Find Out what’s Hot in the Latin American Biotech scene

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You’ve probably heard about BIO-Europe, but what about BIO Latin America?

The Latin American counterpart to BIO-Europe, Biolatam, was a success last year: over 250 attending companies from 20 countries participated in 400 one-on-one partnering meetings. Now, Biolatam kicks off in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on November 29th. It will feature over 300 dealmakers representing pharma, biotech and the accompanying service sectors in the US, Latin America and Europe.

Latin America has an emerging life science market and therefore holds many opportunities for internationally minded organizations. According to a report from Deloitte, healthcare spending in Latin America is projected to increase 4.6 percent on average annually between 2014 and 2018, as pharmaceutical spending grows an average of 6.1 percent annually.

To help companies carve out a niche for themselves in the field, Biolatam facilitates meetings and partnerships between companies and investors in the field. Biotechs can find support from VCs, private equity firms, institutional firms, and business angels; these organizations and big pharma can meet and partner with biotech executives to gain a foothold in the rapidly growing Latin American healthcare market. But Biolatam isn’t only a healthcare event — the program includes companies representing the areas of biodiversity, agriculture, food, and bioeconomy.

Here’s a list of attendees you don’t want to miss!


With offices in Maryland and Puerto Rico, CDI focuses on next-generation proteomics. Its mission is to empower R&D efforts by providing its proprietary technology for high-throughput screening and antibody specificity testing. In these areas, it has developed its MTB Array for Tuberculosis Proteome Microarray and FastMAb for custom antibody development. CDI is also pursuing a Protein Capture Reagents Program (PCRP), funded by the NIH, for monoclonal antibodies.


Santiago’s “Cell Therapy Experts” at Cells for Cells (C4C) are developing therapies from adult stem cells extracted from menstrual fluid and the human placenta. Stem cells are traditionally harvested from bone marrow, but from its comparatively noninvasive source, C4C hopes to develop treatments for degenerative diseases including those affecting the eyes, heart, skin and joints, as well as autoimmune diseases. C4C is also pursuing an exosome research program to investigate cancer cures.


Cognitiva is a collaboration of 23 countries in Latin America seeking to leverage cognitive computing in the sale, commercialization and integration of medical solutions. The organization aims to help clients and companies use IBM Watson, a computer designed to answer questions based on big data input. With this powerful tool, Cognitiva ultimately wants to improve the quality of life in Latin America by changing the way these actors make decisions.


Abbreviated ITC or TEC, the Costa Rica Institute of Technology may not be well known, but its projects span a broad range of fields: agriculture, the environment, medicine, social sciences, humanities, engineering, you name it! TEC integrates all of these categories into a holistic approach that accordingly can provide innovative solutions in biotech.


As the flagship company in Spain, Pharmamar is the most advanced biopharma in the Spanish-speaking ecosystem. It was founded in 1986 to bring marine-inspired drugs to oncology and has since advanced a number of small-molecule anti-tumor agents. The most notable of these compounds is now marketed as Yondelis (trabectedin) after its total synthesis in 2001; it is now approved in close to 80 countries to treat soft tissue sarcomas.


Praxis is based in Spain and carries out operations in Latin America. The company targets orphan and low-incidence indications in addition to cancer by acquiring technologies and integrating them into a cohesive approach composed of science and economics. On the R&D side, Praxis touts its synthetic peptides, biotech for regenerative therapies and nano- and microencapsulation. These assets are then developed for cancer.


The Brain Trust is part of the Puerto Rico Consortium for Clinical Investigation and focuses on tropical diseases in collaboration with the University of Georgia. Capitalizing on Puerto Rico’s extensive experience with such illnesses as an island on which thousands are infected annually, the organization discusses treatments and prevention mechanisms for diseases like Zika, dengue and chikungunya. The Trust’s current efforts are focused on the development of tests to rapidly detect diseases and support maternal and infant health in the face of the current Zika outbreak.

But these aren’t all the attendees either! So many major players from Latin America and abroad are converging on Biolatam to seek partnerships in biotech from all corners of the industry. See for yourself — check out their website and book yourself a ticket to San Juan!

Featured Image: Songquan Deng/

Images: Dennis van de Water; Dennis van de Water; mikolajn; trekandshoot; PixieMe; Dennis van de Water; Gerardo Borbolla /

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