Nearly 50 CEOs from leading life sciences companies in Texas gathered last week to share ideas for building successful biopharma and medical device companies in the state. The two-day Texas Life Science CEO Summit, which took place at the Lost Pines Resort in Austin, was the largest gathering of industry CEOs since the annual meeting began in 2008.
“The CEO Summit is a Texas-friendly opportunity to spend time with our peers and share strategies for building sustainable life science businesses in Texas,” commented Arthur T. Sands, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. “It was great to see the depth and breadth of companies participating this year, a clear demonstration of the growth the industry has experienced in Texas.”
Some of the topics covered at the CEO Summit included planning successful exit strategies, approaches for successful employee recruitment, regulatory and marketing insights, and assessing the lucrative pharmaceuticals opportunity in China. The meeting was geared for entrepreneurs in the medical technology and biopharmaceuticals industries.
Attendees this year heard from one of biotech’s most successful names on Wall Street, and from an editor from a national health sciences journal dedicated to covering life science companies. Mary Tanner, formerly of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, talked about the last 50 years in biotech and medical technology, and where the industry is heading in an intimate “fireside chat.” Commenting on the re-emergence of the appetite for IPOs in health technology, Ms. Tanner said that emerging companies today are much stronger than those that went public in previous years, resulting in a number of very successful public offerings. Interviewing Ms. Tanner was Luke Timmerman, biotechnology editor for Xconomy, a national online publication dedicated to biotech and high tech.
“I was pleased to meet many of my Texas peers who are building extraordinary companies”, commented David G. Lowe, CEO of Aeglea Clinical Development Corporation. “Having recently relocated my company to Texas from Palo Alto, California, the CEO Summit helped introduce me to the broad expertise available in the state.”
One of the main objectives of the group is to continue to attract life science investment and expertise to Texas. According to Dennis McWilliams, CEO and Founder, Apollo Endosurgery, “The CEO Summit is a great opportunity to hear from colleagues on the most critical issues we face, including how we can accelerate the growth of expertise and capital to the state.”
The 2013 planning committee included the following members of the Texas Life Sciences community:
Andy Berman – TVA Medical
Curt Bilby, PhD – Terapio
Adam Deitz – Ortho Kinematics
Tom Farrell – Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bruce Given, MD – Leonardo Biosciences
Walter Klemp – Moleculin
David Margrave – Texas Healthcare & Biosciences Institute
Dennis McWilliams – Apollo Endosurgery
Dan Moore – Cyberonics
Jacqueline Northcut – BioHouston
Neil Warma – Opexa Therapeutics
The Texas Life Sciences CEO Summit will be held again in October of 2014. Stay tuned for more information.