Thursday, October 22, 2015

Reps from Big Pharma and Start-ups Discuss Partnerships

By: Leah Kinthaert

On November 2, Mohamed Ragab, VP, Head of Oncology Search and Evaluation, Business Development, at Bristol-Meyers Squibb returns as a panelist for BIO-Europe. On that day, BIO-Europe will partner with the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) to showcase some of the most influential and active companies in the cell therapy and regenerative medicine space. For a preview, you can watch Ragab at BIO-Europe 2014 on a panel with others from Novartis, Innovio and iTeos here. Their discussion focused on how the traditional way companies get funding for their cell therapy and regenerative medicine projects has changed; developing a product, finding a strategic partner and selling the company is no longer the norm. As one panelist said: "There is no blueprint."

Big pharma is really committed to the space – At the event last year, Ragab described what Bristol-Meyers Squibb's goals were: "We work with R&D to fill gaps, and bring in innovation from the outside. We look at early stage companies to complement what we're doing, and those at different stages of development to complement our portfolio."

Criteria for partnership should be transparent – Ragab emphasized Bristol-Meyers Squibb's commitment to transparency, saying: "We communicate (our criteria) very transparently to anyone who comes to us with an opportunity."

Check in on Bristol-Meyers Squibb – This panel is a great chance to get a follow up from Ragab on what 2015 has had in store for Bristol-Meyers Squibb and how they are leveraging advances in immuno-oncology. Beatrice Gerard of Quintiles will be moderating; other panelists include: Michel Detheux of iTeos, Iaian Dukes of MSD and Philippe Lopes-Fernandes of Merck-Serono. This interesting mix of individuals representing big pharma and start-ups was a great discussion generator last year and promises to be very informative for both biotech start-ups looking for guidance and R&D looking to fill gaps and bring in innovation.

About Mohamed Ragab – Dr. Mohamed H. Ragab is the Vice President, Search & Evaluation, Oncology and Business Development with Bristol-Myers Squibb. He received his Master Degree, Radiation Oncology and his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Cairo University School of Medicine. During his 28 year career, Dr. Ragab worked previously at the National Cancer Institute in Egypt, Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals in the Middle East, and in the United States at Ortho Biotech Products, Pfizer, Inc. and Hoffman-La Roche Inc. Dr. Ragab is on the Board of Trustees for BIO NJ.

You can see the description of the cell therapy and regenerative medicine events on November 2 and 4 here.

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