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The first edition of the Conference, which took place at the end of September in Prague, hosted over 150 academics, investors and industry representatives involved in developing new drugs, diagnostics, and other areas of biotechnology from Central Europe. The event connected top scientists from biotechnology and pharmaceuticals with representatives of investors that manage a total amount of around €1 billion. The conference was the opening event of the cluster.

The conference hosted two keynote speakers. Jan Berka, a recognized expert on sequencing systems from Roche Diagnostics Solutions, focused his lecture on the role of the so-called immunome in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases. Marek Šťastný from Bristol-Myers Squibb prepared a contribution regarding the use of modern immunotherapy in anti-tumor treatment.

The investor panel discussion, one of the conference's highlights, was attended by Aleksander Kłósek (YouNick Mint VC, Poland), Alexander Schwartz (xista science ventures fund, Austria), Michael Krebs KHAN Technology Transfer Fund I, Germany), Anke Caßing (High-Tech Gründerfonds, Germany), Yveta Holečková (BPD Partners, Czech Republic), Victoria Wang (Taiwania Capital Management, Taiwan) or Jaromír Zahrádka (i&i Biotech Fund, Luxemburg/Prague). One of the main topics was the potential risks of financing scientific startups at the very beginning of their development.

In the late afternoon, intellectual property experts discussed the importance of IP strategy for every new invention. The panel focused on the IP strategy throughout different phases of the invention and startup lifecycle. Patent attorneys Roger Abseher from Dentons Patent Solutions (Germany), Adrian Bradley from Cleveland Scott York (United Kingdom), legal experts Ingrid Beránková Ambruzová from HARBER IP (Czech Republic), Kamila Seberová from Wolf Theiss (Czech Republic), and Mikuláš Vargic from Kristýna & Mikuláš advokáti (Czech Republic) showed the audience how to approach the problem by case study of drug discovery startup.

The pitch session offered a presentation of 12 promising technologies. The jury of investors selected three of the most impressive pitch presentations. The golden rank was taken by the company MZmine with the project of a versatile software solution for mass spectrometers. The Silver position was awarded to CasInvent Pharma. This company is developing proprietary, highly selective inhibitors of enzymes belonging to the casein kinase 1 family, representing new therapeutic options for the treatment of selected malignancies. The bronze was taken by the company Belyntic with its technology of peptide vaccines for containment of latent cytomegalovirus infection.


The conference, which took place in the Liechtenstein Palace in Prague's Kampa, was organized by the cluster together with the Office of the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, the IOCB Tech (technology transfer office) and the i&i Prague bio-innovation center. The conference was held under the patronage of the Mayor of Prague, Bohuslav Svoboda.

The event was the opening event of the cluster. "We perceive that there is a need to connect science and business. Indeed, science and business often do not understand each other, there is a lack of common ground. Among other things, this is also why the conference and the cluster were created," explains Jana Žaludová, director of the Cluster. The cluster is open to collaborations with clusters and strategic partners from all over Europe.

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