ängelholm. The campaign made use of the play on the Swedish word ‘seks’ (the number 6) and the widely recognised English word ‘sex’, using humour to heighten interest in their case. Humour is one of the essential ingredients in Pia Kinhult’s life and she uses it to describe the perfect cooperation between Sweden and Denmark: “If we were going for the absolute optimum solution, we really ought to divide all businesses between us, with
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... it is difficult for us to accustom ourselves to the idea that people in other countries are catching up ...”
all the factories in Sweden and all the sales offices in Denmark! That would be extremely efficient and make optimum use of the two people’s specific skills”. However, she can spot a number of differences between Swedes and Danes, but also a great deal of similarities: “When we draw comparisons here at home, we can pinpoint some differences. But when we meet each other abroad, we notice the similarities between us, and that’s how the outside world will see us if we stand together. As a Nordic entity it’s easier to attract attention than it would be if we worked alone. Numbers really do matter,” says Pia Kinhult, referring to the Ørestad region’s status as Scandinavia’s largest and most populous region with more than 3.6 million inhabitants, 15 universities and around 10,000 students and scientists.
image of ourselves is about being unbeatable in a number of fields – simply the best in the world. It is difficult for us to accustom ourselves to the idea that people in other countries are catching up. But global competition is getting ever tighter – all around the world many people in life sciences think the same thoughts, have more money than they had in the past and are getting increasingly well educated and skilled. They can do just as much as we can! And their numbers are growing. If we’re to be able to build on our position, we must keep this in mind constantly and try to predict where the needs of the future will be,” says the Regional Commissioner, who also points out that the Oresund region must overcome a whole range of disadvantages where marketing is concerned: “We’re on the northern periphery, we have strange minority languages and it’s cold here. If we’re to survive in this competitive world, we have to be just that little bit better than others. But we must not forget to mention the many advantages that we also have, for example well-educated people, almost no corruption, reliability
Capital at home and abroad However promising this sounds, though, the difficulty lies in attracting sufficient venture capital into the DanishSwedish life science industries, where there is a shortfall of something like 20 billion SEK in round figures. Medicon Valley Alliance has upgraded its presence in the American market by appointing a Life Science Ambassador, which is situated in one of the world’s leading life science clusters, Boston-Cambridge in Massachusetts. “This is a fine initiative, and we do, of course, need capital from outside. But we also need to strengthen the grass roots and have more activity financed at local and regional level – if more of the money ’lives’ here, a whole different kind of loyalty will follow and businesses won’t be inclined to move away from here,” says Pia Kinhult who has more ideas about how the flow of money can be increased: “I believe minor tax changes could make a difference – the fiscal experts must, of course, use their good sense when it comes to how these should be framed, but the aim should be to encourage investment in this country’s business sector. The life sciences, not least, could make good use of such a helping hand since they’re seen as an area of some uncertainty where investment is concerned and one which might perhaps only return a profit after many years,” says Pia Kinhult. She would also encourage life science businesses to be more visible and to engage to a greater extent in local and regional affairs to become more approachable rather than remaining somewhat remote and faceless.
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High self-esteem The need to make oneself attractive as a supplier of services in markets at home and abroad is not always easy for either Swedes or Danes to accept: “This has to do with our culture; in both countries our
and punctuality. I believe we can win a large market share globally if we act together, prepare a joint business plan and get down to business”.
Full throttle One of the cards to be marketed strongly is ESS, the European Spallation Source, a world-class research facility which is being built in Lund, and there is also a science corridor from Hamburg to the Öresund region. Again, this is something Pia Kinhult hopes to help bring to the world’s attention in the foreseeable future. “Now and then I feel the political system works too slowly. I suppose that feeling has been with me since my time as a business owner. I want to be at the forefront and to move as quickly as I can,” she says. And she is someone who has moved rapidly from local to regional politics. After 12 years as a politician she has finally worked her way from her role as vice-chairman of the regional assembly to her present position as Chairman, which she took over on 1 November. When you ask her what are the personal qualities that have taken her to this position, her own guess is that it is an innate curiosity combined with wholehearted commitment. A commitment which extends beyond Skåne and the Øresund region. In 2004 she tried to secure the Moderates’ fifth seat in the European Parliament, but a car accident seriously frustrated those plans.
Life-threatening When driving home from a political meeting, aquaplaning made her lose control of her car, which then overturned. She could feel no immediate injury but managed to crawl out and begin collecting her things; fortunately, an ambulance driver made sure she was taken straight to hospital. Pia Kinhult turned out to have suffered life-threatening injuries. Her spleen, which had been ruptured with serious internal bleeding as a consequence, had to be removed in a five-hour operation. This was followed by a lengthy convalescence, which meant she had to drop out of the campaign leading up to the EU elections. Being without a spleen is rated as a five percent disability, but with a particular vaccination it is possible to continue to lead your life as you did before. Pia Kinhult did not let this slow her down; quite the contrary, in fact. Within 18 months, in 2007, she had gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration at the University of Phoenix – her first achievement in higher education since she had not had the patience to complete her university studies when she was young.
