October 10 - 12, 2018
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, CA
Senior Director, Corporate Development
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Sia Anagnostou, Senior Director of Corporate Development at Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), is responsible for several core areas including alliance development and portfolio management. Anagnostou directs ITI branding initiatives and communications to raise awareness about ITI with important stakeholders in the science, government and investment communities. In concert with research and development, she advances collaborations and licensing opportunities, manages assessments and transactions, and integrates results into ITI’s business strategy.
Mrs. Anagnostou has been a member of ITI’s staff since 2012 and previously worked with Theranostics Health, where she focused on cancer proteomic molecular diagnostics. She earned her executive M.B.A. from Duke University, her Master of Science in Molecular Biology from Georgetown University Medical School, and her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Chief Business Officer
Mr. Artuso is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur with broad domestic and international experience in biotech, clean energy, finance, public policy, and sustainable development.
Before joining SGI, Anthony spent six years with Merck KGaA where he managed strategic planning and business development and also served as general manager for the company’s protein and cellular analysis business. In previous business roles, Anthony managed strategic planning, new product development, technology licensing, and acquisitions for Bristol Myers-Squibb and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Anthony has also served as a faculty member at the University of Charleston and Rutgers University.
While in academia, he became recognized internationally for his work on the chemical and genetic value of biodiversity. His academic research and consulting activities included serving as advisor to the World Bank and various U.S. government and multi-national agencies. Anthony also assisted the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in designing and launching the BioTrade Initiative, an international program to promote sustainable development of biological resources. During an earlier career in the public sector, Anthony constructed a blueprint for the deregulation of US electricity generation, directed a billion dollar capital improvement program for a major US city, designed and implemented regional water pollution control programs, and served as Chief Financial Officer of a public sector utility.
Anthony holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Columbia University, a Master’s Degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Policy and Management from Cornell.
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
Director, Worldwide Licensing
Merck & Co.
Senior Director, Global S&E, Biologics
Dr. Bayewitch is a business development executive in the pharmaceutical industry with thirteen years career experience including ten years fulfilling business development roles, deal due diligence, and deal execution within startup biotech companies, venture funds, mid- and large-size pharmaceutical companies. Currently, Director of Search and Evaluation for Teva Pharmaceuticals, R&D division, with key responsibility to manage the identification, technical diligence, and support transaction processes focused on in-licensing product and platform opportunities.
Executive Director, Transactions Global Business Development
President & CEO
Jeff joined Siamab Therapeutics in May 2012. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Senior Director of Business Development & Operations for Edimer Pharmaceuticals, a Third Rock-funded orphan drug company, where he oversaw manufacturing, finance, business development, and academic research collaborations.
Prior to Edimer, Jeff worked at Alnylam as Director, Strategic Alliances and at Biogen Idec as co-founder and Head of Business Operations at the Biogen Idec Innovation Incubator. Jeff was previously the founder and CEO of The Telluride Group, a Newton, MA based managed services IT provider to the healthcare industry that was sold to mindSHIFT Technologies (funded by Fidelity) in 2003.
Jeff has an MBA from MIT Sloan and a MS from the joint Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
Director, Business Development & Licensing - Strategic Transactions
Executive Director, Corporate Alliances
University of Pennsylvania
Chair, Licensing & Strategic Alliances Practice Group
Vice President, Venture Investments
Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development
Brett Fleshman is Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development for Veloxis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is responsible for corporate development and strategy, business development including in-licensing and out-licensing, and alliance management. Brett has held senior marketing and business development roles at Chiesi USA, Cornerstone Therapeutics, and Genzyme Biosurgery and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Washington University’s Olin School of Business. Brett enjoys just about everything, especially sailing, running and performing music whenever possible.
Director, External Innovation
SVP Business Development & Licensing
Adi Frish brings extensive business development and transactional experience to RedHill. Prior to joining RedHill, he served as VP Business Development at Medigus (TASE: MDGS). Mr. Frish was previously a partner at Y. Ben-Dror & Co. He is a graduated of Bar Ilan University (LL.M.) and Essex University (LL.B. with Honors).
