October 10 - 12, 2018
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA
Executive Director, Business Development
Michael joined Celgene’s Business Development team following the company’s acquisition of Abraxis BioScience in the fall of 2010. In the 3+ years Michael has been with Celgene, he has successfully completed 8 transactions and has taken the lead from a BD perspective in putting in place the company’s biologics collaborations, including deals announced with OncoMed, Adimab, AnaptysBio, Inhibrx and Sutro Biopharma. Michael joined Abraxis in early 2008, and among other accomplishments, helped establish the Abraxis commercial presence in China and helped lead the commercial launch of Abraxane in that market. Prior to joining Abraxis, Michael was involved in the tech / telecom area, working for two technology companies in southern California. Prior to these engagements, Michael was a sell-side Research Analyst at Morgan Stanley covering the wireless telecom space. Michael received his undergraduate degree from the Johns Hopkins University and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Vice President of Worldwide Business Development
GVP, Corporate & Business Development
Brinda Balakrishnan, M.D., Ph.D., joined BioMarin in early 2016 and currently serves as Group Vice President, Corporate and Business Development. She leads the company’s initiatives on corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and technology licensing.
Prior to BioMarin, Dr. Balakrishnan was the Co-founder and Vice President Corporate Strategy and Product Development at Vision Medicines, Inc., a start-up focused on developing treatments for rare ophthalmic diseases. In that role, she was responsible for in-licensing assets from big pharma and academia, fund-raising, and advancing a program for the treatment of Stargardt Disease. Before founding Vision Medicines, she spent two years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare practice serving clients across small biotech, large pharma, and provider groups on topics related to corporate strategy, corporate and business development, and operations. Prior to McKinsey, Dr. Balakrishnan was in Business Development at Genzyme.
Dr. Balakrishnan earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. from M.I.T. in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering. She also earned her M.D. from Harvard Medical School and conducted her medical training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, a Harvard hospital.
Senior Vice President
John Baldoni is Senior Vice President, In silico Drug Discovery, in GSK Pharma R&D. This department employs in silico methods to identify patient needs, explore molecular interventions to address those needs and design and conduct clinical trials to test the medical hypothesis. Using these methodologies, the conventional empirical design make test cycle will be dramatically reduced. The intent is to discover medicines at higher velocity and with greater precision compared to current approaches. John is also Co-chair of ATOM, a public private partnership to advance the methodologies used to discover oncology medicines and put them in the public domain
Prior to this, John was Senior Vice President, Platform Technology and Science (PTS), in GSK. The work of PTS spans the entire drug discovery and development process, from preclinical activities leading to clinical candidate selection through commercial launch. This accountability covered the discovery and manufacture of small molecules, biopharmaceuticals, and cell and gene therapies.
John joined GSK in 1989 and has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 38 years. His experience spans new chemical entity design, development and commercialization, and biopharmaceutical development. In progressing to his current role, John has held various positions at GSK including Senior Vice President, Preclinical Development; Vice President, Product Development; Director, Product Development; and Assistant Director, Biopharmaceutical Formulation Development, among others. He has led several key cross-functional strategic initiatives, such as advanced manufacturing technologies and discovery modernization
John has a BS in biochemistry (1974), and MS and PhD degrees in chemistry (1980) from Penn State University.
Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, Alliance Management
VP, Scientific Innovation, Immunology
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Jackie is responsible for creating and implementing an external innovation plan focused on developing an industry-leading portfolio of Immunology Therapeutic Area investment opportunities on the West Coast. This work will help solidify Janssen as the partner of choice in a highly competitive landscape, and identify and deliver the best opportunities for value-generating collaborations supporting our Immunology scientific strategy.
In her previous role, Jackie launched and led the Estrela Venture within the Janssen Incubator, advancing innovative treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Jackie led the Estrela Venture to a number of key milestones, including the declaration of two new molecular entities, one of which recently achieved first patient dosed in SLE patients.