Study at night She finished her studies and her political work at the same time, which she managed by working long hours and by making use of the time difference between the United States and Sweden. She got up at 4 in the morning to study on the Internet until the start of her working day in politics.
Pia Kinhult • Born 1959 • Began to study Swedish at Stockholm University at the age of 24 but did not have the patience to complete the course. • Worked as a sales woman with Qantas Airways in Stockholm 1980-85. • Employed as a 26-year-old in her father’s company, Temaki Electronic AB, which she now owns. • 1994: Elected to Ängelholm local council. Four years later, she became a member of Skåne’s regional assembly. • Studied Political Science at Lund University in 1997 and subsequently completed her first long period of study by gaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Administration at the University of Phoenix in 2007. • Elected as new Regional Commissioner for Skåne as of 1 November 2010. • Also vice-chairman of the Moderate Party Association in Skåne and a member of the party board. • Vice-chairman of the Øresund committee. • Member of the Advisory Board for the ESS research facility which is to be located in Lund. • Member of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Freedom of Movement Forum. • Is in a relationship but lives alone, resident in Ängelholm.
Today she hardly understands how she could manage it, but she is pleased with the insight the studies have given her. As Skåne’s top ranking politician, she has financial responsibility for areas including health and healthcare spending in the region, and her course of studies has proved even more useful than she could have imagined. Even though her formal studies have come to an end, she would still find it easy to work long hours. There is always something to get to grips with, and she spends a lot of time travelling around the region. All the hours of the day are not enough unless they are focused and prioritised. So that is exactly what Pia Kinhult does. Something which she does prioritise is her blog, and she also keeps her many followers updated on Twitter; she believes she has an obligation to let voters know what she spends her time on. When, in spite of everything, she has a break from her work, she likes to browse in search of antiques, visit museums and simply enjoy nature. By contrast, she rarely lies on the sofa watching TV in the evenings. Actually, she does not own a TV.
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We are all biologists Do-it-yourself biology (DIYBio) wants to liberate biology from academics and biotech. They are bringing biology out of academia and industry and into your home. By Chris Tachibani A tool for transparency or destruction? The question could be about Wikileaks or DIYbio—do-it-yourself bio logy. This loosely connected global network of biology enthusiasts started in 2008 in Cambridge Massachusetts, rooted in the open science movement that calls for free access to publications, materials, and data. While one goal is “to make science fun again,” the serious side of DIYbio includes intellectual property issues and bioterrorism.
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DIYbio is a community of hip/geek hobby biologists in the tradition of personal computing enthusiasts. Just as they see PCs and code as a playground, DIYbio presents biology as a creative outlet that anyone can do at home. Local groups are found from Chicago to Copenhagen. Martin Malthe Borch, Biotechnology master’s student at Technical University of Denmark (DTU), started a Copenhagen DIYbio group in 2010. He says: “It’s a way to ‘play around’ with science, have fun and socialize. Artists are constantly playing, and form creative collectives where they play. Why shouldn’t natural science do the same?” In fact, Seattle artist Elizabeth Buschmann says, “DIYbio has a performance aspect with hopes of engaging the public through creative approaches to science literacy outside of institutional bounds.” DYIbio groups range from large and organized, like Biocurious in California with its own lab space, to medical student Mike Barnkob of Odense, a group of one in 2009 when he put Denmark on the DIYbio map at DIYbio.org. The site has more than 2000 subscribers, and provides protocols for extracting DNA from strawberries using soap and coffee filters, or for a truly hands-on experience, instructions for making a centrifuge from a power drill. Philosophical musings pepper the blog, with entries on whether it is fair use or piracy to isolate bacterial cultures from commercial yogurt, or yeast from unfiltered beer. DIYbio is compared to computer hacking with the same potential to create viruses—of the biological kind. But DIYbio co-founder Mackenzie Cowell said in a 2009 talk that “biohacking” just means “taking things apart and putting them together in a new way that makes them better.” This kind of tinkering is suited to synthetic bio logy, which mixes and matches genes and cells to create biomachines: Biological systems for tasks like detecting toxins or acting as fuel cells.
Synbio and iGEM Synthetic biology is the entry for DIYbioers like Barnkob, who founded the University of Southern Denmark’s iGEM team. iGEM, for International Genetically Engineered Machine, is an annual biomachine-building contest at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “There’s some overlap in the people who helped start both iGEM and
Photo: Martin Malthe Borch.
Centrifuge made by Biogaragen in Labitat
Photo: Martin Malthe Borch.
