This year, the ninth annual WuXi Global Forum premiered virtually and concurrently during the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference week. With the theme of “Advancing Breakthroughs for Patients,” this year’s Forum included forty-three industry leaders on a total of 10 panels during three sessions, where they addressed key topics and questions relevant to the current and future state of the healthcare and biotechnology industry.
As speakers reflected upon issues such as 2020’s impact on our industry, current paths toward drug breakthrough acceleration, and the outlook for the next 20 years, their personal experiences and expertise promoted inspired thinking and engaging discussions.
At WuXi AppTec, we aspire to work collaboratively to solve industry-wide problems and bring transformational medicines and treatments to patients. We look forward to working alongside all of you to meet the challenges ahead in 2021.
Thank you for tuning into our programs, and a special thank you to our WuXi Global Forum 2021 partners: BioCentury, BioIndustry Association, BioWorld, Biocom, California Life Sciences Association, Children’s Tumor Foundation, Endpoints News, MBC BioLabs, Pharma Intelligence | informa, QB3 and Swiss Biotech Association.
The full event agenda and distinguished speaker bios can be found below. For more insightful content and upcoming events subscribe to WXPress and follow @WuXi_AppTec.
Hui Cai, Forum Chair; VP and Head of Content Division, WuXi AppTec
8:05 Opening Remarks
Steve Yang, Co-CEO, WuXi AppTec
8:10 Rising to the Challenge
Michelle McMurry-Heath, President & CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Steve Bates, CEO, BioIndustry Association
Arnaud Bernaert, Global Head, Platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum
Session Leader: Steve Yang, Co-CEO, WuXi AppTec
8:40 Better Medicines Faster
Steve Hitchcock, Head of Research, Takeda
Bahija Jallal, CEO, Immunocore
Ameet Nathwani, CEO, Dewpoint Therapeutics
Michael Rosenblatt, CMO, Flagship Pioneering
Session Leader: Selina Koch, Executive Editor, BioCentury
10:00 Day 1 Adjourns
8:25 The Aging and Brain Challenges: Are We at the Cusp of Breaking Through?
Howard Federoff, CEO, Aspen Neuroscience
Howard Fillit, Founding Executive Director and CSO, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation
Irene Griswold-Prenner, CEO & CSO, Nitrome Biosciences
Rudolph Tanzi, Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School; Vice-Chair, Neurology, MGH
Session Leader: Barbara Dalton, Managing General Partner, Pfizer Ventures; VP Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer
9:05 Delivering the Promise of Cell and Gene Therapies
Jeffrey Bluestone, President & CEO, Sonoma Biotherapeutics
Steve Harr, President & CEO, Sana Biotechnology
Sekar Kathiresan, CEO, Verve Therapeutics
Kartik Ramamoorthi, Co-Founder & CEO, Encoded Therapeutics
Session Leader: Edward Hu, Vice Chairman of the Board and Global Chief Investment Officer, WuXi AppTec
9:45 Day 2 Adjourns
8:05 Shaping the Next Twenty Years
Robert Califf, Head of Clinical Policy and Strategy for Verily and Google Health
Aviv Regev, Head, Genentech Research and Early Development
Session Leader: Amir Nashat, Managing Partner, Polaris Partners
8:30 The New Era of Medicines
Chris Chen, CEO, WuXi Biologics
Yvonne Greenstreet, President & COO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
Nello Mainolfi, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Kymera Therapeutics
Laura Shawver, CEO, Silverback Therapeutics
Session Leader: John Carroll, Chief Editor & Founder, Endpoints News
9:10 When Technology Meets Healthcare
Kate Bingham, Managing Partner, SV Health Investors
David Jaffray, SVP, Chief Technology & Digital Officer and Professor, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Vijay Pande, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz
Daphne Zohar, Founder & CEO, Member of the Board of Directors, PureTech Health Session Leader: Michal Preminger, Head, Johnson & Johnson Innovation East North America
9:55 Closing Remarks
Hui Cai, Forum Chair; VP and Head of Content Division, WuXi AppTec
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), 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.
Dr. Steve Yang is Co-CEO of WuXi AppTec. He is also WuXi AppTec’ s Head of Research Service Division and Head of WuXi Testing. 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.
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath assumed the leadership of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) on June 1, 2020. A medical doctor and molecular immunologist by training, Dr. McMurry-Heath becomes just the third leader of the world’s largest biotechnology advocacy group since BIO’s founding in 1993. Based in Washington D.C., BIO represents 1,000 life sciences companies and organizations from 30 countries.
McMurry-Heath has worked across academia, nonprofits, government, and industry, but her common focus has been broadening access to scientific progress so more patients from diverse backgrounds can benefit from cutting-edge innovation. Driven by her own past family experiences navigating clinical trials and funding challenges within the rare disease community, Dr. McMurry-Heath calls “the distribution of scientific progress the social justice issue of our age.”
She comes to BIO from Johnson & Johnson where she served as Vice President of Global External Innovation and Global Leader for Regulatory Sciences, leading an international team of 900 working in 150 countries. Earlier in her career, she served as a health and science adviser in the United States Senate. President Obama chose her to be a member of his science transition team before naming her associate science director in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health
McMurry-Heath received her MD/PhD from Duke University’s Medical Scientist Training Program, becoming the first African American ever to graduate from the prestigious dual-degree program. She also spent 12 years as a laboratory scientist working at the research bench.
Steve Bates has been the CEO of the UK Bioindustry Association since 2012. He currently chairs the International Council of Biotech Associations and has been a Board member of Europabio since 2015. Steve is the visible face of the vibrant UK life sciences industry to government and media. He sits on the UK’s Life Sciences Council and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. Steve has championed with government effective industrial incentives like the Biomedical Cataylst which have crowded-in private sector investment into UK SMES. He has forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and in China. In his time at the BIA Steve has developed new member groups focused on cell and gene therapy, genomics and engineered biology. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia. Proud to lead an organisation with a diverse Board with over 40% female representation, Steve is committed to next generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. Before the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and as an advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was made OBE for services to innovation in 2017.
