Please click HERE if you would like to access the recorded video. The event agenda and guest speakers are listed below:
LET SCIENCE LEAD: A Special Online Forum on COVID-19
5-8pm PST Feb 25 | 8-11pm EST Feb 25 | 9am-12pm China time Feb 26
Taking place at 5pm–8pm PST on Tuesday, February 25th was WuXi AppTec’s online event, LET SCIENCE LEAD: A Special Online Forum on COVID-19. This 18-speaker forum created a strong platform for professionals within industry and academia to discuss the challenges seen in the global management of the COVID-19. Topics such as: diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, vaccine development and global preparedness were keenly discussed in conjunction with patient-focused solutions.
The 5000 registrant forum held a consistent viewership. “This event coming from WuXi’s side is really about science,” said Dr. Hui Cai, Forum Chair, VP and Head of Content Division, WuXi AppTec. “It’s about how we’re thinking forward, and about working together to do the right thing for the patients.”
We would like to thank our event speakers around world, who stayed up late at night and got up early in the morning. It is through industry and cross-industry collaborations that important opportunities like this can be created to optimize better care for patients.
Hui Cai, Forum Chair, Vice President and Head of Content Division, WuXi AppTec
Feng Zhang, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Core Member, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Charles Chiu, Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Medicine / Infectious Diseases;
Director, UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center
Victor Shi, CEO, Adicon Clinical Laboratories; General Partner, Serica Partners
Moderated by Nick Naclerio, Founding Partner, Illumina Ventures
George Scangos, CEO, Vir Biotechnology
Tomas Cihlar, Vice President of Virology, Gilead Sciences
David Ho, Director of Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center; Professor of Medicine, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
Chris Chen, CEO of WuXi Biologics; Chairman, WuXi Vaccines
Moderated by Zhi Hong, Co-founder and CEO, Brii Biosciences
Gregory Poland, Professor and Director of Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group; Editor-in-Chief, VACCINE
Johan Van Hoof, Global Therapeutic Area Head IDV, Vaccines, Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D and Managing Director, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, B.V.
Joseph Kim, President and CEO, Inovio Pharmaceuticals
Xuefeng Yu, Chairman and CEO, CanSino Biologics
Mark Esser, Vice President of Microbial Sciences, AstraZeneca
Moderated by Steve Yang, EVP and CBO, WuXi AppTec
Dr. Hui Cai joined WuXi AppTec in 2009 as Vice President of Business Development, and is currently Vice President and Head of Content Division.
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 50 scientific publications and issued or pending patents. Dr. Cai is a Councilor of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a member of BayHelix, and a member of the UCSD Alumni Board. 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.
Feng Zhang is a molecular biologist focused on improving human health. He played an integral role in the development of two revolutionary technologies, optogenetics and CRISPR-Cas systems, including pioneering the use of Cas9 for genome editing and discovering CRISPR-Cas12 and Cas13 systems and developing them for therapeutic and diagnostics applications.
Zhang’s seminal work provided the foundation for CRISPR-based medicines, and his discoveries continue to fuel the clinical translation of CRISPR technologies. Additionally, he developed the diagnostic platform, SHERLOCK, which is being leveraged to help monitor infectious diseases, including the recent coronavirus outbreak.
Zhang is a core member of the Broad Institute, an Investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the James and Patricia Poitras Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. He is also a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Charles Chiu, M.D./Ph.D. is Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases at University of California, San Francisco, Director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center (VDDC), and Associate Director of the UCSF Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Chiu currently leads a translational research laboratory focused on next-generation sequencing assay development for infectious disease diagnostics and investigation of emerging pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), enterovirus D68 in acute flaccid myelitis, Zika virus, and the 2019 novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. He is also developing new technologies such as nanopore sequencing and RNA-Seq transcriptome profiling to develop predictive models using machine learning for diagnosis of infections based on a patient’s host response. Chiu’s work is also supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Abbott Laboratories, Department of Defense, philanthropic grants (Charles and Helen Schwab and Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundations), and the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. Dr. Chiu has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, holds over 15 patents and patent applications, and serves on the scientific advisory board for Mammoth Biosciences, Inc.