Jackie joined the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson as a Senior Research Scientist in 2001, playing an instrumental role in the research and discovery of several flagship programs, including STELARA® (ustekinumab), for which she earned a Johnson Medal, and TREMFYA® (guselkumab). She received her B.S. in Biology from The Ohio State University, followed by her Ph.D. in Immunology from the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University, and was awarded a National Multiple Sclerosis Society postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Executive Director, Corporate Alliances, Penn Center for Innovation
University of Pennsylvania
Executive Director, Business Development
Chris is part of the transactions team at Amgen and focusses on oncology with accountability for immuno-oncology deals. Chris joined Amgen as part of the Onyx acquisition in October 2013 and is based in San Francisco. Since joining the team, he has led a range of transactions focused mainly in oncology and inflammation, including Amgen’s immuno-oncology collaborations with CytomX and Kite Pharma. While at Onyx, Chris served as a co-leader of the team responsible for Onyx’s business development strategy and execution and supported Onyx’s sale process. Prior to joining Onyx, Chris was a director in Pfizer’s business development team in New York where supported deals across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas and geographies. Earlier in his career, Chris worked as a senior consultant in CSC’s healthcare practice.
Chris earned his MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and his BSE in Biomedical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University.
VP, Global Head Search & Evaluation
Niels joined Abbvie in 2011 and has held several positions at AbbVie, including Global Commercial Leader for a late-stage oncology program, Director and Head of Commercial Business Development for Oncology, Senior Director and Head of Search and Evaluation, Oncology, and most recently Vice President and Global Head of Search and Evaluation. Transactions that Niels was involved in in his current and previous role include acquisitions (Pharmacyclics, Stemcentrx), R&D collaborations and license agreements (Argen-X, CytomX, Dong-A-ST, Harpoon, M2Gen, MD Anderson PureMHC, Turnstone, X-Chem,) and venture investments.
Prior to joining AbbVie Niels was CEO of BioPheresis, co-founder and COO of immatics biotechnologies GmbH, and a strategic management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
Niels attended University of Tuebingen in Germany and received a Master’s in Biology and a Ph.D. in Immunology.
SVP, Research, External Science & Innovation
Don joined Allergan in 2014 and leads the Research, Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology, and ADME efforts for the organization and the External Science & Innovation efforts that partner with Business Development to evaluate and implement partnerships, licensing, and acquisitions across all therapeutic areas. With over twenty years of pharmaceutical and academia research and management experience Don has been involved in a variety of pre-clinical drug discovery and Ph1/Ph2 clinical research areas and environments, including the entry of more than 25 compounds into development across therapeutic areas. Previous roles included heading the Emerging Innovations Unit at AstraZeneca, the Indications Discovery Units at Pfizer, the CNS Discovery organization at Pharmacia.
Program Director, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Founder & CEO
Impact Biosciences, a Celgene subsidiary
John Hood was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Impact Biomedicines, a company that was acquired by Celgene in 2018 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene. Prior to founding Impact, Dr. Hood was the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Samumed, a pharmaceutical company focused on advancing regenerative medicine and oncology therapies. Prior to that, Dr. Hood was Director of Research and Co-inventor of fedratinib at TargeGen, Inc., (subsequently acquired by Sanofi SA), where he led a team identifying small molecule kinase inhibitors for the treatment of eye diseases and cancer. He is an inventor on 100+ patents and author on 50+ scientific articles. Dr. Hood obtained a Ph.D. in medical physiology and B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University.
VP, Head of Business Development
VP, Business Development
VP, Venture Capital
Alliance Management & New Project Planning Leader
Lauren Kaskiel, leads Alliance Management for Spark Therapeutics, a biotech company challenging the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable-until now. Lauren is responsible for managing alliances for in and out-licensed programs and academic collaborations and also leads new product planning assessments for Spark’s R&D programs.