When it comes to context, by 2050, the world’s population is
expected to rise to 9.7 billion, with 2 billion over the age of 60. The
world is ill-equipped to respond to this paradigm shift and the global
health system will have to undergo major transformation to provide
an environment in which people live healthier and longer lives with
health security across borders, and with access to affordable care.
Arnaud Bernaert believes indeed that in the next decade, Healthcare
delivery systems will have to transform radically. He believes that
capital intensive, hospital centric, interventions driven systems are
ones of the past, as they have demonstrated they are both
unsustainable and ineffective. His theory of change is that the Future
of Health and Healthcare resides into high-touch, data enabled
delivery systems, integrated across the continuum of care from
prevention to care delivery, with the patients becoming consumers of
most care services in non-acute care settings. He additionally
believes that complex care will be transformed by Precision Medicine
as enabled by progress in genomics, regenerative medicine and
clinical analytics. Finally he believes in a population based approach
to health promotion and disease prevention enabled by a transformed
global health architecture based on purposeful public and private
An MBA graduate from HEC, Arnaud Bernaert dedicated his prolific career to strategy, partnerships, M&A and Healthcare policy matters.
He also published extensively on those themes and received
significant media coverage. This he has done first as a senior
executive in multinational organizations such as Baxter and Philips
Healthcare, then as the Global Head for Health and Healthcare
Industries at the World Economic Forum, Arnaud Bernaert has a
unique understanding of Global Health and Healthcare challenges. He
also maintains deep personal connections within a unique network of
industry CEO’s, policy makers, regulators, heads of international
organizations and civil society leaders.
As a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic
Forum, Arnaud Bernaert has launched defining public private
coalitions in fields as diverse as epidemics preparedness, vaccines
and antibiotics innovation, value based healthcare, precision medicine
regulations, access to primary care, payment reforms, healthcare IT
just to name a few. On such matters and many others, he also
addressed as key note speaker, panelist, moderator or knowledge
expert the participants of the most prestigious global healthcare
gatherings in Davos, UNGA, Forbes conferences, World Health
Assembly week, World Health summit and many other conferences.
Dr. Steve Hitchcock is Head of Research for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd. He joined Takeda in 2012 via Takeda’s acquisition of Envoy Therapeutics where he was Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery and also held the position of Adjunct Professor at The Scripps Research Institute. Prior to Takeda, Dr. Hitchcock had served in senior leadership positions in the research organizations at Eli Lilly and Amgen. He received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from The University of Nottingham (U.K) and completed a NATO postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University. Over a career spanning 23 years in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology arena, Dr. Hitchcock has been fortunate to work with teams that have developed therapeutic drug candidates spanning a variety of disease indications. He places a strong emphasis on early establishment of pharmacodynamic-pharmacokinetic relationships and translational biomarkers, including the development of drug-target occupancy tracers, and is a recognized expert in the area of blood-brain barrier permeability and small molecule entry into the CNS. Dr. Hitchcock also has a keen interest in structure-based and computational property- and ligand-based drug design principles and applications of biophysics and fragment-based approaches to drug discovery. He is a co-author on over 70 patents, patent applications, papers and review articles.
Dr. Bahija Jallal is Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Board of Immunocore. Prior to joining Immunocore in January 2019, she was President of MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development unit. She was also Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and a member of its senior executive team.
Bahija serves on the Boards of Anthem, Inc. and Guardant Health. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University and the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park Corporation.
Bahija has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and has more than 15 patents. She is a Council Member of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She is also the immediate past president of the Association of Women in Science. Bahija was named the 2017 Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Prior to joining MedImmune, Bahija was Vice President, drug assessment and development, at Chiron Corporation, where she successfully established the company’s translational medicine group. Prior to Chiron Corporation, she was part of the research team at Sugen, Inc.
Bahija received her PhD in Physiology from Université de Paris VI, France and conducted her post-doctorate work in molecular biology and oncology at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany.
Ameet Nathwani, M.D., is the CEO of Dewpoint Therapeutics, the biomolecular condensates company, and has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Ameet was most recently an Executive Committee member at Sanofi SA, where he served as Chief Medical Officer, Head of Medical, and Chief Digital Officer and was responsible for enhancing Sanofi’s strategy to integrate digital technologies and medical science to ultimately improve patient outcomes.
Prior to joining Sanofi, Ameet was the Global Head of Medical Affairs and a member of the Pharma Executive Committee at Novartis Pharma AG, where he led the establishment of a Real World Evidence Center of Excellence and Digital Medicine capabilities. Over his 11 years at Novartis, Ameet held a number of senior development and commercial positions including the Global Head of the Critical Care Business Franchise, Senior Vice President, and Global Development Head of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Franchise. Prior to joining Novartis, Ameet held senior roles in R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, SmithKline Beecham, and Glaxo Group Research in both the UK and U.S.
Across his career in R&D, Ameet has been responsible for the development of over 20 drugs, four of which went on to become blockbusters
Ameet earned his medical degree from the University of London, specialized in cardiology and intensive care medicine, and holds an MBA.
Dr. Michael Rosenblatt’s career has been in academia, pharma and biotech/venture. He is a physician—scientist, now serving as Chief Medical Officer of Flagship Pioneering in Cambridge, MA, a firm that originates new biotech companies. Previously, he was Merck’s Chief Medical Officer. He also served as Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine, and before that, Robert Ebert Professor of Molecular Medicine and George R. Minot Professor at Harvard Medical School. He was President of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.
At Merck, he co-led the worldwide development team for alendronate (FOSAMAX), Merck's bisphosphonate for osteoporosis and bone disorders. He has been on the board of directors and scientific advisory boards, including Ferring Pharmaceuticals (U.S. Division), Rubius Therapeutics, Brooks Automation and several biotech start-ups.