Martin Malthe Borch and Mogens Hvidtfeldt who built the centrifuge and PCR machine
DIYbio, but I’d make a distinction,” says Barnkob. “iGEM requires that your team be part of a university”. Restrictions are for liability and funding reasons, but for qualified projects, iGEM sends out components from its toolkit of genetic parts and cells. Barnkob’s team created a bacterial strain covered with hair-like protein flagella that regulates liquid flow in a microcapillary. They won a gold medal for a safety innovation that gives genetically modified bacteria an identification tag. “Synthetic biology is a multidisciplinary field, so iGEM teaches teamwork and collaboration,” says Barnkob. and adds: “This year’s team had students from medicine, chemistry and molecular biology, but this means it kind of falls through the cracks.” Faculty advising, and most importantly funding for the University of Southern Denmark’s future iGEM teams is uncertain. Borch was part of the DTU iGEM team, and in Copenhagen, has the DIYbio group Biogaragen, with about six members who meet monthly to swap ideas, build membership and plan their future lab space. They currently hang out at Labitat, a basement in Frederiksberg for
biohackers working on projects like building cheap PCR machines for home use.
Genotyping fish In Seattle, DIYbio doesn’t have a lab, but does have ideas, including one with a regional twist. A salmon with a growth hormone gene from another fish might become the first genetically engineered animal allowed as human food in the US, although this is years away. Still, Michal Galdzicki, University of Washington Biomedical and Health Informatics PhD student said Seattle DIYbio wants to develop a home protocol for salmon genotyping. Galdzicki says: “It could be educational, an outreach tool and a cheap method for genotyping fish.” Buschmann adds: “It could be something to share with high school students.”
Open source This illustrates what Galdzicki calls the “Seattle school” of DIYbio, which is about “being involved in the local community and encouraging interest in biology”. Buschmann
This led the journal Nature to encourage the movement in a 2010 editorial, saying: “Biohackers are an example of the growing ‘citizen science’ movement, in which the public takes an active role in scientific experiments. Citizen science can help stimulate public support for science, and can introduce fresh ideas from novel disciplines.” Populism is what DIYbio is all about, says Borch, because life sciences are naturally interesting to everyone. “We are all biologists. DIYbio is about knowledge-sharing, open science, education and lab space for everybody. It’s about taking biology down a couple of levels.” Barnkob says: “If we want to tackle big problems we need to think differently, and be more efficient in the way we do medicine, for example. The potential for synthetic biology to help with this is so big. And its also cool to play around with.”
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While one goal is to make science fun again the serious side of DIYbio includes intellectual property issues and bioterrorism”
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DIYbio may be opposed to rules and restrictions, but not safety and ethics. About concerns that synthetic biology can be used for bioterrorism, DIYbioers say that making a pathogen like a smallpox virus from scratch isn’t easy, even with the chromosomal sequence on the Internet. The costs and technical requirements are too high for home biologists to create new organisms, says a recent US bioethics commission on synthetic biology. And old-fashioned bioterrorism, for example with anthrax, requires no synthetic biology at all. Still, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is working with the DIYbio community on bioterrorism awareness and ensuring that authorities know of local garage labs in case of accidents. To promote the use of their powers for good instead of evil, DIYbio is creating biosafety guidelines and codes of conduct.
Awareness and ethics
The art of
describes their meetings as conceptual and philosophical, with discussions about what DIYbio is and where it’s going. This reflects the influence of member Rob Carlson, founder of the technology company Biodesic, author of the book Biology is Technology, The Promise, Peril and New Business of Engineering Life, and public advocate of garage biology since the early 2000s. “Rob is an activist promoting innovation through deregulation, and his ideas have been influential for the open source and DIYbio movements,” says Buschmann, which is why Seattle DIYbioers tend to discuss topics like how to reconcile open source biology with intellectual property rights.
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First Brain Prize to be awarded By Chris Tachibani
Comparisons with the Nobel Prize Comparisons with the Nobel Prize are inevitable. Like the Nobel Prize, the Brain Prize is a personal award and the winners can use the award money without restrictions. It is about the same amount as the Nobel Prize, since a Nobel Prize winner takes home 10 million SEK, around 1 million euro, depending on the exchange rate. Unlike the Nobel Prize, the list of candidates does not come from selected, invited nominators. Anyone can make a Brain Prize nomination through the foundation’s website, except for members of the Lundbeck Foundation, the board of directors and the selection committee; self-nomination is not allowed. The Nobel Prize is truly international, but the Brain Prize is meant to stimulate European research, so it is restricted to scientists who have made significant contributions to European neuroscience. “Winners should have at least 10 years of active research ahead, to give them extra recognition and stimulus while they are still active. A special feature of the Brain Prize is the possibility of awarding it to a group of researchers, since modern research increasingly requires collaboration,” Axelsen says.
