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Product Development 

Europe’s next act & the Porter report: a BioCentury podcast

Feb 2, 2021 | 2:30 AM GMT

With the U.K.’s split from the EU in the rearview mirror, what are the new opportunities for each side? On the latest BioCentury This Week podcast, BioCentury’s editors are joined by Executive Director Josh Berlin, who previews BioCentury’s upcoming Bio€quity Europe conference. They also discuss Rep. Katie Porter’s report on pharma M&A and the latest in the FDA commissioner selection process.

Berlin previews the themes that the May 17-19 Bio€quity meeting — the conference’s 21st incarnation — will address: Where is biopharma innovation headed in Europe? What innovation are investors funding? What are Europe’s top partnering deals? How will the U.K. split with the EU work for both parties? 

Berlin also describes how the meeting’s virtual setting creates the opportunity for BioCentury to expand the conference to include more companies from around the globe, in particular from China and South Korea.  

U.K.-based Associate Editor Stephen Hansen highlights the record venture funds European VCs are raising, which he expects to translate into a robust fund-raising environment for the region’s early-stage innovators. On the M&A front, Hansen pointed to French pharma Servier as a company remaking itself into an innovative cancer company via a spate of deals to bring in innovative assets and bolster its R&D team. The company is now on the cusp of being a major player in oncology, he says. 

Turning to politics and policy, Washington Editor Steve Usdin assesses a new report on biopharma M&A by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), noting that much of the report is a compilation of criticisms that Congress has lobbed at industry for years. He argues that the main new element in the report characterizing biopharma M&A as value destroying and proposing ways to rein in dealmaking  misses its mark.

Usdin says the advocacy for the candidates in the running for FDA commissioner has heated up with many patient groups and biopharma companies backing Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock. Those opposing Woodcock are pushing for the other leading candidate Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  

Usdin argues that the longer the process takes the likelier it is President Joe Biden looks for someone else to lead the agency.

Sponsorship opportunities: Sponsorship and Underwriting packages are available for webinars, podcasts and surveys. For more information, please contact Eric Pierce and Josh Berlin at conferences@biocentury.com.

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