Beginner's Mind

#112: BIO's Rich Masters on the Future of Biotech and the International Convention

June 01, 2023 Christian Soschner Season 4 Episode 25
Beginner's Mind
#112: BIO's Rich Masters on the Future of Biotech and the International Convention
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Show Notes Transcript

Navigating the biotech industry's rapid advancements and complex regulations can be daunting. High-stakes investments and the pressure to innovate further add to the challenge.

Rich Masters, the CMO of BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization), is a seasoned expert in this field. His role in organizing the BIO International Convention and his extensive industry experience equips him with unique insights to tackle these challenges.

In this fantastic podcast episode, we delve into:

πŸ”¬ The behind-the-scenes experience of organizing and attending the BIO International Convention 2022 in San Diego.
πŸ”¬ Rich's journey to the helm of BIO as CMO and his vision for the organization.
πŸ”¬ The meticulous preparations for the upcoming BIO International Convention 2023 in Boston, anticipated to be a landmark event in the biotech calendar.
πŸ”¬ The innovative features and services introduced for the BIO International Convention 2023, including the BIO Podcast series and the BIO News platform.
πŸ”¬ Rich's perspective on the future of the biotech industry, discussing potential challenges and opportunities for 2024 and beyond.

πŸ’‘ LINKS TO MORE CONTENT
Youtube
Christian Soschner:
Rich Masters

πŸ“– Memorable Quotes:
(13:50) "The majority of biomedical and drug innovation investments fail... This ecosystem is crucial and needs protection."
(15:00) "Developing a drug is an expensive process... Without investment, the engine of innovation stalls, we don't see new drugs on the market."
(16:38) "If you price fix these drugs, you are going to stop the cures of the future."
(20:01) "What we're witnessing worldwide is an attack from socialist-minded groups against intellectual property, our only asset."
(26:18)"Our main focus may be on Washington, but we work closely with our International Biotech Association based in Brussels. We have numerous international partners."
(29:09) "As the next pandemic looms, the question is, do we want all drug development concentrated in one country, or a viable drug development market in the West?"
(42:12) "We can't continue to stifle innovation and science and then expect to create the next generation of cures... we're eliminating entire classes of diseases."
(44:10) "Biotechnology provides the solution for eliminating food insecurity, transitioning from fossil fuels to green energy sources, and ending disease... we need to establish policies that encourage, rather than stifle, innovation."

⏰ Timestamps:
(03:45) - [Recap: BIO Convention Collaboration Success]
(05:18) - [BIO Event Excellence: Future Planning Insights]
(10:36) - [Inside BIO: CMO's Role & Event Portfolio]
(17:05) - [Decoding Biomedical Investment Ecosystem]
(20:31) - [Behind BIO Conventions: Passion & Effort]
(22:15) - [Biotech Investment: Price Fixing & IP Challenges]
(27:41) - [Capital Formation in Biotech: Navigating Economic Shifts]
(29:33) - [Global Biotech Politics: Washington & Brussels Focus]
(32:24) - [Future of Drug Development: Market Shift Navigation]
(35:32) - [BIO 1-1 Partnering: Revolutionizing Biotech Startup Growth]
(42:54) - [Policy Impact & Transition to Physical Conventions]
(47:25) - [Biotech Solutions: Hunger, Climate, Disease]
(51:32) - [Bio Convention Revolution: Aggressive Marketing Strategy]
(55:57) - [Middle East Evolution in Global Innovation Scene]
(59:30) - [Balancing Attendee Expectations: The Art & Challenges]
(01:03:32) - [Diverse Voices: Crafting an Inclusive BIO Speaker Line-up]

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00:00:00:11 - 00:00:03:24

Speaker 1

It's absolutely fabulous to see you again. How are you doing?

 

00:00:04:19 - 00:00:29:22

Speaker 2

I'm doing so great. Christian, thanks for having me back again. It was it was such a great experience last year. You know, having you in San Diego with us was a special treat. And doing your podcast is it's an honor to be on your podcast. I mean, I you know, I've listened and I'm telling you the amount of detail and depth that you go in is what makes it popular and makes it a great success.

 

00:00:29:22 - 00:00:31:18

Speaker 2

So I'm could be more thrilled to join it.

 

00:00:32:03 - 00:01:11:22

Speaker 1

Thank you very much for joining and thank you very much for this kind compliment. I totally accepted and especially thank you very much, Richard, for putting together the bio in the United States every year with your team. It's one of the best events in the industry. And when we spoke last year at the same time in May, I thought when you explained to me what's going to happen in San Diego, that, yeah, I mean, communication experts in the United States, probably he's marketing the event very well and exaggerating, but then a sort of buyer in San Diego.

 

00:01:11:22 - 00:01:32:07

Speaker 1

And now I have the feeling that it was more or less an understatements that you made in, in our podcast episodes. It was really one of the best conferences that I've ever seen in our industry in San Diego last year. And I'm curious to hear from from your perspective, from the perspective of the organizer, how was it for you?

 

00:01:33:24 - 00:02:02:10

Speaker 2

Christian It was it was terrific. And I think when we spoke, we were hoping we would be at around 10,000 people roughly that would show of 8 to 10000. We exceeded that last year and did well over 10,000. You know, I think part of that has to do with we are promoting a premiere event. I want to make a special shout out to our leaders in that telling you who has been our event leader for many, many years.

 

00:02:03:10 - 00:02:30:14

Speaker 2

She puts on a premium show. She has just a team that is second to none, not just in this industry, but in any industry, really, in the United States and abroad. These conferences are so important for the industries that they represent, but I think we have by far without question, the best events team in the world. And I think the product of that is what you saw when you were in San Diego.

 

00:02:31:02 - 00:03:00:11

Speaker 2

It's what we're planning for Boston. And guess what? Planning is already underway for San Diego 2024 at this point. That's why it's that's why it's so good. And so our events and marketing team are literally the best on the planet. And you've been there. I don't think I'm overselling that. Oh, they are so good and they make my job as a marketer and a promoter for the events very easy because they're so good.

 

00:03:00:24 - 00:03:12:03

Speaker 1

I mean, San Diego is a lovely city and my personal highlights were the I think it was Monday morning, the rain event in the morning devoted to participate.

 

00:03:12:18 - 00:03:32:05

Speaker 2

I did participate. I did. So I went a little early because we also had our board meeting that same day and I realized that the race went off. And so what I did is I, I ran it. I ran it before the race came up, that as the race was starting. So I just. Mr. METZGER But what a beautiful day to run.

 

00:03:33:04 - 00:03:49:13

Speaker 1

It was gorgeous. It was gorgeous. And especially the waterfront with all the nice boats and also you promote it's their midway experience. And what you didn't mention, I believe in our podcast was the main act in this evening. I think it was called in the Gang wasn't it?

 

00:03:49:13 - 00:04:15:12

Speaker 2

Did Boat was cool And the gang, we've got some surprises this year. Yes. Specifically what they are. Trust me, there will be surprises. But it was cool. The gang. We didn't announce that because, you know, it's kind of a bio tradition to kind of have a closing night act that makes you go, what I didn't know that. It's kind of like there's a word in Louisiana, they call it Lenape.

 

00:04:15:12 - 00:04:36:18

Speaker 2

It's a kind of a mixture of a French and French, Canadian and Cajun kind of words called Lenape. And it means a little something extra. So, you know, our event promoters, our event organizer was they always have a little plan. Yep. For our our events so you can expect some this year with Kool the Gang. Last year blew me away.

 

00:04:36:18 - 00:04:49:23

Speaker 2

I didn't even know about it until the day before. Really? Exactly. Very good at keeping their secrets. But it makes for it makes for a really exciting event when you know there's a little way in the in your future.

