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  • All Tracks
  • The Great Hall
  • Aston Webb Reception
  • Elgar Concert Hall
  • G30
  • G31
1570780800 - 1570780800
The Great Hall
1570781700 - 1570785900
The Great Hall
1570786200 - 1570787100
The Great Hall
1570787100 - 1570788900

BioLearn Masterclass: How the Drug Discovery Industry Works

This Masterclass will cover a brief overview of the following topics in a small group training-session:
  • The commercial landscape
  • Human biology, pathology and drug targets
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Industry pressures and responses
  • Industry in transition
1570788900 - 1570790700

BioLearn Masterclass: Presentation Skills for Scientists

This Masterclass will provide an overview the following topics in a small-group training session:
  • Nervousness and voice control
  • Verbal scientific delivery and communications
  • Slide content and quality
1570789800 - 1570792500
Elgar Concert Hall

Panel: Going to America?

The US Healthcare market is valued at more than $2.8 Trillion and is frequently the number one priority for UK / Europe life sciences companies looking to expand their international presence and set up foreign subsidiaries. A US presence also facilitates the access to the US investment and capital markets, and the downstream opportunity to IPO via the Nasdaq equity market.

Whilst there are many similarities in business approach and language, there are also significant cultural and legal differences which can catch out the unwary when seeking to establish and operate a local entity.
Expanding into new markets, geographies, and market segments can be immensely rewarding but also challenging if approached without adequate preparation, knowledge and support. Companies need to think strategically about which avenues they need to explore to develop realistic market access strategies that create the opportunity for growth and long-term value creation.

Our expert panel will provide well informed advice as to how best to approach establishing a North American entity and develop practical strategies and plans to optimise operations, organisational structures, financials and processes across the life sciences value chain to maximise their chances of business success in this dynamic healthcare market.

Our panel will offer advice on the following topics:

  • East, West, or Middle – are there areas more suitable for R&D or manufacturing operations?
  • Impact of time zones, access and travel
  • What are the varying incentives and taxation differences between States
  • FDA clearance and approval to obtain FDA certification
  • Risk management and insurance provisions to consider
  • Incorporation or branch legal structure?
  • Visas, relocation, tax, immigration issues
  • Differences in IP between the UK and US e.g. first to file vs first to invent
  • Understanding how the health system works
  • Access to investment, capital, grants and where to leverage practical setup support
  • Tips on recruiting & retaining local staff
  • Identifying and interacting with a new range of US out-source partners
  • Local networking and interaction with the community
1570792500 - 1570796100

'How To' Develop & Manage Your Corporate Reputation to Boost Value

A strong corporate reputation is a vital component of an organisation’s success, with financial analyst recommendations, CSR strategies, media exposure, industry collaborations and positive perceptions all helping to boost market value. Yet, many organisations ignore these aspects as they grapple with the more hard-edged, day-to-day urgencies – reputation is a long-term concept that is difficult to quantify.

One thing is certain, there is a high cost to pay for losing a good reputation and your good standing with stakeholders.  A smaller firm may be devastated by loss of reputation, so it pays to have a strategy in place outlining how you plan to build and manage your corporate reputation.

This ‘How To’ session will support you in doing just that, addressing the importance of positively promoting your organisation by highlighting your key assets; how to showcase your unique strengths when pitching for funding or entering into a collaboration, and the importance of understanding cultural communication differences when networking with investors and the wider industry. 

Our expert speakers will also cover:
  • Experience and information – how do others view you based on direct and indirect interaction?
  • Getting key stakeholders to perceive the company as credible, reliable, responsible and trustworthy
  • How do you develop a positive identity based on demonstrating consistent performance over a sustained period?
  • Leveraging stakeholder support for the firm in times of difficulty
  • Using reputation to generate sustained competitive advantage
  • The importance of key opinion leader endorsement
  • The role of social media in today's fast moving world
  • Managing your brand and ensure it is supported by stakeholder experience
  • In times of skill shortages, a good business reputation assists in employee recruitment, development and retention
  • Ethics – a firm that has an ethical reputation will engender positivity
My Schedule


Instinctif Partners
1570792500 - 1570793400
The Great Hall
1570796100 - 1570799700

'How To' Successfully Prepare for a Company Exit

When it comes to preparing for a company exit, there is no universal answer.  Founders want to sell for as much money as possible (so do investors) and buyers want to spend as little as possible, so both parties need to find alignment.

Investors capitalise a company with one objective in mind: to get a return on their investment.