Bard Geesaman, M.D., Ph.D., has been affiliated with MPM and associated portfolio companies since 2002. With broad experience investing, operating and facilitating business development globally, including in Japan, China and Israel, Bard is a Managing Director of MPM’s Oncology Impact Fund (OIF) and serves as Chief Compliance Officer (CCO). Prior to MPM, Bard founded Catalyst Medical Solutions, a medical documentation and billing eHealth company in Boston where he served as the Chief Technology Officer through the company’s acquisition. After Catalyst, Bard joined Centagenetix, an MPM-founded company exploring the genetics of successful aging. In 2006, Bard joined MPM as a Venture Partner with a major focus on founding Solasia Pharmaceuticals, based in Tokyo, Japan. Bard is also the co-founder and a board member of MPM healthcare IT startup TriNetX (big data analytics for clinical trials). Bard is passionate about innovation in health care, and in 2008 took a two year sabbatical from MPM to do non-profit work in Los Angeles at the X-Prize Foundation, where he worked on alternative models for motivating life sciences innovation. He received a BS in neuroscience from UC Berkeley followed by concurrent degrees from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with his PhD work focused on systems and computational neurobiology. Bard finished his medical training by completing a three-year medical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Chief Scientific Officer & Head, Business Development
Steven Gelone joined Nabriva Therapeutics in December 2014. He has a bachelor of sciences and doctorate in pharmacy degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. Over the past 20 years Steve has been involved in all stages of drug development and commercialization. He has served as Head of Clinical Research and Development at Spark Therapeutics, as well as Vice President of Development at ViroPharma Incorporated (now Shire). Previous roles include a leadership positions with GSK, Vicuron Pharmaceuticals and Temple University Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Mr. Andrew Collard has a Bachelors of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University, where he also captained the Heavyweight Crew team. At Back Bay, Andrew has worked on a broad range of assignments, including academic-industry collaboration, orphan drug development and franchise expansion strategy.
Prior to joining Back Bay, Andrew worked as an Assistant Scientist at Myriant Technologies, where he earned a patent for mutations beneficial to bio-based chemical production.
Senior Director & Head Search & Evaluation Neuroscience
Director of Business Development
Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures
Program Director, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Senior Vice President
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Dr. Michelle Hoffmann joined Back Bay from Deloitte, where she led the Life Sciences arm of Deloitte Research, Deloitte’s industry think tank. Michelle was responsible for concept generation, researching and writing white papers on emerging life sciences industry topics such as the impact of Accountable Care Organizations, the mobile personal health record, medical homes and social networks. She became a sought-after subject matter expert for Deloitte clients and public forums.
Prior to joining Deloitte Research, Michelle was a consultant in the Strategic Advisory group at Leerink Swann, a boutique health care investment bank, where she used her science and technology background to help clients understand how to value and leverage new therapies and technologies. She led projects on a diverse range of topics, including cell therapy opportunities, mapping the diagnostics landscape for colorectal and lung cancer, outlining oncology clinical strategies, determining acquisition opportunities in the next generation sequencing landscape and helping a start-up platform technology company develop its corporate strategy. Her clients included start-ups, mid-cap and top five biopharma companies.
Michelle holds a PhD in molecular and cell biology from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in biology from Cornell. Michelle enjoys novels and spending time with her family.
The Cancer Trust
VP, Business Development
VP, Venture Capital
President & CEO
Back Bay Life Science Advisors
Christopher Leo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, has over 10 years of experience in providing strategic advisory support to life sciences clients. Chris joined Back Bay from Genzyme, where he led strategic & competitive planning projects for the company’s $2 billion Rare Genetic Disease and $500 million Biosurgery business units. Chris supported both the brand teams on commercial issues related to strategic marketing and competitive positioning, as well as the R&D organization on the assessment of new market opportunities. Prior to Genzyme, Chris was a Director with Leerink Swann’s Strategic Advisory group, where he led assignments comprising commercial, R&D, and growth strategies for both big pharma/med-tech and emerging growth clients. Chris was also a Principal in Wood Mackenzie’s life science consulting practice, and prior to that, was Director of the Belfer Cancer Genomics Center at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Leo completed his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, and earned his undergraduate degree in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross.
CEO & CTO
Prosetta Biosciences Inc.
Vishwanath R. Lingappa is the Founder, Chief Technology Officer, and Co-CEO of Prosetta Biosciences, Inc, in San Francisco. Since founding the company in 2003, he is responsible for bringing in over $35M through non-dilutive government contracts, while advancing several discovery programs into multi-year licensing and commercial development agreements with pharmaceutical companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca, and Takeda. Dr. Lingappa oversees all research and discovery efforts and has expanded Prosetta’s core technology beyond infectious disease, to oncology, central nervous system diseases, and all therapeutic areas investigated by the company to-date. Dr. Lingappa received a B.A. degree from Swarthmore College in 1975, a Ph.D. degree from The Rockefeller University, and an M.D. degree from Cornell University Medical College. He completed residency training in Internal Medicine before joining the faculty in the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1982, where he ran an NIH-funded basic research laboratory for over 20 years. It was during this time that the foundational discoveries on which Prosetta’s science is based were made. He has co-authored over 90 publications. He maintains voluntary positions as Senior Scientist at the Research Institute of California Pacific Medical Center and Emeritus Professor of Physiology at UCSF. He is recipient of a Kaiser Award for excellence in teaching (1990) and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2004).