 

00:04:50:04 - 00:05:13:23

Speaker 1

That is us. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. This was such a unexpected turn on on the midway. I mean, I was lining up with my colleagues and then we went up. It was really beautiful. Nice. We had some drinks and met a lot of nice people, which was very good. After the shots downstairs in the pandemic, and as I was about to go home was okay, I finished this evening.

 

00:05:13:23 - 00:05:30:09

Speaker 1

I had enough, enough of partying. And I want to also enjoy the day after the music started playing. And I just walked past the stage. And then if I wait, what I noticed is this really cool event. And yet one of the best concerts I ever saw.

 

00:05:31:02 - 00:05:50:22

Speaker 2

It really was. And so, you know, that was we did it on the midway, that battleship, which is where that concert was, which was just just breathtaking. And did you like the the acrobats that jumped off all and then back up until about. Yeah, me away. It's crazy.

 

00:05:51:13 - 00:06:05:18

Speaker 1

Yeah, this was fantastic to see. And then there was this. I don't know the name. The what is I hope I get it right in English. They're very strings attached to the midway and musicians who played. With what purpose this instrument called to you. Do you know the name of that?

 

00:06:06:05 - 00:06:11:07

Speaker 2

I don't know the name of it. That's interesting. I'll have to. I'll have to go back and I'll text you. What?

 

00:06:11:14 - 00:06:23:19

Speaker 1

I never saw it before. I mean, it it was one act. I mean, midway itself is worth a trip. And then you had these acrobats. Nice crowd, and then Kool and the Gang and other musicians. Fantastic idea.

 

00:06:24:02 - 00:06:47:12

Speaker 2

It was great. And by the way, this year we have our closing ceremony. Our big event is going to be at Fenway Park. Right. Which is one of the most, if not people in Boston, in all of New England would say it's the most historic ballpark baseball park in America. It's where the Boston Red Sox play. We have a closing event at Fenway that we're extremely excited about.

 

00:06:47:12 - 00:06:56:01

Speaker 2

And of course, I hope to see you there and anyone else who still time to do it. But that's where our big closing events are going to be this year. Fenway Park.

 

00:06:56:01 - 00:07:20:22

Speaker 1

Yeah, I watched my my first baseball game life last year in San Diego was amazing experience. I'm curious now, you mentioned that you are not aware of Kool and the Gang and that your events team hid it from you. Can you explain a little bit your role at the PIO International Organization? You're the chief marketing officer, if I remember right, but what what is your job?

 

00:07:21:15 - 00:07:49:04

Speaker 2

A job is chief marketing and public affairs Office officer. And I think we explained to you maybe last year and I think you actually learned something that wasn't just the convention. I mean, the convention is kind of the crown jewel of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization's events portfolio, but we have events throughout the year. We have one coming up for our agriculture and environment group called Bio Impact.

 

00:07:49:14 - 00:08:11:10

Speaker 2

We are going to be in Charlotte, North Carolina this year. That's going to be in September. Then we have another event that's called the Bio Investor Forum that's going to be in San Francisco in October, in the fall timeframe, right around the first of the year. We have another event. It's called Bio CEO. It's where CEOs gather. So we have a whole portfolio of these events.

 

00:08:11:10 - 00:08:35:06

Speaker 2

So for the event side, I am the chief marketer. And so we'll talk about these events and why we think biotech companies should be part of all of our events. I mean, they they really are the seed, if you will, of of how you begin and how you start a biotechnology foundation. This are events and we have a suite of premier events.

 

00:08:35:10 - 00:09:01:05

Speaker 2

And the crown jewel, of course, is the Bio international convention, which draws, you know, again, ten. We could be upwards of 15,000 people this year. It's pretty amazing. And so the smaller conferences are still as important, will draw hundreds or thousands to these smaller conferences, but they are just as important and they're part of our portfolio. So part of my work, my portfolio is to market these premier events.

 

00:09:01:12 - 00:09:37:01

Speaker 2

The other part of my portfolio is public affairs. And what that means really is another aspect of bio that a lot of people don't understand is we have a unbelievable second to none government relations operation. In other words, we have got what you call lobbyists and federal government relations folks. And when there is bad public policy in Washington, D.C., we will go in and we'll fight on behalf of our members to make sure that these anti science policies that we see all the time go forward.

 

00:09:37:01 - 00:10:00:21

Speaker 2

So I have two kind of pieces of my portfolio. One is I manage the communications campaigns around our political events. That's my background and then marketing for all of our premier events. So there's two kind of huge buckets of work that that I oversee at Bio, just so people can understand because bio is complex, It's it means many, many thanks to many folks.

 

00:10:01:05 - 00:10:13:19

Speaker 1

Now it's good to have you at just at the stupidity of moments. But you were speaking about do you have a red telephone to the to Mr. President, to the US president, to just give him a ring and say, please change this policy. We need a better one?

 

00:10:14:16 - 00:10:39:13

Speaker 2

Well, we certainly wish we did, because you have the current president and the previous president pass some policies and advocated for policies which would really hurt innovation, would hurt our science scientist. We work very hard on this matter. I can't see it here, but we my office, where I'm standing right now is two blocks from about three blocks from the White House of the conference room.

 

00:10:39:13 - 00:11:02:08

Speaker 2

You can actually see into the West Wing of the of our White House. So we're situated right in downtown Washington, D.C. My background, I said it was as a television political reporter, but then I worked in the United States Senate for a year. So we work directly with members of Congress in the Senate. We'll work with our international partners on that international public policy.

 

00:11:02:16 - 00:11:38:01

Speaker 2

You know, Christian, the theme of this year's event, this year's bio event, is stand up for science. You know, right now, if you look across the globe and that is in Europe, you see in Germany, we see it in London, we see it in Brussels, we see it in the United States. There is is is emerging this group of anti-elite, anti-science, the anti-science groups that are that are building up anti-vaccine in the United States alone, vaccine hesitancy is on the upswing, which to me is amazing.

 

00:11:38:01 - 00:12:02:14

Speaker 2

I mean, vaccines essentially eliminated measles as a disease. We're now seeing it again, and it's coming from political leaders of both the left and the right who talk about, you know, science in negative ways. So the theme of this year's bio convention is stand up for science. We're going to gather, you know, 14, 15, maybe 16,000 people will be there.

 

00:12:02:20 - 00:12:22:10

Speaker 2

We want them to stand up and speak with a unified voice about bad public policy and why it's so important that we don't have that bad public policy because it's going to squash drug innovation. It's going to it's going to kill them, that the cures of the future. Let me get let me give you one quick example, Christian.

 

00:12:22:18 - 00:12:52:07

Speaker 2

Last year, the United States Congress passed a bill which would essentially price specs. So it would say you can't charge what you want to charge or what the market bears for this lifesaving drug. We're going to impose a price on you just since that bill passed and it hasn't even been implemented as yet. Just since that bill is passed, 55 zero drugs into development have come off the shelves.

 

00:12:52:11 - 00:13:19:13

Speaker 2

Oh, really? Because they don't think that the investors are like, you know, nine in ten drugs fail. I mean, it is really difficult. And anyone who has done a junior high school science project knows that science is about failure. Science is driven by failure. Only through failure can you come up with success. But who has to pay for that failure?

 

00:13:19:17 - 00:13:50:00

Speaker 2

The question is taxpayers pay for it. Your patients pay for it, or do investors pay for it? And if investors are going to pay for it, they need to understand that they're going to get a return on their investment, Right. Otherwise, they're going to stop. And what you're seeing here, Christine, in the United States is because of bad public policy, investors are getting skittish and they're saying, I don't know that I want to invest in this drug because the United States government can come in and fix the price so that I end up losing all of my investment already.

