Life After Start-Up Stadium: SyntheX, Inc.

For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

Maria Soloveychik, Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, Inc.

This is the third in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2016 Alum, Maria Soloveychik, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, Inc.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
SyntheX, Inc. is a San Francisco based therapeutics company founded in 2016. SyntheX utilizes its novel platform technology to select for peptides and create peptidomimetics to drug previously ‘undruggable’ targets, relying on the concept of synthetic lethality to treat cancer.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
The Start-Up Stadium was an excellent platform for gaining visibility. You get to share your science and start-up with experts and investors in the biotech space AND receive valuable feedback and advice. We met great people in the audience and have even maintained relationships with a few judges.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
I was asked several interesting questions regarding our platform and early assets. In their assessment, the panel made good suggestions in relation to alternative business models focused on licensing and partnering. They also provided great feedback on our deck and presentation style.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
After Start-Up Stadium, the feedback received was incorporated into all presentations and meetings. I have also gone on to discuss various business model structures with advisors and experts in the industry – which later shaped our partnering meetings and internal work prioritization.

BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings were a major highlight of Convention! We had a very packed schedule, but had the opportunity to meet with big and mid-sized pharmas as well as CROs. These talks were excellent for understanding their interests and obtaining advice, as well as assessing a potential fit for a future partnership. We are actively communicating with several companies we met through partnering, and have established meaningful relationships with several CROs and fellow start-ups.

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
I would love to return this year, but unfortunately, there is a scheduling conflict for 2017. It is likely that we will attend the 2018 BIO International Convention. The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings are such an excellent and organized way to meet with potential partners, and the events around the conference are a great collegial gathering of the biotech community.

About: SyntheX is a therapeutics company that disrupts cellular communication pathways to target proteins that are inaccessible via canonical screening technologies. We use a proprietary drug design approach and our in-vivo screening platform, ToRPPIDO, to identify compounds that disrupt protein-protein interactions (PPIs) – in a fast, efficient, and highly specific manner. We take advantage of synthetic lethality to develop compounds that target particular “Achilles’ heel” PPI in specific pathologies. We are currently developing inhibitors for a series of specific and previously undruggable targets. Our lead stabilized peptide inhibitor drugs, STX101 and STX105, block PPIs within the BRCA2 pathway, effectively mimicking a BRCA2 mutation and downregulating recombination. To learn more, visit: www.synthexlabs.com.

Life After Start-Up Stadium: SyntheX, Inc.

For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

Maria Soloveychik, Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, Inc.

This is the third in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2016 Alum, Maria Soloveychik, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO of SyntheX, Inc.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
SyntheX, Inc. is a San Francisco based therapeutics company founded in 2016. SyntheX utilizes its novel platform technology to select for peptides and create peptidomimetics to drug previously ‘undruggable’ targets, relying on the concept of synthetic lethality to treat cancer.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
The Start-Up Stadium was an excellent platform for gaining visibility. You get to share your science and start-up with experts and investors in the biotech space AND receive valuable feedback and advice. We met great people in the audience and have even maintained relationships with a few judges.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
I was asked several interesting questions regarding our platform and early assets. In their assessment, the panel made good suggestions in relation to alternative business models focused on licensing and partnering. They also provided great feedback on our deck and presentation style.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
After Start-Up Stadium, the feedback received was incorporated into all presentations and meetings. I have also gone on to discuss various business model structures with advisors and experts in the industry – which later shaped our partnering meetings and internal work prioritization.

BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings were a major highlight of Convention! We had a very packed schedule, but had the opportunity to meet with big and mid-sized pharmas as well as CROs. These talks were excellent for understanding their interests and obtaining advice, as well as assessing a potential fit for a future partnership. We are actively communicating with several companies we met through partnering, and have established meaningful relationships with several CROs and fellow start-ups.

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
I would love to return this year, but unfortunately, there is a scheduling conflict for 2017. It is likely that we will attend the 2018 BIO International Convention. The BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings are such an excellent and organized way to meet with potential partners, and the events around the conference are a great collegial gathering of the biotech community.

