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Bio Connections Australia

Optimising Clinical Trials | Commercialising Great Science | Partnering for Growth

19-20 August 2019 | Pullman Melbourne Albert Park

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Academia & NFPs Rates also Available // SEE PRICING BELOW


Australia is well positioned to be a leading destination for early phase clinical trials – currently commencing over 1000 new trials each year. But how can we further capitalise on this opportunity?

Bio Connections Australia is an annual, national event designed to foster the growth of early phase clinical research in Australia.

As a unique platform for networking and discussion, this comprehensive, two-day conference focuses on drug discovery, early phase clinical trials, translational research, and expediting Australia’s great science into commercialisation.

Bringing together a mix of the nation’s industry executives, researchers, and academics, the event is also attended by international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies looking to conduct clinical trial activity in Australia.


8:30 am

Morning Coffee on Arrival

8:50 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Tam C. Nguyen, Deputy Director of Research, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

9:00 am

  • Who we are
  • The importance of finding new ways to capitalise on innovation to drive ROI
  • An Asia to Global strategy – what does this mean and what impact can it have?
  • Our plans for early phase work in Australia
  • Looking to the future – leveraging Asian capital to drive innovation

9:30 am

  • PharmAbcine? Who we are…?
  • Why Australia? What we are here looking for?
  • Sharing ongoing Experience in Australia
  • What’s next?

10:00 am

  • International biotechs share their thinking and motivations for doing trials in Australia
  • Reservations about Australia vs elsewhere?
  • What are the ultimate drivers for decision making on where to do early phase trials?
  • What have been experiences and challenges faced?

10:40 am

Networking Coffee Break

11:10 am

  • Exploring other indications and studies
  • How to choose your program
  • Moving to the Phase 2 program & the results expected in June
  • Running phase 3 in house – how do you decide to do that?
  • The learnings and pain points of planning global trials

11:40 am

  • What do we mean by meaningful trials and what are the motivations of different stakeholders? E.g. Is it just about getting a grant?
  • What do partners expect from clinical trials?
  • Designing studies that will give you the best end result
  • What is needed for phase I, phase II & phase III studies?
  • Designing clinical trial programme with an exit strategy
  • How to drive efficiency in clinical trial development to accelerate commercialization
  • How can companies attract investment and partners with a strong clinical development program?
  • Finding the right story to sell

12:30 pm

Networking Lunch

1:40 pm

  • How to do my first in human study well and do it efficiently?
  • How can I best allocate resources?
  • Strategies for having the right data from a pre-clinical perspective
  • Ethical considerations
  • What are the advantages of bringing your clinical trial into a dedicated phase 1 unit?

2:30 pm

  • Some tools & tps to assist in understanding Australia’s Therapeutic Goods regulatory environment.
  • Tailored to SME’s, start ups & researchers who are developing new and innovative medicines & medical devices.

3:00 pm

Networking Break

3:45 pm

Early Phase Trials: Accessing the R&D Incentive Program

Jeff Bergmann, Director, Solubility

Simone Quin, Partner, Prime Accounting and Business Advisory Pty Ltd

4:15 pm

  • What are the barriers to recruitment?
  • Writing a recruitable protocol
  • Understanding the challenges and realities in the feasibility stage
  • Adequate resourcing and effective connections
  • Navigating the challenges of a fragmented health system
  • Emerging technologies and innovations to improve clinical trial recruitment in Australia

5:00 pm

  • Getting the language right – engagement vs involvement
  • Effectively engaging patients for early development
  • What are the experiences in international markets like the US and Europe
  • How to shape the end points and what’s important for the patients
  • Success stories in how to get engagement off the ground
  • What can the value of effective engagement be?

5:30 pm

Networking Drinks

6:30 pm

BioPalooza Networking Dinner

8:30 am

Morning Coffee on Arrival

8:50 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Ben Wright, Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Investment Strategy, Cicada Innovations & Director, NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program

9:00 am

  • The story behind the ongoing development of this unique wireless device that can interpret signals from the brain for patients with paralysis without the need for open brain surgery or direct contact with brain tissue.
  • Clinical trials
  • Where to next?

9:30 am

GEXVal Inc. is a Japanese-based pharma spinout focused on delivering new treatments for rare and intractable diseases. We are identifying alternative therapeutic opportunities for existing molecules by multi-platform drug repositioning and establishing therapeutic proof of concept.

This presentation will explore our journey to date and our future plans including activities in Australia.

10:00 am

  • History of Opthea
  • Turning the company around
  • Working with a CRO and how we made decisions around that
  • Running trials from Australia internationally
  • Why we didn’t recruit patients in Australia

10:30 am

Networking Break

11:00 am

This session will feature learnings and insights from CEOs on how to strategize on capital raise and further the development of the company, secure institutional investment from overseas and ultimately build the right strategy.

  • Raising Capital for Phase 1 Biotechs – Moving to the Next Phase
  • Funding opportunities outside the traditional VC / IPO pathways
  • Non-dilutive funding opportunities
  • Thinking beyond the Australian market – how to drastically improve valuations and growth prospects by looking into scaling overseas.