Dr. Victor Shi is CEO of Adicon Clinical Laboratories, a leading independent clinical laboratory in China. Adicon operates more than 22 clinical laboratories across China with 5,000 employees and serves over 12,000 hospitals nationwide.
Dr. Shi is General Partner of Serica Partners, a venture capital fund focused on medtech investment. Previously he was President Asia Pacific of QIAGEN, a NASDAQ- and Frankfurt-listed leading company of In-Vitro diagnostics and life science research tools. He held senior positions at Aura Partners, Bridge Pharmaceuticals, Genospectra, and Pappas Ventures. He was also a faculty member at National University of Singapore, School of Medicine and a cancer research scientist at Merck & Co.
Dr. Shi is a Founding Directors of Bayhelix Group, a global association of Chinese life science business executives, and was elected Chairman from 2018 to 2019. He also serves on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Biotech Advisory Committee. Meanwhile, Dr. Shi is a council member of Shoulder Action, a charitable NGO that is dedicated to reading skill development in rural China
Nick is the Founding Partner of Illumina Ventures. His passion is building companies at the intersection of technology and human health. Prior to joining the fund, he served as SVP, Corporate & Venture Development for Illumina where he was responsible for strategic planning, business development, licensing, venture investing and acquisitions. In six years, Nick and his team completed ten acquisitions, more than a dozen venture investments, and a multitude of other transactions including the formation of Helix and GRAIL and the creation of a global NIPT patent pool. Nick also served as the founding General Manager of Illumina’s Enterprise Informatics Business Unit.
Before joining Illumina, Nick co-founded and was the Executive Chairman of the diagnostics company Quanterix. Previously he was Executive Chairman of True Materials and CEO of ParAllele BioScience, life science tools firms that were both acquired by Affymetrix.
Nick got his start in venture investing at Motorola where he led the life science investment team and served on the boards of the SNP Consortium, Genometrix, Clinical Microsensors, and Orchid Bioscience. He founded and led Motorola Life Sciences, an early microarray company that was acquired by GE. Previously he held leadership positions at DARPA and served on the board of SEMATCH. Nick is chairman of Serimmune and Stilla, and also serves on the boards of Baebies, Cradle, DNA Script, and Genome Medical.
Nick received a B.S. in Engineering from Duke University, was a Winston Churchill Scholar at Cambridge University, and earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.
George Scangos, Ph.D., has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Vir Biotechnology and as a member of the board of directors since January 2017. From July 2010 to December 2016, Dr. Scangos served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors of Biogen Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of serious diseases. From October 1996 to July 2010, Dr. Scangos served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Exelixis, Inc., a drug discovery and development company. From 1993 to 1996, Dr. Scangos served as President of Bayer Biotechnology, where he was responsible for research, business development, process development, manufacturing, engineering and quality assurance of Bayer Biotechnology’s biological products. Before joining Bayer Biotechnology in 1987, Dr. Scangos was a Professor of Biology at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Scangos has served as a member of the board of directors of various publicly traded companies, including: Exelixis, Inc., since 1996; Agilent Technologies, Inc., a life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical analysis company, since 2014; and Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2003 to 2010. Dr. Scangos served as Chair of PhRMA in 2016, and as the Chair of the California Healthcare Institute in 2010. He was a member of the board of directors of the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development from 2006 until 2010. Dr. Scangos currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Cornell University and the Board of Overseers of the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Scangos received his B.A. in Biology from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts.
Tomas Cihlar, PhD is a Vice President of Virology at Gilead Sciences with responsibility for coordinating preclinical antiviral research including projects on treatment, prevention, and cure of HIV, chronic hepatitis B, respiratory viruses, and emerging viruses. Dr. Cihlar joined Gilead after receiving his PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague, Czechia. Over the years, he has contributed to the development and regulatory approval of multiple Gilead’s antiviral products including all Gilead HIV drugs and their combinations. Together with his colleagues, he established research programs focused on long-acting antiretrovirals, in addition to a portfolio of projects aiming at the cure of HIV and hepatitis B, and multiple programs for the treatment of respiratory and emerging/neglected viruses. Dr. Cihlar has served as a project leader for Gilead’s program on remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral agent in clinical testing against Ebola infection and more recently against the COVID-19. In past, Dr. Cihlar served on the Board of Directors of the International Society of Antiviral Research and he is currently on the Board of Directors for Global Virus Network.