Inspire international collaboration Dr Anne-Marie Engel, Director of Research for the Lundbeck Foundation and board member of the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation, says: “Brain Prize winners will show creativity and boldness in the kind of questions they ask and the issues that
For the first time this year, an annual prize of 1 million euro will be awarded for outstanding European research in the field of neuroscience. The Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation announced in May 2010 that it will reveal the first winners of the Brain Prize, as it will be called, in March 2011. Dr Nils Axelsen, MD, DMSc, chief consultant at the National Serum Institute in Denmark, chair of the foundation’s board of directors says: “The Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation was established by the Lundbeck Foundation for the sole purpose of awarding this prize and creating opportunities for Danish researchers to interact with the prize winners. We wanted to develop a major, prestigious European neuroscience prize awarded completely independently of the commercial interests of the Lundbeck Foundation.” For that reason, the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation was established as a trust with money from the Lundbeck Foundation, but with the majority of the board of directors being independent of the Lundbeck Foundation. “The selection committee contains prominent international scientists in the field, and the board of directors will not be involved in evaluating the candidates. The field of neuroscience was chosen because it is an extremely important and complex field, ranging from fundamental neurobiological research to investigating diseases of the brain and nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s, depression and schizophrenia,” Axelsen adds.
Board of Directors of Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation. From the left: Niels Axelsen, Ralf Henningsen, Lauritz Holm-Nielsen, Anne-Marie Engel, Jens Oddershede, Jens Frederik Rehfeld, Anders Björklund
FA C T S
drive their research. It’s also important that they are aware of the potential impact their research has on patient treatment and diagnosis.” In her opinion the Brain Prize will increase awareness of Danish contributions to neuroscience and inspire international collaboration. To help fulfill the long-term goal of boosting Danish neuroscience research through increased connections, the Brain Prize winner will participate in events with neuroscience groups at Danish universities such as lectures, master classes and meetings with research groups and potential collaborators. By building networks with leading European neuroscientists, the Brain Prize hopes to help increase scientist exchanges and attract more international researchers to Danish neuroscience. Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen of the of Copenhagen University works on brain imaging, particularly for studying specific neurotransmitter systems. She is also president of the Danish Society for Neuroscience, so she represents some of the scientists who will potentially benefit from interacting with the first Brain Prize winners. She says the outreach programme is very promising, and she looks forward to the meetings, with ensuing discussions and potential scientist exchanges. The Brain Prize has an impact beyond just research. “The Brain Prize will certainly generate increased at-
The Lundbeck Foundation The Lundbeck Foundation supports Danish research to the tune of DKK 400 million a year and has recognised outstanding research with prizes such as the Nordic Research Prize and awards for young scientists. The Nordic Research Prize will be discontinued, by introducing the Brain Prize.
tention for neuroscience from the public. Brain disorders are a special area in the sense that the people who suffer from those disorders are less able to advocate their case precisely because of their disorder. In addition, brain disorders are stigmatised. For those reasons we need initiatives like the Brain Prize,” says Professor Gitte Moos Knudsen. An official award ceremony for the first Brain Prize will be on 2 May 2011, at the Royal Danish Library, the Black Diamond, in Copenhagen.
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New possibilities for clinical medical research in Denmark With a 12-bed phase 1 unit, Denmark is now able to offer sponsors and clinical researchers facilities for conducting phase 1 trials. By Jorun Christophersen In professional surroundings it is now possible to test drugs in Denmark instead of being forced to travel abroad. DanTrials and Bispebjerg Hospital have opened a Zelo phase 1 unit, at the moment the only one of its kind in the country. The number of clinical studies has been declining steadily in recent years and hence also the number of phase 1 studies. But with the collaboration between Bispebjerg Hospital and the private concern DanTrials, new opportunities have now been created for both the medical industry and academic research.
The perfect match The initiative takers in the collaboration are Dr Jesper Sonne, MD, a chief physician from the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at Bispebjerg Hospital, and Torben Balchen, CEO of DanTrials – a CRO company which he started in 2008. When these two gentlemen collaborate, they match well the assignments required by their customers. Torben Balchen has experience from the pharmaceutical industry and the CRO sector as a result of his work at
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Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Cyncron, among others. As a clinical pharmacologist, Jesper Sonne has experience from the medical world and the phase 1 unit he started up at Gentofte University Hospital in 2002; the latter is now part of the Bispebjerg Hospital unit. “I have no experience of handling high-level companies and contracts personally, but we do now through our collaboration with DanTrials. It’s a good combination, and together we can deliver on the assignment, endowing the institution with a range of professional aspects,” Jesper Sonne says.
CEO of DanTrails Torben Balchen (left) and Dr. Jesper Sonne MD
The phase 1 unit has been assigned an ideal location at Bispebjerg Hospital, which is set to expand into one of the Region’s Super Hospitals. All the clinical pharmacologists in the Region are gathered here, covering everything from early drug development to all aspects of the clinical application of drugs. “As part of a Centre of Excellence, this particular site is the most obvious. The clinical pharmacology studies can now be done here together with the top researchers in the Region,” says Torben Balchen. DanTrials have rented the facilities at Bispebjerg Hospital and have their own staff. They employ two nurses and, in addition, they hire ad hoc staff on an hourly basis.
