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Event Recap: MichBio Conference & Expo January 18

Friday, January 27, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephen Rapundalo
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MichBio hosted its 11th Expo & Conference on January 18 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, MI.


The event theme was “Connecting Technology, Health and Well-being” and focused on the on the digital health revolution and how new technologies are being integrated into medtech and biopharma products and healthcare delivery, respectively.


The day-long program kicked off with a lively panel discussion on the evolving healthcare landscape. Colin Zick, Partner at Foley Hoag LLC in Boston, moderated the session that included a physician perspective with former U.S. Representative, Hon. Joe Schwarz, MD, a provider point of view in Nick Evans, Vice President at Genesys Health, and the industry viewpoint by Jeanne Haggerty, Senior Vice President of Federal Government Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Each brought a different outlook on what potential changes in policy will mean for pricing of new products and technologies, regulatory hurdles, patient outcomes and business growth.


Terry-Ann Burrell, Executive Director at JPMorgan Investment Banking – Healthcare, provided an insightful look at the capital markets supporting the bio-industry, how those will are likely to change as the healthcare delivery paradigm shifts, what that will mean for investment funding in early stage companies, and the IPO markets.


The morning keynote, Alec Melkonian, Senior Vice President at Klick Health in Toronto, presented on the latest in digital health trends. The many examples of transformational technologies being developed and their potential impact in reshaping healthcare delivery captivated attendees.


The networking luncheon and breaks provided attendees plenty of time to visit with an array of exhibitors and a digital health technology companies showcasing their products.


After lunch, attendees broke out into concurrent sessions focused on Business Growth and Digital Health Technology Showcase tracks. The former featured topics like pricing/reimbursement and diversifying the C-suite. Six digital health companies presented in the Showcase and described their respective technologies and products, giving attendees a glimpse of how Michigan companies are contributing to the digital health revolution.


A fireside chat, C-Suite Insights, witnessed MichBio CEO Stephen Rapundalo lead panelists, Rob DeWit, PhD, President at MPI Research, Spencer Stiles, President of Stryker Instruments, and Chris Williams, President and CEO at Medbio, in presenting their views of the global bio-industry marketplace, challenges and opportunities facing their respective organizations, and the role of Michigan in supporting their growth plans.   


Tim Cornell, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases and Director of Translational Research, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, at the University of Michigan, was presented with the Innovator of the Year award. He and other research colleagues created a novel technology - a diagnostic device that could rapidly measure a patient's immune response, allowing physicians to implement precision medicine in the intensive care unit. 


The 2016 Good to Great award was presented to Lansing-based Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG). Founded in 1982, the company develops, manufactures and markets a diverse line of products dedicated to food and animal safety. The award recognizes Neogen’s tremendous growth to more than 1,300 employees in multiple U.S. and international locations, and a worldwide presence.


The annual Legislator of the Year award honored Senator Debbie Stabenow for her leadership in crafting and passing the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. This was a highly controversial bill that without its passage, meant that food manufacturers would have faced a patchwork and costly regulatory requirements across all fifty states. Sen. Stabenow was clear in her support of a sound, scientific basis to ensure the safety of genetically modified foods while instituting a national system of disclosure and transparency for consumers who wish to know more information about their food.


The Expo was closed out by Mark Freitas, Managing Director at the Accenture Strategy, Competitiveness Center of Excellence in Boston, MA. Mark described how the global healthcare industry is undergoing considerable change, and more importantly, how bioscience companies are shifting their business models to deal with the prevailing headwinds. His presentation was based largely on the book, “Healthcare Disrupted: Next General Business Models and Strategies”, co-authored by his Accenture colleagues Jeff Elton, PhD and Ann O’Riordan. It was an insightful talk that provided actionable advice and identified examples of how some strategies are playing out.


The Expo unofficially began on the prior day as MichBio hosted a Bioscience Regulatory Compliance Workshop. Speakers ranged from the Director of FDA District Office to the Corporate Audit Director at Pfizer, and they covered a number of relevant topics including, instituting a quality management system, ensuring data integrity throughout the business life cycle, HIPAA and data privacy, managing suppliers and vendors, implementing integrated corporate compliance processes, and how to deal with the FDA district officers in regards to compliance matters.


MichBio would like to extend a special thank you to the Conference & Expo sponsor, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the event sponsors, exhibitors and media partners for their support.

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