Prior to joining the Corporate Strategy and Public Affairs team at Spark in June of 2015, Lauren was with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for 14 years, starting her career in R&D after completing her B.S. in Biotechnology from Penn State University. After completing an M.B.A. from Drexel University in 2007, Lauren supported Oncology Business Operations before becoming an Alliance Director within Worldwide Business Development, managing a portfolio of GSK’s alliances with biotech, diagnostic and venture partners.
Lauren has her Certificate of Achievement in Alliance Management (CA-AM) through the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) and is an active member of the Board for the ASAP Tri-State Chapter. Additionally, Lauren is a guest lecturer at Penn State University’s Science 402 course and has occasionally been a speaker on scientific career-related topics at both Penn State and Drexel University.
Current investments include Cidara (CDTX), Eiger Biopharmaceuticals, Lycera, Ocera (OCRX), Paratek (PRTK), and WellTok.
Previous investments include Labrys Biologics (acquired by Teva), Alt12 (acquired by Honest Company), Trius Therapeutics (TSRX; acquired by Cubist), CNS Therapeutics (acquired by Covidien), NovaCardia (acquired by Merck), and Aspreva (ASPV; acquired by Galenica)
Prior to InterWest, Nina was an investment manager at Bay City Capital, a life sciences merchant bank, and a research associate at Oracle Partners, a health care-focused hedge fund. Nina began her career conducting health policy and survey research with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Nina received a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University (1997).
She serves on the California Leadership Council for the Nature Conservancy and has been nominated to join the board of the California Family Health Council.
Ari Nowacek, M.D, Ph.D. is a Principal with ARCH Venture Partners, joining the company as an Analyst in March 2015. Dr. Nowacek focuses on identifying and evaluating new life sciences technologies and also provides operating assistance to early-stage portfolio companies. Dr. Nowacek is a physician-scientist by training with over 20 peer-reviewed publications and greater than 400 citations in the areas of neuroscience, virology, and antiretroviral therapeutic development. His research has led to 3 issued and 2 pending patents for therapeutic and R&D applications.
He holds a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Indiana-Bloomington where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and an M.B.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He subsequently completed a medical residency in pathology and post-doctoral research at The University of Chicago and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Executive Director, Business Development
Angèle Maki is a business development executive with fourteen years of deal-making experience spanning small biotech and big pharma. She is currently an Executive Director of Business Development & Licensing at Merck’s West Coast Innovation Hub where she leads Search & Evaluation in oncology, immunology, and virology. Prior to Merck, Angèle was an Associate Director in Genentech’s Partnering group where she was responsible for developing and executing technology licensing strategies for human genetics, antibody engineering, small molecule drug discovery, biomarkers/diagnostics, and other research technologies across therapeutic areas. While she was at Genentech, Angèle led the deals with 23andMe, OMT, and Human Longevity among others. Prior to Genentech, Angèle was a Director in BMS’ Strategic Transactions Group where she was responsible for in-licensing and out-licensing of technologies related to discovery and development of biologics. Prior to BMS, Angèle was in Business Development at Medarex, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of fully-human antibody therapeutics, primarily in the nascent field of cancer immunology, which was acquired by BMS in 2009. During her business development and licensing tenure, she has successfully negotiated numerous in- and out-licensing transactions, from early-stage research technologies to clinical-stage assets. Angèle received a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from Stanford University and completed postdoctoral work in molecular biology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. She completed her B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of Winnipeg, in Canada.
SVP, Research Business Development
City of Hope
Executive Director, Harvard University Office of Technology Development
Harvard Medical School
SVP, Industry Relations
Kent currently serves as the Senior Vice President, Industry Relations for OptumRx with responsibility for formulary and procurement contracting for all books of business on behalf of internal and external clients of United Health Group. OptumRx is the pharmacy benefit management division of Optum servicing over 66 million members and processing over 1 billion pharmacy claims which represent over $80 billion in drug spend. He has more than 25 years of experience with the pharmaceutical industry, focusing primarily on payer, channel and patient services strategies. Prior to OptumRx, Kent was a Principal Consultant with Blue Fin Group, served as the Vice President of Managed Markets at Acorda Therapeutics, and held various positions of increasing responsibility within Sales and Managed Markets at Schering Plough and Merck. His career experience includes business development, health economics/outcomes research, building and leading market access teams, developing and implementing payer access and channel strategies, and launching patient services programs. Kent has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana University, and an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business.