Primarily, they perform the studies from private sponsors—as the drug industry is called in this sector. Jesper Sonne, a chief physician at the hospital, facilitates the academic and investigator-driven studies. There is interdisciplinary collaboration in as much as the services are purchased from each other, and the reciprocal skills, competences and strong points create the synergistic effect that forms the cornerstone for collaboration. “We sit in on meetings with the clients and can advise one another. Obviously, we have a stock of expertise and experience within early clinical development at DanTrials, in addition to which we’re used to all the paperwork and documentation that accompanies a phase 1 study. That’s our primary task – we’re a dedicated research unit,” says Torben Balchen.
Consolidating clinical research
The vision for the clinical pharmacology speciality and new phase I unit is to enable doctors and PhD students to gain an insight into and an appreciation of the work on early drug studies. The aspects of educating and consolidating the research have been one of Jesper Sonne’s great visions all along: “The collaboration with DanTrials is a great boon for us. We can now get professional help, for the academic studies too. PhD students can obtain help in planning trials and make a start on clinical research, which we so badly need in order to enhance the level of treatment”. Both Torben Balchen and Jesper Sonne emphasize the importance of clinical research in developing jobs in the pharmaceutical industry and in raising the standard of treatment in the health services.
Zelo (The phase I unit) Zelo is a continuation of the research unit by the same name at Gentofte Hospital. Zelo offers research facilities for conducting clinical pharmacology studies, typically phase I and II, which make special requirements in terms of competences and organization. In Zelo both commercial and non-commercial studies can be performed. Commercial studies will primarily be implemented in collaboration with DanTrials ApS.
DanTrials – phase I clinic in Denmark DanTrials ApS is a private Danish contract research organization (CRO) dedicated to efficient clinical research in healthy volunteers and patients. DanTrials performs a wide range of clinical studies in a 12-bed, fully equipped clinical pharmacology
The competition from abroad Torben Balchen’s many years of experience means he knows the industry back to front; he also knows what requirements sponsors have, including the rationale on which they base their choices. In the Western European countries there is great competition for patients, because the large medical companies have projects within the same fields of disease. That generates competition for trial subjects, so there’s a risk that they will already be taking part in other studies, prompting some companies to go to Eastern Europe, where the selection of patients is greater and the price lower. But Denmark has the great advantage of being a thoroughly registered country, where patients do not suddenly “disappear” and the risk of people having made life as a trial subject their livelihood is non-existent. At the same time, like the rest of Scandinavia, Denmark has a good reputation and a very high degree of compliance among its trial subjects. There is no corruption and no “fiddling” of results. That is important in a business where trust means a lot. Although the competition is tough, it does not scare Torben Balchen. “We’re a small unit with a great deal of flexibility and we can offer guidance in the planning of trials, which can be a great help to small medical companies,” says Torben Balchen. The company is set to grow gently, and the challenge will be to attract a suitable number of studies so as to have a balance at all times between activities and resources, as a long time is often spent on negotiating and planning before a sponsor makes up his mind.
research unit located at Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg. Phase I trials are the first stage of drug testing in human subjects. Normally, a small group (20-100) of healthy volunteers will be selected. This phase is designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a drug.
Changes in clinical research in Denmark • The number of clinical studies has dropped from 369 in 2007 to 305 in 2008 • The number of phase I studies has dropped from 15 in 2006 to 9 in 2008 (Source: Danish Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry’s report on clinical research activities in Denmark in 2009)
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Meteoric young medics with both feet on the ground In November 2010 Leo Pharma awarded honorary prizes to promising young researchers, with the DKK one million Gold Award going to the Dane Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen. He has several awards under his belt, and he is a rising star within his field, but this success was not handed to him on a plate.
By Mikkel Ais Andersen Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen is a gung-ho sort of chap. Since completing his medical studies, he has been researching into dermatology at Gentofte Hospital, where he also completed his PhD at the Allergy Research Centre in 2009. He has published 75 scientific articles and has just been awarded Leo Pharma’s honorary award worth DKK one million, which is awarded to promising young researchers with innovative results in their research. You have to be an early bird to follow the young researcher around, and today it has only been possible to catch him on the train between Copenhagen and Jutland. The time is 6.40, and he got up an hour ago to attend a three-day course in Jutland, but that does not bother him. “I love what I do, so hard work and long hours don’t faze me. That’s certainly one of the secrets to success – working hard at something you really find fun isn’t particularly hard at all in reality,” he laughs. And Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen can only be said to have been successful.
Results with a global reach The chairman of the LEO Pharma Research Foundation
Tore Duvold justified the choice of Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen as winner of their DKK one million gold award thus: “The prize goes to Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen on account of his talent and dedication and in recognition of his exceptional contribution to medical science.” His research in dermatology has created international awareness around nickel allergy, for instance – particularly in connection with jewellery and mobile phones. And his research results have shown that Denmark’s controls on nickel in consumer products have resulted in a considerable fall in the number of nickel allergy cases among younger women. In addition, he has brought to bear important key data, which are used in political discussions about ways of tightening up the EU legislation on nickel.
