Tuesday 25 January 2005


07:30 - 08:45 Registration
08:45 - 10:10 Opening Plenary Session

Welcome introduction

  • Herve de Kergrohen, Chairman

Official Opening Address

  • Carlo Lamprecht, Minister of Economic Affairs, State of Geneva
  • Philippe Sordet, President, BioAlps
  • Roger Vioud, Chairman, International Commission of the Regional Council of Rhone Alpes
09:00 - 09:30

Key Note

“Partnering for Success"

  • Peter B. Corr, Senior Vice President, Science and Technology, Pfizer Inc


Pfizer is a global leader amongst research-based pharmaceutical companies. According to recent estimates (October 2004), it is ranked top of the industry for new drug applications (NDAs) and has made dramatic progress by nurturing the largest R&D organization in the industry. What have been the reasons for this success? First, Pfizer believes that scale, properly managed, can solve the productivity challenges of the pharmaceutical industry by feeding early- and later-stage development. Second, the company has made considerable investments in early clinical development to ensure that only the best drug candidates reach clinical testing (the “fail fast, fail early” dictum). Thirdly, in a dramatic turnaround of company thinking, Pfizer has adopted an extensive in-licensing program of preclinical and phase I compounds. Behind this ambitious approach is the financial strength to amortize investments across multiple, promising projects.

This session takes a detailed inside-look at the strategies behind the success of Pfizer’s USD 7 billion R&D program.

09:30 - 10:10

Panel discussion



“How soon will Asia become a major player in the development of generic and other innovative and devices drugs?”

Increasingly, Asia is gathering momentum as an engine for growth of the pharma and biotech sectors. For the past 18 months, Indian companies have dominated drug filings to the FDA for bulk actives, the raw material used to produce generic drugs. Drug Master File (DMF) filings from China are also notably on the rise. Asia is also quickly building capabilities to bring novel chemical and biological entities to the market. Singapore is attracting some of the best names in biotechnology from around the world. India’s main scientific institutes have strength, produce high quality graduates and make critical contributions to economic growth. China itself has the fastest growing economy worldwide. What are the repercussions of these sweeping changes to the global healthcare industry?


  • Gilles Amsallem, COO, Avesthagen


  • Kim Bill, Vice President Business Development and Licensing, Debiopharm
  • Giampiero de Luca, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Serono International
  • Villoo Morawala-Patell, Founder and CEO, Avesthagen
  • Michel Venanzi, Fund Manager Life Sciences, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch
  • Marc Vollenweider, CEO, Evalueserve
10:10 - 10:30 Coffee Break
10:30 - 12:10

Company Presentations

12:15 - 13:45 Lunch
13:45 - 15:20

Company Presentations

15:20 - 15:45

Coffee Break

15:45 - 17:30

Plenary   BioAlps session

15:45 - 16:15

Key Note

“Biomaterials: the convergence of biotechnology and medical devices"

  • Jeffrey Hubbell, Professor in the Integrative Biosciences Institute and the Institute for Chemical Sciences and Technology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL)

The convergence of biotechnology and medical devices is offering a host of exciting new opportunities for the production of new biomaterials. Novel materials produced in this way are finding applications in areas as diverse as surgery, drug delivery and tissue regeneration and reconstruction. This session looks at the latest develpments in this area and offers a personal perspective on some of the most promising biomaterials for clinical use in the coming years.

16:15 - 17:00

Panel Discussion

“Degenerative diseases and neurological disorders in perspective: market size, key players, novel approaches, research breakthroughs, new upcoming treatments and financial expectations”

Healthcare must urgently address unmet medical needs and the effects of demographic changes. Nowhere is this more evident than in the areas of degenerative disease and neurological disorders. Multiple sclerosis affects nearly 2 million people worldwide, including about 450,000 Europeans and 400,000 North Americans. In the US alone, 4.5 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and this is projected to reach 6 million by 2020. At the same time, more than 1 billion people worldwide will be over 60 years old by 2025 (World Health Organization). The healthcare challenges posed by degenerative diseases are immense. This session looks at some of the recent strategies for addressing this diverse group of diseases and what the latest advances in drug development have to offer.