So, whilst Venture Capitalists, business angels and other types of investors may not look for an exit in the first few years of a start-up, they will require some type of liquidity event to put cash on the table. Exits provide capital to start-up investors, which can then return the money to their limited partners (in the case of Venture Capitalists) or to the investors themselves (in the case of business angels). If the return is sufficiently robust, this may encourage further investment in additional, early-stage Life Sciences companies.

This ‘How To’ session will explore this fascinating, and for most companies, commercially essential aspect of their corporate progression covering all stages of company development, whether they be start-ups or more mature companies with a transaction in their business plan.

Our experts will provide a practical ‘How To’ guide on:
  • When is the right time to exit?
  • Trade sales: A buyer takes over the start-up using cash or stock as a compensation
  • Floatation / IPO: A company floats on a stock market, selling a significant number of their shares in the process to institutional and non-institutional investors. IPO's can provide large sums of capital to all parties involved (founders, early employees and investors)
  • When and why do IPO’s make sense?
  • Which exchanges are likely to yield the best performance: NASDAQ, AIM, Euronext and other markets are potential vehicles for floatation
  • What happens post-IPO?
  • How do you progress from a VC/PE based environment to more institutional investors?
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: These transactions can imply a merging with a similar but larger company or a merger of equals to create increased critical mass. Public companies that have suffered a technology failure but still have development cash represent good reverse targets
  • How to go about it -  Is there a role for advisers?
  • Go to market: Companies that can establish a solid business model and scale might choose to stay independent and reinvest the profits in the company whilst avoiding the public markets and the obligations that come with it
My Schedule


1570798800 - 1570802400
The Great Hall
1570799700 - 1570801500

Grow Your own Workforce - an Introduction to Modern Apprenticeships

1570802400 - 1570805100
Elgar Concert Hall

Panel: The Collaboration Paradox

This panel will address the mechanics of a successful collaboration; the causes of problems and suggested solutions to maximise success.

Any entrepreneur with a vision may establish a new company, but it takes a collaboration with many people, both internally and externally, to ultimately deliver a successful business.

Within the Life Sciences sector, the sheer complexity of the ecosystem dictates the need for a wide range of multi-disciplinary skills, competencies, and experiences in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and very few organisations can deliver this in isolation.

Typically, the average return on collaboration is four times the initial investment and this ROI results from cost avoidance, cost reductions, business optimisation, accelerated innovation, improved agility, and ultimately better business decisions.

Yet, things do not always go to plan. Joining different cultures can be challenging when philosophies differ and there are times when collaborations just don’t work out. You can lose some control, waste money and time so it’s critical to think through the scenario from all angles.  Simply put, collaboration isn’t always easy.

This panel explores the challenges of collaboration, not in a negative light, but in the spirit of appreciating some of the potential pitfalls in order to make interactions more positive for you in the future.

The panel will cover topics such as:
  • Who is the best partner for you? Big Pharma, another Biotech, CRO or advisory firm?
  • How does your organisation differentiate who is potentially the best-fit before an engagement?
  • Identifying what you want from the relationship, and ensuring collaborative roles are clearly defined
  • Protecting your interests – agreements and the legal angle
  • IP ownership – background and foreground IP considerations and who owns what. Do you have freedom to operate if you need to pivot?
  • What to do when things aren’t going as planned and how to exit the collaboration cleanly if appropriate
  • Establishing productive working practices and maintaining focus, assessing and reviewing progress with a clear delineation of responsibilities to avoid confusion, frustration and dysfunction
  • The importance of clear communication
  • The importance of authenticity, avoiding misrepresentation of skill sets
  • More doing and less talking – shifting the emphasis onto real-time problem solving with others
1570804200 - 1570807800

BioLearn Masterclass: Social Media for Beginners

This session will cover:
  • Why use social media and what are the driving forces behind it
  • Where and how to start using social media for business
  • The key features to create a successful social media strategy
  • How to set up and use key social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • What content to create for your business on social media  
1570804200 - 1570807800

'How To' Benefit from the Life Sciences Strategy - where next?

Our expert panel will facilitate a discussion around The Government's Life Sciences Industrial Strategy of 2017, identifying where improvements can be made, with the aim to advocate for a bottom-up, forward looking approach driven by a new generation of CEO’s and entrepreneurs, when the strategy is next re-visited.

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy was significantly important in seeking to provide a long-term strategic roadmap for UK business. As we navigate the challenges of leaving the European Union, it is important we continue to make the domestic landscape as attractive as possible to drive investor confidence and energise inward investment.

Whilst some aspects of the strategy have been uniformly welcomed, such as the support for blue sky research and harnessing the use of data to benefit patients, there have been criticisms too.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee's report 'Life Sciences Industrial Strategy: Who's driving the bus? (26th April 2018)' raised serious concerns about the Government's commitment to delivering the strategy which has so far been "wholly inadequate" and recommends there should be sweeping simplification of its implementation arrangements.

