Biovision: From life sciences to life sciences for life sciences


For this 10th edition of BIOVISION 2015, the theme of global health through the prism of personalized medicine is privileged. An international forum dedicated to foresight in the field of life sciences, it currently brings together - from 15 to 16 April 2015 - in Lyon leading personalities from the academic world, the private sector, public authorities and civil society. These decision-makers from various backgrounds are reflecting together on future advances in the field of life sciences, considering how to transform scientific discoveries into concrete and innovative solutions for the benefit of public health.

As a catalyst for exchanges, BIOVISION aims to be the meeting point and discovery point for innovative companies, from start-ups to multinationals. Alain Mérieux, President of the Foundation for the University of Lyon, organizer of the event, says :
"In a totally open world, the health challenges today are considerable and infinitely complex: the emergence and rapid expansion of new pathogens, viruses and bacteria that know neither geographical nor species boundaries, new infectious risks related to food, water and the environment, better known relationships between infectious diseases, cancers and nutrition....
Faced with this reality, the need for a global and multidisciplinary approach to health is essential, bringing together human and veterinary medicine and taking into account all the parameters that impact health.
The tremendous advances in science and medicine and the emergence of new technologies provide us with some answers. In particular, it is clear that tomorrow's medicine requires a personalised approach to the prevention and treatment of diseases according to the specific profile of each patient.
This progress must, however, be known, understood and made accessible to the greatest number of people.
The question of access to health care for developing countries remains essential, because here too health can only be global.

This is why BIOVISION has organised its 2015 programme around access for all to global health and personalised medicine.
These two days will be an opportunity to share high-level scientific knowledge, thanks to the major forward-looking conferences and the public conference on the theme of global health, but also to the "Village of Future Investment Programs" which will present the excellence of the territory's research and training.
True to its willingness to take concrete action, this event will also be a space to foster partnerships and accelerate the passage of scientific innovation to patients, creating medical and economic value. We have therefore set up two meetings within BIOVISION: "Catalyzer" to promote and support innovative early stage projects or start-ups, and "Investor Conference" to detect, support and finance promising start-ups.
BIOVISION will thus enable scientific, economic and political players and civil society to meet at high-level conferences and exchange views on the latest innovations and their consequences for citizens and the entire health ecosystem.

I wish full success to this new edition of BIOVISION, a forum dedicated to Life Sciences, which we wanted to serve citizens and rooted in a global ecosystem. »

Highlights of this 10th edition

1) A public lecture

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BIOVISION offers a public conference open to all (free registration required): Global Health and Personalized Medicine - Thursday 16 April at 11am
Objective The BIOVISION experts: discuss major issues with the general public and offer them the point of view of BIOVISION experts, including Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn (University of Strasbourg), Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy (UNITAID), Dr. Robert Sebbag (Sanofi), Martin Hirsch (AP- HP), and Dr. Najeeb Al Shorbaji (WHO).

2) The Investor Conference: Financing Innovative Companies

BIOVISION is organizing for the 3rd time the Investor Conference, dedicated to the financing of innovative companies: this high-level investor conference, co-organized with Lyonbiopole and France Biotech, brings together start-ups, growth and mid-sized companies around financial and industrial partners for a series of debates and meetings.

On the agenda :
- Two workshops "Corporate Venture in Innovation Financing" and "The Corporate Venture in Innovation Financing".
"IPO: Europe or US? "will allow investors (venture capitalists, corporate funds, investment banks...) and BIOVISION participants interested in the subject to meet and discuss strategies for financing innovation and feedback and key success factors.
- The fundraising sessions will allow biotech, medtech and e-health companies selected by a committee co-chaired by Florent Gros, CEO of Novartis Venture Funds and Anne Horgan, partner at Sofinnova Partners, to present their project in two dedicated sessions.

See The 25 selected companies
The most promising companies will be rewarded with a biotech prize and a medtech prize to be awarded at the closing ceremony.