David D. Ho is the Founding Scientific Director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and the Clyde and Helen Wu Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. He received his degrees from California Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Ho has been at the forefront of AIDS research for 39 years, publishing over 400 papers. His elegant studies unraveled the dynamic nature of HIV replication in vivo and revolutionized our basic understanding of this horrific disease. This knowledge led him to champion combination antiretroviral therapy that resulted in unprecedented control of HIV in patients. An automatic death sentence has been transformed into a manageable disease, and over 25 million worldwide are currently on such therapy. Dr. Ho’s research team is now devoting considerable efforts on vaccine and antibody research in order to halt or slow the spread of the AIDS epidemic. He worked on SARS and is now devoted time to develop drugs and antibodies against the new coronavirus.
Dr. Ho has received fourteen honorary doctorates. He was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996 and the recipient of a Presidential Medal from Bill Clinton in 2001. He was also inducted into the California Hall of Fame. Dr. Ho was also recognized by the Kingdom of Thailand with the Prince Mahidol Award in Medicine, and given the Distinguished Alumni Award by Caltech. He is a member of the US National Academy of Medicine as well as the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Dr. Chris Chen is currently Chief Executive Officer at WuXi Biologics, a Hong Kong listed company with market cap surpassing HK$100 billion. At WuXi Biologics, he has built a world-class open-access integrated biologics discovery, development and manufacturing platform enabling full spectrum of companies ranging from 2-employee virtual companies to Top 20 global large pharmaceutical companies. WuXi Biologics has transformed the global biotech industry by enabling entrepreneurs to build successful biotech companies with no need of investing in infrastructure for people, labs or manufacturing. Under his leadership, WuXi Biologics has assembled one of the largest biologics teams with nearly 6000 employees enabling 60 IND programs and 3 BLA programs per year. WuXi Biologics has also pioneered disposable-bioreactor based state-of-the-art commercial manufacturing facility and built the first 30,000L bioreactor capacity in the world using disposables. The leading globally platform providing end-to-end solutions for biologics developed by WuXi Biologics is now serving more than 200 companies in China, US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. As the first Chinese company producing biologics for clinical trials in the US and Europe, WuXi Biologics is also the first biologics company in China to pass both the U.S. FDA and EMA inspection, and have cGMP biologics manufacturing facility in China approved by the U.S. FDA for commercial biologics products.
Dr. Zhi Hong is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brii Biosciences. Prior to starting Brii, Dr. Hong was the Senior Vice President and Head of GSK’s Infectious Diseases Therapy Area Unit. He was widely credited as the key architect of GSK's comeback and success in HIV & Infectious Diseases Research and development. Under his leadership, GSK’s ViiV Healthcare HIV franchise was revitalized with the approval of Tivicay & Triumeq. Dr. Hong is a public health advocate who has helped establish multiple public-private partnerships with US and EU governments addressing pandemics and bioterrorism threats. He created GSK's Institute for Infectious Diseases and Public Health in Beijing, China. Dr. Hong also started Ardea Biosciences (later acquired by AstraZeneca). Dr. Hong has 28 years of experience in pharma/biotech R&D and brought many drugs to successful approvals. He had served as a board member of Anacor Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer) and ViiV Healthcare, and also chaired the board of Qura Therapeutics.
Gregory A. Poland, M.D., is the director of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group — a state-of-the-art research group and laboratory that seeks to understand genetic drivers of viral vaccine response and application of systems biology approaches to the generation of immunity, as well as the development of novel vaccines important to public health. The Poland lab has developed the field of viral vaccine immunogenetics, the immune response network theory, and the field of vaccinomics and adversomics.
Dr. Poland holds the academic rank of professor of medicine and infectious diseases and molecular pharmacology and experimental therapeutics. He also serves as the president of the Edward Jenner Vaccine Society and is the Editor-in-Chief for the journal Vaccine.
