WuXi Global Forum 2017, now in its fifth year, brings together 1,000 industry leaders to find transformative models and solutions for patients, at a time when stakes are higher than ever for our industry.
The hurdles could not be higher for young companies working on diseases that have taken their toll even amongst the most experienced drug hunters. This panel takes a closer look at three startup all-stars on how they are tackling tough diseases through unique lenses, and launching a new generation of clinical stage programs.
Moderator: David Flores, President and CEO, BioCentury
Ryan Watts, CEO, Denali Therapeutics
Keith Leonard, CEO, Unity Biotechnology
Yujiro Hata, Co-Founder and CEO, IDEAYA Biosciences
This panel asks where the next big things would be in global healthcare innovation, and how VCs are building next generation companies with disruptive technologies, with global ambitions, and beyond industry boundaries.
Moderator: Edward Hu, CFO and CIO, WuXi AppTec
Alexis Borisy, Partner, Third Rock Ventures
Shoucheng Zhang, Professor at Stanford University; Chairman, Danhua Capital
Yibing Wu, Joint Head of Portfolio Strategy & Risk Group and Joint Head of China, Temasek
John Reed and Peter Schultz are no strangers in successfully tackling big questions. In this chat with Gregory Verdine, they share fresh perspectives on effecting transformational changes in their organizations, and on translating science into meaningful difference to patients.
Moderator: Gregory Verdine, Erving Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University; CEO, FogPharma and LifeMine; Partner, WuXi Healthcare Ventures
John Reed, Head of Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), Roche
Peter Schultz, CEO, The Scripps Research Institute and Calibr
This panel will discuss how sequencing and other molecular tools are being employed for profiling, testing, and diagnostic opportunities enabled by immunooncology, liquid biopsy, combination therapy and others to capture the full potential of personalized medicine.
Moderator: Thomas Caskey, Professor of Baylor College and SVP of Medical Science & Diagnostics, WuXi NextCODE
Ken Drazan, Chief Business Officer, GRAIL
William Morice, Chair, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic; President, Mayo Medical Laboratories
Chad Robins, President and CEO, Adaptive Biotechnologies
From the first 1st-in-class drug developed entirely in China for diabetes, to the largest biotech private financing in China to advance biologics pipeline, to multiple high-flying China oncology deals to enable global development, this panel will showcase three biotech all-stars in the US and China with vast experiences in bringing transformative therapies faster to Chinese patients.
Moderator: Steve Yang, EVP and COO, WuXi AppTec
Lonnie Moulder, CEO, TESARO
Michael Yu, President and CEO, Innovent Biologics
Li Chen, CEO and Co-Founder, Hua Medicine
Dr. Hui Cai joined WuXi AppTec in 2009 as Vice President of Business Development, and is currently Vice President of Corporate Alliances, and Head of PR and Corporate Communications. Prior to WuXi, Dr. Cai spent 10 years at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development leading multiple drug discovery programs in the therapeutic areas of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. She is a co-author and co-inventor to over 40 scientific publications and issued or pending patents. Dr. Cai is a Councilor of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and a member of ACS national committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of UCSD IRPS 21th Century China Program, and a member of BayHelix. In her past capacity, she served as a Commissioner at the City of San Diego Science and Technology Commission, Chair of SABPA, and President of SDCA. Dr. Cai received her BS and MS in Chemistry from Peking University, PhD from The Scripps Research Institute, and MBA from UCSD Rady School of Management as a DLA Piper – Athena Scholar. Prior to WuXi, Dr. Cai spent 10 years at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development leading multiple drug discovery programs in the therapeutic areas of inflammation and autoimmune diseases. She is a co-author and co-inventor to over 40 scientific publications and issued or pending patents. Dr. Cai is a Councilor of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and a member of ACS national committee on Chemistry and Public Affairs. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of UCSD IRPS 21th Century China Program, and a member of BayHelix. In her past capacity, she served as a Commissioner at the City of San Diego Science and Technology Commission, Chair of SABPA, and President of SDCA. Dr. Cai received her BS and MS in Chemistry from Peking University, PhD from The Scripps Research Institute, and MBA from UCSD Rady School of Management as a DLA Piper – Athena Scholar.
