IOCB Tech Group Successfully Represents the Czech Republic at the Prestigious Biotech Conference BIO-Europe 2023
Over 5,000 participants from more than 50 countries and a total of over 30,000 official meetings – that was the outcome of this year's edition of the international BIO-Europe conference in Munich. The Czech Republic was represented by the companies IOCB Tech, i&i Prague, and i&i Biotech Fund (i&i Bio), which are entities associated with the IOCB Tech Group under the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The Czech stand at the event was also supported by representatives of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Munich.
“IOCB Tech Group regularly participates in BIO-Europe. It is a useful opportunity for us to meet with leading representatives of the biotech, medtech, and life sciences world, as well as investors and scientific research clusters. Thanks also go to the organizers, the EBD Group,” said Martin Fusek, director of IOCB Tech.
“BIO-Europe represents a great opportunity for us to meet startups at the forefront of Biotech. Specially, in the CEE region we have found great founders who are shaking the field with their innovative technologies. The event also gives us a chance to reach out to startups which might not have been ready for investment when we originally talked to them, but after some time it is fascinating to see their progress,” adds Roberto Fernandez Alvarez, who represented the incubator i&i Prague with other colleagues.
“This year's BIO-Europe was also unique due to the inclusion of a new section of panel discussions on so-called translational funds. These are investors who provide fund financing for the translational phase of research and the technology transfer process. Besides our i&i Bio, four other funds from Germany, Austria, and Belgium were presented, which were also established at significant scientific institutions,” says Jaromír Zahrádka, director of i&i Biotech Fund, adding: “It is evident that such funds have their place in the European venture capital market and often become the initial investor in new projects and biotechnological spin-off companies, which then get the chance to appeal to a broader group of less specialized investors.”
The IOCB Tech team conducted more than a hundred meetings and negotiations over three days. “We are particularly grateful for the discussion with the EBD Group regarding the potential hosting of the BIO-Europe conference in Prague, and we are pleased that this vision is also supported by significant clusters such as LISAvienna – Life Science Austria Vienna, BioM Biotech Cluster, Biosaxony association, and many others,” added Martin Opatrný, spokesperson for IOCB Tech.
“BIO-Europe represents a great opportunity for us to meet startups at the forefront of Biotech. Specially, in the CEE region we have found great founders who are shaking the field with their innovative technologies. The event also gives us a chance to reach out to startups which might not have been ready for investment when we originally talked to them, but after some time it is fascinating to see their progress,”
Roberto Fernandez Alvarez
Discussions on cooperation also took place, for example, with the company Symeres, a leading research organization focused on the discovery and development of new drugs. Representatives of the Consulate General in Munich also expressed their support for the IOCB Tech Group, whose visit was a significant recognition of the activities of the IOCB Tech Group.
“We are glad to be part of this significant event and present, thanks to IOCB Tech, Czech excellence in the field of life sciences and pharmacy, and thus show the world the innovations and potential of Czech science and technology transfer,” said consul Lukáš Opatrný from the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Munich.
BIO-Europe is an annual meeting of visionaries, innovators, and experts in the field of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research from around the world. Over the past 29 years, BIO-Europe has grown not only in size but especially in becoming the flagship of European biotech. Its international reach is a symbolic gateway to the global life science community.
About IOCB Tech
The Technology Transfer Office IOCB Tech, s.r.o. is a fully owned subsidiary of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB). The main responsibilities of IOCB Tech include the identification of commercially interesting projects at IOCB, analysis of their market potential and patentability, protection of intellectual property, support for the development of the projects in the form of project management, search for commercial partners and negotiation of contractual terms for signing license agreements. IOCB Tech has been involved in the process of negotiating and concluding more than a dozen key license agreements with major pharmaceutical partners such as Gilead Sciences, Merck, Novo Nordisk and SHINE Medical Technologies. In 2017, the company established a subsidiary, i&i Prague, which focuses on funding promising early-stage projects at the Institute and other research and academic institutions.
For more information visit www.iocbtech.cz.
About i&i Prague
The i&i Prague Bio-Innovation Center focuses on the transfer of new technologies into practice. The company was established at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS and is mainly dedicated to innovations in the field of drug development, diagnostics and medical devices originating from academic institutions. It supports the creation of spin-off companies and the sale of licenses. So far, the company has participated in the creation of or otherwise supported 15 spin-off companies from five countries, has an equity stake in nine of them and has invested over 70 million crowns. In total, the spin-offs in i&i Prague's portfolio have raised more than CZK 1.8 billion from other investors. In addition to direct financial investments, i&i Prague also assists more than 15 research institutions and universities in the Czech Republic and abroad in the commercialization of innovative technologies. In 2021, i&i Prague started up the i&i Bio investment fund.
About i&i Biotech Fund (i&i Bio)
i&i Bio is a Luxembourg-based venture capital firm that invests in innovative European Life Sciences companies focused on drug discoveries, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health. The Fund was created thanks to the cooperation of the biotech incubator i&i Prague and the European Investment Fund (see below). With over €47M under management, i&i Bio plans to invest in about 20 early-stage companies. i&i Bio is led by an experienced team of professionals with backgrounds in private equity, healthcare and venture capital supporting entrepreneurs on their journey to global success. Thanks to close cooperation with the fund’s main sponsor, the biotech academic incubator i&i Prague, i&i Bio is supporting and advancing transformative Central European technology companies.
For more information visit www.inibio.eu.
i&i Bio is supported by an investment from the EIF, with the support of:
lnnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing; and
the Pan-European Guarantee Fund (EGF), implemented by the EIF with the financial support of the Participating Member States. The objective of EGF is to respond to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring that companies in the Participating Member States have sufficient short-term liquidity available to weather the crisis and are able to continue their growth and development in the medium to long-term.