Dr. Poland has chaired or been a member of every Federal committee involved in vaccine decision-making, including the NVAC, VRBAC, and the ACIP. Dr. Poland advocated for and successfully persuaded the CDC to recommend annual influenza vaccine for all Americans age 6 months and older, and was the initial and primary advocate for requiring influenza immunization for all health care providers. Dr. Poland was the 2013 recipient of the Mayo Distinguished Investigator award by the Mayo Board of Trustees, and the 2012 recipient of the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Lifetime Research Achievement Award. In 2012, Dr. Poland was named in the top 25 list of vaccine influencers in the world. In February 2013, he was nominated for membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM). In addition, he recently received an NIH MERIT Award, an honor accorded to less than 5% of the nation’s NIH-funded investigators. Dr. Poland was awarded the Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in December 2008. In 2008, he was named a Master of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Poland received the Hsu prize in International Infectious Disease Epidemiology in 2007, and the Charles Merieux Lifetime Achievement Award in Vaccinology from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases in May 2006. In December 2006, Dr. Poland was elected President of the Defense Health Board, serving two terms. In 2005 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by Illinois Wesleyan University, his alma mater. He was appointed as the Mary Lowell Leary Professor in Medicine (the highest academic distinction for a faculty member) by Mayo Clinic’s Board of Trustees in 2004. In May 2003, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Dr. Poland served on the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Taskforce on Pandemic Influenza, and currently chairs the American College of Physician’s Adult Immunization Advisory Board. Dr. Poland received the inaugural Gold Medal from the Spanish Vaccinology Society in 2001. He is the immediate past president of the Department of Defense’s Defense Health Board and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board.
Dr. Poland received his medical degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, and completed his residency and advanced post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota/Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN. He has published over 500 professional papers, book chapters, and editorials. He is actively and regularly sought after by both scientific and lay print, TV, and radio media for his views on vaccine policy. Dr. Poland is a popular conference and seminar speaker on the topics of vaccines, scientific literacy, vaccine hesitancy, scientific writing and publication, and biodefense.
Johan Van Hoof, M.D., is the Global Therapeutic Area Head, IDV Vaccines, Janssen R&D and Managing Director, Janssen Vaccines & Prevention, B.V. He is a member of the Senior R&D Leadership Team, leading Research & Development at Janssen Vaccines, drawing on his extensive experience with Johnson & Johnson and the broader vaccine industry.
He joined the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in April 2005 as Vice President, Data Management and Early Clinical Development. Following roles as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research, LLC, and Head of the Global Development Organization, Johan was appointed Global Therapeutic Area Head for Infectious Diseases & Vaccines in 2010.
Since 2011, he has been overseeing research & development at Janssen Vaccines as Managing Director. In this role, Johan is tirelessly leading his world-class team to develop transformational vaccines which will prevent, intercept, treat and cure life-threatening infectious diseases. Johan continues to advance Janssen’s efforts in this area, utilizing cutting-edge technology and strategic collaborations to drive research and development forward.
Prior to joining the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Johan acquired more than 20 years of experience in the vaccine industry, having worked with Pasteur Mérieux Connaught, Chiron Vaccines and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Biologicals. During this period, he held leadership roles with increasing responsibilities, including Head, New Product Development at GSK Biologicals.
Johan received his medical degree (cum laude) from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, in the Department of Anatomy and Embryology at Rijksuniversitair Centrum Antwerpen, Belgium. He studied business management at Krauthammer International School and the International Executive Programme INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim has served as president and chief executive of INOVIO since 2009, leading the company’s transformation into a successful late-stage biotech focused on developing breakthrough DNA medicines that treat, cure, and protect people from diseases associated with HPV, cancer, and infectious diseases.
An immunologist by training, Dr. Kim has a deep understanding of the complexities of medical science’s greatest unsolved challenges. He is committed to improving the lives of patients, and this passion permeates the company.
Dr. Kim has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds numerous patents, and sits on several scientific journal editorial boards. Most recently, he was recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and a Health Innovators Fellow at The Aspen Institute. He previously co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, an immunotherapeutic company that he led for nine years before merging VGX with Inovio Biomedical in 2009 to form INOVIO.