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.
Dr. Ge Li is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WuXi PharmaTech, a leading open-access R&D; capability and technology platform company serving the global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Dr. Li studied at Peking University as an undergraduate and received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University. He began his industry career in 1993 as one of the founding scientists at Pharmacopeia, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCOP). In 2000, Dr. Li moved back to Shanghai to found WuXi PharmaTech and has since been its Chairman and CEO. Under Dr. Li’s leadership, WuXi has grown from 4 founders and a single laboratory of 7,000 square feet in Year 2000 to a global operation with over 10,000 employees and facilities totaling 5 million square feet for world-class research, development and manufacturing to help advance some of the most innovative healthcare products for patients around the world. Dr. Li’s entrepreneurship and achievements have won him numerous prestigious awards and honors, including “2015 SCRIP Executive of the Year Award”, “The 25 Most Influential People in Biopharma in 2015”, “Forbes 25 Notable Chinese-Americans”, “The 60 Most Influential People during 60 Years Pharmaceutical Development in China”, “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year China Award”, and “The Boston Biotech Chief Executive Officers Conference Life Achievement Award”.
Mr. David Flores has devoted more than 25 years to developing information products for biotechnology executives and investors. He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and holds an MBA from Stanford University. Mr. Flores is a member of the Advisory Board of the Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO) at Northwestern University and a member of the Advisory Council of the Keck Graduate Institute of the Applied Life Sciences. He also has served as a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management Board. In 1996, Mr. Flores and BioCentury Co-Founder, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Ms. Karen Bernstein were honored with the Special Recognition Award given by the annual gathering of biotechnology chief executive officers in Laguna Niguel, Calif., citing BioCentury’s ongoing contributions to the industry.
James (Jay) Bradner, M.D., joined Novartis on January 1, 2016 and became President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) on March 1, 2016. He is a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis. Ryan J. Watts, PhD is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Denali Therapeutics, a company founded to discover and develop medicines for neurodegenerative diseases. He is a co-founder and a member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Watts previously served as Director of the Department of Neuroscience at Genentech. During his tenure there, he led the company’s entry into neuroscience, advancing multiple programs from discovery to clinical testing. The Watts laboratory focused on drug discovery for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, with an emphasis on understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration guided by human genetics. His lab also invented methods for delivery of therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier into the brain. Dr. Watts obtained his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s Department of Biological Sciences.
Keith R. Leonard is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UNITY Biotechnology, a company focused on developing therapeutics that increase healthspan by preventing, halting or reversing diseases of aging. Prior to UNITY, he was co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2005 until its acquisition by Allergan in October, 2015. Prior to that, Mr. Leonard held various positions at Amgen Inc., the world’s largest independent biotechnology company. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Leonard served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Amgen Europe where he was responsible for all commercial operations in 28 European countries. Prior to that role, Mr. Leonard established Amgen’s presence in rheumatology with the creation of the Rheumatology Business Unit, served as Head of Information Management, and served in leadership roles in sales and marketing, engineering, operations, and finance. Mr. Leonard is the Executive Chairman of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals and serves on the boards of Intuitive Surgical [ISRG], Laboratoris Sanifit S.L. and the Los Angeles Opera. He was formerly an active duty officer in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Leonard received a B.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, a B.A. in History from the University of Maryland, a M.S. in Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a M.B.A. from the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Yujiro is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience building companies that have delivered innovative therapies to patients. Since August 2015, he has served as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at IDEAYA Biosciences. From 2014 to August 2015, he served as Chief Operating Officer at Flexus Biosciences and FLX Bio, which he joined as a startup and led through its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb in April 2015. From 2010 through the approvals of Kyprolis™ and Stivarga™ and its acquisition by Amgen in October 2013, he was Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategy at Onyx Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ONXX), where he served as Head of Strategy and Strategic Asset Management, and Head of Transactions. From 2002 to 2010, Yujiro served as Vice President, Senior Vice President, and Chief Business Officer at Enanta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ENTA), which he joined as a startup and helped build to a public company that discovered the protease inhibitor contained in HCV blockbuster VIEKIRA. He earlier served in roles spanning business and R&D; at McKinsey, ImClone and Columbia Medical School. Yujiro obtained his MBA at Wharton as a Henry J Kaiser recipient and did his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Oxford University and Colorado College. He is an EIR at 5AM Ventures, Board of Director at Xencor (NASDAQ: XNCR), Board of Visitor at the UCSD Cancer Center, and guest lecturer at UC Berkeley.