 

00:13:50:00 - 00:14:15:22

Speaker 2

Most investors, when they invest nine out of every $10 that are invested in biomedical and drug innovation, nine in $10 fails. But that $1 that works, it comes up with more than eight, which saved the planet. Right. And so it's really an important ecosystem and we need to protect it. And science, science and scientists are not very good at organizing and pulling themselves together.

 

00:14:16:02 - 00:14:35:03

Speaker 2

And that's what bio wants to do. We think that the collective power of the industry should be on display in Boston, and we certainly fully intend that doing that, signing people up for action and trying to get people to stand up for science, better fact, we're going to have a booth and I would love for you to go by and do this.

 

00:14:35:03 - 00:14:57:10

Speaker 2

It would be great to have celebrity come and do this. But why you stand up for science? We're going to have people cut their own videos at our Bio international convention at the bio pavilion. You can go and cut your own video. I'm here. I'm standing up for science, and this is why I'm standing up for science. It's so important that the industry speak with one voice and only bio.

 

00:14:57:19 - 00:15:00:05

Speaker 2

Our organization can do all of that.

 

00:15:00:21 - 00:15:33:18

Speaker 1

Now when you fix the problem. Couldn't agree more. Can you fix the prices? I mean, the last numbers I have is that these days in our drug costs about 3 to $4 billion. When you look at all the failures that we have to count in all the processes and this money has to redeem all the sunk costs in the development, if you don't let investors redeem their investment, then they stop investing in innovation And then the innovation engine stops and we don't get any new drugs on the market and we can't fix the health problems.

 

00:15:34:02 - 00:15:56:20

Speaker 2

You're right. And you know what? One of the things we're trying to explain to policymakers, because let's be honest, policymakers, politicians, they don't understand this complex ecosystem. So a lot of the things we use to explain this is let's say we decide we're going to there's a there is a pristine piece of land in Berlin. It is up on a hill.

 

00:15:56:22 - 00:16:17:03

Speaker 2

No one's ever seen it. It's been owned by a family trust for decades. For generations, Right. No one has ever sold that. Well, all of a sudden, the families patriarch dies and the kids decide that they're going to sell this pristine piece of land. So what happens is it goes for hundreds of millions of dollars. Well, let's say you and I are investors.

 

00:16:17:10 - 00:16:38:10

Speaker 2

We decide, okay, we're going to put a bunch of money into this beautiful piece of property and we're going to turn it into condos that we're going to rent out. So we invest all of our money and then we invest in changing it all around. And then the German government would come in and say, by the way, we have a housing shortage in Berlin.

 

00:16:38:14 - 00:16:58:23

Speaker 2

The most you can charge for this is about $500 a month, and we would have lost all of our money. And that's what investors have to go through every day. And so we're trying to put it in language so that every Joe understands if you price fix these drugs, you are going to stop the cures of the future.

 

00:16:58:23 - 00:17:03:12

Speaker 2

We can't do it. So what we need to stand up for science and that's what we got to be doing in Boston in June.

 

00:17:03:21 - 00:17:10:14

Speaker 1

That's it. That's very good to hear. That's very good. Let's not step into the European politics because you are not far from the truth with your example.

 

00:17:11:18 - 00:17:16:01

Speaker 2

I know.

 

00:17:16:01 - 00:17:43:14

Speaker 1

I mean, because I think because I have some time. If you have more time, I'll stick with us. Just stay with a brief bio and for the latest podcast episodes, let's one question to you. You mentioned bio in Boston that you start preparing the bio in San Diego already came a little bit more. What is the hard work of your team in the background so that the attendees understand how much passion and effort runs into this event?

 

00:17:43:14 - 00:17:46:19

Speaker 1

What is your team doing in preparing this BIOS?

 

00:17:47:07 - 00:18:19:23

Speaker 2

So we you know, there's a lot of logistics that go into this. So you were there last year and you saw the floor filled with exhibits from people who, you know, you want to do business within the biotechnology space. Boston when we left San Diego last year, 85%, 85% of the space in Boston was already sold. We're already selling space for San Diego 2024 already.

 

00:18:20:04 - 00:18:49:14

Speaker 2

So we have to map that out. We start mapping that out. We start planning what the speakers are going to be. We start planning. Do you know what some of these sessions are going to be like? We have to start lining up sponsors. You know, Bio International convention is not inexpensive to produce. It is a big, massive show and we rely on all of our big sponsors and partners, and we have a lot of terrific sponsors that are alongside the ride with us.

 

00:18:49:19 - 00:18:58:20

Speaker 2

And so we'll be working on those sponsors because it's an expensive endeavor. We want them to be our partners and we want to make sure we recognize their contributions.

 

00:18:59:19 - 00:19:17:23

Speaker 1

I'm curious for you mentioned the main theme of this year's bio is Stand up for Science, and it's now one year after San Diego. Which topics do you see in the biotech industry and the preparation of the bio that will change our future? What's what's coming in science?

 

00:19:18:09 - 00:19:36:23

Speaker 2

What you're going to see some some sessions on this price control, this what I call fixing this arbitrary government control of that. So I believe you're going to have we have a number of sessions that are lined up where people are going to talk about that, how it's going to be implemented. Is there anything we can do to change it?

 

00:19:37:02 - 00:20:01:10

Speaker 2

If so, what are the challenges of that? So you'll you'll see us talk about this drug pricing situation. One of the things that is the biggest drivers of the drug pricing issue is the fact that in the United States we have a group that negotiates these prices called pharmacy benefit managers, PBMs and they are essentially the ones who set the prices.

 

00:20:01:20 - 00:20:28:23

Speaker 2

They come in and negotiate these and they do it in the dark of night. They're not scientists. They don't they they're not doing anything. And they're certainly not sharing the cost benefits with patients. So we'd like to see PBMs reform reform. So we're going to be talking a little bit about that. The other thing I think that you're going to hear a lot about it, bio convention from a policy aspect is intellectual property.

 

00:20:28:23 - 00:20:39:08

Speaker 2

So bio is made up Christian of from 900 to 1000 roughly companies of those 900,000 companies.

 

00:20:39:21 - 00:20:48:18

Speaker 1

I may I stop you for a second to understand you read 902,000 companies?

 

00:20:48:18 - 00:20:52:08

Speaker 2

Yes. Between nine and a thousand companies are biomedical.

 

00:20:52:10 - 00:20:52:19

Speaker 1

Okay.

 

00:20:53:10 - 00:21:19:21

Speaker 2

Yep. And it is. And the vast majority of them, Christian, they don't even have a product yet. They hope to all hope to get a product, but none of them have a product. And nine and nine and ten of them will fail, like I said, because, you know, their hypothesis is it is going to fail and there's only way to know how to do that, and that's to test it through experimentation, Starting a company and doing that.

 

00:21:20:01 - 00:22:08:04

Speaker 2

We have 900 to 1000. The only thing they own, they don't own anything except intellectual property all across the globe right now there is attacks from socialist minded groups against our intellectual property. You saw it happen just last year. You saw that there was what they called the TRIPS waiver, which in the United States was that that the intellectual property for M RNA and the production of, you know, the vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, all the that that that intellectual property that was developed in a lab that was paid for by private investors for the most part should just be given away free just to be put out in the marketplace, because they

 

00:22:08:04 - 00:22:33:12

Speaker 2

said that was what was stopping people was actually vaccine hesitancy. That was stopping many of these countries. But that was the tip of the iceberg all across the world, you are seeing laws pop up to basically steal intellectual property. So in the United States, for instance, we have a lot of political leaders that will say, well, the basic science behind me, Renay, came from an NIH grant.

 

00:22:33:16 - 00:23:00:17

Speaker 2

Right. Or a government funded at the beginning of the study. That is true, right? The very basics of that. But it took the hundreds of tries and failures to turn that into a vaccine. But matter of fact, Moderna had actually done tried to try to do something for the storage vaccine. It had not worked. And the the M RNA technology they were using had gone dormant.