US Head, Business Development & Licensing and Specialty Pharma
VP, Head of Business Development, North America
Kristen B. Slaoui, PhD is Vice President and Head of Business Development for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) North America. She has spent nearly eighteen years with GSK, first in the research labs, where her work in pulmonary disease resulted in the discovery of the long acting muscarinic receptor antagonist in the approved medicines Anoro™ Ellipta™, Incruse™ Ellipta™, and Trelegy™ Ellipta™. She holds multiple patents, has authored more than 40 original peer-reviewed publications, and she has had ongoing roles as a peer reviewer for a dozen established medical journals. Since joining GSK’s Business Development teams in 2006, she has held various roles of increasing seniority and has executed more than $20 billion worth of deals and acquisitions, including the $3.6 billion acquisition of Stiefel Laboratories in 2009 and participating in the $20+ billion three-part transaction with Novartis in 2015, with transactions covering the pharma R&D, commercial, emerging markets, specialty pharma and consumer spaces. Dr. Slaoui earned Bachelor’s degrees in both Biology and Classical Studies from Gettysburg College. She earned her Ph.D. in Physiology from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and completed an NIH Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. After her term in Seattle, she accepted a position in Respiratory Drug Discovery at GSK, but continued her commitment to academic research by spending over a decade as an adjunct assistant professor at her alma mater, The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD.
Head, JLABS Bay Area
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Lesley is the Head of JLABS California including JLABS @ SSF, JLABS @ QB3 and our flagship JLABS San Diego. In this role, Lesley is responsible for external engagement, innovation sourcing, company onboarding, portfolio management, operational excellence, educational programming and P&L. In this role, she catalyzes and support the translation of science and technology into valuable solutions for patients and consumers across the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer healthcare sectors.
Prior to JLABS, Lesley was Head of Transactions at Johnson & Johnson Innovation in Menlo Park. She has been working in corporate and business development roles for the last 17 years for companies that are both technology platform and therapeutics focused. Her most recent executive positions have been with BioTime, a publicly traded stem cell technology and therapeutic company, and Sutro Biopharma, a platform technology company working in cell-free protein synthesis. Prior to Sutro, Lesley served in BD positions for a number of biotech companies in the U.S. and Europe.
Lesley received her Ph.D. in chemistry, and conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.
SVP, External Scientific Affairs & Alliance Management
Dr. Warmke is currently Senior Vice President, Daiichi Sankyo Group and leads the External Scientific Affairs group responsible for identification and evaluation of Product Licensing and Research and Development collaboration opportunities, and he also heads the co-development partner Alliance Management function. Dr. Warmke received his B.A. in Biology from Wabash College and his PhD. in Molecular Genetics from The Ohio State University. He did post-doctoral research in Neurogenetics in the Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Warmke began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Merck Research Laboratories where he held positions of increasing responsibility in Discovery Research and Project Planning and Management. Dr. Warmke joined the Project Management group at Sankyo Pharma Development in 2002, and with the formation of Daiichi Sankyo Pharma Development in 2006, he was appointed co-leader of the Global Project Management function and served as a member of the Global R&D Management Committee. In his current position he is a member of the Senior Licensing Committee and works directly with global senior management on licensing and research & development collaboration projects. In addition to its strong portfolio of medicines for hypertension, dyslipidemia, bacterial infections, and thrombotic disorders, Daiichi Sankyo research and development is primarily focused on bringing forth novel therapies in oncology, including immuno-oncology, with additional focus on new horizon areas, such as pain management, neurodegenerative diseases, heart and kidney diseases, and other rare diseases.