Mr. Edward Hu is currently CFO and CIO at WuXi AppTec. In this capacity, Mr. Hu manages the company’s finance, investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and new business and capability building. In addition, Mr. Hu is Head of WuXi Corporate Venture Fund, spearheading the fund’s investment activities and portfolio management. Mr. Hu previously served WuXi’s COO and CFO for five years until April 2014. Prior to joining WuXi, Mr. Hu was SVP and COO at Tanox, responsible for operations, finance, IT, project management and strategic planning, and managed the acquisition of Tanox by Genentech in 2007. He also held positions at Merck & Co., Inc. as a Senior Financial Analyst and later in Business and Financial Planning at Biogen, Inc. (n/k/a Biogen Idec, Inc.), where he managed the business planning of Biogen’s R&D; and clinical operations organizations, and provided project planning and analysis support to key drug development project teams. Mr. Hu completed his Ph.D. work, all but dissertation, in Biophysics and Biochemistry at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also received his M.B.A.
Alexis Borisy is a successful biotechnology entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience building and operating innovative science-based organizations. Alexis joined Third Rock Ventures in 2009 to focus on the formation, development and strategy of new companies. He has played key roles in launching and building several of our portfolio companies, including Foundation Medicine, Blueprint Medicines, Warp Drive Bio, Editas Medicine, Revolution Medicine, and most recently, Relay Therapeutics and Magenta Therapeutics. Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Alexis founded CombinatoRx in 2000, serving as its chief executive officer and bringing the company public on the NASDAQ. He has raised billions in financing and business development deals, and has authored numerous scientific papers and patents. Trained in chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard where he was a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellow, Alexis was honored as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review Innovator of the Year. He was also chosen as the New England Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences and was honored as a Presidential Scholar. Alexis’ undergraduate degree in chemistry is from the University of Chicago, and he did his graduate work in the laboratory of Dr. Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University. Alexis is a trustee of the Boston Museum of Science, is a co-founder and former chairman of FORMA Therapeutics, and serves on the board of the National Venture Capital Association.
Prof. Shoucheng Zhang joined the faculty at Stanford in 1993, and is now the JG Jackson and CJ Wood professor of physics. He also holds joint appointment in the department of applied physics and electrical engineering. He is a member of the US National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He discovered a new state of matter called topological insulator in which electrons can conduct along the edge without dissipation, enabling a new generation of electronic devices with much lower power consumption. For this ground breaking work he received numerous international awards, including the Buckley Prize, the Dirac Medal and Prize, the Europhysics Prize, the Physics Frontiers Prize and the Benjamin Franklin Medal, one of the most prestigious science prizes in the world, whose previous laureates include Albert Einstein, Madame Curie, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Edison and Alexander Bell. Prof. Zhang is the founding chairman of Danhua Capital. He has made numerous angel investments into Stanford based startups including VMWare. He founded Danhua Capital in 2013 to focus investments in startups from Stanford and Silicon Valley. Danhua’s LPs include Baidu, Alibaba, Ctrip, Lenovo and Sina, which are leading internet companies from China. Danhua’s investments focus on mobile internet, big data, AR/VR, genomics and precision medicine, sharing economy and robotics.
