eHealth: Where IT meets biotech
16.02.2016 - The application of digital technology in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector was the focal point of the 9th Berlin Conference on IP in Life Sciences. According to the 100+ expert attendees, the potential of new technologies was raised through the cooperation of IT and life science specialists.
Thilo Kaltenbach’s analyse is conclusive, “The large pharma companies are rebooting their medical tools and equipment.” The management consultant from Roland Berger was one of the many experts, who highlighted in mid-February at the Berlin Conference on IP in Life Sciences "Digital Health Solutions", the factors that play an important role in E-health applications.
Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are currently sticking to the motto "Service beyond the pill", in particular on new sales and marketing scenarios based on apps and applicators. But in Kaltenbach’s opinion, that’s just the sidelines: "No one knows what ideas will establish themselves in the end. Therefore a large company is highly unlikely to go out on a limb. There is a lot of cooperating and experimenting."
Sanofi presented the issue of E-health from a Big pharma perspective at the annual BIOCOM event. Vice President Francois Nicolas, joint-responsible for diabetes management, stressed at the conference held in the French Embassy in Berlin-Mitte, the diversity of actors in the market and why pharma relies on partnerships with IT giants such as IBM, Qualcomm, Apple or Alphabet. According to Nicolas: "We are currently entering a new era of health management. We need to simplify the patient’s dealings with the disease in everyday life, so that the therapies can be used effectively." Digital solutions, particularly in common diseases such as diabetes, are currently in vogue.
Further sessions at the conference emphasised the significance of digital solutions for the research and development work. Manuel Gea from Bio-Modeling Systems in Paris pointed out, among other things, the unreliability of published data and the need for Smart Data instead of Big Data. The insufficient development of new active substances in many years of clinical trials and patient’s increasing easy access to information was once again the focal point for Roland Brus, the founder of the online platform Mytomorrows. The legal experts from Vossius, among others, informed the attendees why, under certain conditions, software is patentable and which formulations are to be observed.
A pitching session was held at the end of the day. Six invited entrepreneurs from all over Europe presented their business ideas to a jury of investors. In the end, the Bayer Accelerator Berlin-based start-up, Viomedo was the one to convince the jury. The online marketplace aims to bring drug developers and patients together to push-start clinical trials as early and as soon as possible. The crowd favourite, however, was the Spanish firm Mint Labs, which has developed a cloud-based solution for the evaluation of neurobiological MRI scans.