Industry Leaders Exchanged Perspectives at BioPharma Outlook 2012

By Ting Ren, Chinese-American BioMedical Association

June 17, 2012, Cambridge MA — On the eve of BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization) 2012, BioPharma Outlook 2012 was successfully held at M.I.T. Faculty Club, presented by Chinese-American BioMedical Association (CABA) and Chinese Biopharmaceutical Association, USA (CBA). BIO 2012 is one of the most important conferences in the biopharmaceutical industry, and attracts more than 15,000 attendees from around the world.

(from left)Last three presidents of CABA Chaoyang Dai, Zhihong Chen, Phil Zhang, Tom Watkins, Lin Sun-Hoffman of CBA, Irene Robin of BIO Shanghai and Yihan Wang of CABA at BioPharma Outlook 2012.

Mr. Tom Watkins, CEO and President of Human Genome Sciences and Chairman of the Board of Directors of BIO gave an inspiring keynote speech. Started with an overview of current challenges in the healthcare industry, he emphasized the dedication of BIO to facilitate communications and collaborations among industry professionals, investors, and policy decision-makers.

Following Mr. Watkins’ talk, three speakers shared their perspectives from three angles, healthcare policy, investment climate and R&D innovation. First, Dr. Yuanli Liu, Director of China Initiative at Harvard School of Public Health, discussed the current situation of healthcare reform in China. He summarized the key challenges of healthcare in China into triple “A”s—“availability”, “affordability”, and “appropriateness”. New financing strategies, drug regulation policies, and public hospital development are the focuses in China’s next five-year plan. Policies around these issues will have a direct impact on the healthcare industry.

From public to the private side, the next speaker, Dr. Wei Li, shared his experience and perspectives as a healthcare venture capitalist. As a Principle at Fidelity Biosciences, Dr. Li gave an overview of Fidelity Bioscience’s investment history and current portfolio in China, which shed light on the investment environment in China. He highlighted Fidelity’s new initiative in the biosimilar market.

Lastly, Dr. Luke Li, Executive Director, Head of Global Biotherapeutic Technologies of Bio-Innovation at Pfizer, discussed the hopes to bring real value to patients—innovation in drug R&D and promising candidates. He shared his knowledge of recently approved drugs and late stage candidates which with novel mechanism and addressing significant unmet needs.

The attendants also represented a wide spectrum of the biopharmaceutical industry, functionally and geographically. Besides scientists, industry professionals and investors from the east coast, Bayhelix, Hong Kong Association of Massachusetts and San Diego Sino-American Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (SABPA) co-hosted the event. Members of several Chinese organizations such as China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and several Chinese biotech companies also joined the event. Despite the diversity, we are all striving to fulfill the real value for patients, healthy return for investors, and successful commercialization for pharmaceutical/biotech companies.