Mr. Wu joined Temasek in October 2013 and is currently Joint Head, Portfolio Strategy & Risk Group and Joint Head, China. Mr. Wu was previously President of CITIC Private Equity Funds Management, a position he held since December 2009. He concurrently served as Chairman and CEO of Goldstone Investment Co. Ltd., the direct investment arm of CITIC Securities. Joint Head Mr. Wu began his career with McKinsey, rising to become Senior Partner and Head of Asia Pacific M&A; Practice. He was also General Manager of McKinsey Beijing, where he was responsible for providing M&A;, corporate restructuring and IPO advisory for large Chinese enterprises. He had advised a number of leading Asian companies in their international expansion effort. He subsequently joined the Lenovo Group, and led the acquisition and integration of the IBM PC business, serving as Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Integration Officer, Chief Transformation Officer/ Chief Information Officer of Lenovo Group. Mr. Wu was later appointed to Lenovo parent Legend Holdings, as Executive Vice President responsible for the overall business operations and overseeing its direct investment business. Mr. Wu serves on the board of China Social Entrepreneur Foundation. Mr. Wu holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Harvard University and a BSc. in Molecular Biology from University of Science and Technology of China.
Gregory Verdine is a pioneer in the field of chemical biology, a serial biotech entrepreneur and a life science venture capitalist. In an independent academic career at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School spanning nearly 3 decades, he has elucidated the molecular mechanism of epigenetic DNA methylation and the pathways by which certain genotoxic forms of DNA damage are surveilled in and eradicated from the genome. He is a leading figure in the field of new therapeutic modalities, and has developed a new class of therapeutics termed stapled peptides, which are currently in clinical development and have received much attention for their ability to drug targets previously considered “undruggable”. Dr. Verdine is Erving Professor of Chemistry in the Departments of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Dr. Verdine has made important contributions in the translation of bench science to the bedside. He has founded or co-founded a number of successful biotechnology companies, including Enanta Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq ENTA), Gloucester Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Celgene), Tokai Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq TKAI), WaVe Life Sciences (Nasdaq WVE), Eleven Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq EBIO), Warp Drive Bio, Aileron Therapeutics, and FogPharma. To date, these companies have succeeded in gaining FDA approval for two drugs, romidepsin (Gloucester/Celgene) and paritaprevir (Enanta/AbbVie). He has also worked in the venture capital industry as a Venture Partner with Apple Tree Partners, Third Rock Ventures, and WuXi Healthcare Ventures, and as a Special Advisor to Texas Pacific Group. He co-founded and served as the founding President of the non-profit Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute and Gloucester Biotechnology Academy, for which he continues to serve as Director. Dr. Verdine is Chairman of the Board of Directors of WaVe Life Sciences, and is a Director of Warp Drive Bio, for which he also Chairs the company’s Scientific Advisory Board. He is currently President and CEO of FogPharma, a biotechnology company focused on a transformative drug discovery platform based on Cell-Penetrating Miniproteins as well as LifeMine, the first biotechnology company exploiting the unique ability of fungi to produce powerful drugs optimized through billions of years of evolution, and deploying these molecules for the treatment of intractable human diseases via novel biological mechanisms. Dr. Verdine serves on the Board of Scientific Consultants of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Research Institute and on the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Verdine holds a PhD in chemistry from Columbia University, a B.S. in chemistry from St. Joseph’s University, and served as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology at MIT and Harvard Medical School. He has won numerous prestigious awards, including most recently the AACR Award for Excellence in Chemistry in Cancer Research, and the Nobel Laureate Signature Award.