 

00:23:01:10 - 00:23:22:08

Speaker 2

And then but they had invested tens of millions of dollars in it. And then when COVID happened, they remember that pulled it off the shelf and were able to rework that. And it actually worked this time around. And so what happens is that little bitty amount of government funding now you have political leaders say, well, taxpayers already paid for it.

 

00:23:22:12 - 00:23:44:16

Speaker 2

Why did companies get to profit from it? The truth is the companies profit from it because they're the ones who brought it to market. We don't expect the United States taxpayers or any taxpayers for that matter, to pay that burden. We have a different one in the United States. And so intellectual property, you're going to hear a lot about intellectual property, protecting intellectual property, and probably accelerated approval in the United States.

 

00:23:45:07 - 00:24:08:10

Speaker 2

A accelerated approval of drugs in the United States came into fruition during the HIV crisis when there was a real need to expedite and get experimental drugs out there to stop. The AIDS crisis were moving. And so they came up with an accelerated approval model. When you're seeing that being used more and more, but you're in the United States also saying people say, don't do that.

 

00:24:08:10 - 00:24:26:22

Speaker 2

We need to stick to the process. It's easy to say if you're not a patient waiting for a drug. Right. And so accelerated approval is under attack as well. And so from those aspects, you're going to see a lot of that. Some other things you're going to see. Question Is capital formation right? Is tough to raise money to do anything these days?

 

00:24:26:22 - 00:24:47:04

Speaker 2

It used to be a few years ago it was free money everywhere for investment and for growing. That's not the case anymore. And for Biotechnol, it can be even more difficult because it's so risky. So it stands to reason that if anyone's looked at their retirement portfolios, they see that it's tough to raise money and that the markets are bad, roads are bad economic time.

 

00:24:47:11 - 00:25:08:10

Speaker 2

But if the rest of the world has a cold, biotechnology can get pneumonia because it's ridiculous, because it's so risky. And so we're going to hear a lot about how to raise capital, how do we raise capital actually change that dynamic? So there'll be a lot of discussions about that. So that and a lot of some of the new cutting edge scientific and gene technologies will all be discussed.

 

00:25:08:16 - 00:25:27:08

Speaker 2

We have over 150 sessions, 150 sessions, pretty amazing, including our keynote speaker, Katie Couric, former host of The Today Show and kind of an international celebrity will be addressing the crowd with our CEO, Rachel King, on Wednesday. Prevention.

 

00:25:27:24 - 00:25:50:01

Speaker 1

Now, it's good that you voiced his problems. Thanks for pointing that out. I think we're on the same page on that didn't last years. I was very impressed by the scientists in the pharma industry, but it is not possible to bring a vaccine within one year to the market and distribute it to patients. And I was really surprised when I heard then the pushback from politicians on the patent side.

 

00:25:50:22 - 00:26:18:06

Speaker 1

I think the whole discussion was how can we make sure that the vaccines are distributed globally? And they tried to basically, as you said, give away the vaccines for free. And in fact, this is not a real problem here. I mean, Biontech, Moderna or Pfizer, it's in their interest to negotiate deals. Basically, the real problem that we have is the distribution and the logistics and the production and the knowledge transfer, which is not easy in that area.

 

00:26:18:06 - 00:26:27:12

Speaker 1

And it's good to hear that you have it on your agenda to shape the picture in the politicians eyes. To you also talk with Brussels. Are you more focused on Washington.

 

00:26:28:06 - 00:26:59:13

Speaker 2

Or mainly focused on Washington? Although we do work very closely with our International Biotech Association that's based out of Brussels and we work across an international trade law and we work with our partners. So while work doesn't specifically have that, we have a lot of international partners. We have an entire international division which spends a lot of its time in Europe working on that waiver, the TRIPS waiver and working on international with other international groups.

 

00:26:59:22 - 00:27:21:21

Speaker 2

We work hand-in-glove with them and we're there to help them every step of the way as you as you do that. So we do have Spencer, our international experts spend some time in Brussels and their biggest fear is intellectual property, because everywhere across the globe right now, it seems as if everyone is trying to poach Internet. You know, intellectual property.

 

00:27:22:05 - 00:27:46:10

Speaker 2

And again, for our companies, that's they don't own anything else. The intellectual property is all they've got and accomplished. And if a country can just step in and seize that margin and grab that intellectual property, well then all of the science, all of the money, all of the time spent developing that cure, of that, you know, that medicine is over with.

 

00:27:46:24 - 00:28:00:12

Speaker 2

And so as an industry, we have to speak solidly with one voice. And again, that's why we're doing stand up for science, because right now, science's at a critical juncture and scientists need to speak out, stand up and stand up for the industry.

 

00:28:01:01 - 00:28:25:11

Speaker 1

Now, I couldn't agree more. I think we have the same problems here in Europe like you have in the United States. I think you mentioned the NIH grants. You also have grounding schemes here in Europe. And when you look at the entire value chain that is needed to bring one product to the market, if basic research is 1% of the effort and the expenses, 99% and most of it is basically in clinical trials.

 

00:28:25:19 - 00:28:32:04

Speaker 1

And when those investors don't get their separate facts, the just don't invest. It doesn't make any sense.

 

00:28:32:12 - 00:28:48:24

Speaker 2

They don't question you're happy you couldn't be more right. And let me ask you, especially a European audience, you know, at the turn of last century, at the end of the 1990s, European drug developers really led the world in Europe, really most of the drug discovery.

 

00:28:49:04 - 00:28:49:14

Speaker 1

States.

 

00:28:50:04 - 00:29:09:20

Speaker 2

Were coming out of Europe and then price controls came in. And when price controls came in, all the capital moved to the United States. And that's why the vast majority of cures and medicines are coming out of the United States right now with the United States follow suit with Europe. Where does that money go? It's you see China continues to increase.

 

00:29:09:20 - 00:29:28:14

Speaker 2

And so the question is, is the when the next planned pandemic comes, do we want one country, China, to have all of the eggs in their basket, or do we want to make sure that the West has a viable kind of drug development market? And so that's where these questions are really, really critical.

 

00:29:28:14 - 00:29:48:14

Speaker 1

Strategically, it would make sense. It was not a very I mean, you first it very clearly that Europe one one day in the past its long gone was leading to industry and now this is why bio is so important. And let's come to the battery part maybe bio so important for European biotechs because we have a lack of capital here in Europe.

 

00:29:48:22 - 00:30:08:24

Speaker 1

And maybe we remind our audience or the audience of the podcast about stick by a one on one partnering system that they can use to reach out to investors. Because very often I'm really surprised when people when they talk about bio if people here in Europe and say, yeah, you can partner with with investor standards, say how how I mean there are 15,000 people or 10,000 people there, how should I meet them?

 

00:30:09:02 - 00:30:14:19

Speaker 1

Can you explain a little bit what's the bio 1 to 1 partner in business partner systems?

 

00:30:15:09 - 00:30:44:16

Speaker 2

I absolutely cannot thank you for asking me this question, but the bio one in one partnering system is unbelievably unique this year alone. Right now, today, three weeks before we even go to 45,000 meetings, 45,000 meetings are already on the books for our partnering system. That doesn't mean we're all full. So please come on. So let me tell you about the partnering system It is to me.

 

00:30:44:16 - 00:31:12:16

Speaker 2

It was one of the things when I joined Bio few years ago, I didn't realize it existed. And this is this is like where I when people ask me, tell me about bio. And I said, the bio is really if you're in biotechnology or bio, the organization serves you from the beginning, from your very first kernel of an idea till when you sell your very successful company ten, 20 years down the road.