About: SyntheX is a therapeutics company that disrupts cellular communication pathways to target proteins that are inaccessible via canonical screening technologies. We use a proprietary drug design approach and our in-vivo screening platform, ToRPPIDO, to identify compounds that disrupt protein-protein interactions (PPIs) – in a fast, efficient, and highly specific manner. We take advantage of synthetic lethality to develop compounds that target particular “Achilles’ heel” PPI in specific pathologies. We are currently developing inhibitors for a series of specific and previously undruggable targets. Our lead stabilized peptide inhibitor drugs, STX101 and STX105, block PPIs within the BRCA2 pathway, effectively mimicking a BRCA2 mutation and downregulating recombination. To learn more, visit: www.synthexlabs.com.

Life After Start-Up Stadium: ViRAZE

For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

Rajiv Khosla, CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE

This is the second in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2015 Alum, Rajiv Khosla, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
ViRAZE is an emerging biotechnology company utilizing a patented high throughput screening (HTS) technology to discover and develop new small molecules to treat viral diseases. Our initial emphasis is on viral dermatology diseases that have unsatisfactory treatment options.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
ViRAZE, a University of Pennsylvania PCI company, was an inaugural presenter at BIO 2015. We presented in front of a “stadium” of about 30 people, plus three seasoned judges. The increased awareness resulted in post-presentation interaction with BioPharma companies and service providers interested in learning more – some of which are proving fruitful today.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
For a fledgling company, the benefit of presenting to professionals who provide meaningful critique, and constructive feedback was invaluable. BIO’s Start-Up Stadium is a must do if you are a recent University spin-out or newly emerging Biotech company.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
Encouraged by our positive experience in 2015, we returned in 2016 and actively engaged using BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ and Business Forum. This year, ViRAZE was nominated as a “Technologies of Tomorrow” company in the Buzz of BIO competition. Yet another opportunity to raise awareness and potentially secure additional partnerships for ViRAZE.
BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
From my Business Development career in corporate Pharma, BIO One-on-One Partnering™ was the stimulus for at least 65% of licensing deals that our Pharma company consummated. The efficiency enabled ViRAZE to meet with 30 potential partners in the span of three days. Some of these meetings have led to ongoing discussions as well as due diligence to further explore a partnership deal!

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
We will be in San Diego – wouldn’t want to miss out on BIO’s Partnering program!
If you are a Biotech company looking to partner-out your asset or a Pharma company seeking to partner-in for your pipeline: the Start-Up Stadium, BIO One-on-One Partnering™, and annual BIO International Convention are essential events in your annual plans.


About: ViRAZE has a proprietary drug discovery platform, which exploits the proteins necessary for DNA replication as novel drug targets, to discover and develop first-in-class small molecules to treat viral diseases. ViRAZE has a lead program for the first and only FDA approved topical drug product to treat the skin disease, Molluscum contagiosum. The program recently secured a $3 million NIH grant for certain IND-enabling studies. ViRAZE is actively seeking investors and partners to file the IND. To learn more, visit: www.viraze.net.

About today’s guest: Rajiv Khosla has had an extensive career in the BioPharmaceutical industry, with experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. His most recent corporate stint was VP BD Biovail; since then he has been CEO and Board member at emerging Biotechs, and now a co-founder of ViRAZE

Life After Start-Up Stadium: ViRAZE

For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

Rajiv Khosla, CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE

This is the second in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2015 Alum, Rajiv Khosla, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
ViRAZE is an emerging biotechnology company utilizing a patented high throughput screening (HTS) technology to discover and develop new small molecules to treat viral diseases. Our initial emphasis is on viral dermatology diseases that have unsatisfactory treatment options.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
ViRAZE, a University of Pennsylvania PCI company, was an inaugural presenter at BIO 2015. We presented in front of a “stadium” of about 30 people, plus three seasoned judges. The increased awareness resulted in post-presentation interaction with BioPharma companies and service providers interested in learning more – some of which are proving fruitful today.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
For a fledgling company, the benefit of presenting to professionals who provide meaningful critique, and constructive feedback was invaluable. BIO’s Start-Up Stadium is a must do if you are a recent University spin-out or newly emerging Biotech company.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
Encouraged by our positive experience in 2015, we returned in 2016 and actively engaged using BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ and Business Forum. This year, ViRAZE was nominated as a “Technologies of Tomorrow” company in the Buzz of BIO competition. Yet another opportunity to raise awareness and potentially secure additional partnerships for ViRAZE.
BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
From my Business Development career in corporate Pharma, BIO One-on-One Partnering™ was the stimulus for at least 65% of licensing deals that our Pharma company consummated. The efficiency enabled ViRAZE to meet with 30 potential partners in the span of three days. Some of these meetings have led to ongoing discussions as well as due diligence to further explore a partnership deal!

