On 26–27 September, Vilnius will turn into the international centre of life sciences. The Life Sciences Baltics forum – the largest in the Baltic countries and most rapidly growing forum in the Nordic Europe – will invite experts of its field to learn about the latest scientific trends and discoveries and to establish contacts with representatives of companies and organisations from the Baltics and other countries.
‘Lithuania has made a huge progress in the field of life sciences in recent years. Investments into scientific infrastructure, internationally-recognised discoveries made by our scientists and successful development of businesses show that we are on the right path to progress. We hope that Life Sciences Baltics organised for the fourth time will make the name of Lithuania, as the country of life sciences, even better known worldwide and contribute to success of the Lithuanian companies engaged in life science and the science itself’, said Daina Kleponė, Managing Director of forum organiser Enterprise Lithuania.
Focus on partnerships between business and science
The Life Sciences Baltics forum consists of an international conference, an exhibition, B2B meetings and networking and start-up masterclasses. Visitors can visit the exhibition where around 70 companies and organizations will present their services, products and technologies free of charge.
Academic, business and government delegations from Japan, Israel, the United Kingdom, China, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia will be present at Life Sciences Baltics. They will have the opportunity to network with Lithuanian companies, universities and to discuss the perspectives of future partnerships.
‘The export of Lithuanian life sciences companies has almost tripled over the course of seven years. By attracting a large number of potential business partners to Lithuania, we are aiming to expand Lithuania’s horizons beyond national borders. Our life sciences products and services have already made their way to the USA, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany markets so we hope to exploit this potential further’, said Ms Kleponė.
Among the international companies that will come to Vilnius is a full service global Clinical Research Organisation Clintec, Intertek Pharmaceutical Services supplying pharmaceutical contract laboratory services, regulatory guidance and supply chain assurance, one of the largest Baltic and Nordic companies in the field of clinical research Medfiles, a global solution provider to biologics manufacturing industry Asahi Kasei Bioprocess, a contract research laboratory Citoxlab, Japanese food and chemical corporation Ajinomoto, World Courier supplying logistic services to pharmaceutical companies and others.
Special attention will be paid to the life sciences startups from the Baltic and surrounding countries. Enterprise Lithuania together with Johnson & Johnson Innovation is organizing two-day specialized training for life sciences startups. After masterclasses, 10 best startups will present their products and services in front of foreign investors at the Pitch Challenge.
The forum will be attended by renowned scientists from the USA, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Israel, Estonia and the United Kingdom. About 1,500 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical devices will attend the Life Sciences Baltics forum.
From genetic diseases to personalized medicine
The forum will be opened on 26 September with the speech of Nobel laureate Brian Kobilka. In 2012, Professor of Stanford University was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors, GPCR. Thanks to his studies, one of the largest protein groups in human body was discovered, while the recreated spatial structure of G-protein-coupled receptors opens possibilities for pharmaceutical companies to develop more effective medicines.
The attention of this year’s Life Science Baltics scientific conference will be focused on the most relevant news and technologies in researches for improving human health, easing patient’s condition and achieving more effective diagnosis and treatment. Speakers of over 60 various fields will talk about genetic diseases, immuno-oncology, application of 3D printing technology and lasers in medicine, stem cells, personalised medicine and digital health.
The global star of orthopaedics, President of Hiroshima University, Japan, Mr. Mitsuo Ochi, inventor of a special technique for restoring injured knee cartilage, will be among the speakers. Pursuing minimum invasive procedure for a patient, the professor decided to use a magnet to control the course of the procedure. Starting from 2013, this knee cartilage surgery is covered by the state health insurance in Japan.
Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland Professor Mark Ferguson will share Irish experience in developing research centres and universities of global level. According to the data of Science Foundation Ireland headed by him, the quality of Irish scientific research reached the level of previous leading countries in a few years.
Representative of one of the largest software developers in the world – SAP, Doctor Clemens Suter-Crazzolara will tell about possibilities to improve patient’s condition by using digital technologies. The main speakers at the conference include also Head and Chief Scientist of the Institute of Biotechnologies of Vilnius University Saulius Klimašauskas, whose research focuses on epigenetic phenomena taking place in human cells. Molecular instruments developed on the basis of the research can help companies to diagnose serious illnesses earlier and to prescribe more accurate, personalised treatment.
Doctor Hakon Hakonarson from the Research Institute of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will introduce the results of his research of genetic factors determining serious illnesses in children and adults. He heads the research aimed at collection of 100 000 children’s DNA to investigate the causes and prevent widely-spread health problems, including malformations, heart diseases, obesity.
The conference in Vilnius will receive also famous stem cell researcher Irving Weissman. Professor of the Medical School at Stanford University is the first scientist in the world who succeeded in isolating any type of stem cell in any living organism. He researches the possibilities of transplantation of human immune system, much like a liver or heart transplant.