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  /  DxPx Blog   /  Our new mega-project!

Our new mega-project!

DEDICATED DIAGNOSTICS PARTNERING CONFERENCE TO FOSTER SUCCESS FOR DIAGNOSTICS & LIFESCIENCE RESEARCH TOOLS!

Our newest diagnostics project has officially been launched today. After years of contemplating the idea, it feels somewhat as a relief to reach the point of no return. The only option now is to get the job done! A huge workload lies ahead and, yes, I am sure this will be the biggest project that the SilverSky team has ever tackled. But let's start at the beginning by traveling 5 years back in time…

In 2014 I was CEO at Miacom Diagnostics, a German molecular diagnostics company that I had signed on with during a restructuring mandate in 2009. In 2014 things looked quite positive – we had successfully launched a few IVD products in Europe and had won Fosun Pharmaceuticals as a minority investor and strategic partner. I felt assured that we were on the road towards an exit. The dream of every founder. What did I know....

 

The difference between wanting to be acquired and being acquired.

Back then I had already been blessed to be involved in several M&A deals as a corporate finance advisor. But, at Miacom, we decided to move forward without any external help. Certainly, I was somewhat overly optimist with regards to China and how quickly we could get traction in Asia. Also, with ongoing FDA trials for one of the fastest sepsis assays I felt that we could attract the attention of potential partners. And of course through my consultancy I did have an extensive network of diagnostics executives. So between running daily operations, recruiting and managing FDA trial sites, building a small team in the USA and planning production in Shanghai I started to engage with potential buyers. At least I tried...

Very soon I realised that, without a dedicated and full-time resource, this would become quite a challenge. Unfortunately, for various reasons, the door through which outside advisory support could be found was locked and I was facing a relatively rocky road until we obtained FDA approval and were able to sell the diagnostics side of Miacom to a German diagnostics company in 2017. But this rocky road also led to the birth of the idea that the world – or at least I – needed a professional, international partnering conference that solely addressed the specific needs of the diagnostic industry. An event like BioEurope or JP Morgan but aimed only at bringing diagnostics executives together. I believe now that such a conference would have made my life somewhat easier back then.

 

The idea: DxPx Conference – Get to know each other. Exchange views. Do business together.

This idea was more of a need than a desire, as I had the feeling then that, as a diagnostics startup CEO, I had just picked the wrong industry. Everything seemed to be somewhat easier in pharma: larger funding rounds, more VC interest, more attractive deal terms for outlicensing, and conferences where you could schedule or at least request meetings with numerous potential partners at a decision-maker level. After attending several BioEurope, ChinaBio, AACC and other partnering events, I eventually sold Miacom to a German IVD company that was introduced to me via a mutual development partner.

It turned out that all my efforts attending these pharma-focused partnering events did not really bring me success. However, I still believed that there was a benefit to be had if such partnering meeting were clearly focused on diagnostics. So, with the exit in October 2017, I started to do some more market research and discuss the idea with friends and colleagues from the diagnostics industry. And today? Today we were able to negotiate terms with a hotel to organise such meeting during MEDICA 2019. Let’s see where this DxPx idea will eventually take us...

Best, Mirko Stange

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February 14, 2019