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Debiopharm Academy

More conferences to be held in 2015. Further information will follow soon

In September 2013, Debiopharm has launched a new series of public lectures intended for university students and professors from both the EPFL and UNIL. Each conference covers a specific topic focusing on the operational side of a drug company.

These lectures are presented by experts, directors & CEOs from Debiopharm Group, who share their own experience, successes and day-to-day business life. They do not cover traditional academic themes, but are oriented towards current practices in the pharmaceutical industry, such as: personalized medicine, drug manufacturing, new business models, project management, intellectual property or new drug screening.

These lectures series aims to promote constructive exchange between the academy and industry, by sharing their own experiences and understanding of today challenges.

« Our mission is also to share our background, experience and knowledge with students because Debiopharm is eager to adapt to the future challenges of tomorrow’s medicine », stated Thierry Mauvernay, Delegate of the Board, Debiopharm Group.


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Conferences program

8 April 2014
David Deperthes
clock from 17:30 to 19:30
Find on the map
situation EPFL - room SV 1717A

Biotech start-ups: the do’s and don’ts when negotiating with big pharmas

A successful negotiation never looks as the previous one and the next ones. Nevertheless there is a common frame in which communication and win-win spirit play a crucial role. David will take you through his experience as an entrepreneur, founder of a start-up, and head of Business Development & Licensing at Debiopharm. He will explain you tactics and strategies to sign the “perfect deal”.

Free registration to our conference


Speaker One Image David Deperthes Ph.D.
CEO Debiopharm Diagnostics
& Vice President Business
Development & Licensing,
Debiopharm International
18 March 2014
Stéphane Bernard
clock from 17:30 to 19:30
Find on the map
situation EPFL - room CM 1 120

From molecules to patients: how to transform a discovery into a drug

In the field of life sciences, drug discovery is the process by which new candidate medications are identified. Historically, drugs were discovered by identifying active ingredient from traditional remedies, often plants, or by serendipity. Later on small molecules were screened from chemical libraries in order to identify substances with a desirable therapeutic effect. Since human genome sequencing, it has become common practice to use high throughput screening of large compounds libraries. Modern drug discovery involves the identification of screening hits, medicinal chemistry and optimization of these hits. Once a compound fulfilling all requirements is identified, it can enter the drug development process, including preclinical until clinical phases.

Stephane will take you through this journey and show you how drug development is done at Debiopharm.

Free registration to our conference


Speaker One Image Stéphane Bernard Ph.D.
Associate Director R&D,
Debiopharm International
R&D Unit at the EPFL
27 February 2014
Andrés McAllister
Stewart T. Cole
clock from 18:30 to 20:30
Find on the map
situation EPFL - room SV 1717A

Developing new antibiotics: the big challenge in 2014

One of the major scientific accomplishments of modern medicine has been the development of antibiotics and the control of once devastating infectious diseases. Infections that were once lethal became diseases that could simply be cured by a short course of antibiotics. Unfortunately, this major achievement led to the indiscriminate use of the new agents which in turn put a strong pressure on microorganisms to generate new mechanisms of resistance to the new drugs. The plasticity and ever-changing nature of the microbes is now turning into a continuous increase in resistance to available medicines. Diseases which were once easily treated can be again life-threatening.

From the business perspective, drug development companies must take into account financial returns. New antibiotics are often kept aside and only used as the last resort against refractory infections in order to curtail the emergence of resistance. In addition, treatment duration is often short, as opposed to other medical treatments, further limiting the potential for return on investment. These factors make antibiotics much less rewarding financially than other treatments. As a result, research in this area has dramatically declined over the past 25 years and few pharmaceutical companies remain active in the field, despite the vast medical need.

Notwithstanding the challenging scientific, regulatory and commercial environment, Debiopharm is committed to delivering new, more selective antibacterial drugs to address the growing threat of bacterial resistance. This talk will help you better understand what are the key implications for our group.

Free registration to our conference


Speaker One Image Andrés McAllister M.D., Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Research & Evaluation
Debiopharm International

Speaker Two Image
Stewart T. Cole Ph.D., FRS
Director of the Global Health
Institute, EPFL