President & CEO
7 Hills Pharma
Upendra Marathi, PhD, MBA, President & CEO, is the founder, investor, and an inventor of 7HP technology. He has led the development of three novel pain and cardiovascular drugs, including one which has recently been approved by the FDA.
He co-developed one of the first genetically modified stem cells to improve bone marrow function in chemotherapeutic patients. As a venture capitalist, he was involved in the founding and launch of several biotechnology companies. He has helped raise over $70 million in equity financing.
Upendra was a post-doctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Loyola University Chicago. Upendra has an M.B.A. from Rice University and has served as a faculty member.
VP & Head of BD for R&D Extended Therapy Areas
Chief Medical Officer
Richard is an NCI fellowship-trained medical oncologist with extensive experience in clinical trials in oncology and radiologic imaging. He served as Deputy Associate Director of the NCI Developmental Therapeutics Program (DTP) managing the division’s personnel, natural products group, biological and pharmaceutical laboratories at Ft. Detrick, MD, as well as being an attending physician for DTP Phase I clinical trials. After government service, Richard was an academic oncologist at Michigan State University, heading the breast cancer team as Principal Investigator for several National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) cooperative group trials. His pharmaceutical and biotech experience includes being a clinical research physician at Eli Lilly and Company and serving as Vice President for Medical Affairs at Endocyte, Inc. where his leadership supported a successful IPO for the company (Feb 2011) and a $1B licensing partnership with Merck (March 2012).
Prior to joining Apexian, Richard was the Chief Medical Officer for ProNAi Therapeutics directing development of a BCL2-targeted therapeutic agent, closing on the largest single round of venture capital funding in Michigan’s history, a series D round of $59.5 million before taking the company public in July 2015, raising $158.4 million in the IPO. He has degrees in electrical and computer engineering (B.S., Oakland University), health science and clinical research (M.H.S., Duke University) and biochemistry and medicine (M.Sc. and M.D., Wayne State University). Residency training included anesthesiology and critical care (Georgetown University and University of Michigan) and Internal Medicine (Michigan State University) where he served as chief resident. Richard is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology and European Society for Medical Oncology. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
Head of External Value Creation, Janssen
Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
VP, Global Head of Business Development, Neurology & Immunology Global Busi
VP, Head Strategy & Business Development
SVP, Research Business Development
City of Hope
Director, Business Development
Mount Sinai Innovation Partners
President & CEO
California Life Sciences Association
Sara Radcliffe was appointed the president and chief executive officer of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) in December 2014. She formerly served as the Executive Vice President for Health at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Previously, Sara served as Senior Director, Biologics & Biotechnology at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). She also served in the Alliance and Technology Group at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals as a Research and Development Policy Analyst, working on evaluation and communication of the promise, ethics, and impact of rapidly-developing technologies in DNA Research. In addition she worked for the Core Services Committee of the New Zealand Ministry of Health. Sara holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wellesley College.
VP, Global Head of Oncology Business Development & Licensing
Prakash Raman is Vice President and Global Head of Business Development and Licensing (BD&L) for Oncology at Novartis. Prakash has had a very diverse and successful career in R&D at several different companies including Novartis, AstraZeneca and Millennium. In his current role, Prakash leads BD&L activities for Novartis Oncology focusing on late stage clinical and marketed assets. Most recently, Prakash was in the BD&L team at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) BD team where he led numerous deals focused on building the Novartis Immuno-Oncology portfolio. Prior to his time in the NIBR BD team, Prakash was Head of Project Management for the Infectious Disease iMED unit at AstraZeneca where he managed a portfolio of early to clinical stage programs. Prior to his role at AstraZeneca, Prakash was a Project Leader and Project Manager in the Infectious Disease therapeutic area at Novartis and as a research scientist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Prakash has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed by a post-doctoral position at The Scripps Research Institute.