He is a member of the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Board of Fellows and on research advisory committees of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital (Boston), and is a member of the Cures Acceleration Network Review Board of the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Rosenblatt received the Fuller Albright Award for his work on parathyroid hormone and the Vincent du Vigneaud Award in peptide chemistry and biology, and the Chairman’s Award from Merck.
He graduated summa cum laude from Columbia, and received his M.D. magna cum laude from Harvard. Internship, residency, and endocrinology training were all at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Selina Koch is an Executive Editor for the biopharma business intelligence platform BioCentury Inc., where she manages deep-dive analyses into emerging trends in basic and translational science, biotech investments and deals, clinical development, regulatory innovation and market access. Her bylined articles in BioCentury’s publications often focus on neuroscience, a field in which she has a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Hudis is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He also serves as the Executive Vice Chair of its Conquer Cancer Foundation and Chair of ASCO’s CancerLinQ. Dr. Hudis previously served in a variety of volunteer and leadership roles at ASCO, including as its President during the Society’s 50th anniversary year (2013-14). Before coming to ASCO full-time, he was the Chief of the Breast Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City and Professor of Medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. As CEO of ASCO, Dr. Hudis is responsible for delivering on the board’s strategic goals through education, research, and support for the delivery of the highest quality of care by the Society’s nearly 45,000 members.
Dr. Varney is an experienced drug discoverer and biotech leader. As one of the original fifteen employees at Agouron, a biotech based in San Diego, he built a team that developed protein-structure based design, a novel approach to drug discovery that is utilized globally by drug discovery teams today. In 1997, the Agouron team launched Viracept, an HIV protease inhibitor that achieved the highest first year launch sales of any biotech product at the time. Dr. Varney’s leadership at Agouron resulted in the discovery of a number of currently marketed anti-cancer agents including Xalkori and Inlyta, a drug that won the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award in 2018.
In 2005, Dr. Varney was recruited to Genentech, the US based R&D organization of Roche, to expand the organization’s drug discovery capabilities to include small molecules. Focused on agility and pioneering science, Dr. Varney built a team-based organization that today produces more that 40% of Genentech’s development portfolio, including the marketed anticancer agents Erivedge and Cotellic.
In 2015, Dr. Varney was appointed Executive Vice President and Head of Genentech’s Research and Early Development (gRED) and a member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee in Basel. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of gRED innovation, drug discovery and development. Dr. Varney also focused on building a team-based culture empowered to clear the path to patients. Under his leadership, gRED teams discovered and developed successful medicines that include Venclexta with AbbVie, the first bcl-2 inhibitor and Polivy, an antibody drug conjugate for the treatment of DLBCL. Pioneering molecules in the clinic include Mosunetuzumab, a bispecific antibody targeting CD20, and GDC-9545, a next generation estrogen receptor degrader. Dr. Varney retired from Genentech in July 2020, leaving a diversity of drug platform types that includes personalized therapeutic vaccines and cellular therapies.
Dr. Varney holds a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, and was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University.
Robert Nelsen is a co-founder and a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners. He joined ARCH at its founding and played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing and development of more than 100 companies, including twenty-three which have reached valuations exceeding $1 billion. His seed and early-stage investments include Illumina (ILMN); Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (ALNY); Juno Therapeutics (JUNO); Unity Biotechnology (UBX); Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (SNNA); Vir Biotechnology(VIR); Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO); Sage Therapeutics (SAGE); GRAIL; Ikaria; Kythera Biopharmaceuticals (KYTH); Receptos (RCPT); Aviron (AVIR); Denali Therapeutics (DNLI); Prime Medicine; Beam Therapeutics (BEAM); NetBot; Bluebird Bio (BLUE); R2 Technology; XenoPort (XNPT); Caliper Life Sciences (CALP); Trubion Pharmaceuticals (TRBN); Adolor (ADLR); deCODE Genetics; Array BioPharma (ARRY); Editas (EDIT); IDUN Pharmaceuticals; Classmates.com; Hua Medicine; Fate Therapeutics (FATE); Rubius Therapeutics (RUBY); KSQ Therapeutics; WuxiNextCODE; and Everyday Learning Corporation.
Mr. Nelsen is a director of Vir Bio, GRAIL, Sana Biotechnology, Beam Therapeutics, Prime Medicine, Lyell, Unity Biotechnology, Denali Therapeutics, Karuna Therapeutics, insitro, Maze Therapeutics, Inc., Encoded Therapeutics and serves as Chairman of Hua Medicine, among others. He previously served as a Trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, the Institute for Systems Biology, and was a director of the National Venture Capital Association. Mr. Nelsen holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound with majors in Economics and Biology.
Michael Martin is the Global Head of Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) and is based in San Diego, California. His professional background includes venture capital, pharma business development and broad R&D experiences with an integral role in the discovery and development of 17 innovative investigational drugs and 4 commercial products. Prior to joining TVI, Michael was most recently a member of Global Licensing and Business Development at Takeda, heading efforts for sourcing and transacting technologies and early stage pipeline programs. He has held executive and scientific roles with Intellikine (acquired by Takeda), TargeGen (acquired by Sanofi-Aventis), Arena Pharmaceuticals and Monsanto Corporation. Michael earned his doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Illinois and holds a M.S. degree in analytical chemistry and B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics.