  • Patrick Aebischer, President EPFL


  • Alim L. Benabid, Professor, INSERM, Grenoble University
  • Joël Besse, Senior Partner, Atlas Ventures
  • Ann Kato, Professor, Department of Neuroscience, University of Geneva
  • Jay Kranzler, CEO, Cypress Bioscience
  • Arthur Roach, Head of Neurobiology, Serono Pharmaceutical Research Institute
  • Werner Tschollar, CEO, Xytis
17:00 - 17:30

Key Note

"Increasing the productivity of life science research"

  • Dominique Gillot, Life Science manager Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Hewlett-Packard

The complexity of the problems faced by researchers in the life sciences calls for drastic improvements in the way the IT industry provides solutions to shorten discovery times. These improvements can come from new computing architectures taking advantage of the very latest processor technologies. They can also come from the way the huge amount of data being generated is channeled and how applications are designed and optimised. Hewlett-Packard has decided to team up with key partners like Intel and Oracle to work on this problem.This talk will describe how very strong productivity tools can help in the discovery process, not only in computing but also in file transfer and file access using global file systems like LUSTRE. This presentation will also refer to the VITAL-IT project which is the subject of a key note lecture also outlined in this program.


Wednesday 26 January

07:30 - 08:30 


08:30 - 10:10

Plenary Session

08:30 - 08:50

Key Note I


“Key trends and drivers of the pharma and biotech industry”

  • Simon Thompson, Group Director, Publications, IMS

In an increasingly competitive environment, many believe pharma must concentrate on its real strengths such as advancing later stage clinical trials, bringing new chemical entities to the market and marketing safe drugs. The seven largest biotechnology companies are growing at rates faster than the average of the pharma industry. More and more, biotechnology products are making a substantial contribution to biopharmaceutical sales. The top ten biotechnology product revenues are set to clear the USD 20 billion mark in 2004. With only a few exceptions, pharma companies are becoming increasingly reliant on their biotechnology partners for innovative new biopharmaceuticals. What are the key trends and drivers that will shape the biotech-pharma panorama in the coming years?

08:50 - 09:20

Key Note II

“New Medicines looking to the Future"

  • Tim Wells, Senior Executive Vice-President, Research, Serono

Currently drug discovery is at challenging environment - an intersection between the exciting new discoveries of the genome era, and the increasing demands of our customers.

Biotech products are continuing to supply the market with NCEs, and organisationally, the highly focused world of biotech is much more conducive to identifying and progressing new molecules. I will discuss the future trends in science, our culture and why new medicines will continue to come forwards.  Given the high price of development, we need to work continually in Research to increase the future success rate in Clinical Phase II - and technologies such as genetics, experimental medicine and human pharmacology are developing at a high speed.  Based on the lessons we have learned from the successes of the past, I will discuss how Serono has positioned its research to make the most of a bright future.

09.20 - 10:30

Analyst Panel Discussion

“Will 2005 mark the beginning of a positive cycle for the biotech and med tech industry? Companies to watch and follow in 2005 and beyond”

The start of 2004 showed renewed interest from investors in the biotechnology and medical technology sectors worldwide. However, this has failed to materialize into a full-blown recovery on either side of the Atlantic.

An initial flurry of public listings, predominantly in the United States, has seen a lukewarm reception from investors and financial markets alike. Will 2005 mark a change in sentiment? Will the phenomenal success of Google’s IPO carry over to the healthcare sector? Switzerland has shown itself to be an exception to the European landscape. Medical technology companies are attracting attention as witnessed by the successful public listing of Ypsomed on the SWX Swiss Exchange. Other companies are preparing for IPOs. There is clear evidence that the successes of Serono and Actelion are encouraging entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to take a close look at the Swiss market. Which companies should we watch in 2005 and beyond?