 

00:31:13:11 - 00:31:56:03

Speaker 2

So let's say you and I, Christie, come up with Rich Christian drug development. You have two or four buddies in college, right? And so we're in college and we're buddies and we're science majors and we come up with the drug discovery, but we're we're idiot college students. We have no idea how to turn that into an idea. So I go to bio International convention, I sign up for bio one on one, partnering, also a bio one on one Partnering does is you and I go in and there is a line of investors that we can pitch, that we can walk through our idea, talk about our science pressure, test each of those, and then if

 

00:31:56:03 - 00:32:16:24

Speaker 2

we've got a really good idea, you have those meetings together, you have five or six of them. If your idea is really good and it's really well thought out, we pitch it really well, then they'll be bidding against each other to give us money to build, right? So now we know that. So let's say you again, let's just take this fictitious Christian rich company.

 

00:32:17:08 - 00:32:32:22

Speaker 2

And we now have our investors because we went to bio partnering, went to bio convention, we got to meet some other people. So now we've got our money, now we've got our capital. So you and I want to build a business. So we now have to get a lab, we have to get lab equipment, we have to do all of that stuff.

 

00:32:33:09 - 00:33:02:08

Speaker 2

Guess what? Bio has what's called bio business solutions. Bio business solutions allows you and me to go in and be able to, instead of paying $100,000 for a mass quantity of test tubes and pipe, that some things you need to stand up a laboratory, we can get it for a fraction of the price because we're bio members. Bio members can use bio business solution to get great deals on the things we need.

 

00:33:02:14 - 00:33:25:13

Speaker 2

So that gives us large company purchasing power because again, we may only need five lab coats, not like Pfizer or Merck that need 500,000, but if we are a biomedical, we get the purchasing power of a huge company because we pull it together with our small investors. So that helps us save money, that helps us put that remember that money we got from the partnering system.

 

00:33:26:04 - 00:33:41:24

Speaker 2

That money now can be spent more in the lab because we're having to pay less to run the lab, right? So now we get to phase two or phase three clinical trials and we're and everything is going well. But now we need to figure out how to talk to the FDA. We need to talk about the regulatory bodies in Europe.

 

00:33:42:11 - 00:34:02:20

Speaker 2

How do you do that? Yes. Who knows how to do that? Bio I can talk to the regulatory groups. We can talk to those folks who can make those introductions at the FDA in the United States. So now we've got an approved drug, but now the government wants to come in and post price controls or the government wants to take your intellectual property and just give it away.

 

00:34:03:03 - 00:34:19:23

Speaker 2

Guess what? Bio's public affairs arm can help get through all of that crisis. And then 20 years down the line, what we want to sell, because you and I have got another great idea that we want to start but we and we don't want to manufacture, we don't want to be a big drug company. We want to go back into the lab.

 

00:34:20:07 - 00:34:34:19

Speaker 2

Guess what? Bio can help move into another place where we can sell our technology so you and I can go back to the lab and start figuring out the next thing. So at every stage of a career of a development of a drug, bio's there to help that.

 

00:34:34:21 - 00:34:49:15

Speaker 1

It's good to know. That's good to know. I think every European biotech company must become a member of bio at the end of the day to get your help on the US market. The US market is the most important market also for European biotechs, and it's good to know that they should go to you directly.

 

00:34:50:01 - 00:34:55:16

Speaker 2

We have many, many, many, many hundreds of European biotech companies. We would love more.

 

00:34:56:12 - 00:35:35:10

Speaker 1

I'm sure you get more. Last year we talked about hybrid formats, hybrids, conference formats. We had some years of online conferences and before 2020, basically every conference was in real life only, no hybrid format. I'm curious to hear from you from the organizers of BIO in Boston this year, what will stay from the pandemic? Last year you mentioned that you had your start, the Bayer podcast series, the bio news platform, and that you also have some hybrid formats in place.

 

00:35:36:06 - 00:35:42:12

Speaker 1

Will you stay in future or are we completely going back to the format of before 2020?

 

00:35:42:12 - 00:36:01:23

Speaker 2

No, where you put your finger right on it. We've built this news kind of what I call a ecosystem of news that talks about what we're doing. So one of the things we learned from the pandemic, I mean, it was it was difficult, right? This belief is difficult. You know, when you have 15,000 people show up in person, it has a big economic impact.

 

00:36:01:23 - 00:36:32:15

Speaker 2

So from an economic standpoint, having virtual conferences was difficult, but we kept them going. We thought it was important to keep them going. So we had the virtual conferences. What we took away from that was the ability to use the sessions that we have to kind of create a a library of sorts of news stories and content so that for folks who physically can't be there, who planned to be there, they'll be able to watch a lot the content that we have.

 

00:36:32:23 - 00:36:52:02

Speaker 2

They miss out on the look and feel and the networking and the one on one partnering. They miss out on that piece of it, which is why we encourage everybody to go. But the content there is so rich and it is so important that people be plugged into that, that I think it's extremely important that we continue to do that.

 

00:36:52:11 - 00:37:12:23

Speaker 2

So we'll have we have a good day video live, which you'll be able to actually tune in even if you're not there and see a recap of all the events that have occurred that day. Sound soundbites. It'll be a really nice video montage of things that are going through throughout the day. As you mentioned, we do have the bio podcast.

 

00:37:12:23 - 00:37:53:01

Speaker 2

It's called I Am Bio Podcast. If you haven't downloaded it, I urge everybody to go back and listen. We have some unbelievable we just finished wrapping up our spring summer session, but we have we've talked about a I, we have talked about, you know, the you know, the really across the board so many topics of interest. We talked a little bit about a report survived it, a report about the fact that in the world, in the far more world, investments in pain medication have gone almost extinct.

 

00:37:53:13 - 00:38:24:03

Speaker 2

We have an entire podcast that is is behind that. We have another one on rare disease in which John Crowley, who's our vice chairman of, tells this very moving story about how he was able to have he had two young children who had genetic diseases. He gave up is is his his career and moved into drug development. It was so inspiring that there was a movie with Harrison Ford and Brendan Frazier.

 

00:38:24:03 - 00:38:47:15

Speaker 2

Many ago that featured John. And so our podcast features that what we've tried to do with the podcast is make sure that we make the science that our scientists are working on relevant to human life. So there's the I Am Bio podcast. We will be doing that as convention. And as I said, there will also be a video element to this where people can come and talk about how they stand up for science.

 

00:38:48:10 - 00:39:18:00

Speaker 2

We can use that to elevate people's voice. So we learned a lot of lessons during virtual. Don't want to go back to pure virtual ever again. We are taking the best piece of virtual and trying to learn from that and make the conventions better and more last longer. I think the content that we get will be able you know, if you look at our content channels, we have a daily pod, we have a daily newsletter, takes you 3 minutes every morning to read.

 

00:39:18:05 - 00:39:39:10

Speaker 2

It's focused a lot on policy issues and how you can make your voice heard. A lot of US policy, but we also have international news events as well that are in this. You can go to Bio dot News, which is a new website that we launched at convention last year. It's a news portal and it has all of the news of the day that you need to know.

 

00:39:39:17 - 00:40:01:22

Speaker 2

And it'll also have you prompt you to sign up for our For Good Day Buy Out, which is a daily newsletter throughout convention. Good day by bio. Be focused on all the great things that are going on. So we took a lot of what we learned from that virtual session and put it into the real world. We'll continue to do that, but let's hope we never go back to virtual only convention.

 

00:40:01:22 - 00:40:25:00

Speaker 1

I'm with you. Please, no virtual world anymore. I would I wanted to real life but what you mentioned, I mean the video option, for example, it's all great. It is. And we are a little bit restricted by time. So otherwise straight hours and talking about everything but but what I love with the change 50 conferences is the video option was so often at conferences.

 

00:40:25:00 - 00:40:49:02

Speaker 1

I mean, usually when I attend and use partnering systems, I have about 8 to 10 hours of meetings every day and I have still a lot of business cards from the pre-pandemic times here. So this is a staple of people I met. And because it's really beneficial, as you said, you can reach out to the pharma industry, to investors, to service partners.

