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Bioentrepreneurs Have Met With Investors In San Diego Turkey has been represented at the BIO Convention 2017 by a program organized by TEPAV between 17-22 June in San Diego.
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30/06/2017 - Viewed 603 times

Attended by approximately 65 countries’ private and public sector representatives each year in the USA, the largest biotechnology organization in the world, the BIO Convention 2017 took place in San Diego.

A Turkish delegation composed of public sector representatives Ali Alkan, Vice Chairman of the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (TİTCK), Nihan Burul Bozkurt, Head of the TİTCK Clinical Research Department, and Hacer Coşkun Çetintaş, Head of the TİTCK Registration Department  as well as private sector and research center representatives attended the Convention. Among the attendees of the Turkish delegation were 3 finalist bioentrepreneurs of the BIO Startup Program organized by TEPAV with the support of MSD in May, 2017.

On 17-18 June, the Bioentrepreneurs attended the International Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Boot Camp where world’s leading biotechnology experts provide sessions and trainings to bioentreprenuers from different countries. Furthermore, bioentrepreneurs had the chance to attend Startup Stadium where they met with world’s leading biotechnology startups as well as had face-to-face meetings with potential investors.

The TEPAV Innovation Studies Program Director, Selin Arslanhan Memiş, attended the session entitled “Biomedical Innovation in an Age of Disruption: How Will Political and Economic Shifts Affect the Policy Environment?” as a panelist and gave a presentation entitled “How to Do Innovation in the New Normal?” In her presentation, Selin Arslanhan Memiş put emphasis on the technological transformation for global growth and sustainable development, as well as the critical importance of technology start-ups in this environment. Additionally, she mentioned the increased importance of ‘think tanks’ in this innovation ecosystem.

Similar to San Francisco last year, the Turkish delegation made study visits organized by TEPAV in San Diego. Three different biotechnology incubation centers were visited on the 20th of June, namely: “Bio, Tech and Beyond”, “BioLabs” and “JLabs”. The Turkish Delegation had the opportunity to examine incubation centers working under different models to provide services and technical infrastructure to technology start-ups that are the critical actors for the transformation of the Turkish economy.

In the last 2 days of BIO 2017, bioentrepreneurs met with the world’s leading companies and investors in 1-on-1 partnering meetings. A total of 34 partnering meetings were organized from which GENZ Biotechnology had 15, Initio had 10 and RS Research had 9 successful partnering meetings. Meetings with both the international investors who may be able to respond to the investment-related needs of the bioentrepreneurs in the future, and with potential customers have paved the way to significant opportunities for these bioentrepreneurs and their companies. Bioentrepreneurs also met with BIO Vice President Joseph Damond, and had the chance to exchange ideas and promote their companies.

At the last day of the program, the Turkish Delegation, together with the BIO and US Chamber representatives, met for a roundtable meeting. The latest developments in the innovation ecosystem and plans related to biotechnology in the coming period were discussed during the meeting.

The start-ups and projects ranked in the first three at the BIO Startup Accelerator Program are:

1. Initio

Located on the premises of the Izmir Institute of Technology, Initio develops disposable products and testing services for the pharmaceutical industry. In the face of problems encountered by other manufacturers seeking to achieve high production capacities such as high infrastructure costs, material costs, personnel costs as well as the differences in laboratory and industrial productions techniques, and the need for versatile equipment deficiencies; Initio has developed versatile 3D cell culture laboratories and carried out low-cost production and improved infrastructure, materials and personnel costs. Initio has received a USA patent, and its team is composed of CEO Assoc. Dr. Devrim Pesen Okvur, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Sevgi Önal, Technical and Design Support Nurullah Satı and Sales Support Team Yeşim Sirin.

2. RS Research

Located in the Technopark Istanbul Incubation Center, RS Research developed a new nanomedicine platform using polymer technology. The intended use of this innovative drug-delivery platform is to treat cancer. This proprietary drug delivery platform consists of adjustable polymer and biodegradable drug binders and it provides a special design by way of its targeting units. Also, through this platform, not just certain cells but all fast-reproducing cells are affected. RS Research’s team is composed of Co-Founder Rana Sanyal as Chief Science Officer, Co-Founder Sena Nomak as COO and Sibel Kocakuş Şengün as Project Manager.

3. GENZ Biotechnology

GENZ produces a genetic test for breast cancer, which ensures early diagnosis and allows for patient follow-up. GENZ Cancer genetic screening is a bioinformatic report prepared by taking a saliva sample from which the DNA of the person is obtained and then tested against known mutations. The report prepared is sent to the patient’s personal doctor for clinical use in turn allowing the determination of patient-specific treatment plans. Aside from this test being the first genetic test working with 3rd generation systems in Turkey, GENZ is the manufacturer of the fastest (5 days) and the cheapest (no installation capital required, nor is there any tax deduction from domestic production) test. GENZ is also the first manufacturer to specialize in the genetic pool of Turkey, Middle East and North Africa. GENZ’s team is composed of Academic Consultant Prof. Dr. Nezih Hekim, Expert Geneticist and Biotechnology expert Oktay İsmail Kaplan, Business Development and Bio-informatics expert Umut Agyüz and Expert Biologist Özge Kırmacı.

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