As we were making our way back home from Chicago (on delayed flights, of course), several things struck us about BIO2013. We’ve talked about BIO in the past. But how was the ’13 edition different? The same?
We spend all of our time in the Business Forum conducting One-on-One meetings. So it is difficult for us to discuss sweeping conference overviews. Regardless, here are a few observations based on our limited participation.
Assets: Assets? You want assets? No problem. There are an innumerable number of assets available in all therapeutic areas and all stages of development.
Good Assets: Now these are a bit harder to come by, especially those that are near-to-market. After all, if they are good and near-to-market, then they’re likely partnered already. And if not…watch out (just ask Allergan about the risks associated with acquiring late-stage, un-partnered assets).
In fact, one of the more common questions we heard from prospective clients was “Is my asset licensable?” This is a complex question, and we’re formulating some thoughts around how to answer this question.
Earlier is Better: We’re definitely seeing more companies interested in earlier stage assets compared to previous years. This is no surprise, and others with more data have made similar comments. Plus, now that competition from VCs is decreasing, it’s likely that big pharma/big biotech can drive better deals for themselves.
International Mix: Over 40% of our meetings were with folks from North American companies, down slightly from 2012. We met many more representatives from Asia (29%) compared to 2012, with Europe (27%) down slightly compared to 2012. Now much of this is driven by the projects we are working on currently. So we wouldn’t recommend drawing much of a conclusion from this limited sample.
Social Life: We were quite puzzled at 5 pm on Monday when the entire convention center closed and everyone was “encouraged” to leave quickly. What happened to the 5 pm refreshments? It sounds trite, but we consider these social events a very important part of our overall networking goal at BIO.
Exhibition Floor Traffic: Foot traffic felt a bit light this year. We don’t know what the final attendance was, and it could be that the cavernous McCormick center had room for all. Still, walking around was not a problem, except for the times when we hustled between the Business Forum and meetings in the Exhibition. (We can now claim to have walked from China to Argentina in 5 minutes). It’s good to have meetings with companies who are in the Exhibition and no in the Business Forum, but some Segways may prove useful next year.
One suggestion we have which may not be physically possible is to have the Business Forum in the middle of the Exhibition, with exits on all sides. This and clear signage can make our travels between the Exhibition and the Business Forum more efficient.
TweetUp: HT to CoryTromblee for organizing the TweetUp.
The Bag: The bag was nothing compared to that fetching man purse we received
BIO Stats: BIO posted their official stats here.
BIO2014: We’re pleased to see that BIO 2014 will be in San Diego in June. We can all but guarantee that the weather will be far better than Chicago in April!