Xartec Salut launches a training programme for all the community

The largest network of innovation research groups in Catalonia led by CREB UPC started a series of formations for all the members of its community that will take place every Thursday morning throughout the year. These trainings are classified into three basic blocks, namely, a block on valorization, a block on technology transfer and a block on soft skills. 

Almost 50 people attended the first training pill organized by Xartec Salut alongside Viromii consultancy firm, in which Luis Ruiz, expert in tech transfer and entrepreneurship in Science, provided an overview of the Biomedical Business and gave important clues on how to turn knowledge into social and economic value. 

The specialist set the example of the penicillin to expose the four fundamental pillars to transform knowledge into social and economic value: 1) Knowledge generation (Fleming discovers penicillin), 2) Knowledge transformation and generation of a pre-clinical and clinical proof of concept (Florey and Chain discovered a system to grow penicillin and tested its effectiveness in mice), 3) Scale up (Pfizer had a technology that allowed the mass production at the industrial level of penicillin), 4) Social and economic incentive (a big need to treat wounded soldiers during the 2nd world war). Evidence generation is crucial to have incentives (like patents) to capture resources from investors (exemplified by Cohen-Boyer or CRISPR histories). 

Luis presented the typical steps of Drug Development, Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostics development (from discovery to commercialization), as well as the J Curve, showing how costs increase dramatically along product development, recovering the investment just at the end of the process.

Biomedicine is a market with an unlimited demand, high risk, long timings, expensive, asymmetric, very fragmented and specialized, highly regulated and scrutinized, IP driven and in the end, a pay per view business. Push and pull strategies are needed in both senses (from the understanding of a clinical need to the definition of a Target Product Profile), commented the expert. 

Not only is efficacy important, but also effectiveness and efficiency. Demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of the solution is crucial (being the cost of the solution, cheaper than the cost of the problem to the system. 

Take-home messages: 

  • Knowledge, evidence, scale up and incentives are crucial pillars of biomedical businesses. 
  • The cost of the solution must be less than the problem’s costs, to be adopted by the system. 
  • Science contributes only 1% to project success. 
  • Having the right question is more important than knowing the answers. Being surrounded by experts is essential to assess technical, regulatory, commercial, manufacturing and market access feasibility.

It is an explosive moment (with 1 company per week incorporated last year in Catalonia). Time is crucial in biomedicine, don’t lose the opportunity to generate business to transform knowledge into economic and social value.

This project is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).