 

00:40:49:02 - 00:41:20:05

Speaker 1

They are all there and there are a lot of solutions. But there were also interesting panel discussions. And the problem always was that I had to decide either to go to a one on one meeting or attend a panel discussion, and very often the one on one meeting sworn into office. But it's such a pity that before the pandemic, almost no recorded this panel discussion and put it online because it really helps, for example, with regulators or with politicians to send them to contact and say, look, I mean, listen to that.

 

00:41:20:16 - 00:41:30:10

Speaker 1

Will you stay also at bio in the future forever? That's the content is accessible that you can use the content for negotiating with politicians.

 

00:41:31:13 - 00:41:50:18

Speaker 2

Yes. I mean, that's the idea. We want to make sure and we will be grabbing as much of this content as we can. You know. The Good Day bio daily newsletter goes out to more than 40,000 people worldwide, and I would love anybody who is listening to this to go to bio dot news and sign up for our daily newsletter.

 

00:41:51:07 - 00:42:12:07

Speaker 2

But of those 40,000, we have roughly 10,000 people in Washington, DC. You listen to their policymakers, their congressmen, their Congress people, staff, and we're going to take these stories, the stand up for science stories, and we're going to make sure Capitol Hill, we're to march and straight up the hill to make sure that they hear that this industry speaks with one voice.

 

00:42:12:15 - 00:42:39:10

Speaker 2

We can and cannot continue to stifle innovation and science and then expect that we're going to come up with the next generation of cures. And when you look at the next generation of science, it's being working. It's not just treating symptoms. We are a limited thing, all classes of diseases, by changing the genetic makeup, this gene therapy and the genetic research that's going on right now are going to end disease.

 

00:42:39:20 - 00:43:12:07

Speaker 2

It's going to cost a lot of money to be able to do that. But guess what? It's going to eliminate and save taxpayers and insurance companies and save businesses, products is going to increase if all classes of diseases are eliminated. Just think of the economic impact that that's going to have. That won't happen with bad public policy. That won't happen if investors think that the government's going to come in and feel that gene therapy from a company that spent billions of dollars developing, it's not going to happen.

 

00:43:12:13 - 00:43:22:11

Speaker 2

We need to speak with one loud, clear voice to our political leaders, whether they're in Berlin, Brussels or Washington, D.C. We need to speak with a clear voice on that.

 

00:43:23:00 - 00:43:38:13

Speaker 1

Absolutely. Otherwise, other countries do the research and then we can negotiate with them. So we need to keep science here in Europe and the United States alive and working. And this is very important. I think the complex problems that we have these days, science is the solution for that.

 

00:43:38:24 - 00:44:10:06

Speaker 2

It is. I mean, if you look across the board, gretchen, we're talking about hunger. What are we going to do about hunger? Well, guess what? Biotechnology is the solution for eliminating food security. I mean, you're developing heat resistant cattle that can live in drought conditions, right? That never before existed. So poorer countries will be able to raise cattle because of the science that's going on and provide a stable food source to countries that heretofore could never even dream of having herds of cattle.

 

00:44:10:11 - 00:44:30:19

Speaker 2

That will happen or, you know, other types of agriculture and biotechnology is going to be the solution for that. You know, we're trying to get we're trying to change from fossil fuels to a green source. There has to be a huge breakthrough. Biotechnology is producing that bridge. You know, and we've got to recognize that. We've got to applaud it.

 

00:44:30:19 - 00:44:50:22

Speaker 2

We have to stand up for it and cure it. All of the things that we we see, whether it's hunger, whether that's the environment or whether it's ending disease, Biotechnology is at the center of all of that. And as a result, we need to make sure we're doing policy that is going to shut down all of this innovation.

 

00:44:51:00 - 00:45:08:13

Speaker 2

We need to encourage it. It's a revolution because the science is we're not going to keep it all in a bottle. But if it's not Europe doing and it's not the United States doing it, it could be other actors that we don't want to negotiate with when it comes to ending these types of issues that face our societies.

 

00:45:09:04 - 00:45:34:12

Speaker 1

Science and IP is strategically, I think, one of the most two of the most important resources that we have these days. Rich, let me ask you some questions to the organization of the bio, especially measuring success. I have a finance background and the for background as always. And the question how do we measure if a bio and the work of your organization is truly successful?

 

00:45:34:22 - 00:45:37:09

Speaker 1

How do you do that? How do you measure your success?

 

00:45:37:20 - 00:46:07:11

Speaker 2

You know, it's very difficult because when you are when you are from the public policy angle, when you're pushing a boulder up the hill. And right now political leaders on both the left and the right both find political advantage to attacking the industry. It's very difficult to change that narrative. It's really difficult. You would think that a global pandemic in which our industry stayed the planet would change people's attitudes.

 

00:46:08:00 - 00:46:40:08

Speaker 2

But you see political leaders both in Europe and in the United States, continually attack an industry as greedy and corrupt. So that's been difficult. But what we've decided we're doing is as we build this news, kind of this news ecosystem, I biodata news that as we grow that audience, we're going to see that. So one measurement of success is, you know, a year ago when we were talking good, they had roughly 20, 25,000 people.

 

00:46:40:09 - 00:47:06:13

Speaker 2

We now have 40,000, and it's continuing to grow. We hope to grow it. You know, significantly even more as it becomes as it becomes as it goes forward. We have to look at the policy that is passed and right. It's an incremental it's an incremental deal. The original discussions about this drug price bill in the United States, it happened would have decimated the industry.

 

00:47:06:13 - 00:47:33:10

Speaker 2

They were talking about performance reference pricing. They were talking about, you know, importation from other countries. There was a list of everything that would have just helped to destroy the industry out there was in a11 single bill. We fought hard against that as bio. We worked hard against that. And in the end, while we got price controls, it was limited in scope and it was much more limited.

 

00:47:33:10 - 00:47:52:02

Speaker 2

And we still were able to probably try to be able to get some softer language as it goes through the process. We're hoping we can do that. But the return on the investment there is we took a bill that would destroy the industry and made it a very bad still a bad bill. So how do you measure success on that?

 

00:47:52:02 - 00:48:16:17

Speaker 2

It's difficult now in terms of bio conventions, that's a whole lot easier to measure success. We're going to break records likely this year in terms of turning people out. We have put together a very aggressive marketing campaign. You've probably seen it we before. I think we had really focused on just kind of 1 to 1 communications and email marketing.

 

00:48:17:00 - 00:48:41:10

Speaker 2

We now use email marketing, but we're also supplementing that both here and with a greater emphasis even on Europe and in Asia, because we know we're going to have 65 countries represented. 40% of everybody that's going to be at bio is not from the United States. So that tells you that the world that we're growing and that our marketing efforts are really working.

 

00:48:41:10 - 00:49:04:02

Speaker 2

We're focusing on what we call a surround sound strategy so that you're getting an email from us. Every once in a while. You're seeing us, you know, you're seeing ads for bio convention when you're Google biotechnology, you're seeing paid advertisement for, you know, the best of the best. You know, how can I raise money to fund my scientific idea?

 

00:49:04:08 - 00:49:25:02

Speaker 2

Guess what? Bio one on one partnering is going to come up. So we have invested more than ever before in trying to get the word out this time. So from a marketing standpoint, doing everything we can to really kind of elevate the issue and we're going to and we're seeing it now. Last year we surprised everyone by, you know, we're predicting 8000.

 

00:49:25:02 - 00:49:48:21

Speaker 2

We ended up with 12,000, I think last year or more we're going to be at 14, 15,000 at bio convention this year could be more than that. When you get to downtown Boston, Christian, you're going to see ads all over the all over Kendall Square. We are really for its first time ever. We've done that. But we really want to people here in Boston the last minute say, I think I should go over there and see what's going on with bio.