Like winning the lottery On a daily basis the 35-year-old doctor works at the Department of Dermato-Allergology at Gentofte Hospital, where he works full-time with patients, and he was just in Outpatients when he received a call telling him he had been awarded the prize. “I knew I’d been nominated together with ten other young researchers, but I hadn’t really dared hope I might
DanTrials is a private contract research organisation dedicated to efficient clinical research. We perform a wide range of clinical studies in our 12‐bed fully equipped clinical pharmacology research unit located in a university hospital in Copenhagen. Our competent and experienced staff is committed to make your clinical study a true success: be it single‐site testing of the first human dose or later stage clinical studies where we participate as one of many clinical sites. We perform studies in both healthy subjects and in various patient populations, many of which are recruited in collaboration with specialised clinical departments or from our research subject database. DanTrials is conveniently located only 20 minutes from Copenhagen Airport and the Øresund Bridge to Sweden. My colleagues and I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your specific needs and to give you a tour of our facilities. Please call me on +45 4132 4431 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Kind regards, Torben Balchen, CEO DanTrials ApS, c/o Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, Building 15B, DK‐2400 Copenhagen, Denmark +45 72 100 188 email@example.com www.dantrials.com
Photo: Leo Pharma
Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen
Photo: Leo Pharma
Jacob Thyssen at the ceremony for being awarded the Gold Award on DKK 1 mio.
actually win. Then I got this call, and it was exactly like winning the lottery. I was totally speechless and happy, because it’s absolutely incredible what this funding will be able to do for my research.”
On his way to the USA Life in the city of Copenhagen is now set to be swapped for a new existence in the USA when Jacob Thyssen moves with his wife and three children to San Francisco, where he has been awarded a research fellowship at an accredited research laboratory. Here he will be doing experimental research together with a dermatology team consisting of experts in the field. “It’s an indescribable opportunity for me personally, but equally so for the launch it will give my research. I can now spend all my time researching, and that cannot help but generate entirely new results and improvements. I’ll now have time to really perfect my qualifications within my field,” he tells me enthusiastically.
Research and patient contact – a perfect combination In the USA Jacob Thyssen is set to research, among other things, the correlation between having a defective skin barrier and the risk of developing disease. In fact, ten percent of all Danes have a congenital skin barrier defect, which increases the risk of skin diseases and other systemic disorders such as diabetes, food allergies or asthma. That way, his research can be instrumental in enabling patients all over the world to receive better diagnosis and treatment of, say, the commonest chronic children’s disorder in Denmark – infantile eczema, which affects one child in every five.
When he completes his research in the USA, he will be returning to Denmark, where he will complete his training as a specialist in dermatology. Not that all of his time will be spent on research, because for Jacob Thyssen the optimum division of work is a split down the middle: 50 per cent research and 50 per cent patient contact. “It’s important to do research because of the degree of immersion and the results I can achieve, which can then help patients. But I’d never want to do without that patient contact, which is highly enriching for me. Combining the two will be absolutely perfect, and that’s how I want to carry on working in the future,” he concludes.
From Copenhagen to North Jutland Jacob Thyssen has always displayed a hard-work ethic, and he has taken all the bumps and knocks he has encountered along the way as challenges to be overcome. It came as a slight surprise, for example, that after drawing lots he had to spend a year and a half in North Jutland as part of his rotational training programme. Having always lived in Copenhagen otherwise, this student had to take a deep breath and swallow, as he himself puts it, before heading off to the opposite end of the country. “There was no arguing really, so off I went. The first six months were a bit tough, admittedly, but given that my wife was there too and the training was good, I actually got a great deal of benefit from the rotational period,” he says, with an optimistic sense of indomitability that seems to be characteristic of the young researcher. During his period of study, and since, he has always maintained a focus on what he wanted out of his medical career. But that has not kept him from exploring various fields. At the end of his medical studies, he started to research into
tuberculosis at the Serum Institute, and in 2005 he was employed at Gentofte Hospital, where he worked first for a year and a half in the clinic and then for three years as a researcher at the Allergy Research Centre.
No short-cuts “I’ve achieved a lot in a really short time, and I believe that one of the reasons for my having received the award from LEO Pharma is that my research has covered the gamut and plumbed the depths. I’ve had dealings with several subject fields, and in the field of allergies, for example, I’ve delved into different subfields. In addition, I have touched on gene research, which is making great strides forward at the moment,” he explains. According to Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen, there are no short-cuts or magic formulae for success, and his advice is very simple: “Channel all your energy into your work. You have to think it’s fun, otherwise you can’t be bothered to work at it as hard as that success requires. You have to be entertained by your work, then I think success will follow automatically. But it’s taken many years of hard pedalling for me to get to where I am today.”
