Medicon Valley Microbiome Pitch Day is set to be an event packed with public speaking. It will mostly be microbiome researchers and entrepreneurs talking about their projects, aiming to present to potential partners for collaboration or investment. But before any pitches begin, Peter Bak, PhD, Managing Director at Back Bay Life Science Advisors, will give the keynote address.

Hailing from Massachusetts in the United States, Bak did his doctorate work in microbiology and immunology at Dartmouth Medical School and was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT’s Koch Institute of Integrative Cancer Research. At Back Bay, he regularly works with various life science companies, from startups to global brands. Bak has written articles about commercial development across a range of therapeutic areas, with a particular focus on the microbiome, including: The Microbiome and Immuno-oncology for Back Bay and the Microbiome drug development: a rapidly evolving field for STAT News.

According to Bak, about 30 to 40 percent of Back Bay’s business is in Europe, and the majority of that is in the Nordic region. His keynote address will touch on many of the firm’s work and trends they’ve noticed through their efforts.


“It’ll be a distillation of sorts of what we do at Back Bay,” he explains. “And I'll be talking about the evolving landscape of the microbiome across a number of fronts.”


In terms of interesting new developments, Bak focuses on the prescription therapeutic group. “You see a lot of exciting and interesting data coming out in the microbiome for gut diseases,” he says and also notes that global pharma has shown interest in dermatologic diseases, like acne, and inflammatory diseases, like atopic dermatitis.

But Bak says the big area of development remains the gut-brain axis. “I think there’s a lot of potential to unlock there, and people are trying to approach it in various different ways,” he says.

As for what investors tend to look for in microbiome companies, Bak explains that a lot will depend on the technology, but there will be at least one constant.

"From an investor standpoint," he says, "it's important to have that story buttoned up on how your underlying technology is uniquely suited to address an issue in the disease area that you're going after."

You can discover more of Peter Bak’s insights at Medicon Valley Microbiome Pitch Day.