EDB Group: Carola Schropp on the Role of EBD Group conferences in partnering and deal making

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Video title: EDB Group: Carola Schropp on the Role of EBD Group conferences in partnering and deal making
Released on: October 01, 2010. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevsion News Review, Fintan Walton discusses the recent BioPharm America conference in Boston with Carola Schropp from the EBD Group.

• Role of EBD Group conferences in partnering and deal making

• The impact of conferences in actual deal making

• EBD Group 's perspective: The state and changes in pharma and biotech industry

• EBD Group 's perspective on future developments in biotech industry

• Prospects of next BIO Europe conference in Germany
Role of EBD Group conferences in partnering and deal making
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioPharm America in Boston. On this show I have Carola Schropp, who is President of the EBD Group that runs BioPharm America, welcome to the show.
Carola Schropp:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Carola Schropp, you're can be described as one of the leading specialist partnering conference organizers in the life sciences area you are one of the biggest and most active in that area, here we are in September 2010 at BioPharm America based here in Boston, from your perspective how is this whole area of partnering going right now and where do you see the EBD Group 's conferences playing a role in partnering and in deal-making?
Carola Schropp:
Actually our numbers are really growing, this conference here is up almost 40% over last year, we have more than 30 countries represented and over 900 people, it's for us is a smaller conference but overall it's an amazing fact that things are growing in this day and age.
Fintan Walton:
Right, and off course it's the third one in a series, so it's still in early stage, conferences build up over time, so how would you describe the atmosphere here?
Carola Schropp:
I think it's a very positive atmosphere unlike in the last few years where at some conferences you know people were hanging their heads, I do believe that people feel we are surviving this, we have to pull, we have to kind of rethink valuations, we have to rethink what we done virtually the work virtual all over the place, but in the end pharma needs more drugs and that's what it comes down to and so they are looking for more projects.
The impact of conferences in actual deal making
Fintan Walton:
Right, so when we look at or when you look at the role that your conferences role out play, what sort of impact do they have in actual deal-making?
Carola Schropp:
Actually I do think they have a significant impact, we did some numbers and using biotech gates data they are saying that last year in 2009 a 158 deals were done, 71% of the people who are the companies had people attend our conferences before the deal was signed.
Fintan Walton:
So that means obviously the participants of deal-making are attending your conferences?
Carola Schropp:
Exactly, I am not saying that we are the cause of the deal, we are facilitating the process, because partnering is about building relationships and you build relationships one meeting at a time you know it's a process.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so you run a number of conferences throughout the year in different parts of the world now and including China, and so what is the behavior then of the participants? Are participants just attending one conference or do they go on a regular basis to the various conferences that you run?
Carola Schropp:
No they are serial conference goers. Like I said I think the reason is that first of all there is a different mix of people at every conference and by the nature of the biotech business people make progress all the time and a lot of meetings, people like each other yeah but finish this, finish the talks do this or not and so there is a need for companies to see each other of a people and the companies see each other again and again.
EBD Group 's perspective: The state and changes in pharma and biotech industry
Fintan Walton:
On a regular basis. So again in your position running this particular event you'll see all the conversations going on, you talk to the participants, you talk to the speakers, you talk to the keynotes speakers and you must get then a perspective I suppose which is somewhat unique in seeing how the industry is changing, so how would you describe the state of our industry probably from a pharma and biotech perspective?
Carola Schropp:
I think the biggest issue is that the money is not as available. The VC's that are still investing in biotech typically invest in the companies they had already invested, so the early stage investing isn't doing so well, that's the big problem. The VC's in the whole finance community have finally realized it's taken them about 10-years to that it's a very risky business and actually if you invest or had you invested in T-Bills in the year 2000 you would have made a bigger return in the overall biotech investment, but people are doing it, the people in this industry at the end of the day they all love to make money but they are also doing it for other reasons you know they do want to help people and that's why it will always been more people excited and there will be new investments.
EBD Group 's perspective on future developments in biotech industry
Fintan Walton:
Right, so the two phenomenon there one is that there is mergers and acquisitions so the number of major pharma companies is reducing in size at the same time you got a drying up of earlier stage companies, so where does that leave our industry how do you see you know from your perspective how do you see our industry developing or we just going through a narrow phase and we will set off again and expansion will take a place again?
Carola Schropp:
I mean, I believe that there are too many biotech companies if you think like worldwide there is at least between 3000 and 4000 biotech companies they couldn't possibly all be funded to develop drugs, so a lot of the experts have been saying for years that there is lot of companies out there that shouldn't be around but what I see happening is lot of good new projects being funded on a virtual basis that's pretty good for the service suppliers, CROs everybody who helps the companies develop drugs and it shifts the risk around.
Prospects of next BIO Europe conference in Germany
Fintan Walton:
Sure, so Carola Schropp when we look in the next couple of months you are gonna have your next event BIO-Europe in Munich back to Germany again, so what do you see at that event? Do you see that event as a further growth in your conference proceedings and how do you feel about it, how do you are you looking forward to it?
Carola Schropp:
Of course I am looking forward to it. Right now we are up 10%.
Fintan Walton:
Already on this on the numbers.
Carola Schropp:
On that numbers I mean that's awesome, it's definitely the biggest standalone conference in this industry and of course we are very proud of this accomplishment, but it does show that people need to meet time and time again, so for us the big issue is to keep the big pharma coming because as you know there is a lot of savings going on, slashing of budgets, stall budgets and so forth.
Fintan Walton:
Yes, so it's still an integral part of the calendar I suppose for a pharmaceutical executive to attend your meeting?
Carola Schropp:
Fintan Walton:
Carola Schropp, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Carola Schropp:
Well thank you very much for having me, it's my pleasure.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Carola Schropp
Carola Schropp is Founder and President of EBD Group and widely recognized as one of the original proponents of our global and interconnected bio-economy. Over the past 15 years, Carola Schropp has built EBD Group into the leading partnering firm in the life science market. Under her leadership, EBD Group has grown into an organization that today spans five international partnering events on three continents that generate over 30,000 one-to-one meetings annually, and features partnering services for dozens of other events worldwide. In addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the firm, Carola Schropp is focused on bringing EBD Group partnering events to new international markets, and developing new services and technologies that foster more collaboration and growth of the biotech industry. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) and an MTS degree, both from Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
EBD Group
EBD Group is the leading partnering firm for the global life science industry. Since its inception in 1993, EBD Group 's mission has been to facilitate the biotech-pharma partnerships that deliver tomorrow's healthcare treatments to patients worldwide.