Karen Chen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, responsible for overseeing the full range of scientific and drug discovery programs, as well as managing the operations activities. Dr. Chen is a senior research scientist and manager with over 30 years of experience, including 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, planning, directing, and conducting preclinical research. She has managed departments and groups working on a variety of projects for the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for neurological disorders. Dr. Chen joined the SMA Foundation from Roche Palo Alto where she was Director of Neurosciences and Head of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Neurodegeneration Group. Prior to Roche she was Director of Pharmacology and Head of the In Vivo Neurodegeneration and Behavior Groups at Elan Pharmaceuticals working primarily on therapies for Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Her post-doctoral training was obtained at Genentech investigating neurotrophic factors therapies for neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Chen holds an A.B. from Harvard University, and obtained her Ph.D. in Neurosciences from the University of California, San Diego working with Dr. Fred (Rusty) Gage on the behavioral and morphological effects of fetal grafts and neurotrophin administration in models of age-related degeneration. She has over 50 scientific publications and several patents. Dr. Chen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bluefield Project and the N-Lorem Foundation, and is an advisor to several other non-profit organizations. Dr. Chen has served on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) National Advisory Council. She also is the Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder of Imago Pharmaceuticals and on the Board of Directors of Nitrome Biosciences.
Dr. David Chang has 30-year industrial experience, and is currently the CEO of Wuxi AppTec Advanced Therapies Business Unit located in Philadelphia, PA. Prior to current role, he was Corporate VP and Head of Cell Therapy Global Manufacturing, of Celgene Corporation; the Global Head of Engineering and Strategy at Roche based in Basel, Switzerland; the VP/Site Head of Roche Shanghai Technical Operations in China. Earlier in his career Dr. David Chang worked at Genentech as the Senior Director of Global Manufacturing Science and Technology, and as the Director of Process Development in its Oceanside, CA site. He was also formerly at Biogen Idec as Director of cell culture R&D, at BASF Bioresearch as a cell culture group leader, and at Schering-Plough Research Institute as a process development engineer.
Dr. David Chang obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from National Taiwan University in Taiwan, and the Master’s and PhD degrees in Biochemcial Engineering from MIT in Massachusetts, USA.
Dr. José Baselga joined AstraZeneca (AZ) in January 2019 as EVP & President, Oncology Research & Development and is responsible for an industry-leading pipeline of pharmaceutical compounds from the discovery stage through to late-stage development. With a bold ambition to push the boundaries of science to ultimately eliminate cancer as a cause of death, José has reshaped the AstraZeneca Oncology R&D organization through a strategic focus on transformative medicines, innovative clinical strategy, and executional excellence. With an already diverse portfolio of five existing oncology medicines, and an industry-leading pipeline, José’s vision for transforming survival in cancer is based on treating earlier; delivering deeper responses; better monitoring for relapse; using AI and big data to map cancer inter-dependencies; and breaking the traditional treatment paradigms that currently restrict opportunity for patients.
José has been instrumental in securing two landmark oncology collaborations with Daiichi Sankyo. This partnership has now delivered approval of Enhertu in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (as well as new data on 4 sub-types gastric cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer) and most recently with the addition of DS-1062, a high-potential second-generation antibody drug conjugate against TROP-2, secured the potential to redefine standards of care across a range of cancers.
In 2020 alone, the AstraZeneca Oncology R&D organization under José’s management delivered more than 10 oncology drug approvals and multiple submissions across a wide portfolio of clinical trials. And in a year when the COVID-19 threatened to set cancer research back years, José made a commitment to clinical trial patients to provide the best possible care throughout. As a result, the R&D organization accelerated multiple ways of simplifying access to our trials and medicines, and capitalized on new digital ways of working.
Prior to AstraZeneca, José served as the Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College from 2012 to 2018. MSK is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, with operating revenues of $3.5B and over 600,000 patient visits each year. In this capacity, nearly 2,000 physicians and scientists reported to José , and under his leadership, MSK become the leader in early phase clinical trials for cancer therapies and diagnostic genetic sequencing.
Prior to joining MSKCC, José was Chief of the Division of Hematology / Oncology and Associate Director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was also the Chairman of Medical Oncology and Founding Director of the Vall d ‘Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. As past President of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), José worked collaboratively with the AACR Board of Directors and the AACR membership to further the mission to cure cancer through research.
He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and an elected Fellow of the AACR Academy. He is a past President of the European Society for Medical Oncology, where he was recently awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award, a past member of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and AACR, member of the Editorial Boards of Cancer Cell, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Clinical Cancer Research and was the founding Editor-in-Chief for the AACR flagship journal, Cancer Discovery.
Dr. Baselga’s long standing research interests are in the development of targeted agents for the treatment of breast cancer and in studying strategies to overcome mechanisms of resistance, with over 500 peer-reviewed publications to date. His research and clinical achievements have led to the creation of a number of biopharmaceutical companies, and he is an international thought leader for innovation in cancer care and clinical research.
Nina Kjellson has been a General Partner at Canaan since 2015 and invests in biopharma and digital
health start-ups that serve high unmet needs. She has 20 years of experience funding, growing and
transacting early-stage companies. Current Canaan investments include Pact Pharma, Tizona, Tyra and
Vineti. She also serves on the board of WellTok and previously served on the boards of Labrys (acquired
by Teva), Cidara (CDTX), Trius (TSX, acquired by Cubist), Eiger (EIGR), NovaCardia (acquired by Merck)
and co-sponsored investments into Paratek (PRTK), Tesaro (TSRO, acquired by GSK) and Aspreva (ASPV,
acquired by Galenia), along with numerous other ventures during her tenure at InterWest Partners. As a
leader of Canaan’s Women of Venture program, Nina is a vocal advocate for female entrepreneurs and
investors. She serves as an advisor to Springboard Life Sciences, Nina Capital (no relation), The Gates
Foundation and serves on the boards of Essential Access Health, Girl Effect and the Oliver Wyman
Health Innovation Center. Nina is a 2018 Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow. Prior to InterWest
and Canaan, Nina worked at Bay City Capital, Oracle Partners and the Kaiser Family Foundation. She
holds a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University. Nina is an avid reader, is active in nature, runs,
skis and loves to travel the world.