Dr. John Reed is global head of the Roche Group’s Pharmaceutical Research & Early Development (pRED) unit and member of the Corporate Executive Committee. He directs R&D; activities from discovery of a promising target through to Phase 2 proof of concept clinical trials for all Roche’s therapeutic areas of focus. These currently include oncology, neuroscience, infectious diseases, immunology, ophthalmology and rare diseases. Prior to joining Roche in 2013, Dr. Reed served as CEO of one of the largest non-profit biomedical research institutes in the United States, and ran a laboratory that generated more than 800 research publications, over 90 patents and was awarded hundreds of research grants. He also served on multiple editorial boards of biomedical research journals and on various advisory committees and boards for biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as public and private non-profit biomedical research organizations. Dr. Reed is also an Adjunct Professor at ETH Zurich and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Peter G. Schultz graduated from Caltech in 1979 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry (summa cum laude) and continued there for his doctoral degree with Peter Dervan (in 1984). After a postdoctoral year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a Professor of Chemistry, a Principal Investigator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He moved to The Scripps Research Institute in 1999 where he is currently the President and The Scripps Family Chair Professor. Schultz’s contributions to science include: (1) the discovery of catalytic antibodies, and their use to study fundamental mechanisms of biological and the immune system (2) the development and application of methods to expand the genetic code of living organisms; and (3) the development and application of molecular diversity technologies to problems in chemistry, biology and medicine. Schultz also established the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation I 1999 (GNF; La Jolla, CA) and served as its Director until 2010 with some 600 FTE. GNF develops and applies state of the art high throughput chemical, proteomics, genomics and informatics technologies to the identification of novel genes and biological processes, as well as the development of new human therapeutics for cancer, immune, metabolic, cardiovascular and infectious disease. More recently, Schultz established Calibr, which is focused on translational research to create innovative medicines for major unmet medical needs. Schultz is the author of ~600 scientific publications, has trained over 300 coworkers, and has received numerous awards including the Alan T. Waterman Award, NSF (1988), the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry (1990), the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1994), the Paul Erhlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Award (2002), the ACS Arthur C. Cope Award (2006), the Solvay Prize (2013), and the Wieland Prize (2016). Professor Schultz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1993) and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (1998) and he is active on many editorial and scientific advisory boards. He is a founder of Affymax Research Institute, Symyx Technologies, Syrrx, Kalypsys, Phenomix, Ilypsa, Ambrx, Wildcat Discovery Technologies, and Ardelyx, which have pioneered the application of molecular diversity technologies to challenges in energy, materials and human health.
Dr. Thomas Caskey established Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Molecular & Human Genetics in 1971. Trained at Duke University School of Medicine and board certified in internal medicine and in clinical and molecular genetics, he joined WuXi NextCODE in 2014. With Dr. Marshall Nirenberg, Dr. Caskey discovered the “universality” of the genetic code & elucidated the mechanism of peptide chain termination. Dr. Caskey has discovered 34 disease genes, including the understanding of triplet repeat disorders (fragile X & myotonic dystrophy). His STR identification system is used throughout the world by organizations including the FBI, Interpol and CIA. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Senior Vice President of Drug & Vaccine Development at Merck. FDA approvals included vaccines for rotavirus, HPV, and h zoster, as well as two antivirals for HIV, and an HCV program was initiated under his leadership. His research is now focused on personalised medicine based on human genomics. Dr. Caskey is past President of the Human Genome Organization, the American Society of Human Genetics and the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Ken Drazan is the Head of Corporate Development at GRAIL. GRAIL’s mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. By building on high-intensity genome sequencing technology, large-scale clinical evidence development, and leading-edge computer science, bioinformatics, and machine learning, GRAIL is creating a new scientific understanding of cancer biology to develop a blood test that can detect cancer at an early stage and hopefully save millions of lives. Prior to GRAIL, Ken was the Head of Johnson & Johnson’s California Innovation Centers. Ken was previously General Partner at Bertram Capital Management and CEO of Arginox Pharmaceuticals. Prior to his position as Assistant Professor of Surgery/Liver Transplant at Stanford University Medical School, Ken was a liver transplant surgeon at UCLA Medical Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University and an MD from the State University of New York.