Founder, President and CSO
Kate Rittenhouse-Olson is founder, President and CSO of the biotechnology company For-Robin, Inc. Her team is focused on ways to move hJAA-F11, a highly specific humanized antibody to TF-Ag, to the clinic for the cancer patient. In vivo data shows specificity and efficacy in human breast and lung cancer xenograft models.
Kate trained as a post-doctoral fellow at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI), wherein she gained clinical tumor immunology experience with T. Ming Chu, (the discoverer of Prostate Specific Antigen for diagnosis) and then carbohydrate experience with Khushi Matta. She taught clinical immunology for 24 years and has a Specialist in Immunology Certification from the ASCP.
She is a Professor emeritus and the founding Director of the Biotechnology undergraduate program at the University of Buffalo, recently stepping away from this position to focus on the clinical potential of hJAA-F11. She has also been editor of Immunological Investigations for the past 15 years and is co-author of the textbook “Contemporary Clinical Immunology and Serology”.
SVP, Industry Relations
OptumRx, UnitedHealth Group
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.
President & CEO
Volker Schellenberger is President and CEO of Amunix Operating Inc, which he co-founded with Willem Pim Stemmer in 2006. He initially served as Amunix’ Chief Scientific Officer and is the lead inventor of the company’s XTEN technology. Volker has over 20 years of industry experience in protein engineering and drug discovery. Prior to co-founding Amunix he served as head of Genencor’s protein engineering department. Volker received his Ph.D. from Leipzig University (Germany) in 1986. After postdoctoral work at the Institute for Protein Research in Pushchino (Russia), the University of Göttingen. and with Bill Rutter at the University of California, San Francisco he joined Genencor in 1994. Volker is author of over 40 scientific papers and inventor of more than 70 issued or pending patent applications. He is a recipient of the Karl Lohmann prize of the German Society of Biochemists.
US Head, Pharma Business Development & Licensing
Marc Schwabish, Ph.D., currently heads US Pharma Business Development & Licensing at Bayer. Prior to Bayer, he had both Business Development and Alliance Management responsibilities at Eisai. His deal experience covers a range of therapeutic areas and stages of assets – from early research technologies to compounds in development to commercialized therapeutics. Dr. Schwabish previously worked in Investment Banking, Strategy Consulting, and at other Pharma/Biotech Companies. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard and a B.S. in Biology from Cornell.
Scott is Founder and CEO of ideaPoint, the leading strategic growth and innovation management software company. ideaPoint helps organizations scout for, evaluate and manage partnering and collaborations with other companies and institutions at any stage of development to accelerate new product development and drive growth. With over 20 years and hundreds of engagements with industry leading life science companies, Scott has advised over 50 global organizations on how to build best partnering practices for Business Development and Licensing, Mergers and Acquisitions and R&D Collaboration processes in the Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Biotech, Nutrition, Healthcare and Consumer Products industries. Prior to his management career in various Business-to-Business and Consumer-facing companies, Scott spent eight years as a professional hockey player in the National Hockey League and American Hockey League.
Head of JLABS California
Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS
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.
AVP, Business Development & Licensing
Alex Szidon currently leads Merck’s West Coast Innovation Hub for Business Development & Licensing (Merck is known as MSD outside of US and Canada). Prior to joining Merck in 2015, Alex worked at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, MA and Emeryville, CA; initially supporting asset and technology platform transactions within Strategic Alliances and then eventually leading the Operational Alliances group globally. Alex came to Pharma with experience in biotech and enterprise creation via the founding of Zafgen (NSDQ:ZFGN) and as an early employee in DARA Biosciences (NSDQ:DARA). Alex developed expertise in technology transfer as a Director of Business Development in the Office of Technology Development at the Harvard Medical School. Alex obtained his PhD in biochemistry and cell biology from UCSF and early business training as an associate consultant within L.E.K.’s Life Sciences practice in Boston.
Senior Director, Business Development and Global Alliances
Samy Tadros joined Celgene in 2009, working in the Summit NJ Headquarters overseeing contracting for Translational Development and Clinical Pharmacology. In 2014 Samy joined the Business Development and Global Alliance department, where he has overseen and managed multiple alliances, academic collaborations, and equity investments on behalf of Celgene. Prior to joining Celgene, Samy held management positions as Head of Laboratory Sciences for Charles River Laboratories in Shrewsbury MA, and Associate Director of Laboratory Sciences for Charles River Laboratories in Worcester MA. Prior to working for Charles River, Samy worked as a Scientist for Schering-Plough in Kenilworth NJ. Samy obtained his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, his MS from Temple University School of Pharmacy, and his BS in Biochemistry from Concordia University in Montreal Canada. In 2015 Samy obtained his CA-AM Alliance Management certification.