 

00:49:49:01 - 00:50:13:09

Speaker 2

I mean, so that's that's something that you're going to see. So from the event perspective, it's far easier to measure success. And and we're we're doing really well. The public affairs piece is challenging and it's going to and this is why we want to do stand up for science at this year's convention, because we're not going to be able to be successful pushing back bad legislation on our own.

 

00:50:13:09 - 00:50:15:06

Speaker 2

We need everybody to be part of it.

 

00:50:16:02 - 00:50:42:18

Speaker 1

Now. Public affairs work is so important, although it's hard to measure when it's successful because, I mean, people pay membership fees and then policies are passed that are harming the industry and then the question comes up to pay membership fees. But the thing is, if no body is lobbying with the politicians that just have a blind eye to have a blind spot, they don't see the industry and they don't see the problems and they put different regulations in place.

 

00:50:42:18 - 00:50:44:01

Speaker 1

It's it's just a matter of fact.

 

00:50:45:03 - 00:50:46:12

Speaker 2

Yeah, 100% right.

 

00:50:47:18 - 00:51:02:09

Speaker 1

Did did the heat attract the event part? It's 15,000 attendees from 65 countries with 40% non-U.S. participants.

 

00:51:02:18 - 00:51:38:01

Speaker 2

That's correct. It's good that the break has roughly 60%, US 40% national. We have 65 different countries. Last year, South Korea had the largest international contingent there. They're doing very, very well this year in terms of registration. But we also are seeing increased interest from the Middle East, which is also trying to develop a burgeoning biotechnology sector. So the Middle East is getting more and more involved.

 

00:51:38:01 - 00:52:02:15

Speaker 2

We see a huge contingent from from Europe. So it's 65 different countries will be represented and 40% of all of the attendees will be non-U.S. attendees. So it is truly an international convention. There's nothing like it. You know, the truth is there's a lot of different conferences that go on. There's a lot of imitators out there that try to imitate what we do.

 

00:52:03:02 - 00:52:29:12

Speaker 2

But you can't imitate our unbelievable bio one on one partnering. You know that firsthand. And you can't and you can't imitate bio international convention or bio impact for our ag and environment companies or the bio Investor Forum in San Francisco in the fall or CEO. All of our events are premier events and people can pretend that they're there, but we are the real deal.

 

00:52:29:12 - 00:52:41:10

Speaker 2

And so fortunately for us, you know, we have we have got a great advantage and we are really excited about our entire portfolio of events that we have coming in the next in the next year.

 

00:52:42:01 - 00:53:08:16

Speaker 1

Yet it's interesting to hear also from you regarding the Middle East, I had some speakers who have set up their offices in United Arab Emirates and I still had the picture from the eighties nineties 2000 by a photo of oil producing companies. Middle East is very important, but when it comes to science, innovation, pharma industry, it's more United States, Europe with the emerging markets in India and China.

 

00:53:09:06 - 00:53:23:11

Speaker 1

And I learned there is a lot going on in the Middle East lately and that there is a whole new ecosystem established. How much percentage change from the Middle East will be attending attendees at the bio?

 

00:53:24:06 - 00:53:56:18

Speaker 2

I don't know the exact breakdown, but you put your finger right on it. I mean, you've seen it growing and we're year over year. We're seeing the interest growing. I think if you look at the region and if you look at, you know, whether it's, you know, the UAE, you know, whether it's, you know, any of these countries in the Middle East, you know, I think for so long, their leadership depended on fossil fuel and depended on petrochemicals as a way to drive their economy.

 

00:53:56:18 - 00:54:23:19

Speaker 2

I think as they as as global warming shifts from being a hoax to, oh, this is real. We need to change. I think you see even the leaders in the Middle East saying we need to diversify our economy. We need to ensure I mean, even if you look at the education system in some of these Middle Eastern countries, there is never really a premium placed on, you know, STEM education.

 

00:54:24:01 - 00:54:45:00

Speaker 2

Within the last ten years, you've seen many of the more Westernized style countries in the Middle East start to do that. So as you're building this workforce, you need to find work for them to do or they're going to go to Europe. You mean you want to keep them up? So my sense is that from the Middle East, it's going to continue to grow a smaller percentage.

 

00:54:45:00 - 00:55:03:12

Speaker 2

And some of the Asian countries and obviously Europe right now, but they're growing. And I think my prediction is in the next ten years, you're going to see them grow exponentially as more and more as more and more folks have education in that area, they're going to try to do it and they have the capital to do it.

 

00:55:03:14 - 00:55:24:24

Speaker 2

I mean, there's no doubt that there is a massive amounts of capital throughout the Middle East. And what they want to do with it, I think, is is going to be intriguing. And I think they'll will continue to be kind of a center of that. But I predict it'll start to grow. And I it'll be interesting to hear at your back to see if you agree or not.

 

00:55:24:24 - 00:55:44:08

Speaker 1

Absolutely. Absolutely. Minimize is more like a system. It's yours is your perspective is with with your huge team is much bigger than mine. But what I saw is two topics. Basically, it's longevity and climate change so that investments heavily in this area in the UAE is happening right now. And this is something that I was not aware of ten years ago.

 

00:55:44:08 - 00:56:10:15

Speaker 1

It changed. You mentioned that you have a lot of nations, a lot of countries, a lot of sponsors, a lot of speakers, media attendees and I always say when I talk with free people and wants to hear their opinion, I get four or five opinions back. I can imagine when you have 15,000 attendees, they all have their different needs and wishes and wants.

 

00:56:11:03 - 00:56:15:07

Speaker 1

How do you balance that? How do you how do you do that?

 

00:56:15:07 - 00:56:43:19

Speaker 2

It's the most difficult it's probably the most difficult aspect of what the team does. And I think actually it's what separates Bio from other kind of conventions. Our events and mark our events team is again, I said this before, I believe it's second to none. They anticipate that what makes them special is our events, team and education team has been through this so often.

 

00:56:44:01 - 00:57:06:03

Speaker 2

They understand what those needs are going to be and where the shortcomings are going to be before they happen. And one of the things they they predict issues, they predict problems and they troubleshoot them before they ever happen. That doesn't mean they don't happen. Sometimes you get to wait in line for lunch and everybody is upset about that, that you can't change, that.

 

00:57:06:03 - 00:57:30:15

Speaker 2

Everybody goes online When 14,000 people go to lunch. At the same time, it's hard to distribute 14,000 box lunches quickly. Nothing you can do about that? You can. But I got to tell you, it keeps our events, leadership, sleepless, trying to figure out ways in which to do it. So what makes them so good is their XO, their experience being on the ground for so many years.

 

00:57:30:22 - 00:57:50:14

Speaker 2

They will predict problems that perhaps I look at thing. Of course it's just put the box lunches out, let people go kind of grab and they're like, no, because they've done it for so many years. So again, I think it's one of our strengths because our team has been through it so often. They know how to troubleshoot problems before they begin.

 

00:57:51:13 - 00:58:22:03

Speaker 2

That doesn't mean we're not going to have problems. Everybody does this year, for instance, because of, you know, increased threats. Everybody's going to have to go through magnetometers. If you leave the building, you have to go through a magnetometer. Even if you go out and have a smoke, you're going to have to go back through the the metal detectors again, which is going to cause problems because it's just you know, it's it's going to it's going to cause slow entry back in and out of the conference center.

 

00:58:22:16 - 00:58:45:03

Speaker 2

But the safety and security of our attendees is the most important thing. And so that bit of inconvenience. So we're trying to telegraph that to people, make sure you build that into your travel time because you don't know how long it's going to take you to get through the magnetometer metal detectors that are there. But I can assure you our team has already thought about it and is trying to get the word out that you may be delayed.