Dr. William George Morice, II, has served as Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, and President of Mayo Medical Laboratories since 2015. From 2009 to 2015, Dr. Morice served as Chair of the Division of Hematopathology, Mayo Clinic. Dr. Morice was also the Co-Chair of Mayo’s Cell Kinetics (leukemia and lymphoma flow cytometry) Laboratory, a staff consultant within Anatomic Pathology and Hematopathology (since 2000), and he is a Professor of Pathology within the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. Morice graduated with high honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from Indiana University, Bloomington. He also engaged in two years of undergraduate research and selected graduate course studies in synthetic organic chemistry. He holds a medical degree (M.D.) and a Ph.D. in immunology from Mayo Medical School and Mayo Graduate School. Following graduation from Mayo Medical School, Dr. Morice completed one year of training in internal medicine at Mayo Clinic, after which he began a career in pathology, also at Mayo. Dr. Morice completed pathology residency and surgical pathology and hematopathology fellowships all at Mayo, after which he joined the staff in 2000. Outside of his professional life, Dr. Morice very much enjoys spending time with his family and also being physically active in competitive road cycling, running, and weight lifting.
Mr. Robins is Adaptive Biotechnologies’ President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder. He has held executive-level positions in real estate, investing and medical technology, including: Pulte Homes, Connaught Real Estate Finance, and HealthAxis.com. Mr. Robins started his career in banking for companies such as Wasserstein Perella and Bank of America. In 2012, Mr. Robins was a “40 Under 40” Seattle Leaders honoree. In 2015, he and his brother, Harlan Robins, were honored as one of Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of the Year. Mr. Robins was also a finalist for the Ernst & Young 2016 Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Pacific Northwest. While in college and looking for a way to combine his adventuresome spirit with a vast learning opportunity, he spent 100 days in the wilderness with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLs) where he gained his open and interactive leadership style along with his strong teamwork mentality. A Cornell University honors graduate with a major in entrepreneurship and business, Mr. Robins obtained his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a major in finance and concentrations in marketing and operations. In addition to the Adaptive Biotechnologies board, Mr. Robins holds board positions for the American Heart Association (Puget Sound) and Pavia Systems. He is also the co-founder and Director of Aortica Corporation, a company that is simplifying endovascular repair (EVAR) for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA).
Dr. Steve Yang is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of WuXi AppTec. He is also WuXi’s Head of International Discovery Services Unit (IDSU). WuXi AppTec is a leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device R&D; capability and technology open access platform company with operations in China and the United States. Dr. Yang is a pharmaceutical industry leader recognized for building R&D; capabilities, delivering research and early development portfolios of drug candidates, and establishing R&D; partnerships in China and other Asian and emerging markets. Before joining WuXi, Dr. Yang was Vice President and Head of Asia and Emerging Markets iMed at AstraZeneca, based in Shanghai. Previously, Dr. Yang served as Vice President and Head of Asia R&D; at Pfizer based in Shanghai, and as Executive Director and head of Pfizer’s global R&D; strategic management group based in the United States. Before joining Pfizer, Dr. Yang held a number of leadership positions at IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, a U.S.-based biotech company. He also worked for Strategic Decisions Group, a strategy consulting firm for Fortune 100 companies. Dr. Yang received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco, USA. He started his undergraduate study in Fudan University, China and completed his BS Summa Cum Laude in Biology from Michigan Technological University, USA. He co-founded the BayHelix Group, a non-profit global professional organization of Chinese life science business leaders, and served as the chairman of the board for two terms.
