No Games. Just Deals!
f you ask Dr Norbert Rau, who organised his first euroPLX meeting back in 1995, finding a pharma partner is solely a question of efficacy: “In fact, some business discussions result in deals and others don’t,” he says. In fact, there are more business negotiations that don’t lead to anywhere but to separate the wheat from the chaff than meetings that lead to a signed agreement. “Depending on the nature and size of the business opportunities discussed, the ratio may well be five, ten, or twelve useless meetings to one that results in a closed deal”, Rau told European Biotechnology. This year, the managing director of RauCon GmbH & Co. KG is going to organise conferences No. 69 to 71.
More meetings = more deals
“The concept behind the format established in 1995 was simple,” says Rau, “to create the first business-only partnering conference worldwide: no lectures, no presentations, no keynotes, shows, stunts, or performances. Just business.” Knowing what business developers want, Rau’s meetings work like high throughput screenings for business opportunities, as half-hourly, face-to-face meetings. According to the Rau theorem:
- the more business meetings that occur, the more opportunities that are generated;
- a focus on defined business areas means higher opportunity intensity;
- there is an optimum number of attending companies, in order to generate opportunities on one side, and to avoid too much competition for meeting time slots on the other.
According to Rau, “large partnering events are like an Oktoberfest: attendees get drunk from the dizzying potential but have a hangover at home when they realise that they haven’t been able to make much use of it. The ideal size is determined by mathematics.” Business development experts had exactly this partnering math in mind, when they designed euroPLX: The format provides a minimum per-company average of 25 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings. In addition, there are three meetings a year, in order to increase the number of business encounters (and tangible opportunities!) and to expedite follow-ups and to shorten the time to market. “In 2018, almost 17,000 business negotiations were facilitated this way, and more is to come this year,“ says Rau.
The euroPLX Pharma Partnering Conferences focus on drugmakers’ business development. In general, products approved for marketing dominate all subjects under discussion, be they patented or generic. Hospital products and products for practitioners used to dominate, but OTC products gain an increasing share of attention at euroPLX, along with food supplements and “medical“ cosmetics. Since its inception, euroPLX has been held in 19 European countries and has welcomed more than 1,750 companies from 84 countries.
The euroPLX two-phase, one-on-one meeting request system combines a priority-based request tool, which ensures the scheduling of the most important choices, with a subsequent ask-and-accept procedure that allows for the completion of schedules and filling of gaps. A scheduling system based on complex algorithms ensures that about 90% of a delegate’s most important meeting choices are actually scheduled. This is limited only if delegates reduce their availability or if a company has only one representative delegate but receives an unusual high number of requests. The forthcoming euroPLX 70 Berlin will be held on June 3 + 4, and euroPLX 71 Lisbon on November 25 + 26 in the seaside Hotel Cascais Miragem (see photo) in Cascais near Lisbon.
First published in European Biotchnology, Spring 2019 edition.