The House also considered that in order to be truly successful the NHS must be a key constituent in the Life Science Sector Deal and be an active research partner, providing a market for the innovative treatments and diagnostics that the sector develops.

Join us and contribute your thoughts on the many challenges facing life sciences companies in making the objectives of the Industrial Strategy a reality, including:
  • How to deal with the shortage of talent especially STEM graduates
  • How to move the focus from Big Pharma to practical consideration that support SME’s, the future of the sector
  • What is the strategy for linking life science clusters all over the UK to create a national approach?
  • Does the national strategy provide enough practical support to SME’s to achieve their individual objectives?
1570805100 - 1570807800
1570805100 - 1570807800
Elgar Concert Hall

Panel: Clinical Trials - Getting it Right First-Time

Clinical research is one of the most expensive areas of drug development and bringing a drug to market can take up to 13 years and involve a huge amount of capital investment.

Setting up to do a first in man trial places many demands on a small company, particularly those companies where many of the personnel are scaling a steep learning curve.  Not only do you have to think about your preclinical work, source appropriate quality materials for your trial but also design the trial, identify appropriate partners and receive the necessary approval from the regulators.  There’s plenty of scope for wasting money and time – something you or your investors will be keen to avoid.

To keep costs low, maximise competitive advantage, and deliver life-saving therapies to patients as quickly as possible, the life Sciences industry must leverage novel management models, new technologies and creative study approaches to accelerate clinical trials.

Our expert panel will discuss these and other relevant issues pertaining to successful Clinical Trials Including:
  • Top tips for successful clinical development
  • Adapting your work practices to comply with GLP and getting ready for GCP
  • Sourcing clinical grade materials – when is GMP appropriate and identifying credible suppliers
  • Designing your trial to maximise your asset’s value
  • Selecting clinical development partners - boutique, multinational behemoth, therapeutically focused - or even no CRO at all, and how best to work with them
  • Difficulties in recruiting volunteers and enrolling them in a study
  • Contract and budget negotiations with investigative sites
  • Country selection and initiation, regulatory compliance, and standardising procedures – the pros and cons of conducting studies in in emerging markets
1570807800 - 1570809600

Grow Your own Workforce - an Introduction to Modern Apprenticeships

This session will provide an overview of the apprentice options available to businesses and provide an insight into how apprenticeships can benefit you. We will cover the practicalities of how to recruit apprentices, and how to access the government support to fund apprentice training costs. You’ll also hear some case study examples of how it all works in practice, along with some practical advice and tips.
1570807800 - 1570813200
The Great Hall
1570808700 - 1570812300

'How To' Embrace the Brave New World of A.I. & Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has already established a small but growing foothold in the life sciences industry, starting with drug discovery and development and now in emerging applications across the product life cycle. Opportunities extend across several data-rich processes generating the expectation that A.I. will bring a constant stream of disruptive changes to our sector.

A.I. represents an opportunity for life sciences companies to transform business at all levels — organisation structures, processes, and people. However, companies must have a plan for what they hope to get out of the technology. They need to establish tangible projects and identify a practical starting point to take advantage of the best and most immediate opportunities, to explore a future not yet imagined.

While most in the life sciences sector agree that A.I. is likely to reshape our industry in the longer-term, the technology is still relatively in its infancy despite some benefits starting to emerge. Pockets of early adopters are driving new approaches and seeking a competitive edge to accelerate innovation and patient outcomes, but as yet these are in the minority of firms. A.I. will not be a great disrupter due to its prevalence, but rather, how effectively firms employ A.I. will determine the biggest winners.

Our How-to session will bring together thought leaders in the sector to explore A.I. related trends, when to embrace them and how to prepare for the future, as well as:
  • Lack of talent – both A.I. developers and multi-disciplinary staff are in demand and short-supply. How can the sector attract and nurture the necessary skills?
  • Are Start-ups and tech companies more likely to take the lead in A.I. powered drug discovery the rate of progress in modern machine learning outpaces the rate of progress in the pharmaceutical sciences
  • Can we expect Big Pharma to accelerate acquisitions within the sector?
  • How can we holistically view the potential interactions between A.I., machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning, big data and predictive analytics?
  • Having an inherent knowledge of how A.I. to understand how to define practical objectives for the utilisation of the technology
  • Adopting disruptive technology in a highly regulated industry
  • Are sensors / data capture, Big Data handling and assisted interpretation the future of clinical / patient interactions?
1570814100 - 1570816800
The Great Hall