 

00:58:45:03 - 00:59:02:22

Speaker 2

So make sure you bowl that in so that we don't you know, so that everybody comes away with a really, really good experience. And there's nothing you can do about standing in line waiting to get into a session. But I think what one of the one of the things that they think of everything is I never even realize it.

 

00:59:02:22 - 00:59:27:12

Speaker 2

If you have a line waiting to get in, sometimes you'll get there very early for Katie Couric, who's going to be our keynote speaker on Wednesday. There'll be a line out the door a half hour before our crew is out there. They're making sure that everybody's okay. They're, you know, checking out everybody's welfare, making sure everybody's fine before they get to go into that conference center to hear Katie Couric be interviewed by our CEO, Rachel King.

 

00:59:28:14 - 00:59:39:12

Speaker 2

But but because they've thought ahead, it eliminates a lot of those problems. And that's why I continue to say they're the best group in the world that pulls off these conference.

 

00:59:39:24 - 01:00:07:07

Speaker 1

I believe that a lot of a lot of work goes into it. You mentioned some speakers and I mean, in the last years we talked a lot about inclusive and diverse speakers, not only in gender and ethnicities, but when we talk about science, there are a lot of different scientific innovations going on at the same time. And although bio is a huge event, I think also your speaking slots are limited.

 

01:00:07:07 - 01:00:16:21

Speaker 1

So you don't you have just a certain number of speakers that you can invite. How do you select the topics and to speaker, But what is your process at Bio?

 

01:00:17:07 - 01:00:52:16

Speaker 2

Well, it's an it's interesting. So back in the late last year, we put out a call for sessions. So if you're a bio member, we put out a call for sessions so people can send in all of their great ideas. And this year we got hundreds of suggestions. We then have a subset of a group of our members that meet together and they go through each of the submissions and they look through each of the submissions and they're all that they all have to fill out the same thing.

 

01:00:52:16 - 01:01:11:23

Speaker 2

What's the topic? Who would the panelists be? How do you do that? And then so then we have a bespoke panel of our member companies come in and they'll look through that and they'll say yes to this one. This one looks good, but it's not diverse enough. No to that one. And so that's why I say this process starts many, many, many, many months ago.

 

01:01:12:18 - 01:01:31:12

Speaker 2

And so we may start off with 500 submissions of what a great session would be, and we're going to end up with 150, which is a lot. But they will have all been vetted by a very diverse team. And what we do is they try to figure out which ones are going to be different because there are so many topics that are kind of the same.

 

01:01:31:18 - 01:01:54:24

Speaker 2

But we want to make sure that if we're going to do something on intellectual property and intellectual property, that we have one on policy, we have one on malign actors stealing intellectual property. You know, there's different areas of intellectual property, not just kind of the same old, same old. We want to make sure that there's a diversity of topics.

 

01:01:55:05 - 01:02:21:03

Speaker 2

And then, of course, we have had a rule now for a while, and it's important that every panel is diverse, that you're not going to see a panel at bio in which, you know, for, you know, people who look exactly the same or are talking about the issue, we're going to have diverse panels because we think diversity of viewpoints, especially when it comes to science, is is critical.

 

01:02:21:20 - 01:02:49:19

Speaker 2

And not to mention the fact from a PR and marketing standpoint, when you see the diversity of our industry, women and men, women of color, men of color. You know, when you see that, you realize how advanced the industry is. And also we've got a lot of work to do. So I think for me, that's why we want to really focus on both having interesting panels that are going to draw people to sit in on the panels.

 

01:02:50:00 - 01:02:58:11

Speaker 2

But also it's really important to have a diverse set of viewpoints so that it's not just the same old, same old. It's very important for us to be able to do that.

 

01:02:58:17 - 01:03:24:19

Speaker 1

I couldn't agree more. I mean, innovation needs diversity of opinions, not the same opinions and roles and contrast different social backgrounds, different nationalities, different genders. And out of these diverse discussions, new innovation appears sometimes somewhere. And you can you can't really plan that. Rich, you're such a fantastic storyteller and I would love to talk to you another hour or 2 hours of free hours.

 

01:03:24:24 - 01:03:39:17

Speaker 1

But I know you have a lot of things on your agenda. Bonfire No question left. And before I ask this final question, I would like to ask you, did I miss anything? Is there a question that you want me to ask you?

 

01:03:41:11 - 01:03:45:05

Speaker 2

How much fun can people have at bio? That's the one question.

 

01:03:45:05 - 01:03:48:23

Speaker 1

We bet that's how much fun, how much fun can people have it by?

 

01:03:50:11 - 01:04:13:00

Speaker 2

Listen, I tell you what I've been. This will be my this will be my fourth bio. And I'm telling you, every year I find something different. So the networking opportunities I'll tell you this one on one partnering there is there is nothing on the planet that is better at taking investors and introducing them to inventors, nothing better than one on one apartment.

 

01:04:13:11 - 01:04:39:19

Speaker 2

However, you can sit and you can make a pitch, but if you see someone at a happy hour at running to them at a Fenway Park, then also you take up a take that friendship to a new level, take that business to a new level. The networking opportunities of bio and the opportunity to have fun and to really get to know one another and really get to hear what's going on in the industry is unparalleled.

 

01:04:40:09 - 01:05:04:02

Speaker 2

It's not only fun and interesting you're seeing faces of scientists and businesses from all over the world. It's like it's like you literally it's like doing an entire world tour of the biotechnology industry all at one place. It's fun, it's educational. The networking opportunities are unbelievable. We have a list of all of the networking receptions. We have them.

 

01:05:04:02 - 01:05:24:18

Speaker 2

We're having them on the floor. So if you go on to the floor, each of the areas are having their own happy hours and get together. Sessions We're going to have a place at the bio pavilion where people can come kick their shoes off, relax a little bit if they need to. There's places to do all of this stuff, but it's not all business.

 

01:05:24:18 - 01:05:50:04

Speaker 2

I mean, while it is business, there's a lot of fun. And by the way, some of the drugs that are saving lives today started with a conversation at a networking happy hour. There's no better place to be if you're in the industry and you want to have fun and you want to meet everybody and you want to really make a difference and you want to stand up for science while you're at it, You've got to be in Boston first weekend.

 

01:05:50:04 - 01:06:10:22

Speaker 1

You Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. It's really fun. Like last year in San Diego especially, your event was also at the baseball stadium. Was that? Yeah, I loved it. I love the. Let me ask you my final question, though. We had this secret, the event called in the game last year. So let's share a secret on this podcast.

 

01:06:10:22 - 01:06:12:09

Speaker 1

What is this year's secret event?

 

01:06:13:04 - 01:06:16:13

Speaker 2

You asked me why they don't tell me this is what they do it.

 

01:06:17:06 - 01:06:24:15

Speaker 1

I was hoping to get it out of you at the end. So we have. They have to come to Boston and experience it ourselves in Boston.

 

01:06:25:04 - 01:06:27:12

Speaker 2

All I can tell you is I promise it would be worth it.

 

01:06:27:21 - 01:06:45:11

Speaker 1

That's super. Absolutely rich. It is fantastic talking to you. I'm looking forward to see you in Boston this year. And all the best to you and your team in the preparation and the final mile to the event. And I'm pretty sure it will be as amazing or even more amazing this year like it was last year.

 

01:06:46:02 - 01:06:57:05

Speaker 2

Great. Christian, thank you so much and look forward to seeing you and anybody else. Registration still up and go to bio dot org go to our events page signup we want to see you there. You won't regret that I promise.

 

01:06:57:21 - 01:07:00:03

Speaker 1

Rich thank you for the conversation have a great state.

 

01:07:00:16 - 01:07:02:21

Speaker 2

Bye bye Bye.