SVP, Business Development & Alliance Management
Mr. Whalen has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry leading and supporting transactions involving acquisitions, co-promotions, out licenses and strategic alliances. Mr. Whalen joined Horizon Pharma in April of 2010 and has led or supported Horizon’s acquisitions since that time helping to grow Horizon from a pre-commercial company with no sales to over $750 million in net sales in 2015. Recent transactions include Horizon’s acquisitions of Crealta Holdings LLC for $510 million and PENNSAID® 2% for $45 million. He also led the out licensing of LODOTRA® and DUEXIS® ex-U.S. and has supported Horizon’s IPO and other fund raising activities. Prior to Horizon, he was at Baxter Healthcare where he led and supported a number of transactions as part of Baxter’s Medication Delivery business. Mr. Whalen worked at Searle prior to Baxter where his experience included various finance roles supporting business development, European operations, U.S. marketing, and R&D. He earned a MBA from the University of Illinois and bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.
CEO & Co-Founder
Alice Zhang is CEO of Verge Genomics, a next-generation therapeutics company using machine learning and human genomics to accelerate drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases. She co-founded the company in 2015 with the vision that convergent advances in computation and neurobiology have created an unprecedented opportunity to rapidly unlock multiple breakthrough therapies at scale across human disease. The Verge team is 14 people uniquely combining top talent in computation and drug development, including 12 PhDs in machine learning, applied math, and neuroscience, two former professors, and two pharma veterans responsible for commercial successes such as Abilify.
Zhang has received numerous awards for her work as a scientist and entrepreneur, including the Featured Honoree in Forbes' 30 under 30 2017 and the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Prior to starting Verge, Zhang has been at the forefront of systems biology research for over a decade at the National Institutes of Health, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University, and UCLA. She graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude with high honors in Molecular Biology and subsequently trained for five years in the UCLA-Caltech MD/Ph.D. program investigating gene networks involved in neuro-regeneration.
Managing Partner & CEO
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Senior Vice President
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Lilly Asia Ventures
Dr. Hongbo Lu is a partner at Lilly Asia Ventures, a healthcare-focused global investment firm with over USD$1.2 billion estimated AUM. Previously, Dr. Lu was with OrbiMed Advisors, serving as its Managing Director in Asia. She has over 15 years of investment and operational experience in the healthcare industry, including her tenures at OrbiMed, Piper Jaffray & Co. and life science start-up Zyomyx. Dr. Lu received a Ph.D. in BioEngineering from the University of Washington, an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with honors from Tsinghua University in China.
Scott Carter focuses his practice on the life sciences industry, representing life sciences companies and investors in complex transactions relating to the development and commercialization of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and medical device products. He has extensive experience negotiating corporate partnership, licensing, research and development, clinical trial, manufacturing, and supply agreements. Dr. Carter also advises clients on the intellectual property aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
Dr. Carter holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. His research at Caltech centered on non-natural nucleosides, as well as the design, synthesis, and testing of DNA-binding molecules in the laboratory of Peter Dervan.
While at Caltech and law school, Dr. Carter was also the assistant director of the Office of Technology Transfer at Caltech. In this role, he managed the Institute’s life sciences patent portfolio, and negotiated and drafted license, research, and material transfer agreements, as well as advising Caltech entrepreneurs on new ventures.
Dr. Carter is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Biotech Spotlight Leaders
Dr. Buelow is founder and CEO of Teneobio. He has worked in biotechnology for thirty years and is a serial entrepreneur. In 2007 Dr. Buelow founded OMT, which was acquired by Ligand in 2015. He is also a founder of THP, Inc. (2003), which was acquired by Roche in March 2007. Between 1993 and 2003, Dr. Buelow was senior vice president of Research and Development at SangStat Medical Corporation. Dr. Buelow has published more than 100 manuscripts and is an inventor on more than 25 patents.