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
We will be in San Diego – wouldn’t want to miss out on BIO’s Partnering program!
If you are a Biotech company looking to partner-out your asset or a Pharma company seeking to partner-in for your pipeline: the Start-Up Stadium, BIO One-on-One Partnering™, and annual BIO International Convention are essential events in your annual plans.


About: ViRAZE has a proprietary drug discovery platform, which exploits the proteins necessary for DNA replication as novel drug targets, to discover and develop first-in-class small molecules to treat viral diseases. ViRAZE has a lead program for the first and only FDA approved topical drug product to treat the skin disease, Molluscum contagiosum. The program recently secured a $3 million NIH grant for certain IND-enabling studies. ViRAZE is actively seeking investors and partners to file the IND. To learn more, visit: www.viraze.net.

About today’s guest: Rajiv Khosla has had an extensive career in the BioPharmaceutical industry, with experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. His most recent corporate stint was VP BD Biovail; since then he has been CEO and Board member at emerging Biotechs, and now a co-founder of ViRAZE

Life After Start-Up Stadium: ViRAZE

For the third year, the BIO International Convention will host the 2017 BIO Start-Up Stadium Empowering the Cutting-Edge Companies of Tomorrow, Today – an exciting and interactive experience where investors provide live feedback and judge 5-7 minute pitches presented by start-up biotech companies. The Start-Up Stadium accepts applications from early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies, and invites investors and state and regional affiliates to engage and explore mutual opportunities. Participating companies receive access to BIO One-on-One Partnering™ and educational sessions making their experience at BIO like no other.

Rajiv Khosla, CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE

This is the second in a series of guest blogs highlighting Start-Up Stadium success stories as told by former participants. Today we spoke with 2015 Alum, Rajiv Khosla, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of ViRAZE.

BTN: Can you tell us about your start-up?
ViRAZE is an emerging biotechnology company utilizing a patented high throughput screening (HTS) technology to discover and develop new small molecules to treat viral diseases. Our initial emphasis is on viral dermatology diseases that have unsatisfactory treatment options.

BTN: Was the Start-Up Stadium platform able to assist you in gaining visibility?
ViRAZE, a University of Pennsylvania PCI company, was an inaugural presenter at BIO 2015. We presented in front of a “stadium” of about 30 people, plus three seasoned judges. The increased awareness resulted in post-presentation interaction with BioPharma companies and service providers interested in learning more – some of which are proving fruitful today.

BTN: Did you receive constructive live feedback at the Start-Up Stadium from stakeholders and subject matter experts?
For a fledgling company, the benefit of presenting to professionals who provide meaningful critique, and constructive feedback was invaluable. BIO’s Start-Up Stadium is a must do if you are a recent University spin-out or newly emerging Biotech company.

BTN: How have you implemented any feedback to achieve success and continued growth?
Encouraged by our positive experience in 2015, we returned in 2016 and actively engaged using BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ and Business Forum. This year, ViRAZE was nominated as a “Technologies of Tomorrow” company in the Buzz of BIO competition. Yet another opportunity to raise awareness and potentially secure additional partnerships for ViRAZE.
BTN: Were your BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings successful? Did they generate valuable connections with potential for meaningful partnerships?
From my Business Development career in corporate Pharma, BIO One-on-One Partnering™ was the stimulus for at least 65% of licensing deals that our Pharma company consummated. The efficiency enabled ViRAZE to meet with 30 potential partners in the span of three days. Some of these meetings have led to ongoing discussions as well as due diligence to further explore a partnership deal!

BTN: Although no longer eligible to participate in the Start-Up Stadium, will you be returning the 2017 BIO International Convention?
We will be in San Diego – wouldn’t want to miss out on BIO’s Partnering program!
If you are a Biotech company looking to partner-out your asset or a Pharma company seeking to partner-in for your pipeline: the Start-Up Stadium, BIO One-on-One Partnering™, and annual BIO International Convention are essential events in your annual plans.


About: ViRAZE has a proprietary drug discovery platform, which exploits the proteins necessary for DNA replication as novel drug targets, to discover and develop first-in-class small molecules to treat viral diseases. ViRAZE has a lead program for the first and only FDA approved topical drug product to treat the skin disease, Molluscum contagiosum. The program recently secured a $3 million NIH grant for certain IND-enabling studies. ViRAZE is actively seeking investors and partners to file the IND. To learn more, visit: www.viraze.net.

