FT Global Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Conference 2019

FT Global Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology Conference 2019

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Disruption and transformation will continue to be the focus of life science leaders in 2019 and beyond.

Pricing pressures in the US and a growing number of markets globally has already set in motion a search for new and innovative payment models, while the rise of ultra-expensive, potentially curative gene and cell therapies has brought to the fore a heated discussion about the sustainability of industry’s underlying economic and funding model.

With a host of ‘new entrants’ in the shape of big tech and nimble, consumer-centric start-ups nibbling at pharma’s heals in the emerging prevention and wellness space, meanwhile, pharma faces competition on an increasing number of fronts. Success in the new data and patient-centric world which is emerging will increasingly depend on the forging relationships with patients sustained on trust, and building new business models for the future.


1:15pmOpening Remarks from the Chair
Keynote Address/Interview
Panel: Who Owns the Patient? The Disruption to Come
As healthcare increasingly moves from treatment to prevention, pharma companies encounter a growing number of ‘new entrants’ with whom they will compete for patients’ loyalty and data. Big tech companies, as well as, innovative new start-ups are at the centre of the shift, using complex digital tools and algorithms to help patients stay healthy and manage their conditions. Retailers, insurers and consumer brands are also entering the fray, while pharma companies are making tentative first steps with their own versions of disease management technologies and services. Gaining access to patient data is key. At a time when concerns regarding data quality, integrity and privacy of patient data are paramount, building robust evidence to back health claims, as well as relationships with patients based on trust will be central to success.

What role will pharma play in this population health space?

Will patients trust consumer and tech brands over pharma?

How robust are these health algorithms, and how will digital apps and therapies stack up against growing demand for evidence and validation? Or are lifestyle interventions a ’new kind of medicine’ which can be held to different standards of evidence?

What will it mean for pharma when more health data will reside outside the traditional healthcare system than within it?

Keynote Address/ Interview/Presentation
Networking Coffee Break
Turning the Big Pharma Ship - Transformation and Talent Strategies
Pharma companies are likely to undergo a significant shake-up as they position themselves for a rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Success, to a large extent, will depend on their ability to attract, develop and retain high-performance talent from across a wide range of industries, develop new operational and organisational models, and break down the silos which are inhibiting innovation.

How are pharma companies managing the transformation in terms of governance, operational and organisational change?

How can pharma companies foster innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and the calling to ‘innovative like a start-up’?

What are the leading-edge strategies for recruitment, development and retention success?

How do you create a value proposition for pharma that will attract millennials and much-needed data scientists? How do you prevent new talent ‘going native’?

How are global workforce trends impacting pharma (robotics, millennials, remote working, etc) and what will the pharma company of the future look like?

How will the transition of leadership talent from pharma to biotech impact the future pipeline of the industry?

Panel: Chief Digital Officer Forum
Chief Digital Officers (CDOs), often appointed from other industries, to include consumer, provide a unique perspective on the transformation underway in the industry. What have been their experiences to date, and what have been the obstacles they have experienced along the way? How are they building digital pharma companies? How are they dealing with the transition from consumer, data and other industries to the world of pharma, and how has their role evolved? What are their observations regarding the industry, the transformation that is needed, and the way ahead?

Keynote Address/ Interview/Presentation
End of Day One


Keynote Address/ Interview/Presentation
Panel: Resolving Pharma’s Pricing Conundrum: A New Prescription
From the US President’s Pricing Blueprint, to moves towards EU wide drug procurement, pressure on the industry’s pricing model is growing. The advent of ultra-expensive and potentially curative gene and cell therapies, meanwhile, is also adding to the momentum for change. The status quo is no longer working. If the industry is to remain in driving seat, it is going to have to accept that new ways of funding this industry and innovative pricing models will be necessary. This will have a potentially transformative impact on the economic model of the industry and the way it funds R&D. What would a sustainable innovation funding model look like?

Are subscription / Netflix-type pricing models the future?

Will outcome-based pricing become the norm? What’s the devil in the detail? How are pioneers dealing with complexity?

How do you price and finance a cure? What could be the role for reinsurance and other innovative pricing models?

How do you price digital therapies? Offering the potential for ‘cures’, should they be priced ‘just like a drug’?

