The 2019 BIO International conference is only one week away! Here at Argonaut, our team is preparing for a week filled with partnership meetings and exciting talks. This year a major conference focus is on rare diseases and precision medicine. With the packed programming schedule that BIO offers, it can be difficult to find the best presentations to attend. In this preview, our team highlights their top picks and can’t-miss talks from the program.

Rare diseases in the spotlight

While pharma portfolios are shifting from one-size-fits all blockbuster drugs toward rare and targeted patient populations, only 5% of rare diseases have a therapy available. “Closing the Innovation Gap in Rare Diseases: Where are we Headed?” will analyze how rare disease clinical development has changed, the improvements remaining, and how the overall healthcare system must adapt. The next five years of this paradigm shift will be explored.

One major advantage of attending BIO is the strength of its invited speaker lineup. We look forward to joining Peter Saltonstall, President and CEO of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), for his Fireside Chat to get a firsthand view of the future of rare disease therapeutics. A focus of his presidency has been fostering partnerships between drug companies, device companies, and academia, so anyone interested in collaborating on a rare disease effort should attend.

CEO Spotlight

Argonaut CEO, Wayne Woodard, recommends “The Changing Landscape in Pharma/Diagnostic Partnerships” as his top pick for BIO 2019.

2:00 PM–3:00 PM Jun 4, 2019

107AB, Level 100

Diagnostics in the precision medicine era

These sessions combine molecular diagnostics with biopharmaceuticals. As a life sciences and biopharma contract manufacturer, Argonaut’s services address both the diagnostics and the therapies needed for precision medicine. There looks to be some great talks on the subject area this year, but we think two stand out. “The Changing Landscape in Pharma/Diagnostic Partnerships” will be relevant to many BIO attendees. As precision medicine continues to grow, more pharma companies will seek to partner with diagnostics makers as part of their strategy, and vice versa. With Argonaut engagement on both sides, we look forward to learning how these partnerships will evolve in the future.

Our second BIO 2019 pick for the diagnostics focus area is “Precision Medicine and the FDA: Prospects for Regulation of Laboratory Developed Tests”. Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) have long had controversial regulatory oversight, and the FDA has frequently called for reforms of the system. With the future of this regulation still very uncertain, understanding the proposed new legislation will help prepare LDT providers for the future. With precision medicine now in the spotlight, LDTs will only continue to grow in importance.

What’s next in biotech and biopharma – Join the conversation

One advantage of large conferences like BIO, is the ability to put the right people in a room together. Biotech and biopharmaceutical industry attendees alike will find value in “What’s Next: The Landscape of Innovation in 2019 and Beyond”. This collaborative panel is a perfect opportunity to glimpse the future of our industry. Scientific areas of focus, investment strategies, and more will be covered by this high-powered roster that includes VPs and CEOs from both biotech and pharma.

The “FDA Town Hall” looks to be insightful for BIO 2019 attendees with an interest in regulatory affairs. This roundtable discussion offers a rare opportunity to directly interact with FDA representatives and learn more about their perspectives on regulatory issues. For anyone working on a new technology or one subject to changing regulation, this is a must-attend. Make the most of this session by coming prepared with questions.

Overall, the BIO 2019 agenda is strong, and we look forward to these key seminars. See you in Philadelphia!

If you will be attending BIO 2019 and are interested in learning how Argonaut can support your clinical vial fill-finish or diagnostic projects, please contact us to schedule a meeting. Our new facility featuring SKAN barrier-isolation, single-use disposable path, and ADVANCEDfill technology is ready for orders.