About today’s guest: Rajiv Khosla has had an extensive career in the BioPharmaceutical industry, with experience in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. His most recent corporate stint was VP BD Biovail; since then he has been CEO and Board member at emerging Biotechs, and now a co-founder of ViRAZE

#BIO2017: A Peek at Partnering | Protalix Biotherapeutics’ Bill Taylor

Breaking Buzz is BIO’s newest blog series that reaches across the globe to bring you an insider’s preview into the hottest international and partnering trends coming to San Diego for the BIO International Convention. 

Breaking Buzz Sits Down with Partnering King

BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ opens April 10 and it’s not too early to register, set up a profile and start requesting and accepting meetings before schedules get filled. BIO will host a Webinar on April 5 to explain everything you need to know about the partnering system and offer tips to ensure a successful BIO 2017.

Recently we connected with Industry veteran Bill Taylor, one of BIO’s most prolific partnering delegates, having single-handedly scheduled and attended 55 formal meetings, over just three days, during last year’s International Convention in San Francisco. This impressive number of well-executed meetings wasn’t beginner’s luck. Mr. Taylor first attended BIO when he was with Pharmacia in 2001 and since then has racked up a lot of meetings, many of which resulted in more meetings. We can all agree that with more meetings often come lasting partnerships and potential product commercialization agreements.

Mr. Taylor, now Vice President, Business Development for Protalix Biotherapeutics, sat down with Breaking Buzz to share some of his strategies on how to pull off a great number of effective meetings in a meager amount of time.

BB:  What’s the single most important task when it comes to scheduling partnering meetings?

TAYLOR: It will seem obvious, but the most important thing I’ve learned is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I usually start researching companies within three months of the Convention because otherwise it can feel like diving into a mosh pit of 20,000 people. The online instructions are a great place to start. A close second most important task though, is to make sure you populate your profile really well and use well-chosen key words to highlight your company interests and offerings, not just name and location.

Bill Taylor, VP Business Development, Protalix Biotherapeutics

BB:  What is the most important part of a company profile?

TAYLOR: In the Protalix profile I talk about what we’re doing and what our pipeline is, which allows other companies looking for opportunities to send me an invite. You’ve got to recognize that your company profile on the system is a two-way street in that respect. Our profile will read something like this:

Protalix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, production and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins produced by our proprietary ProCellEx® plant cell-based protein expression system. Our pipeline consists of proprietary, potentially clinically superior versions of recombinant therapeutic proteins that target established pharmaceutical markets with a focus on rare diseases.

BB:  How many people do you think should attend a partnering meeting from each company?

TAYLOR:  Two to three, tops. One or two from the company, and myself. That said, sometimes companies want to bring their science and technical experts to do some drill-down for their initial diligence questions. Knowing this in advance will save time.

BB:  What should a company expect to achieve during partnering meetings?

TAYLOR: Like most things you get what you put into it. So, if I’ve done my homework, I expect to walk away with well-grounded conversations that cover the full width of our pipeline; conversations where I can articulate our value propositions, while conveying the commercial opportunities that our products represent. BIO is unique because it provides a very broad band forum in which to meet up and engage with a large number of companies across a vast range of geographies.

BB:  Should a company lock-down their schedule, or keep it flexible?

TAYLOR: I find that there’s no lack of people pinging me with lots and lots of invites, so I have to be highly disciplined about my scheduling strategy, while remaining open-minded to unforeseen possibilities. The challenge is to get your scheduled meetings locked down early, but it’s equally important to have some safety valve time-slots available to ensure a meeting can actually occur if it comes in on a last-minute blitz.

BB:  This will be your 16th consecutive year attending the BIO International Convention. What keeps you coming back?

TAYLOR: BIO is a lot like Homecoming. There may be nearly 20,000 people but we have a lot in common; we’re a collegial group that live and survive by the networks we’ve created over the years. Even waiting for a coffee — or a beer at the end of the day — you’ll strike up a conversation with someone who may end up as a great resource or they might be someone you’ve met at a past event.  It’s a place for former colleagues to re-connect, meet up with old contacts and make new connections. In that respect it really does feel like Homecoming.

BB: Does that make you the BIO International Convention Homecoming King?