Given the inflationary impact of pharma’s current high-risk, high reward funding model, are there alternative and better ways of funding drug innovation? Is there a need for governments to be involved, particularly in ensuring unmet needs are financed?

Does recent experience with Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) show the way ahead in terms of innovative funding which could be applied to many other diseases? What is the evidence that government involvement and risk-taking yields faster drugs at lower prices?

What could be the role of prize funds, venture philanthropy and patient financing?

Networking Coffee Break
Keynote Address/ Interview/Presentation
Panel: Intellectual Property: Is the Current System Still Fit for Purpose?
In the distant past, society decided to strike a Grand Bargain of IP, providing innovators a monopoly for a set number of years to recover costs and ensure a return, thus striking a balance between incentives and societal benefit. Some allege, though, that pharma has found ways to unfairly manipulate the IP system, keeping costs sky-high for decades. And pressure is steadily mounting for change. Can industry players compromise before the heavy hand of government steps in?

Rewarding Innovation: What is the Regulation we Need?
Regulation matters. The global financial crisis illustrates what can happen when regulation fails to keep track on changes in the industry. For life sciences, this means keeping up to date with advances in technologies including digital and AI, as well as advances in cutting-edge science to include cell and gene therapies. And it also means knowing what society wants from regulation of the industry - finding the bright balance between safety and ‘right to try’, for instance. With a change of guard underway at the FDA. the possibility of EU health directorate re-opening the regulatory rule book and a review of regulatory science underway, it is opportune to ask what kind of regulation we want to ensure we get the innovation we need.

Keynote Interview/Presentation
Panel: Digital R&D: AI-The Reckoning?
The burgeoning field of AI is attracting increasing amounts if investment form pharma companies who are putting their faith in the technologies ability to drug the next big leaps in drug development. Opinions differ, however, on the extent that AI will bring down costs in R&D or find cures, with no drugs yet discovered or commercialised with AI. The complexities of implementation, the issues of data collection, quality and need for scale, meanwhile, are often underplayed amidst the hype. Where will AI add value to pharma R&D, and where will it not? Are current algorithms focusing on the right things? How are standalone AI drug companies doing things differently, and when might we see the first AI developed drug?

2:25pmKeynote Interview/Presentation
Panel: The Global Competition for Investment: How Will the Clusters Fare?
How will Brexit impact the competitive position of the UK as a leading global science hub?

Is the UK’s Industrial Strategy a sufficient response, or will the likely impact of Brexit outweigh the potential benefits? What does the UK need to do to stay ahead?

Will the US maintain its status as the world leader in R&D expenditure for pharma, in patents and as a centre if pharma innovation? How will the expected lowering of drug prices and NIH support impact its position?

Will China steal a lead by virtue of largely laissez-faire approach to regulation and growing prowess in AI, genome sequencing and advanced cell and gene therapies?

How are investors viewing the relative competitiveness of the clusters in view of these transitions underway?

The new cluster success stories: how are they attracting investment?

Into the Den: The Next Big Thing? Innovation on the Frontiers or Science, Medicine and Technology
Where is science and technology taking the future of medicine? What are the emerging areas and as yet little know areas of therapeutic focus (targets modalities, technologies) which could have a big impact on patient outcomes and become the potential growth drivers of the future? What is hype and what is real? Is the industry doing enough to leverage experience and expertise of diverse industries and domains including engineering, mathematics, physics, for instance, and what are the possibilities? This session will feature a number of quick-fire presentations of potentially game-changing science and technologies, followed by a panel discussion of leading VCs and an audience vote on likely winners.

In Conclusion: Can Pharma do Better at Telling its Story?
For an industry whose business is saving lives and curing diseases, pharma has an unenviable reputation, even when compared to other players in the healthcare system. Meanwhile, the tech companies with which pharma must increasing compete or collaborate, enjoy positive perceptions as ‘disruptors’ and a ‘constructive force for good’ for consumers. With pharma under siege on a multitude of fronts, does the industry need to get better at communicating its value story? How did the industry get here, and how can it rebuild trust? Can a focus on closer partnerships with HCP/health service based on improving outcomes, for instance, help win trust and nurture support? How can the industry build trust to be seen as a partner of choice with others in the ever-extending industry value chain and with patients?

End of Conference

Registration available online here

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