2017 Winter Conference and 15th Anniversary Celebrations

A Great Success!

The 2017 Swiss HLG Winter Conference addressed the topic of “Healthcare Megatrends, how do they impact business models and deal structures?”. Megatrends are sustained, global, social, economic, political, environmental or technological changes, which are here to stay and will eventually make a considerable and durable impact on our future.

Conference Director, Laurence de Schoulepnikoff and Co-Director, Maurice Zultak, with the active support of the entire Swiss HLG Board, convened a global panel of experts from the pharmaceutical, biotech, medtech and insurance fields, as well as representatives from the management and consulting worlds.More than 80 attendees, representing over 60 companies and 12 countries, enthusiastically contributed to the interactive exchanges and enjoyed the unique setting of the Art Nouveau-Jugendstil Hotel Paxmontana, in Flüeli Ranft, Central Switzerland.

Before the start of the conference, Monika Naef, a dynamic and experienced Certified Global Negotiator and Partner at DUFOUR Attorneys, had held a 2-hour workshop on how to terminate an established licensing agreement. This was followed by two days of presentations.

As an introduction, Thomas Szucs, Chairman of the Board for Helsana Health Insurance, brilliantly set the stage with his thought-provoking keynote speech on the challenges of “Developing New Medicines in a Time of Cost Containment”, with a focus on the payor perspective. Dominik Hotz, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed the scope of the ongoing and upcoming changes in the Healthcare environment, including real world evidence, digital health, new models of access and managing healthcare costs, and how they will impact all stakeholders in the continuum of care. Otto Schwarz, Executive Vice President & COO of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, presented his personal and unconventional thoughts, on the challenges facing the Pharmaceutical industry. He elicited a lively discussion!

Three captivating presentations illustrated the global and globalization perspectives. Rong Hui Gao, Managing Director of G-Med Consulting, gave an enlightening speech on the “Evolution of China’s Healthcare and Biomedical Industry” and the anticipated growth of its cross-border impact via acquisitions and partnerships. Robert Sebbag recently retired VP Access to Medicines at Sanofi, delivered an inspiring personal perspective on “How Innovative Drugs will be made Accessible in Developing Countries”, reminding us of the fundamental mission of our industry and giving us concrete examples of how it can be fulfilled. To close this session, Richard Ridinger, CEO of Lonza Group, explained his groups’ global growth strategy, along the Healthcare Continuum and how its recent acquisitions serve this objective.

The Life Sciences Megatrends session focused on three essential topics. Eric Rhodes, CEO of ERS Genomics, shared his knowledge and perspectives on the growing impact that gene editing technologies will have on all aspects of Health Sciences and the associated intellectual properties issues. Germo Gericke, Global Program Head, Oncology for Novartis Pharma, addressed how novel Immuno-Oncology therapies will change not only cancer treatment and prognosis but also end-points and disease taxonomy and Nicholas Benedict, Co-Founder & CEO of Allecra Therapeutics, addressed the unique issues surrounding the necessary funding of antibiotic research and the possible approaches to the financial and commercial paradigms.

Technology megatrends are one of the fastest changing trends in Healthcare. Gregg Talbert, Global Head of Strategic Partnering at Roche Partnering, looked at “How Big Data will Impact Healthcare”, while Mikael von Euw, CFO & Director Business Development, Biovotion, shared his provocative perspective on the future positioning of Medical Wearables in the Healthcare industry.

To conclude, Sharon Finch, CEO of Medius Associates, looked at how megatrends will and already do impact the core of our business, based on available information from “deal” databases. Michel Pettigrew, President, Executive Board & COO at Ferring Pharmaceuticals, gave the closing keynote lecture. He shared his views on future trends in private-public partnerships, illustrated by his company’s successful partnership to reduce post-partum haemorrhages in the developing world, with WHO and Merck Mothers.

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Swiss HLG, a panel of founding members convened to recollect the inception days and to share their perspectives on how healthcare megatrends appeared fifteen years ago. The then followed their actual materialization, through to present day. The festive part of the celebration started with an “apero” in a typical Swiss mountain barn, where local Artist Eliana Burki gave a dynamic modern twist to the ancient art of Swiss Alphorn playing and concluded with a traditional Swiss Fondu dinner, in an intimate guest house environment.

The Swiss HLG Board thanks the presenters and the participants for the lively discussion and interactions. Please find below some images from the conference. Please click on the image to view it in its entirety.