Howard, a translational and clinical neuroscientist, most recently served as the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the UC Irvine Health System prior to joining Aspen in August 2019. Prior to that he was the Dean of the School of Medicine at UC Irvine in addition to serving as a Professor of Neurology. Before coming to UC Irvine, Howard served as the Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Georgetown University and Executive Dean of Medicine at Georgetown University. He chaired the NIH RAC and AAHC Board of Directors. In addition to his academic roles, Howard has significant biotech industry experience including: co-founding MedGenesis Therapeutix (GDNF therapy for PD in late stage clinical development), co-founding Brain Neurotherapy Bio (AAV-GDNF gene therapy for PD), and he formed, secured funding, and led the U.S. Parkinson disease Gene Therapy Study Group (completed phase 1 trial at NIH). Howard received his MS, MD, and PhD degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did his internship, residency, and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Howard is an elected Fellow of the AAAS and National Academy of Inventors.
Howard Fillit, MD, Founding Executive Director and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, is an internationally recognized geriatrician, neuroscientist, expert in Alzheimer's disease and an innovative philanthropy executive. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation is a nonprofit whose mission is to rapidly accelerate the discovery and development of drugs to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Fillit has had a distinguished academic medicine career and is currently a clinical professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care, medicine, and neurosciences at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. He has previously held academic appointments at The Rockefeller University and the Weill Cornell School of Medicine. Throughout his career, Dr. Fillit has maintained a limited private practice in consultative geriatric medicine with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease. He has served as a consultant to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health care companies.
Dr. Fillit has received numerous awards and honors including the Rita Hayworth Award from the Alzheimer’s Association. He is a fellow of the American Geriatrics Society, the American College of Physicians, the Gerontological Society of America and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has authored or co-authored more than 350 scientific and clinical publications and is the senior editor of Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology currently in its 8th edition.
Irene Griswold-Prenner, Ph D, is Founder and CEO/CSO of Nitrome Biosciences. Nitrome Biosciences is a platform company developing drugs against a newly identified class of enzymes, initially targeting Parkinson’s disease. The therapies that Nitrome is developing will target these enzymes and potentially help slow or halt the progression of diseases such as Parkinson’s. While the initial focus is on Parkinson's disease, the company aims to expand its proprietary platform to include other disease indications. She was previously a Cofounder and the CSO of Imago Pharmaceuticals. Imago, a privately held pharmaceutical company, engaged in development of drug candidates directed against JNK for fibrosis and neurodegenerative disease treatment. Imago acquired Elan Pharmaceuticals’ preclinical assets, including JNK, from which all assets were developed and partnered or sold to biotech or pharmaceuticals to continue their development. She led iPierian’s research efforts when value creation was realized for up to $725 million from the BMS acquisition of iPierian for IPN007, the first tau therapeutic antibody to begin human testing. IPN007 was purchased by Biogen for up to $1.4 billion and is testing in Phase 2 studies for PSP and AD. IPN007 is also the first drug candidate into clinical trials where the discovery originated from an iPSC approach. Irene worked at Elan Pharmaceuticals, contributed to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis Programs. She received her BA from Colorado University in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and Ph. D. from University of Chicago in Physiology and Cellular Pharmacology.
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is the Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, Co-Director of the McCance Center for Brain Health, Co-Director of the MassGeneral Insititute for Neurodegenerative Disease, and Vice-Chair of Neurology (Research), at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tanzi discovered several Alzheimer’s disease genes, including all three early-onset familial Alzheimer’s genes, and serves as director of the Alzheimer’s Genome Project, which identified the first innate immune AD gene, CD33. He is also developing therapies for treating and preventing AD using human brain organoid models of the disease. More recently, Dr. Tanzi introduced the “anti-microbial protection” hypothesis of AD implicating infection in the disease process. Dr. Tanzi has published roughly 600 papers, has received numerous awards including the Metropolitan Life Award, Potamkin Prize, Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, and was on the 2015 TIME100 Most Influential People in the World list. Dr. Tanzi is a New York Times bestselling author, who has co-authored “Decoding Darkness” and three bestsellers with Deepak Chopra: “Super Brain”, “Super Genes”, and “The Healing Self”. He has hosted three Public Television shows, appears on various TV and internet news programs, and in his spare time, plays keyboards for Joe Perry, Aerosmith and other musicians.
Barbara has led the Pfizer Ventures since joining Pfizer in 2007. The venture team has invested in ~100 companies and ~20 funds pursuing products, technologies and services, relevant to all aspects of Pfizer’s business, since inception in 2004. The team has been successful in fulfilling their goal of providing financial and strategic returns to Pfizer. Barbara’s pharmaceutical career started in the Immunology Division of Smith Kline & French Research Laboratories. She moved to venture investing in 1993 when she joined their venture capital group, S.R. One, Limited. In 2000 Barbara became a General Partner in the private venture fund, EuclidSR Partners, that was supported by GSK (then SB) as a sister fund to S.R. One, Limited. Barbara received her undergraduate degree from Penn State and Ph.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University School of Medicine.) She has overall responsibility for Pfizer Ventures and directly manages investments in all funds and specifically the portfolio companies: Artios, Cydan, Imara, Ixchelsis, Levicept, Ravenna, Simcha, System 1. In addition, she chairs the Healthcare Advisory Board of the Partnership Fund for NYC.
Dr. Bluestone is the President and CEO of Sonoma Biotherapeutics and the A.W. and Mary Margaret
Clausen Distinguished Emeritus Professor in the Diabetes Center at University of California San
Francisco. Dr. Bluestone has published more than 500 papers over four decades focused on
understanding the basic processes that control T-cell activation and immune tolerance in autoimmunity,
organ transplantation and cancer. His research has led to the development of multiple
immunotherapies, including the first FDA-approved drug targeting T-cell co-stimulation, Abatacept, to
treat autoimmunity and the first FDA-approved checkpoint inhibitor, Yervoy, for the treatment of
metastatic melanoma. He is a leading figure in the development of regulatory T cell therapies.