Three questions to... Florent Gros, Managing Director at Novartis Venture Funds (the largest Swiss venture capital fund in the life sciences and the largest corporate fund in the healthcare sector) to give us his vision of life sciences financing in Europe, and the interest of the Investor Conference organised by BIOVISION, for companies looking for funds.

1) You are co-chair of the BIOVISION Investor Conference selection committee. In your opinion, what is the interest of such an event in the current environment, for investors and companies?

This event serves to connect investors and companies, and also to confront companies with each other. Indeed, entrepreneurs can sometimes be isolated, not by choice, but by the nature of the job, as it is very demanding. At BIOVISION, they can meet partners who have the same challenges and needs as they do. Moreover, Lyon is an ideal location which is one of Europe's most recognised centres. The event is well dimensioned, not a big mass, but an adequate size.

2) What advice would you give to a biotech/medtech company seeking funding?

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If I had to choose three points, I would insist on:
- a very clear business model: you have to be able to describe the science to investors. We must also give the development stages in detail over the next 3 years.
- Know your market and understand the challenges: entrepreneurs must be able to show that their product is worth the money. This is a real groundwork that must not be rushed.
- Have good timing: don't show up too early in front of investors. You only have one, at most two opportunities to attract a fund. The product or project must be technically mature enough.

I recommend having a friend or close relationship in a fund to whom you can turn for advice. We are overwhelmed, bombarded with projects, we receive more than 1,000 a year.

3) What is the place of corporate funds in life sciences investment?

Private funds are on the decline in Europe. The whole area is in decline. In the United States, there have been a number of public releases, so the sector is less affected.
In Europe, corporate funds have taken over. They account for 20 to 40% of investments. Without them, there would be no more biotech start-ups in Europe.

In France, it is a bit different, because there is a more elaborate venture capital base, as well as many seed funds. « 

3) BIOVISION Catalyzer: 25 featured projects

This year, BIOVISION is offering the 3rd edition of BIOVISION Catalyzer, co-organized with Lyonbiopole, a world competitive cluster in the field of vaccines and diagnostics. Presenting innovative collaborative projects, this meeting will enable project leaders in the fields of personalized medicine to benefit from international visibility and to meet potential partners, whether public or private.

See The 25 candidates 

Catalyzer's selection committee, co-directed by Michel Goldman, former Executive Director of IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative), and Alexander von Gabain, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Innovation and Industrial Partnerships at the Karolinska Institute, selected 25 projects out of the 56 registered.

Three questions to...Professor Michel Goldman, Université Libre de Bruxelles. Michel Goldman was until December 2014 Managing Director of the Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI), a joint entity between the European Union and the pharmaceutical industry association EFPIA aimed at accelerating the development of innovative medicines that are safer for patients. Co-chairman of the Catalyzer Pitches selection committee, he shows the interest of this session organized by BIOVISION for start-ups and project leaders who wish to develop their network and international visibility.

1) You are co-chair of the Catalyzer Pitches selection committee. Who are the calls for applications open to?

I would like to encourage project leaders who are looking for economic, financial and scientific partners to apply.
For all those who need this type of support, BIOVISION is an opportunity to
unique to gain global visibility.
This allows the most promising projects to cross the famous "valley of death".

2) In your opinion, what are the areas of innovation in health and how can they be supported?

In health, we are experiencing a paradigm shift. We are facing major challenges, such as Alzheimer's, cancer or antibiotic resistance, but also in the
field of inflammatory diseases. Major discoveries in recent years, such as immunotherapy against cancer, the genetic factors behind autism or Alzheimer's, are opening up new perspectives.
Very early in the development of the drug, obstacles must be anticipated, particularly in terms of market and patient access. All stakeholders must take these aspects into consideration and establish more dialogue and collaboration. With BIOVISION, we bring together the different players in the health sector and we can draw their attention to these aspects.
The key is the alliance of science and dialogue with future industrial partners.

3) What will be the most important criteria for the Catalyzer Pitches selection committee?

