Bio€quity 2019, the main event for investors devoted to the European biopharmaceutical industry, was held in Barcelona for the first time on May 20 and 21, 2019, thanks to the work of the Regional Host Committee, made up of Biocat, Ysios Capital, ACCIÓ and CataloniaBio & HealthTech. This fair is a benchmark in the sector for investors looking to invest in life sciences companies and experts in biopharmaceutical licenses interested in assessing new business opportunities. It was organized by BioCentury and EBD Group, with support from Caixa Capital Risc, Grifols, Alira HealthAsabys PartnersAsebio, GP PharmInvivo VenturesKPMGLocust Walk and WeCubed Partners as members of the Host Committee. It brought together 361 companies (59 from Catalonia) and 597 delegates from 26 countries, hosting over 2,025 one-to-one meetings to explore new business opportunities.

In addition to the partnering sessions, the conference also featured plenary sessions, panel discussions and workshops, some with representatives from the BioRegion of Catalonia.

The conference kicked off on May 20 with a welcome from the organizers, BioCentury and EBD, and Biocat representing the Host Committee. The same day also featured the session “Scaling up Catalonia”, in which Biocat CEO Jordi Naval explained the advantages of investing in the BioRegion of Catalonia. Plus, Catalan companies AnilingGlyCardial DiagnosticsIDP PharmaVCN Biosciences, Zeclinics, and Allinky Biopharma on a national level, shared some success stories with investors.  

In the evening, the Host Committee organized a Networking Reception and Dinner at Palau de Pedralbes. The reception featured City Councilor Maria Àngels Chacón and ACCIÓ CEO Joan Romero, and afterwards there was a special space for companies and investors to network in a casual setting.

Over the two days of the Bio€quity 2019 conference, projects and companies from the BioRegion had extra visibility: twelve projects in the pre-seed phase pitched to a panel of judges made up of investors in two parallel sessions of the “Pre-seed Showcase”: ADmit TherapeuticsAngioTheraGnostics, Avida Biotech, BiointaxisCebiotex, Gate2BrainIDIBELLIproteos, Nanoligent, Ona Therapeutics, Purpose Biotherapeutics, Remab Therapeutics and Valis Pharma (UB).

Additionally, consolidated companies like Ability PharmaceuticalsAELIX TherapeuticsMinoryx TherapeuticsOryzon Genomics and Senolytic Therapeutics, as well as Sanifit on a national level, were on the program of business pitches at the conference.

Satellite events

Two satellite events were organized around Bio€quity Europe 2019. On one hand, Biocat worked with Labiotech Refresh #15 to host an event on biotechnology on May 21 at the Movistar Center. And, on the other, Alira Health, Regional Gold Sponsor of Bio€quity 2019, hosted a session called Boston: the hub of success in the U.S. healthcare market, on May 21. 

“Bio€quity Europe allowed us to show how Barcelona and the BioRegion of Catalonia have become a priority destination for biotechnology investment in Europe,” highlights Biocat CEO Jordi Naval.

Bio€quity 2019 partnering sessions.

Other fairs and conventions

In 2019, Biocat participated in partnering events at various international fairs to raise visibility of companies and research organizations from the Catalan healthcare and life sciences sector and to pitch the ecosystem’s potential to international investors and companies. These included BIO Europe 2019, which took place in November in Hamburg (Germany), and BIO Europe Spring 2019, which was held in Vienna (Austria) in March.

In May, Biocat took part in the first Barcelona Innovation Day at the Harvard Kennedy School (Boston). This event, led by the SciTech DiploHub (the organization working to implement a science and technology diplomacy strategy in Barcelona), received support from the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United States, ACCIÓ and Biocat and brought together representatives from the academic, business and institutional arenas in Barcelona and Boston. Biocat also participated in Barcelona London Day, held in London in June, to show the British public the international investment potential of the BioRegion of Catalonia.

The BIO International Convention, the most important biotechnology event in the world, was also held in June, in Philadelphia. The Catalan delegation, with 26 companies, was handled through ICEX and Biocat acted as a facilitator.

Biocat also participated for the first time in the Sino-Europe Innovation Week of Health Technology, in China, coordinating a mission from the BioRegion of Catalonia with the companies Aromics, Avida Biotech and GoodGut, plus Smart Bcn Technologies, which is originally from Catalonia but based in Malaysia.

Preparations for BIO-Europe Spring 2021 in Barcelona

In 2019, the announcement was made that BIO-Europe Spring 2021 would be held in Barcelona. The spring edition of the benchmark fair in the biopharmaceutical sector would be held in Catalonia for the fourth time, with Biocat coordinating the Host Committee.

The previous edition, in 2017, saw record Catalan turnout, with 110 companies and nearly 200 delegates. Overall, the event brought together 1,440 companies and over 2,400 delegates, hosting more than 15,000 business meetings and nearly 120 company presentations.

BIO-Europe Spring 2017 brought together over 2,500 delegates from 58 countries.