Lonnie is Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and a Director of TESARO, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRO) an oncology‐focused biopharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Lonnie previously served as Vice Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Abraxis BioScience, Inc., a biotechnology company (acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2010). Before that, he served as Vice Chairman of Eisai Corporation of North America, following Eisai Co. Ltd.’s $3.9 billion acquisition of MGI PHARMA, Inc., in 2008. Lonnie served as President & Chief Executive Officer and a Director of MGI PHARMA from 2003 through 2008. Prior to joining MGI PHARMA he served in a variety of roles at Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi), a global pharmaceutical company, and Eligix, Inc., a venture‐stage biotechnology company. Lonnie began his career as a clinical pharmacist after he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Temple University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago. Lonnie currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN), as a trustee of Temple University and is on the board of the FoxLonnie is Chief Executive Officer, Co-Founder and a Director of TESARO, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRO) an oncology‐focused biopharmaceutical company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Lonnie previously served as Vice Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Abraxis BioScience, Inc., a biotechnology company (acquired by Celgene Corporation in 2010). Before that, he served as Vice Chairman of Eisai Corporation of North America, following Eisai Co. Ltd.’s $3.9 billion acquisition of MGI PHARMA, Inc., in 2008. Lonnie served as President & Chief Executive Officer and a Director of MGI PHARMA from 2003 through 2008. Prior to joining MGI PHARMA he served in a variety of roles at Hoechst Marion Roussel (now Sanofi), a global pharmaceutical company, and Eligix, Inc., a venture‐stage biotechnology company. Lonnie began his career as a clinical pharmacist after he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from Temple University. He also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago. Lonnie currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRVN), as a trustee of Temple University and is on the board of the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Lonnie also served as a director of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through the sale of the company in 2015. Chase Cancer Center. Lonnie also served as a director of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. through the sale of the company in 2015.
Michael Yu, Ph.D., has been Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Innovent Biologics since its inception in 2011. In the past five years, he has successfully raised approximately $500 million from private financings and established multiple partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies, including the landmark deal (>$1 billion) with Eli Lilly & Company in 2015. Prior to the position, Dr. Yu was a co-founder, President and CEO of Chengdu Kanghong Biotech since its inception in 2006 until 2011，where he invented and developed China’s first innovative antibody product, Conbercept, to market for patients with ocular diseases, which is currently in a phase III trial in the US. Dr. Yu was Vice President of Research and Development at Applied Genetics (NASDAQ: AGTC) and Calyon (USA). The latter was acquired by Cell Genesys (NASDAQ: CEGE) in 2001 where he worked for three years following the acquisition. Dr. Yu is the inventor of the world’s first oncolytic immunotherapy product, Oncorine (an oncology product, launched in 2005) and China’s first novel antibody product, Conbercept (a drug for ocular dieases and oncology, launched in 2013), which has made him the only Chinese scientist who has invented and successfully developed two ‘Class I’ drugs.
Dr. Li Chen leads Hua Medicine, a clinical stage drug discovery company whose mission is to bring clinically differentiated medicines to patients in China and worldwide. Hua Medicine leverages global resources to develop a 1st in Class GKA as diabetes medicine and completed four clinical studies in China and USA, in which the T2DM medicine demonstrated desirable safety and efficacy profiles together with a validation of beta cell function improvement in Chinese T2DM patients. The PhIIb clinical study of this innovative medicine has been completed in 3Q2016, and expected to launch Ph III study in China early 2017. Dr. Chen has led Hua team completed 100M USD financing since the founding of the company and is expecting to initiate the PhIII of GKA in 1Q2017. Before Dr. Chen founded Hua Medicine, he was the Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research at Roche R&D; Center (China) Ltd. and a member of Roche’s Pharma Research Leadership Team. As a founding Director in this position, Li was responsible for development and implementation of China’s drug discovery strategy, creation of the China discovery portfolio, and management of China operations including Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Discovery Technology, Drug Supply and Drug Safety. He developed a “Collaborative Innovation” model through integration of over 100 scientist-based China partnerships with academic institutes, biotech, contract research organizations and clinical development organizations.
Mike has been writing, analysing and commenting on the life sciences industry for more than 30 years as a journalist and investment bank analyst. He has focused on business models, R&D; strategies and how to finance innovation, and is often called upon by the industry’s key stakeholders to provide thought leadership. In 2010 he was named European Mediscience Commentator of the Year and has appeared on the shortlist for that award on numerous occasions. When not commentating on all things pharma, Mike is engaged actively in pub quizzes, either as a competitor or a compiler. He is also a qualified FA soccer coach.