TAYLOR: I guess so. You should see my convention badge collection!  After all these years, I’m still just a science geek!

Athena Staton serves as executive editor for BIO Buzz, the Official Show Daily for the BIO International Convention, and BIO’s Breaking Buzz blog series.

#BIO2017: A Peek at Partnering | Protalix Biotherapeutics’ Bill Taylor

Breaking Buzz is BIO’s newest blog series that reaches across the globe to bring you an insider’s preview into the hottest international and partnering trends coming to San Diego for the BIO International Convention. 

Breaking Buzz Sits Down with Partnering King

BIO’s One-on-One Partnering™ opens April 10 and it’s not too early to register, set up a profile and start requesting and accepting meetings before schedules get filled. BIO will host a Webinar on April 5 to explain everything you need to know about the partnering system and offer tips to ensure a successful BIO 2017.

Recently we connected with Industry veteran Bill Taylor, one of BIO’s most prolific partnering delegates, having single-handedly scheduled and attended 55 formal meetings, over just three days, during last year’s International Convention in San Francisco. This impressive number of well-executed meetings wasn’t beginner’s luck. Mr. Taylor first attended BIO when he was with Pharmacia in 2001 and since then has racked up a lot of meetings, many of which resulted in more meetings. We can all agree that with more meetings often come lasting partnerships and potential product commercialization agreements.

Mr. Taylor, now Vice President, Business Development for Protalix Biotherapeutics, sat down with Breaking Buzz to share some of his strategies on how to pull off a great number of effective meetings in a meager amount of time.

BB:  What’s the single most important task when it comes to scheduling partnering meetings?

TAYLOR: It will seem obvious, but the most important thing I’ve learned is to DO YOUR HOMEWORK. I usually start researching companies within three months of the Convention because otherwise it can feel like diving into a mosh pit of 20,000 people. The online instructions are a great place to start. A close second most important task though, is to make sure you populate your profile really well and use well-chosen key words to highlight your company interests and offerings, not just name and location.

Bill Taylor, VP Business Development, Protalix Biotherapeutics

BB:  What is the most important part of a company profile?

TAYLOR: In the Protalix profile I talk about what we’re doing and what our pipeline is, which allows other companies looking for opportunities to send me an invite. You’ve got to recognize that your company profile on the system is a two-way street in that respect. Our profile will read something like this:

Protalix is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development, production and commercialization of recombinant therapeutic proteins produced by our proprietary ProCellEx® plant cell-based protein expression system. Our pipeline consists of proprietary, potentially clinically superior versions of recombinant therapeutic proteins that target established pharmaceutical markets with a focus on rare diseases.

BB:  How many people do you think should attend a partnering meeting from each company?

TAYLOR:  Two to three, tops. One or two from the company, and myself. That said, sometimes companies want to bring their science and technical experts to do some drill-down for their initial diligence questions. Knowing this in advance will save time.

BB:  What should a company expect to achieve during partnering meetings?

TAYLOR: Like most things you get what you put into it. So, if I’ve done my homework, I expect to walk away with well-grounded conversations that cover the full width of our pipeline; conversations where I can articulate our value propositions, while conveying the commercial opportunities that our products represent. BIO is unique because it provides a very broad band forum in which to meet up and engage with a large number of companies across a vast range of geographies.

BB:  Should a company lock-down their schedule, or keep it flexible?

TAYLOR: I find that there’s no lack of people pinging me with lots and lots of invites, so I have to be highly disciplined about my scheduling strategy, while remaining open-minded to unforeseen possibilities. The challenge is to get your scheduled meetings locked down early, but it’s equally important to have some safety valve time-slots available to ensure a meeting can actually occur if it comes in on a last-minute blitz.

BB:  This will be your 16th consecutive year attending the BIO International Convention. What keeps you coming back?

TAYLOR: BIO is a lot like Homecoming. There may be nearly 20,000 people but we have a lot in common; we’re a collegial group that live and survive by the networks we’ve created over the years. Even waiting for a coffee — or a beer at the end of the day — you’ll strike up a conversation with someone who may end up as a great resource or they might be someone you’ve met at a past event.  It’s a place for former colleagues to re-connect, meet up with old contacts and make new connections. In that respect it really does feel like Homecoming.

BB: Does that make you the BIO International Convention Homecoming King?

TAYLOR: I guess so. You should see my convention badge collection!  After all these years, I’m still just a science geek!