It is all about good colleagues Jacob Pontoppidan Thyssen’s hard work and talent have
previously brought him international honour, and in September this year he was awarded the Jan Wahlberg Prize for the best and most original research project at the European Contact Dermatitis Congress. The Jan Wahlberg Prize is also awarded to junior researchers who have made a name for themselves in contact dermatitis research, and with his discovery that the protein filaggrin in the skin increases the risk of hand eczema, he has improved the scope for providing information to eczema patients. He received the award in front of 800 other dermatologists from around the world. However, he does not wish to take sole credit for the success that appears to constantly follow in his wake, as he does not think he would have achieved what he has without his colleagues and support from his family: “In the research world, it’s all about having good colleagues. I’ve relied incredibly heavily on being surrounded by colleagues who’ve both supported and guided me, and a good share of the credit for the results I’ve arrived at is therefore due to them. Generally speaking, we have a good research environment here in Denmark, which fosters knowledge-sharing and mentoring, and that has most definitely helped to give me inquisitiveness and drive. And I feel that’s what defines any good, ambitious researcher,” he concludes.
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Biologic Media makes audiovisual productions for life science companies, institutions and organisations -. From from script to screen. Biotech and medtech companies works with complex science, which is most often communicated through specialiszed scientific journals and traditional text-heavy web pages that only reach a limited audience. Biologic Media translates complex medical science into video productions that are entertaining, informative, scientifically truthful, accurate and visu-
TTO A/S is a consulting firm that specialises in the commercialisation of emerging technologies. The company operates as a unique liaison between research and business, serving both industrial customers and universities. The customers of TTO A/S include many of Europe’s most innovative organisations. TTO A/S delivers value to life science customers in the areas of medical devices, biotechnology, food sciences, and pharmaceuticals.
Upcoming Life Science Events Major International Events MARCH 2011 March 13 - 18, 2011 Pittcon 2011 Annual conference and exposition on laboratory science. The latest technology and instrumentation, abstracts on technical presentations, short courses and networking sessions with scientists from around the world. Venue: Atlanta, Georgia, US More information: www.pittcon.org March 14 - 16, 2011 BIO-Europe Spring 2011 BIO-Europe Spring enables dele gates to identify, meet and get partnerships started with companies across the life science value chain. Venue: Milan, Italy More information: www.ebdgroup.com/bes March 14 - 18 2011 X-Gen Congress & Expo X-Gen Congress and Expo is the cross fertilization of established and emerging genomic technologies, along with applications. Venue: San Diego, California, US More Information: www.healthtech.com/xgn March 27 - 29, 2011 BioVision 2011 A panorama of the major innovations underway in life sciences and a vision of the future life sciences industry model. 180 worldwide decision makers and experts will join the conference in more than 40 sessions, 16 round tables and 4 workshops. Venue: Lyon, France More information: www.biovision.org/bv2011 March 30 - April 1, 2011 BIO Windhover & Pharmaceutical Strategic Outlook 2011 For the second year in a row, the BIO-Windhover partnering event is combined with Pharmaceutical
Strategic Outlook for an in-depth analysis on the top issues affecting the industry Venue: New York City, US More information: www.biowindhover.com/content/ Main.aspx
from around the world along with hundreds of China-based developers of novel technologies for two days of partnering. Venue: Beijing, China More information: www.ebdgroup.com/cbpf
May 16 - 17, 2011 EuroMedtech™ 2011 EuroMedtech™ is a medical technology partnering conference, providing collaboration opportunities to medtech decision makers and investors. Also attending are companies serving the industry, such as manufacturers, law firms, CROs and distributors. Venue: Turin, Italy More information: www.ebdgroup.com/emt
April 12 - 14, 2011 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo 2011 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo 2011 unites 1,700+ life sciences, pharmaceutical, clinical, healthcare, and IT professionals from 29 countries. Venue: Boston, MA, US More information: www.bio-itworld.com/Featured_ Events.aspx
MAY 2011 May 4 - 6, 2011 BioIndia 2011 “Biotechnology for a Better Tomorrow - Destination India” has been aptly chosen as the focus for the forthcoming event Bangalore India Bio 2011. India has emerged as a significant force on the global biotech map, and Bangalore, with over 200 Biotech Companies, constitutes the largest Bio-cluster of India. Venue: Bangalore, India More information: www.bangaloreindiabio.in/BIO2011/ index.php May 8 - 11, 2011 BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing The world’s largest industrial biotechnology event for business leaders, investors and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals. Venue: Toronto – Ontario, Canada More Information: www.bio.org/worldcongress May 11 - 12, 2011 ChinaBio Partnering Forum 2011 ChinaBio Partnering Forum will attract biotech and pharma leaders
