#BIO2016: The Streets of San Francisco Edition 
Posted by Carlos on May 31, 2016

Next week, our industry makes an unusual return trip to Union Square, as we return for another conference. This time, it’s BIO.

BIO is unlike other conferences on our circuit, for a few reasons:

Size – BIO isn’t just big. It’s massive. Consider, for example, that there are over 6,000 delegates registered for One-on-One partnering. That is more than twice the size of the European partnering conferences, and it does not include the folks in the exhibition who are not in the partnering area.

Variety – With this size we also get variety. Want to meet Eastern European CROs? Got ’em. How about a few universities from Australia? Yes. There are several attending. VC? PE? Celebrity speakers? Yes, yes, and yes.

Planning – BIO does not take as much planning as the JP Morgan / Biotech Showcase week, but it’s darn close. We have a few meetings outside the convention center, which is very JPM-like. In fact, navigating the Moscone Center will be especially interesting this year. Looking at our meeting schedule so far, we can already see a few instances where we will have to dash from West to South, then back to West over a 3-meeting cycle. If we are late for a meeting, it’s likely due to a flat tire on our Segway.


We won’t bore with the usual “wear comfortable shoes” and “carry lots of business cards” advice. Instead, here are a few suggestions which really work:

Three Slides – For every client, we typically carry presentations with anywhere from 10-30 slides. These are a great way to organize our thoughts, and engage in a dialogue with our clients. However, in a 25 minute meeting, we typically only discuss two or three slides, and leave the rest to answer questions. The rest of the detail comes during follow-up.

Know Your Objective – Your profile should clearly state why you are at BIO and what you are looking for (this assumes your profile is complete, which is another issue entirely).

Be Realistic – An analysis we perform quite often is what we call a “license-ability analysis.” It is a method of prioritizing portfolios which looks at assets from the licensing perspective. It goes beyond issues such as peaks year sales and reimbursement, and delves deeply into the asset’s characteristics from the other side of the table. The ultimate aim of this approach is to help prospective licensors focus their efforts on those assets which have the greatest probability of achieving a license, recognizing that it is not always the most advanced asset which comes out on top.

So if you find yourself armed with a lengthy menu of licensing opportunities, or if you find yourself flogging the same data from BIO2014, then it may be time for a rethink about your business development goals and/or process.

See you in SFO!

P.S. Extra points for anyone who gets the TV reference in the title…

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