300 Participants at Biotech Days
More than 300 participants attended the Biotech Days in Gothenburg arranged by SwedenBIO at its annual meeting. Gothenburg is one of the most expansive biotech regions in Scandinavia and hosts a major R&D center for AstraZeneca. During the past 18 months, SwedenBIO has grown rapidly and has today 75 member companies. Discussions are under way to open up a branch for advanced Med-Tech companies following an interest from leading companies like Gambro AB and Elekta AB. Med-Tech companies share many challenges with biotechs, such as the availability to seed and bridge capital, and to keep up excellence in research and demanding regulatory requirements.
“We have expanded our membership base from seven founders to 75 member companies within the last year. We are happy for the strong support from the industry leaders, which has enabled us to establish SwedenBIO as the voice of the biotech industry. The recognition by leading Med-Tech executives is promising, allowing us to have a coherent approach towards our government and other stakeholders as well as giving critical mass,” says Dr. Hans Nyctelius, CEO of SwedenBIO. The organization, whose objective it is to improve the industrial environment for biotech in Sweden, launched an action plan “A National Biotech Agenda for Growth” in February proposing 18 governmental actions to secure Sweden's leading position. “We have very good discussions with our government and we expect to have a National Biotech Committee in place in Q3,” says Nyctelius.
The Biotech Days hosted a seminar “Future Trends in Biotechnology” where panels on current stem cell research were followed by a speech of Dr. Martin Nicklasson, Executive VP Global Drug Development at AstraZeneca, on their outlook for big pharma. He expressed a strong need for bio-techs and big pharma to collaborate more as well as for a pro-active stance of the Swedish government to allow Astra-Zeneca to strengthen its presence in Sweden. The leading academic IP center in Scandinavia, the Center for Intellectual Property Studies at Chalmers University provided the venue for the seminar “Biotech IP Focus '04”. More than 180 international participants discussed the strategic management of intellectual property rights in biotechnology and how to create value from IP in R&D development and business. Keynote speakers included Robert Blackburn, Head of Legal at Chiron Corp., and Peter de Weerd, Global Head of Patents at Novartis Pharma. SwedenBIO will continue to arrange top-level seminars addressing critical business topics. A Swedish-US biotech day is scheduled for September 9, 2004 in Stockholm.
Dr. Hans Nyctelius, CEO SwedenBIO