Senior Director, Alliance Management
Monica is a Senior Director in Alliance Management, part of Corporate Development. As Alliance Manager, Monica has successfully developed and maintained important Gilead alliances: filgotinib (Galapagos) Atripla (BMS), Tamiflu (Roche), Vitekta and Stribild (JT) and, Viread for China and Japan (GSK). Additionally, Monica has supported business development in numerous in-licensing efforts and has played a key role in negotiations for significant contract amendments. Monica joined Gilead in 2002. Initially she managed a variety of projects in the antiviral portfolio, both in R&D and in life cycle management (including Truvada and Atripla). Later she became the Therapeutic Area PPM lead for HIV antivirals. She also took on a key role in the development and execution of Gilead’s Portfolio Review. Prior to Gilead, Monica was with GSK for 6 years, initially as a Medicinal Chemist and later in the Project Management group. Prior to that, she was a Medicinal Chemist at the Schering Plough Research Institute. Monica has industry experience in multiple therapeutic areas, including Oncology, Inflammation, HIV, Hepatitis, CNS and CV. Monica received her PhD in Chemistry and Industrial Technologies at the University of Milan.
SVP, External Scientific Affairs
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.
Director of Licensing
Columbia Technology Ventures
Ofra Weinberger, PhD, is the Director of Licensing at Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV), and Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at Columbia University. Ofra has extensive experience commercializing discoveries from university labs; negotiating licenses and research collaboration agreements with industry, developing strategic alliances, and spinning out companies to commercialize university technologies, and oversees the commercialization of technologies in a varied portfolio comprising both life sciences and physical sciences opportunities. CTV, the technology transfer office of Columbia University, has been operational since 1982 and has returned over $2B in revenue to Columbia, making it one of the most successful university tech transfer programs in the world. Ofra received her PHD in immunology from Harvard where she was a graduate student in the laboratory of the Nobel laureate, Baruj Benacerraf, and came to Columbia University as a faculty member, before joining the technology transfer office.
Director, SBIR Development Center
National Cancer Institute
Michael Weingarten is the Director for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. In this role, Mr. Weingarten leads a team of nine Program Directors who manage all aspects of the NCI SBIR & STTR Programs including a portfolio of $135M in grants and contracts annually. The SBIR & STTR programs are NCI's engine of innovation for developing and commercializing novel technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. Mr. Weingarten has implemented a set of key initiatives for optimizing the performance of the NCI SBIR Program at the NIH. These include the establishment of a new model at the NCI for managing the program - the SBIR Development Center. Under Mr. Weingarten's leadership, the NCI SBIR Development Center has launched a range of new initiatives to facilitate the success of small businesses developing cancer-related technologies. Recent initiatives include the launch of the NIH I-Corps™ pilot program in which teams of budding entrepreneurs engage in a hypothesis-driven approach to validate their proposed business models by conducting over 100 interviews with potential customers. Companies adjust their strategies based on direct customer feedback and analyze the information they collect to determine if there is a product/market fit. Other NCI SBIR initiatives introduced under Mr. Weingarten's leadership include the NCI SBIR Investor Forums, the NCI SBIR Phase II Bridge Award, and the workshop titled Federal Resources to Accelerate Commercialization (FRAC). Thus far, NCI SBIR has held three investor forums that in total have facilitated the closing of investment deals with NCI-funded SBIR companies valued at over $300M. The NCI SBIR Phase II Bridge Award, which was launched in 2009, incentivizes partnerships between NIH's SBIR Phase II awardees and third-party investors and/or strategic partners to help small businesses bridge the funding gap between the end of their SBIR Phase II awards and the next round of financing needed to advance a promising cancer therapy or imaging technology.
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.
Director, Business Development
Chuck has spent over 19 years in the biotech industry, starting out a bench scientist at companies such as Protein Design Labs, Signature Biosciences and Cytokinetics working on drug development projects ranging from oncology to diabetes. Upon completion of his MBA, Chuck joined the Business Development team at AvidBiotics and was responsible for many aspects of the company business including out-licensing business development, project and alliance management and corporate finance and strategy. Chuck joined Xyphos as Director of Business Development upon its recent split from from AvidBiotics. Chuck holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in Cellular Molecular Biology from California State University, Humboldt.