May 23 - 24, 2011 BioEquity Europe 2011 BioEquity Europe 2011 is an independent venue for public and private biotech investors throughout Europe. Venue: Paris, France More information: www.ebdgroup.com/ebd/ conferences.htm May 30 - 31, 2011 Interphex Asia Interphex Asia is dedicated to the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Asia. Bringing together the pharmaceutical manufacturing professionals in the Asia-Pacific region and international suppliers, the event is the platform to network, meet industry suppliers and get updates on industry developments Venue: Singapore More information: www.manufacturingchemist.com/ events
Upcoming Life Science Events Events by Medicon Valley Alliance March 10, 2011 Introductory Meeting to Medicon Valley Alliance Do you want to know more about MVA’s initiatives and services? Do you know how to make use of our international network? Do you know of the opportunities we offer for news coverage and sponsorships? This meeting is open for members and non-members who want to know how to benefit from a membership of MVA. Venue: Medicon Valley Alliance, Ørestad, Denmark Time: 15.00-18.00 More information: www.mva.org/calendar May 3 and May 10, 2011 IPR-Mediated Commercialisation of Technology Patent experts from Høiberg A/S will talk about how to design and implement an IPR-strategy to support your business plan through the various phases from innovation to market. Venue: Scion DTU, Denmark (3 May) & Medeon, Sweden (10 May) Time: 8.30-10.30 More information: www.mva.org/calendar
April 26, 2011 Ordinary General Meeting in Medicon Valley Alliance For MVA members only. Venue: Medicon Valley Alliance, Ørestad, Denmark Time: 16:30 - 18:00 followed by dinner More information: www.mva.org/ordinarymeeting May 25, 2011 Medicon Valley Golf Championship 2011 The annual Golf Championship for Executives in Medicon Valley. Participation is limited to MVA members. Venue: PGA of Sweden National, Sweden Time: 07:30 - 16:00 More information: www.mva.org/golf September 28, 2011 Medicon Valley Outsourcing Workshop 2011 A one-day workshop about outsourcing with focus on learning, networking and competition. Participation is limited to CRO’s, CMO’s, biotech and pharma companies. Venue: Medicon Valley Alliance, Ørestad, Denmark Time: 09:00 - 18:00 More information: www.mva.org/outsourcing2011
SIU24 Cigarette smoking machine The automated SIU24 smoking machine is designed and developed in close cooperation with world-leading respiratory researchers and has been successfully used since 2002. Key features: - Real-time smoke monitoring - User-friendly interface - Easy to clean - Data logging - PC Software Don´t comprimise your research, use custom-made equipment! www.promech.se
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events in 2011 e Arab v Health, e n Dubai, t s January i n24–27 2011
us at booth ZW18 Meet Arab Health, Dubai, January 24–27 Bio Europe Spring*, Milan, March 14–16 Meet us at booth ZW18 Skåne CRO Spring*, delegation to UK, April14–16 Bio Europe Milan, March Nordic MedTech Roadshow, Skåne CRO delegation to UK,April April Bio Partnering China*/**, Beijing, Nordic MedTech Roadshow, April May 11–12 Euro MedTech*,China*/**, Turin, MayBeijing, 16–17May 11–12 Bio Partnering ILSI Tel Aviv, EuroBiomed, MedTech*, Turin,May May23–25 16–17 Bio 27–30 ILSI USA**, Biomed,Washington, Tel Aviv, MayJune 23–25 Bio USA**, Washington, June 27–30 * 200 Euros discount per participant for Skåne based companies, contact us for more information * 200 Euros discount per participant for Skåne based ** A specific seminar planned in association companies, contactisus for more informationto this event, more information will be provided ** A specific seminar is planned in association to this event, more information will be provided
Invest in Skåne Invest incompanies Skåne Helping set up and Helping companies set up and grow in southern Sweden grow in southern Sweden Inward Investment Agency for Skåne, we assist your business from first contacts Agency to set-up expansion, all your free of charge! Inward Investment forand Skåne, we assist business Here are some services we offer: from first contacts to set-up and expansion, all free of charge! Here are some we offer: Contacts withservices businesses and academic circles, potential local authorities collaborators Contacts withand businesses and academic circles, potential collaborators local authorities Advice relatedand to setting up your business in Sweden such legal,related labour to and tax advice as Advice setting up your business in Sweden such as legal, labour and tax advice Introductions to service providers such as lawyers, and recruitment accountants, Introductionsrelocation to service specialists providers such as lawyers, companies accountants, specialists and recruitment Selection andrelocation planning of visits to suitable sites for companies R&D, headquarters, back office etc manufacturing, Selection and planning of visits to suitable sitesfunctions for manufacturing, R&D, headquarters, back office functions etc
Please contact us for more information E-mail: email@example.com Please contact information Phone: +46us 40for 67more 53 465 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: Dockplatsen 26, 211 19 Malmö, Sweden Phone: 40 67 53 465 Website: +46 www.invest.skane.com Address: Dockplatsen 26, 211 19 Malmö, Sweden Website: www.invest.skane.com EUROPEAN UNION European Regional Development Fund EUROPEAN UNION European Regional Development Fund
LifeSciences Insight is solely devoted to the life science industry. The magazine addresses numerous relevant issues like Economy, Investme...
Published on May 7, 2012
LifeSciences Insight is solely devoted to the life science industry. The magazine addresses numerous relevant issues like Economy, Investme...