  • Herve de Kergrohen, Chairman


  • Frederic Desdouits, Managing Partner, Bionest Partners

  • Christoph Gretler, Director Equity Research, Credit Suisse First Boston
  • Bob Pooler, Senior Research Analyst - Pharmaceuticals, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch
  • Robin Young, Managing Director, HealthpointCapital
  • Olav Zilian, Research Analyst – Pharma & Biotech, Helvea

10:30 - 10:50 Coffee Break
10:50 - 12:30

Company Presentations

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:40

Company Presentations

15:40 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:00


BioAlps Plenary session

16:00 - 16:25

Key Note I

“Vital-IT: developing the life science computing tools of   the future”

  • Victor Jongeneel, Director, Vital-IT Centre, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Founded in April 2004, Vital-IT is a new Swiss computing centre designed to deliver the computing infrastructure necessary to support research in the life sciences. A collaborative project between the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne and Basel, Hewlett-Packard Company and Intel Corporation, Vital-IT provides large-scale computational resources to support the latest developments in fundamental and applied research. Increasingly, researchers are generating large volumes of data through multidisciplinary research projects. This session takes a first-hand look at what bioinformatics has to offer life science researchers in the years ahead. It examines closely the likely impact of Vital-IT's computing power, software development capabilities, and other expertise on both life science research in Switzerland and worldwide. What can we realistically expect from high-performance computing resources in terms of transforming biologically relevant knowledge into new technologies, applications and, ultimately, new therapeutics?


16:25 - 16:50

Key Note II


" The criteria for successful in-licensing at Novartis"

  • Jennifer Griffiths, Director, Global Business Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

The Novartis product pipeline is one of the broadest in the industry and currently comprises a total total of 67 projects in clinical development. To develop new products, acquire platform technologies, and to access new markets, Novartis forms strategic alliances and collaborations with other partners in the industry and with academic institutions. In the course of its history, in-licensing has played an increasingly important role at the company. Across the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology products now represent a large portion of drug pipelines. Currently, the strategic alliance arm of Novartis manages over 250 collaborations in 17 countries, over 170 of which are with leading academic centres and over 80 of which are with major biotechnology companies. In 2004 alone, the Novartis research arm has completed more than 90 pre-clinical deals. Evaluation methods and rigorously applied investment criteria are key to review technologies and to select the best pre-clinical candidates from established biotechnology companies. At Novartis, products and compounds reviewed for in-licensing are selected and rigorously evaluated by the same criteria as in-house discoveries. This talk takes a close look at these criteria as well as how they may evolve in the coming years. What can start-up companies expect in the future for a successful partnership with the pharmaceutical


16:50 - 18:00

Panel Discussion:

“ Switzerland : a biotechnology or medical technology country?”

The BioAlps region is home to more than 200 medical technology and biotechnology companies. For many years, the medical technology sector has been an integral part of this landscape and is increasingly attracting the attention of the investment community. How do medical technology companies compare to biotechnology companies from an investor’s perspective? What are the current and future avenues of innovation that offer the most potential for delivering marketable products in the medical technology sector? If the convergence of biotechnology and medical devices is inevitable, when will it become a reality? This panel discussion looks at the impact of recent developments in the medical technology sector and examines the outlook for academic institutions, start-up companies and larger corporations.


  • Jacques Essinger, Executive Chairman, Symetis


  • Philippe Dro, CEO, Endoart
  • Ivor Elrifi, co-chair of the Intellectual Property Section, Mintz Levin
  • Stephane Lavallee, CEO, Praxim
  • Andre J. Mueller, Member of the Board of Directors, former CFO, Actelion
  • Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner, Sofinnova
  • Markus Ochs, Director, Stryker
  • Robin Young, Medtech Analyst, HealthpointCapital
18:00 - 19:00 Networking Cocktail