- The level of innovation: we are looking for new, promising and innovative scientific data
- The societal impact for citizens in general and for the project's carrier society
- The quality of the management team
- Existing and developing collaborations: and in particular what the promoter expects from BIOVISION

4) Villagee of IAPs: Lyon-St Etienne, a fertile area for life sciences

Deux days to showcase the University of Lyon's scientific potential in health, during BIOVISION, the World Life Sciences Forum, on 15 and 16 April at the Cité Internationale de Lyon.

In response to the various calls for projects of the PIA, Future Investment Program launched in 2010, the University of Lyon, which brings together higher education and research institutions in Lyon and Saint Etienne, has been selected to 14 labelled projects in the field of health. These projects cover the entire field of knowledge and innovation: upstream research, clinical research, training, innovation and transfer to industry, etc.
This considerable potential, recognised by international juries, deserves to be more widely exploited because it contributes to the influence and attractiveness of our region, the competitiveness of our companies, and the improvement of the health of all. This is why the Foundation for the University of Lyon is organising the PIA village during the BIOVISION forum, as part of the mission entrusted to it by the University of Lyon to promote its scientific potential and its successes at the PIA.

During the 2 days of the BIOVISION forum, the PIA village will bring together these 14 PIA Health projects from the Lyon - Saint Etienne axis, in a dedicated and central permanent space: they will present their actions, share their knowledge and meet potential partners from all backgrounds and origins.
Welcoming nearly 2000 decision-makers from 65 different countries, specializing in the life sciences, the BIOVISION Forum, the World Life Sciences Forum, is a unique opportunity to promote the know-how concentrated here to an international audience of experts.

During the forum, two videos will be previewed to present the AIPs and the territory's scientific dynamism in health according to the main theme "From research to care":
- a short film on the "Global Health / Personalized Medicine" approach taken by the company on the territory,
- a 20-minute film to present each IAP according to the cross-cutting themes "Find, Develop, Enhance, Care".

Beyond the Lyon-Saint Etienne territory, this project aims to remind an international audience of France's desire to promote the excellence of its research and higher education.
More information on AIPs in Rhône-Alpes 

The PIA projects present on the territory of the University of Lyon and represented in the PIA village during BIOVISION are :

Equipment of excellence

- IVTV (Engineering and Aging of Living Tissues) " Health - Aging - Screening "
- LILI: Lyon Integrated Life Imaging
- PhenoCan: Phenotypoage for cancer
- MEANING: Surface NMR Exalted by Dynamic Nuclear Polarization

Laboratories of excellence

- DEVweCAN (oncology)
- CORTEX: Construction, Cognitive Fundation, Remediation and Repair of the Cortex
- ECOFECT: Infectiology and Eco-revolutionary epidemiology
- PREMIUMS: Physics, Radiology, Medical Imaging and Simulation

Innovative training (IDEFI)

- SAMSEI: Learning Strategies for Environmental Health Professions Immersive

The University Hospital Institute 

- OPeRa: Organ Protection and Replacement
- CESAME: Brain and Mental Health

The Institute for Technological Research 


The Carnot Institute

- CALYM (lymphoma)


- OFSEP: French Multiple Sclerosis Observatory

Practical information

Opening of the Forum on 15 April at 2 pm and on 16 April at 9 am.

Location : BIOVISION- Lyon Cité Internationale, 50 Quai Charles de Gaulle - 69006 Lyon

Access by public transport :
Line C1: a trolleybus connects the Cité internationale to the Gare de la Part-Dieu in 12 minutes.
Line 4: connects with metro lines A (Foch) and D (Saxony-Gambetta).
Line 58: direct link with the Presqu'île and Place Bellecour.

Access by road :
The Cité internationale is located close to the northern ring road, exit: Porte de
St Clair, direction Cité internationale.
Motorways : A7, Marseille. A6, Paris. A42, Geneva. A43, Chambéry - Grenoble.

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