Dr. Bluestone has been an academic leader as Director of the Ben May Institute at University of Chicago
and the Diabetes Center as well as Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at UCSF. He was the founding
Director of the Immune Tolerance Network, the largest NIH-funded multicenter clinical immunology
research program, testing novel immunotherapies in transplantation, autoimmunity and asthma/allergy.
He recently led the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy as founding CEO and President. He
served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Panel, appointed by then Vice President Joe Biden, to guide the
National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Finally, Dr. Bluestone has been elected to the NAM, American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, was the Ludwig Professor at the University of Chicago and received
Guggenheim, Fogarty and American Cancer Society Fellowships.
Prior to co-founding Sana, Steve served as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development for Juno Therapeutics until its acquisition by Celgene in early 2018. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Loxo Oncology prior to its acquisition by Eli Lilly in early 2019. Steve also was a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of JW Therapeutics, a cell therapy company in China. Prior to joining Juno, Steve was at Morgan Stanley, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Biotechnology Investment Banking and previously as a biotech research analyst and co-head of global healthcare research.
Steve obtained a BA in Economics from College of the Holy Cross and an MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was an Internal Medicine resident at the University of California, San Francisco and performed research at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Sekar Kathiresan is co-founder and chief executive officer of Verve Therapeutics and serves on the company’s board of directors. He is a preventive cardiologist who has made groundbreaking discoveries of cardioprotective genetic mutations, which confer resistance to cardiovascular disease. Prior to joining Verve, he served as director of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Genomic Medicine and was the Ofer and Shelly Nemirovsky MGH Research Scholar. He also served as director of the Cardiovascular Disease Initiative at the Broad Institute and was professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. His research laboratory focused on understanding the inherited basis for blood lipids and myocardial infarction and using these insights to improve preventive cardiac care. Among his scientific contributions, he has helped highlight new biological mechanisms underlying heart attack, discovered mutations that protect against heart attack risk, and developed a genetic test for personalized heart attack prevention. He was honored with a Distinguished Scientist Award from the American Heart Association in 2017 and the 2018 Curt Stern Award from the American Society of Human Genetics. In tandem with his research, his clinical focus was the primary prevention of myocardial infarction in individuals with a family history of heart attack. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine and cardiology at MGH and his postdoctoral research training in human genetics at the Framingham Heart Study and the Broad Institute.
Kartik Ramamoorthi, PhD, is Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Encoded Therapeutics. Prior to Encoded, Kartik served on the team that launched Voyager Therapeutics, a gene-therapy company developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Kartik received his Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience from MIT and his B.S. in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University.
Vice Chairman and Global Chief Investment Officer at WuXi AppTec. Joined WuXi AppTec since August 2007, Mr. Hu has demonstrated his extraordinary leadership to expand WuXi's business globally. He is a strong business leader with broad experiences in operations management, new business creation and development, venture investments, merger and acquisitions and financial management. Prior to WuXi, Mr. Hu served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Tanox. His earlier career spanned managerial and financial positions at Biogen and Merck respectively. Mr. Hu has an MBA and Master's degree in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University.
Annette, a PhD in Biochemistry, has leadership experience in both the academic and pharma/biotech research enterprise in Italy, Belgium, France, and the USA. Intrigued by the observation that the path from great basic discoveries to equally great clinical benefit is bumpy and often inefficient, she joined the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) in order to try to smooth this path for neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder. The team has built worldwide collaborative science networks, an open biobank, a centralized data collection and integration platform, a patient registry, a key opinion leader (KOL) network, a clinic network etc. Annette feels very strongly about the unique niche role of disease foundation in the R&D ecosystem and involving the patient voice in every initiative. CTF sees patients as partners rather than victims. She hopes that the new CTF enterprise will not only benefit patients with NF, but may be of value to the larger rare disease community.
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.
Robert M. Califf, MD, MACC, is the Head of Clinical Policy and Strategy for Verily and Google Health for Verily and Google Health. Prior to this Dr. Califf was the vice chancellor for health data science for the Duke University School of Medicine; director of Duke Forge, Duke’s center for health data science; and the Donald F. Fortin, MD, Professor of Cardiology. He served as Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2015-2016, and as Commissioner of Food and Drugs from 2016-2017. A nationally and internationally recognized leader in cardiovascular medicine, health outcomes research, healthcare quality, and clinical research, Dr. Califf is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine. Dr. Califf was the founding director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute and is one of the most frequently cited authors in biomedical science.
Aviv Regev joined Genentech in August 2020 as Executive Vice President, Genentech Research and Early Development. In this role, she is responsible for the management of all aspects of gRED’s drug discovery and drug development activities. In addition, she is a member of the Genentech Executive Committee and a member of the expanded Corporate Executive Committee for Roche.
Prior to Genentech, Regev served as Chair of the Faculty, Core Institute Member, founding director of the Klarman Cell Observatory, and member of the Executive Leadership Team of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, as well as Professor of Biology at MIT and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is a founding co-chair of the Human Cell Atlas.
Regev has served on multiple corporate advisory, scientific advisory, and journal editorial boards, including the advisory committee to the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
Regev is a leader in deciphering molecular circuits that govern cells, tissues and organs in health and their malfunction in disease. Her lab has pioneered foundational experimental and computational methods in single-cell genomics, working toward greater understanding of the function of cells and tissues in health and disease, including autoimmune disease, inflammation and cancer. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, and she is also a Fellow of the International Society of Computational Biology. In 2020, she was the recipient of several accolades including the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Jonathan Kraft Prize, and the European Society of Human Genetics’ Mendel Award.
Regev has a Ph.D. in computational biology and a Master of Science from Tel Aviv University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two children.
Amir is a managing partner in Polaris’ Boston office. He joined Polaris in 2002 and focuses on investments in healthcare.
Amir currently represents Polaris as a Director of AgBiome, CAMP4 Therapeutics, Dewpoint Therapeutics, Freenome, Metacrine Therapeutics, Morphic Therapeutic (NASDAQ: MORF), Scholar Rock (NASDAQ: SRRK), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS).
