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  November 14th, 2016 | Written by

Japan Seeks Partnerships With SmiLe Incubator Companies

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  • Japan is the third largest pharmaceuticals market in the world.
  • BioJapan conference is Asia’s largest partnering event for biotech companies.
  • Japanese biotech companies are eager to network with new partners.

Of nineteen European companies, Lund’s Life Science Incubator, SmiLe, was the only Swedish incubator selected to participate in a large industry delegation to the BioTech Mission in Japan. The trip also included participation at the BioJapan conference, Asia’s largest partnering event for companies in the biotech industry.

Japan is an interesting market not only because of its size, but also because there are relatively few patent holdings. The Japanese biotech companies are therefore eager to catch up by networking with new partners.

“This has given us a unique opportunity to showcase our incubator companies and SmiLe in Japan,” said Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe. “I participated in about 20 partnering meetings, half of which have resulted in concrete business interest in our companies from both investors and other partners.”

SmiLe and the incubator companies received plenty of attention at BioJapan. Ebba Fåhraeus held two presentations on SmiLe and selected projects. SmiLe was also featured in two booths, both the BioTechMission and the Medicon Valley booths. The latter was through the South Sweden Going Global cooperation project, where SmiLe is one of the participants.

“The quality of the partnering meetings was generally very high,” said Fåhraeus. “We had the opportunity to meet the right people and they also showed genuine interest in our companies. Many contacts were made and one of the incubator companies that was introduced now has five concrete leads to follow up on since the trip.”

The purpose of the Biotech Mission to Japan project is to facilitate collaboration between companies in the EU and Japan, as well as to jointly increase the competitiveness of the regions. The trip included lectures on the Japanese life science and biotech market at the European Biotech and Pharma Partnering Conference in Osaka, with partnering meetings. The trip also provided exposure in the joint booth at BioJapan with participation in the partnering program. The event was funded and organized by the EU-Japan Center for Industrial Cooperation, which was established as a collaborative effort between the EU Commission and the Japanese government.