The 2019 Mergers and Acquisitions Forum for Pharma and Biotech

August 12-14 Philadelphia

Click Here for venue and registration information

Creating innovative life sciences, pharma and biotech mergers and partnership opportunities has never been more critical to organizational growth.  As product offerings grow, the industry is being impacted by rapidly changing market conditions, pricing considerations, and legislative updates. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from and network with leaders in pharma, life sciences, and M&A.


Monday, August 12th, 2019 | Pre-Conference Workshop

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Part 1: Planning and Raising Series Funding

Whether you’re a start-up or budding enterprise, series funding is on your radar. Many NextGen therapeutic developers are finding great success in raising millions to make their respective marks. Laying the foundation for achieving financing is a difficult task but calculated-fundraising efforts are critical.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Networking Lunch

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Part 2: Managing Pipeline Opportunity and Risk in a Mid-Size Pharmaceutical Company

Learn how sharing risk and financial burdens with external partners strengthens your deal. Learn important lessons from five recent and very diverse deals.

Ivan Kugener, MD MBA MSc - Vice President, Head of Global Portfolio Management - Global Strategic Excellence
EMD Serono

Tuesday, August 13th, 2019 | Day 1

9:10 AM - 9:45 AM

OPENING ADDRESS: Emerging Pharma and Biotech M&A Trends and Investment Opportunities in 2020 and Beyond

January 2019 saw Bristol Meyers Squibb acquire Celgene for $74 billion, a transaction that was nearly three-quarters of the more than $100 billion in deals that occurred in the first six months of 2018, according to a BioSpace report.  Many analysts are predicting this trend is likely to continue within pharma and biotech. Whether it’s a larger brand acquiring another giant or merging with a smaller one, transactions of any proportion are continually changing the life sciences landscape. 

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM

Mitigating Risk with Due Diligence Best Practices

While it may come later in the M&A process, effective due diligence can make or break any deal. Whether it’s a merger, acquisition or licensing deal, due diligence provides the needed transparency to seize opportunities and mitigate challenges and risks. 

Rahul Khara - Senior Director, Compliance and Commercial Counsel
Acceleron Pharma

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Morning Networking & Refreshment Break

11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: IPO, Venture Capital, and Other Financing Alternatives for Product, Portfolio and Market Development

This panel offers a unique opportunity to hear how pharma and biotech buyers and sellers, as well as their respective financial backers, developed and executed strategies for successful therapeutic and market share development. Through their expertise and experiences, you will gain a greater understanding of the options sellers and buyers have and the applicability these alternatives have on transaction types.  

Bill Abajian - Chief Executive Officer, Restructuring, and Turn-Arounds
Eastgate Biotech

David R. McAvoy - General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer
Endocyte, Inc.
a Novartis Company

Michael Hong - Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager
Strategic Growth Investments

Jason Colgate - Managing Director of Private Equity Acquisitions
Eli Global

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM

CASE STUDY: Why a Strategic Partnership Can Be Better than a Merger or Acquisition

Sometimes, a merger or acquisition is just too big of a leap for buyers and sellers. When there are obvious synergies, however, the two sides often find the opportunities too big to ignore. These opportunities include new product development, shared costs, and immediate market penetration and product distribution. This session will examine the formation and outcomes of strategic partnerships in pharma and biotech to advance innovative therapies.

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Networking Lunch

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: Acquirers Share their M&A Experiences

When did they know the time was right to strike a deal? Should you sell or acquire? What makes a target so valuable to a buyer? This discussion will cover these topics and more while providing M&A veteran insight into trends, market drivers and what to look for in an opportunity.

Michael Hong - Chief Investment Officer and Portfolio Manager
Strategic Growth Investments

Ling Zeng - Deputy Head Group Legal M&A
Novartis International AG

Jason Colgate - Managing Director of Private Equity Acquisitions
Eli Global

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Afternoon Networking & Refreshment Break

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

CFIUS and What it Could Mean for your M&A, Partnership and Investment Transactions

David R. McAvoy - General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer
Endocyte, Inc.
a Novartis Company

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Lesson Learned: When One Big Brand Acquires Another and the Balancing of Varying Corporate Cultures

The trend among large pharma, biotech and med device companies with healthy balance sheets absorbing each other is likely to continue. Due largely in part to an overhaul of the U.S. federal income tax system, the industry has seen some of the largest transactions to date. The path to sealing the deal, however, has as many pitfalls as it does opportunities. Learn methods to overcoming pitfalls during this session. 

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Networking Cocktail Reception 

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 | Day 2

9:00 AM - 9:10 AM

Recap of Day One and Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

9:10 AM - 9:40 AM

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Strategic Exits – Start from the beginning!

Although growth drivers in M&A deals are well understood (innovation, market share, margins, etc.), the cause for unsuccessful transactions is seldom discussed. One of the main reasons for failure is that smaller companies simply are not prepared for the exit. While the desire exists to sell the business for the maximum possible value, business owners often neglect to take the appropriate steps to increase the sale price. In many cases executives’ own actions reduced their final profit. Learn what exit options exist at different stages (early, commercialization, mature).

 Regardless of the stage of your enterprise, attending this presentation will help you understand key tools to continuously improve the value of your business.

David Sheppard - Managing Director
Medworld Advisors

Florence Joffroy-Black – CEO
Medworld Advisors

9:40 AM - 10:15 AM

Intellectual Property Strategies that Close Deals - Navigating the Process and Positioning the Deal

This presentation will focus on how life science companies can use intellectual property (IP) to make its business attractive for strategic partners or buyers.  Explore the two basic questions related to IP development that life science companies must be able to answer in order to attract capital and streamline due diligence.  Gain insight into how to protect your revenue streams.

Gregory Grissett - Intellectual Property Lawyer and Chair Intellectual Property Group
Offit Kurman, P.A.

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Case Study: How Smaller Drug Companies Bring New Innovations from Trial to Market

This session will have you thinking outside the box, moving away from cookie cutter methods of bringing a new drug to market.  Learn how to pull, instead of push, your drug to market.  Our discussion will provide insights into how looking globally will elevate your organization to an attractive position for mergers or partnerships.  We will also examine the steps involved in navigating regulatory bodies on a global level and how to evaluate a prospective company to determine if they are a good investment.

Bill Abajian - Chief Executive Officer, Restructuring, and Turn-Arounds
Eastgate Biotech

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM

PANEL DISCUSSION: U.S. Security and Exchange Commission Statutes for Mergers and Acquisitions

This panel will feature regulatory and business development strategists, who will discuss SEC regulatory considerations of takeovers, shareholder communications, cross-border tender and exchange offers, business combinations and rights offerings.

12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Networking Lunch

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM


M&A Strategies for Sellers

Strategies to Improve Your Brand for Attracting the Right Buyer 

M&A Strategies for Buyers

M&A Search and Target Strategies

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM

M&A Strategies for Sellers

Choosing the Right Financial Advisor or an Investment Banker

M&A Strategies for Buyers

Strategic Post-Integration: It's as Important as Inking the Deal

2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

M&A Strategies for Sellers

Entrepreneurial Mentoring Roundtable for Early-, Mid- and Late-Stage Developers

M&A Strategies for Buyers

PANEL Q&A: Buyers Exchange

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Chairperson’s Closing Remarks