Additionally, Amir has served as a director of Adnexus Therapeutics (Bristol Myers Squibb), Athenix Corporation (Bayer), Avila Therapeutics (Celgene), Fate Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FATE), Living Proof (Unilever), Promedior Pharmaceuticals, Receptos (Celgene), Selecta Biosciences (NASDAQ: SELB), Sun Catalytix (Lockheed Martin), and TARIS Biomedical (J&J).
In addition to his investment role, Amir has served as the CEO of Dewpoint, Jnana, Living Proof, Olivo Labs, and Sun Catalytix. Amir also serves on the Partners Innovation Fund and the Investment Advisory Committee for The Engine at MIT, and helped launch the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund as its active president.
He has been named to the Forbes Midas List of “Top 100 Venture Capitalists.”
Prior to joining Polaris, Amir completed his ScD as a Hertz Fellow in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a minor in Biology under the guidance of Dr. Robert Langer. Amir also earned both his MS and BS in Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Chris Chen is Chief Executive Officer of WuXi Biologics, a Hong Kong-listed company with a market cap surpassing $40 billion. Under his leadership, WuXi Biologics has built a world-class open-access integrated biologics discovery, development and manufacturing platform enabling a full spectrum of companies ranging from boutique virtual enterprises to Top 20 global pharmaceutical companies. During Dr. Chen’s tenure, WuXi Biologics has assembled one of the world’s largest biologics teams, with over 6,000 employees enabling 80 Investigational New Drug (IND) programs and 7 Biologics License Application (BLA) programs per year.
Dr. Chen’s extensive experience in monoclonal antibodies (mAb), therapeutic proteins and vaccines has been recognized by industry leaders. Dr. Chen serves on the International Board of Directors for the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), and is the first board member from Asia. In addition, he has chaired multiple conferences in biochemical engineering and mAb development in the U.S. and China, and is frequently invited to speak at conferences. He is also an adjunct professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr. Chen is the co-author and co-inventor of over 70 publications and patents.
Dr. Chen obtained bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and automation from Tsinghua University and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.
Dr. Greenstreet is President and Chief Operating Officer at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, a company which has led the translation of RNA interference from Nobel Prize-winning discovery into an entirely new class of medicines. Yvonne has more than 25 years of experience in the Biopharmaceutical industry, driving strategy and innovation, bringing transformative medicines to patients and building successful businesses in the US, Europe and globally. Yvonne serves on the board of directors of Pacira Pharmaceuticals, American Funds, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is a member of the Discovery Council of Harvard Medical School.
Between 2011 and 2013, Yvonne was Senior Vice President and Head of Medicines Development at Pfizer serving on the executive team leading a rapidly growing $16bn division. Prior to Pfizer, she was at GlaxoSmithKline plc for 18 years, where she was Senior Vice President and Chief of Strategy for Research and Development. Yvonne had previously been in various positions of increasing responsibility at GSK, including Senior Vice President for Medicines Development and Chief Medical Officer for Europe.
Yvonne trained as a physician and earned her medical degree from Leeds University in the UK and her MBA degree from INSEAD, France.
Nello started his drug discovery career at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research,
leading teams to identify multiple novel potential medicines that have entered clinical
development across a series of disease areas. Notably he led the team that discovered and
developed the first complement factor B inhibitor now in late clinical development across a
range of indications. Before founding Kymera, Mainolfi was an Entrepreneur in Residence at
Atlas Venture and had previously led discovery research at cancer metabolism startup Raze
Therapeutics. Nello has authored >60 papers and patents and has written reviews in the areas of
medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and protein degradation. Nello was trained at Imperial
College, University of London and The Scripps Research Institute in California.
Dr. Shawver is an experienced Biotech executive with more than 25 years of experience in the development of drugs for cancer and other serious diseases. Since April of 2020, she is Chief Executive Officer and Director of Silverback Therapeutics™, focused on the ImmunoTAC™ platform which allows for systemic administration of drugs that are tissue directed and locally active. From November 2017 – February 2020, Dr. Shawver was President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Synthorx, Inc, acquired by Sanofi in January 2020 for $2.5B. Prior to Synthorx, she was CEO and Director for Cleave Biosciences from 2011 – 2017 and previously, Entrepreneur in Residence for 5AM Ventures from 2010 – 2011, CEO and Director of Phenomix from 2002 – 2010, President of SUGEN Inc (acquired by Pharmacia) from 2000 after holding various positions since 1992, and a scientist at Berlex Biosciences, formerly known as Triton Biosciences, from 1989 – 1992. Dr. Shawver is the Founder of The Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit organization helping women with ovarian cancer to improve their treatment options and currently serves on the board of Relay, Nkarta, and Cleave Therapeutics. She received her PhD in Pharmacology and a BS degree in Microbiology, both from the University of Iowa.
John D. Carroll is a biotech analyst and writer with decades of prize-winning experience in journalism. A co-founder of Endpoints News, he has covered biopharma for the past 15 years. Aside from his daily industry coverage for FierceBiotech, where he was named editor in 2003, leaving in 2016, Carroll has been a regular speaker at biotech events around the globe. He’s been quoted by The New York Times, The New Yorker, Financial Times, The Times of London and more. He’s also keynoted at biotech gatherings around the world and addressed student audiences at MIT and Harvard. Carroll has contributed stories from Central America and Ireland to the Dallas Morning News and Time and wrote for the Houston Press. He spent 6 years as editor and publisher of the Dallas Business Journal, was publisher of Texas Business and early in his career was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of reporters and editors at the Kansas City Star & Times.
In her 29 years at SV, Kate’s biotech investments have resulted in the launch of six drugs for the treatment of patients with inflammatory and autoimmune disease and cancer.
