New Generation of Technologies Changing Treatment Paradigms

This panel focuses on investments in innovative diagnostics, ranging from IVD, genomics, precision medicine, and more. Topics may include:

  • Current areas of interest
  • Current challenges in this ecosystem – Navigating the competitive landscape
  • Commonly observed red flags
  • Successful deals

Panelists will discuss how companies can successfully fundraise for their budding diagnostics technology and the best way to successfully approach and develop a relationship with relevant investors. Panelists will also explore current areas of interest and why they are relevant, as well as developmental and regulatory hurdles and how companies can address these problems to attain key milestones.


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Jorge Aquino, Director, Ventures, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures

Jorge Aquino is Director of Ventures for Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. He is an experienced Business Development professional providing leadership and guidance to Johns Hopkins University’s FastForward accelerator program with respect to the development and growth of high value start-up companies. Mr. Aquino has raised the profile of Johns Hopkins University with venture capital and during his time at Johns Hopkins FastForward companies have raised more the $2B leading to Mr. Aquino being named to the inaugural Global University Venturing Power list 100. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University Mr. Aquino was with Canon Biomedical, Inc. helping to lead M&A and strategic partnering activities for the lifesciences division of Canon USA, Inc. Previously Mr. Aquino was Senior Manager of Business Development for Emergent BioSolutions Inc. where he was involved in numerous M&A transactions including the acquisition of Trubion Pharmaceuticals and Cangene, Inc. Prior to Emergent Mr. Aquino managed the biotech portfolio of Maryland Venture Fund, a division of the Maryland Dept. of Business & Economic Development. Mr. Aquino received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, M.S. in Biotechnology from the Johns Hopkins University and MBA from Loyola University of Maryland.


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Martin Pfister, Senior Investment Manager: Life Sciences, High-Tech Gründerfonds

Dr. Martin Pfister joined the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) Medtech/LifeSciences team in Bonn in 2010. HTGF is the largest Seedfonds in Europe with about 900 Mio EUR under management and an active portfolio of about 260 technology-based portfolio companies, about 95 of which are in life sciences. studied a combination of Medicine and Pharmacy in Germany and New York University, Medical School with a PhD in Immunology Started his career in the hospital/laboratory moved to the start-up life sciences world 18 years ago. co-founded two companies in the molecular Dx field (VC backed, Exit) and healthcare services (privately owned, Exit 2018) @ HTGF manages a portfolio of 13 life science companies including Biotech, Medtech and digital health holds board member seat in 4 companies including clinical stage Biotech.

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Diana Saraceni, Founder, Managing Director, Panakes Partners

Diana Saraceni is an investor with long experience in Venture Capital. She is currently Co-Founder & General Partner at Panakes Partners (www.panakes.it), an Italian Venture Capital firm dedicated to early stage investments in healthcare in Europe and Israel. Diana can rely on over 15 years of Venture Capital experience. She has also co-founded and managed 360 Capital Partners (www.360capitalpartners.com), one of the leading Venture Capital firm in Europe. She has led investments in a significant number of companies all over Europe, not only in the medical device sector, and generated several exits as IPO and M&A transactions. Ms Saraceni has a strong knowledge of the Venture Capital community in Italy and Europe. Ms. Saraceni holds an Msc in Engineering and an MBA from Luiss University.

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Noel Jee, Principal, Illumina Ventures

Noel joined Illumina Ventures in 2017 and focuses on investments in biopharma, life science tools, and diagnostics. Prior to joining Illumina Ventures, Noel was a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting where he developed strategic business insights for biopharma and diagnostics companies. At L.E.K. Consulting, he developed commercial launch strategies for new therapeutics, engaged in diligence efforts for asset acquisitions, created portfolio expansion strategies for biopharma, and shaped organizational restructuring efforts for clients across the life science sector. As an avid enthusiast of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, Noel helped bootstrap an asthma-focused diagnostics startup during graduate school, created and ran an IT startup in college, and played an active role in the startup communities at both universities. Noel obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from the University of California, San Francisco, and a dual B.S. in Biochemistry and Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Jorge Ramirez, Principal, H.I.G. BioHealth Partners

Jorge Ramirez is a Principal at H.I.G. BioHealth Partners and focuses on development stage and growth investments in the healthcare sector. Previously, Jorge was with ProQuest Investments, a healthcare focused private equity firm. During his eight years with ProQuest, the firm raised and fully invested two funds totaling $625 million. Jorge represented ProQuest as an observer or board member in several successful companies including: Eagle Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: EGRX); Mevion Medical Systems; Revision Optics; and MethylGene (now, Mirati Pharmaceutics: NASDAQ: MRTX). He currently serves on the advisory board of the Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies, a life sciences incubator funded by the NJ Economic Development Authority. Jorge has also held operating roles in healthcare companies. He was the General Manager of Neurology Products at Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems. He led the regulatory and clinical development teams for an epilepsy monitoring device and had P&L responsibility for Cyberkinetics’ research products. Previously, Jorge was a management consultant at Monitor Company. Jorge earned degrees in Neuroscience and Spanish literature from Amherst College, where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Pfizer Scholar and Social Enterprise Fellow.