Dr. Kim earned two B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Immunology and an M.S. in Engineering from the University Pennsylvania, and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School.
Dr. Xuefeng Yu was trained as a Microbiologist and obtained PhD from McGill University. He is one of the co-founders of CanSino Biologics Inc., a Tianjin, China based biotech company dedicated for new vaccine development and commercialization. As the Chairman and CEO, he is responsible for the overall strategic development and operation management. Under his leadership, CanSino Biologics has experienced significant growth. He was awarded by MOST as “Leader of Innovation and entrepreneurship” in 2012.
Dr. Yu has over 20 years’ biotech industry experiences. Prior founding CanSino Biologics, he had held various leadership positions within Sanofi Pasteur, including director, corporate platform leader for Bacterial Vaccine Upstream Development, director for North America Upstream Bioprocess R&D. During his tenure in Sanofi Pasteur, Dr. Yu had played key roles in multiple new vaccines process development, GMP production as well as regulatory submission. He also had played leadership role in new GMP facility validation and technology transfer.
Dr. Esser is Vice President of Microbial Sciences at AstraZeneca. In this role he is accountable for AstraZeneca’s overall drug discovery, translational research and clinical development of innovative medicines targeting the microbiome and in vivo expressed biologics. He is experienced in discovery through registrational and post-marketing effectiveness studies and has contributed to 4 different biologics licensing agreements in the vaccine and infectious disease arena. He has several patents and is widely recognized for his contributions to vaccine research and global health with over 75 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Esser received his B.S. in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University, his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from University of Virginia and did his postdoctoral fellowship at the AIDS vaccine program at the NIH.
Dr. Steve Yang is Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of WuXi AppTec. He is also WuXi AppTec’ s Head of Research Service Division and Head of Lab Testing Division. His responsibilities include management of multiple business units and commercial operation. WuXi AppTec provides a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services that enable companies in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries worldwide to advance discoveries and deliver groundbreaking treatments to patients.
Dr. Yang is a pharmaceutical industry leader recognized for building R&D and service capabilities, delivering research and early development portfolios of drug candidates, and establishing R&D partnerships in US, Europe, China and other Asian and emerging markets. Before joining WuXi AppTec, 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.
Dr. Yang received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. He started his undergraduate study in Fudan University, China and completed his BS Summa Cum Laude from Michigan Technological University. 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.
Professor Arthur L. Reingold, MD, is Division Head of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. Professor Reingold has worked for over forty years on the prevention and control of infectious diseases both at the national level, including eight years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as with numerous developing countries around the world. He has directed or co-directed the CDC-funded California Emerging Infections Program since its inception in 1994.
His research interests include vaccine-preventable diseases, respiratory infections including influenza, bacterial meningitis, disease surveillance, and outbreak detection and response. He has published almost 300 original research papers on these subjects and teaches a wide variety of courses on related topics at the University of California, Berkeley and at numerous other universities around the world. Among other honors, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003.
Dr. Richard Soll is presently Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives for the Research Service Division at WuXi AppTec and Head of the WuXi office in Boston, Massachusetts. He has held various leadership roles at WuXi as Senior Vice President including head of the medicinal chemistry unit known as the International Discovery Service Unit, business development, and corporate alliances.
Dr. Soll’s contributions led to the discovery of the HCV NS5A inhibitor elbasvir (a component of Zepatier®) in the Merck-WuXi partnership, the JAK2 inhibitor fedratinib at TargeGen which formed the basis of the $7B partnership between Celgene and Impact Biomedicines, and more than 10 other clinical stage drugs throughout his career.
Dr. Soll is currently a board member at Simcha Therapeutics, an board observer at the Accelerator Life Science Parnters, and an advisory board member with the Blavatnik Center for Drug Discovery at Tel Aviv University, the Children’s Tumor Foundation, and the Pistoia Alliance.
Dr. Soll was CSO / VP of R&D at TargeGen and was VP of Chemistry at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals. He started his career at Ayerst Research Labs and was trained as a synthetic chemist at Dartmouth and Harvard.