Kate is co-leads biotech investments and activities in the UK (and EU) and serves or has served on the boards of companies in the UK, US, Ireland, Sweden and Germany. Her investments include small-molecule, biotherapeutic and gene therapy drug discovery and development projects as well as drug discovery platforms in a broad range of clinical areas.
Kate played an active role in setting up the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF), an SV managed fund, and serves on the DDF Investment Committee.
Prior to joining SV, Kate worked in business development for Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company in Cambridge, MA and at Monitor Company, a strategy consulting firm.
Outside of SV, Kate won the Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the BioIndustry Association UK in January 2017. She also serves on the Board of the Francis Crick Institute. At weekends Kate spends time in Wales where she rides horses and mountain bikes, grows vegetables and competes in bog snorkelling competitions.
In May 2020 Kate was appointed Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce reporting to the Prime Minster to lead UK efforts to find and manufacture a COVID-19 vaccine on a 6 month engagement.
Dr. David Jaffray is a senior vice president and chief technology and digital officer (CTDO) at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also is professor of Radiation Physics with a dual appointment as professor of Imaging Physics.
Recruited to MD Anderson in May 2019, Dr. Jaffray is the institution’s inaugural chief technology and digital officer (CTDO), bringing more than two decades of scientific expertise and proven skill as an innovator.
Before joining MD Anderson, Dr. Jaffray served as executive vice president for Technology and Innovation at the University Health Network (UHN)/Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Ontario. He led UHN’s information technology transformation, designed the roadmap for digital transformation. He also served in several other leadership roles at UHN, including vice chair of Research for the University of Toronto's Department of Radiation Oncology, founding director of the STTARR Innovation Centre, and founding director of the Techna Institute for the Advancement of Technology for Health.
Dr. Jaffray holds multiple patents and has authored more than 275 peer-reviewed publications in topics related to cancer, including, the development of new radiation treatment machines, exploring the fundamental limits of imaging system performance, and the development of novel nanoparticle formulations for improved detection of cancer.
Dr. Jaffray has an interest in commercialization and has led the development of a variety of commercial products, including software and hardware for safe, high-quality cancer care and the development of numerous radiation therapy technologies, including the development of cone-beam CT guided radiation therapy.
Vijay Pande, PhD, is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, where he focuses on investments in biopharma and healthcare, and serves on the boards of Apeel Sciences, Asimov, BioAge, Ciitizen, Devoted Health, Freenome, Insitro, Omada, PatientPing, and Rigetti Computing. Pande is also an Adjunct Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University, where he continues to advise the Pande Lab, focused on tackling challenging problems in chemical biology, biophysics, and biomedicine.
As the founding investor of a16z’s Bio Fund, Pande leads the firm’s investments at the cross section of biology and computer science, including applications in computation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence in healthcare; digital therapeutics; diagnostics; and other novel transformative scientific advances applied to industry that take bio beyond healthcare. Op-eds by Pande defining trends and issues in this emerging space have been published by The New York Times, Scientific American, and Forbes, among others.
Previously, Pande was the Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Structural Biology and of Computer Science at Stanford University, where he led a team of researchers pioneering computational methods and their application to medicine and biology (resulting in over 300 publications, two patents, and two novel drug candidates). Pande was also concurrently the director of the Biophysics program at Stanford, where he led a team of more than 50 faculty members and propelled the program to the top in the country.
During his time at Stanford, Pande co-founded Globavir Biosciences, where he translated his research advances into a successful startup that aimed to discover cures for Dengue Fever and Ebola. Pande also founded the Folding@Home Distributed Computing Project for disease research, which pushed the boundaries of computer science techniques (distributed systems, machine learning, and exotic computer architectures) into biology and medicine, in both research as well as the development of new therapeutics.
Pande holds a BA in Physics from Princeton University and a PhD in Physics from MIT. He has been awarded the DeLano Prize in Computation; a Guinness World Record for Folding@Home; the American Chemical Society Thomas Kuhn Paradigm Shift Award; and was selected for MIT TR10. In his teens, Vijay was the first employee at video game startup Naughty Dog Software, maker of Crash Bandicoot.
Daphne Zohar is the founder and chief executive officer of PureTech and a member of the board of directors. She has also served as the founding chief executive officer of a number of PureTech’s Founded Entities. A successful entrepreneur, Ms. Zohar created PureTech, assembling a leading team to help implement her vision for the Company, and was a key participant in fundraising, business development and establishing the underlying programs and platforms that have resulted in PureTech’s substantial pipeline, which is comprised of 24 products and product candidates, including two that have received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance and European marketing authorization. Ms. Zohar has been recognized as a top leader and innovator in biotechnology by a number of sources, including EY, BioWorld, MIT Technology Review, The Boston Globe and Scientific American. She is an editorial advisor to Xconomy, a US news company.
Michal is Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, East North America, located at the Innovation Centre in Boston. In this role she leads the Innovation Center team to build, advance, and manage the External R&D portfolio of co-investments spanning across pharmaceutical, consumer health and medical devices.
Until recently, Michal served as the Executive Director of Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) Harvard Medical School site, where she was responsible for development and commercialization of technologies emerging from research at HMS laboratories and for the strategy and execution of all industry collaborations. She negotiated agreements with major biopharma, life sciences, food and cosmetics companies to advance the translation of discoveries into products and create a revenue-generating product pipeline and worked with scientific founders and investors to create new startup companies.
Prior to joining Harvard University’s OTD in 2005, Michal held a number of business development and technology development positions at Compugen, most recently as VP of Protein Therapeutics, responsible for the business management of the company’s emerging drug discovery pipeline. Previously, she worked in the technology industry in marketing and business development roles, and co-founded a biotechnology startup.
Michal serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards FutuRx Accelerator, and was, until recently, a member of the SAB of Prize4Life and a Member of the Board of Directors of a number of companies, including Compugen and Alma Lasers.
She holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science, an MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France, and a BA in Medicine from Hadassah Medical School, Hebrew University, Jerusalem.