11:45 am

  • What is translational science?
  • How can translational science help companies in their early research?
  • How can new insights and techniques help predict how drugs will perform?
  • Making the right go/no-go decisions

12:15 pm

  • What can/should be protected by IP, and what commercial value does this provide?
  • Identifying and implementing an IP strategy that aligns with your commercialisation strategy (e.g., facilitating licensing, partnerships, spin-out companies)
  • How to ensure FTO
  • When to file, where to file, sequence of national applications etc
  • What IP protection is sought by various commercial partners?
  • Unpacking Who Owns the IP in Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials

1:00 pm

Networking Lunch

2:00 pm

  • What we did and our journey
  • What were the hurdles/challenges
  • Where to next?

3:15 pm

  • What are the attributes of a great partner?
  • What is pharma looking for and what do they avoid?
  • How to make your research stand out from the crowd
  • Common behaviours of a collaborating company and researcher – The good and the bad
  • How can researchers collaborate with pharma most effectively?
  • Which cases work, which don’t and why

4:00 pm

Close of Conference


Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$2795+GSTEarly Bird
Dinner$150+GSTEarly Bird
Extras Price
Dinner (19/08/2019) $150+GST
Packages Price
Package(Two Days)$2095+GSTEarly Bird
Dinner$150+GSTEarly Bird
Extras Price
Dinner (19/08/2019) $150+GST


Tam C. Nguyen

Deputy Director of Research, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Vishal Doshi

CEO, AUM Biosciences, Singapore

Jin-San Yoo

President & CEO, PharmAbcine, Inc, South Korea

Jeremy Yee

Chairman, Biolidics Limited

Xiaowei Shi

Executive Director, Clinical Operations, Asia-Pacific, BeiGene

Bill Ketelbey

CEO, Actinogen

Erin Mistry

Managing Director Value and Access, Syneos Health

Dr Anand Gautam

Senior Director & Head l Asia Discovery lab & CTI l Emerging Science & Innovation, Pfizer

Professor Jacob George

Director, Storr Liver Centre at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research; Head, Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Westmead Hospital and Sydney West Local Health District

Sarah Meibusch

Principal, One Ventures

Anita van der Meer

Clinical Trials Support Unit | Office for Health and Medical Research, NSW Ministry of Health

Dr Tina Soulis

Chief Executive Officer, Neuroscience Trials Australia

Cameron Johnson

CEO, Nucleus Network

Karen West

Executive Director Clinical Development Early Phase, Syneos Health

Avi Rebera

Assistant Secretary, Regulatory Engagement & Planning Branch, Department of Health (TGA)

Dr Tony Manderson

Head of the Cell & Tissue Therapy Unit, Therapeutic Goods Administration

Jeff Bergmann

Director, Solubility

Simone Quin

Partner, Prime Accounting and Business Advisory Pty Ltd

Leanne Weekes

Program Director, CT:IQ

Tyron Johnson

Senior Clinical Development Liaison, Oncology and Diabetes, Eli Lilly Australia and New Zealand

Damien Conti

Head of Recruitment, Nucleus Network

Anne Woollett

Head Clinical Trials Programs, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre

Nicola Straiton

Senior Project Officer, Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA)

Ben Wright

Chief Innovation Officer & Head of Investment Strategy, Cicada Innovations & Director, NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program

Dr Thomas Oxley

CEO and Founder, Synchron

Juran Kato

President and CEO, GEXVal Inc, Japan

Dr Andy Baxendale

Senior Advisor for Clinical Strategy and Global BD, GEXVal Inc.

Megan Baldwin

Managing Director & CEO, Opthea

Chevlin Lee

Managing Principal, Chalten Capital

Gary Phillips

CEO, Pharmaxis

Leslie Chong

MD & CEO, Imugene

Dr Ronan Bouër

Executive Director Clinical Development (Translational Sciences), Syneos Health

Kathy Harrison

Head of IP Strategy, ProTA Therapeutics

Damien Bates

Chief Scientific Officer & Head of Translational Medicine, BioCurate

Sarah Cox

Patent & Trade Marks Attorney, Watermark

Sam Cobb

Managing Director & CEO, AdAlta

Dr Chris Nave

Managing Director, Brandon Capital Partners & CEO, Medical Research Commercialisation Fund

Jeannie Joughin

Chief Commercial Advisor, Enable Injections Inc & Independent Commercial Advisor & Consultant

Roanne Innes

Co-Founder & CEO, Somatrack

Steven Yatomi-Clarke

CEO and Managing Director, Prescient Therapeutics Limited

Kathy Nielsen

Director, Commercialisation (Life Sciences), Monash University

Brett Roberts

Head of Strategic Partnerships, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd

Dr Mark Devlin

Chief Operating Officer, Cancer Therapeutics CRC

Dr. Andy Baxendale

Senior Advisor for Clinical Strategy and Global BD, GEXVal Inc.

when & where

19 - 20 Aug 2019

Pullman Melbourne Albert Park
65 Queens Rd,
Albert Park, VIC 3004
(03) 9529 4300

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call on 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Frankie Brewer
Conference Manager
+61 2 9080 4015

Danielle Newman
Business Development Executive
+61 (2) 9080 4432

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