Rethinking bio-innovation: BioBeat15

By Rachel Holdsworth - 11 November 2015

New models and strategies for business to be discussed by all women panel.

Genomics is a fast-moving field that is driving radical changes in healthcare and business. Clinicians are starting to classify diseases based on genetic causes rather than symptoms, signalling a major shift towards personalised medicine and greater precision in patient treatment. This new world needs new thinking.

To address this ‘BioBeat15: Translating genomics into biobusiness’ is a one-day conference that is bringing together a panel of female entrepreneurs and leaders in genomics to gain their insights – this will include a keynote address from Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England.

Miranda Weston-Smith, founder of BioBeat, says: “Traditionally, drug development has been driven by potential market size, with drug regulation, clinical trials and reimbursement designed around this assumption. Genomics is disrupting this model moving us into an era of niche medicines. Now more than ever, we need to be more visionary in the ways in which we translate genomic science into patient care, more inter-disciplinary, and more collaborative."

She continues: “Many leading thinkers in bio-innovation are women, and we hope that bringing them together at this event will inspire everyone and bring fresh energy to these important topics. We need greater diversity in our thinking if we are to remodel healthcare, and a good mix of different voices and ideas.”

Professor Eleftheria Zeggini of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute agrees: “As more studies reveal complex genomic trait associations linked to disease, it is increasingly apparent that the technology used to produce these data is in danger of outstripping our capacity to analyse and interpret the results.

“Although novel approaches to drug discovery are clearly key, genomics and the big data is generates can be harnessed to catalyse better drug delivery, prognosis and disease management. We need to change how we work with data and how we share the findings with other groups to make it meaningful.”

Vivienne Parry is Head of Engagement for Genomics England, which is delivering the 100,000 Genomes Project.  Vivienne will chair a panel session featuring inspirational stories from people finding new ways of working in the post-genomic era. She says: “This technology is moving very fast, and it is essential that we bring the public and clinicians with us. Without their confidence and trust, neither the development of new diagnostics and medicines nor the adoption of new approaches within the NHS will be possible.”

The one-day conference is organised by BioBeat, EMBL-EBI and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, is open to all and brings together stakeholders in genomics, pharma, biotech and beyond to share ideas and meet like-minded individuals.

BioBeat15 presentation themes include ‘Challenges of the Genomics Landscape’ and ‘Mindsets, Money and Innovation’ (Dr Julie Barnes, Abcodia, Chair). Panel sessions focus on ‘Inspirational Stories’ and ‘Driving Capacity and Growth with Teams and Boards’ (Dr Fiona Marshall, Heptares Therapeutics, Chair).

All are welcome.

Conference details

  • BioBeat15: Translating genomics into biobusiness
  • 20 November 2015, Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Programme and registration:
  • Follow the conference on Twitter by searching for #BioBeat15

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