US-Poland Bio Business Forum

Wednesday 12 May, 2010

The Polish American Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Lifescience Cluster in Krakow & Depaul University put on the US-Poland Bio Business Forum, which provided a good update on what’s going on in biotechnology in Poland.

  • Zbigniew Kubacki, Minister Counselor Head of Trade & Investment section @ the Embassy of Poland in Washington, D.C. gave a summary of Poland’s general trade & investment opportunities:  Kubacki_Poland Presentation 30042010
  • Pawel Blachno, Pres./CEO of the Jagiellonian Centre of Innovation made a presentation on how their center is growing in leaps & bounds JCIen_FORUM
  • Kazimierz Murzyn, Managing Director of LifeScience Cluster, Krakow presented the strengths of his organization Klaster LifeScience Krakow – 5 maja 2010

Tomasz Mroczkowski, Prof. of International Business @ the Kogod School of Business @ American University in Washington, D.C. talked about options for collaboration between US & Polish biotech companies.  He didn’t make a presentation, so here’s what he said:

2000 marked the transition to an innovation/R&D/knowledge-based economy.  Emerging markets are growing twice as fast as G8 countries.  In terms of growth, Russia, Turkey, Poland, & others will rise to #2 behind China by 2020.  Pharma will double by 2020.  Astra Zeneca has outsourced all of its production to Asia.  Glaxo Smith Klein has invested heavily in Posnan, Poland.  Outsourcing of discovery & clinical trials is a form of R&D outsourcing that cuts costs, speeds development, & allows companies to enter new markets.  McKinsey consultants estimate that 10-15% is being outsourced now, but that will grow to $20B or 50% in the future.  Companies gain access to patients in clinical trials in Poland.  Poland has experience in biologics manufacturing & success in biosimilars.  Poland boasts 20 startups, but require changes in financing.  There are emerging bioclusters in Krakow, Wroclaw, Lodz, Gdansk, & Warsaw.  There are unexploited R&D collaboration opportunities in basic research with the US National Institute for Health.

Rick Walawender of Miller Canfield noted that Polish companies still have difficulties getting access to financing, but that the American approach, (National Venture Capital Assn documents), are very 1-sided & based on common law.  Poland uses a civil law & court system, so it’s somewhat incompatible.


Success stories from Poland are:  A UK company conducted trials for vascular diseases in Krakow; & a professor from Poznan, who had not secured patent rights, licensed his medical instruments to Baxter; 2 Polish biotech companies have gone public, including 1 tissue engineering company.

There are many angel investor organizations in Poland, but few specialize in biotech because many invest more in information technologies to earn quicker ROI’s.  Some investment restrictions can be circumvented by bringing in private investors as long as the firm is organized in Poland.

I requested presentations from Dr. Tadeusz Pietrucha of BioTech Consulting & Prof. Jozef Dulak of Jagiellonian University, but haven’t received them yet.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: