Pipeline Strategy for Preclinical and Early Clinical Assets
Pipeline Strategy for Preclinical and Early Clinical Assets
In recent years, big pharma companies have begun looking outwards for innovative new therapeutics to add to their pipelines. This panel brings togerther speakers from various big pharma companies discussing topics such as:
How big pharma sources assets
The evaluation and investment process
Key factors of interest
How early-stage big pharma is willing to look
These panelists will shed light on the process that big pharma goes through when sourcing early-stage assets and advise startups on how they can best make a case for themselves. Panelists will also explore various trends within the therapeutics marketplace, what assets are of interest to their company, and what they think will be big in the future.
Ravi Ramadas, Director, Immunology External Innovation, Global BD&L, Sanofi
Immunologist with broad experience in pharma, biotech and academia. Discovery biology, drug discovery, group, program and portfolio leadership experience in immunology and immuno-oncology R&D from target ID to early clinical development. Extensive Search & Evaluation experience in Pharma and Biotech as part of BD&L teams. Keen eye for emerging and breakthrough areas in the life sciences sector.
Tim Luker, Senior Director, Emerging Technology & Innovation, Corporate Business Development, Eli Lilly & Co
Tim Luker is currently VP External Innovation at Eli Lilly. He leads Lilly’s external advancing innovation process within Global Corporate Business Development. This role supports Lilly’s external VC funds targeting transformational early stage research across 4 therapy areas and runs due diligence and search and evaluation initiatives.Tim is an experienced drug hunter with 17 years’ experience (>60 patents and publications). Prior to Lilly he worked at Shire, Polleo Pharma (founder) and AstraZeneca.Tim has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Southampton, carried out post-doctoral research at Universiteit Van Amsterdam and is a Prince2 qualified project manager.
Lisa Mendoza, Director, External Research & Alliances, Open Innovation – Digital Technologies, Bayer
Dr. Mendoza has served as a Director for Bayer’s Global External Innovation & Alliances, a team of scientists working to establish partnerships with academic and biotech researchers focused on novel therapeutics, drug discovery platforms and technologies in areas of cardiology, hematology, oncology, women’s health and ophthalmology. As part of Global External Innovation & Alliances at Bayer, Mendoza supported the company’s incubator space adjacent to Bayer’s West Coast Innovation Center, the CoLaborator, to support start-up life sciences companies aligned with Bayer’s interests. Dr. Mendoza earned her Ph.D. at UC San Diego in Biology and after her postdoctoral studies in Immunology at UC Berkeley joined Berlex Biosciences working in the Immunology Department on both small molecule and biologic discovery projects before joining Bayer.
Ronald Dorenbos, Founder and Managing Director, BioFrontline Ltd.
As former Head of Innovation Management and Scouting and member of Takeda’s Digital Strategy team Ronald helped Takeda with its technology and innovation strategy. Earlier, at the Life Science division of PA Consulting, Ronald led projects for some of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies around strategy, commercialization and digital health. As founder of BioFrontline he provides management, strategy and commercial advice to life sciences companies in the US, Europe and Asia. After obtaining MAs in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Biology in the Netherlands Ronald led research projects on Parkinson’s disease, Schizophrenia and the genetics of aggressive behavior, before making the transition to industry. As a consultant Ronald got involved in projects related to artificial intelligence and he has been following the field for over 10 years. He is frequently invited to deliver presentations and keynotes related to AI in Pharma and Healthcare and has presented at national and international events. Ronald founded the LinkedIn groups ‘AI – Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Small Molecules’, ‘Boston Biotech’ and ‘Golden Triangle Biotech’ that serve over 10,000 members.
New Generation of Technologies Changing Treatment Paradigms
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Corporate Landscape Morphed & New Opportunities Abound
CORPORATE VENTURE CAPITAL
CORPORATE VENTURE CAPITAL
The Corporate Landscape Morphed & New Opportunities Abound
This panel discusses what strategies are employed by corporate venture capital firms for investments and partnerships with early-stage companies. Potential topics for the panel include:
What corporate VCs look for in companies
What working with a corporate VC entails
What companies should do to be relevant to the corporate VC
Panelists could also discuss the relationship between the corporate venture capital firm and the parent company and how it affects investment criteria.
Andy Merken, Partner, Corporate and Securities Co-Chair, Life Sciences, Burns & Levinson
Andy is a Partner in the Corporate Group and the Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Group. He is also the Co-Chair of both the Life Sciences Group and the Securities Group. Andy focuses on business and transactional matters for a wide range of clients, with a particular concentration on Seed round and Venture Capital financings, recapitalizations, mergers & acquisitions, private equity transactions, and corporate governance.
In addition to his corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions work, Andy represents entrepreneurs, start-up and growth-stage companies, and investment banks, as well as venture capital investors, private foundations, family offices, and angel investors, in formation and structuring matters, equity and compensation, business contracts and general business advice and planning. Andy also represents C-level and R&D executives in employment matters, including equity compensation.
Andy works with clients in a variety of industries, including life sciences (biotech/biopharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare, digital health, and healthcare services), business services, software, financial services, venture capital, investment banking, consulting, legal services, consumer products, staffing, food services, real estate, and entertainment.
Carrie brings over 15 years of healthcare experience from several vantage points within the healthcare industry. Prior to joining McKesson Ventures, she served as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for Omada Health, where she focused heavily on all elements of commercial strategy and partnerships. Prior to Omada, Carrie held roles within McKesson’s Strategy & Business Development team, advancing innovation strategies aimed at hospital pharmacy and clinical trial patient recruitment. She began her career in drug development managing oncology clinical trials in both large pharmaceutical and biotech settings. Williams holds a MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and a BS in biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After more than a dozen years in the Bay Area, she is now back in the Boston area, where she lives with her husband, daughters, and their golden retriever, Fenway. A piece of her heart will always be in San Francisco, so maybe it’s time to rename the dog “Oracle.”
Therese Maria Liechtenstein, Principal, Healthcare Team from M Ventures
Therese Maria Liechtenstein, PhD, is a Principal in the Biotech Fund of M Ventures, the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Merck. Therese is responsible for investments in early-stage therapeutics companies in the fields of Oncology, Immunology and Fertility. Previously Therese managed strategic projects for the Healthcare business of Merck in Darmstadt, Germany. Prior to Merck, Therese was a client relationship manager for the wealth preservation company Industrie- & Finanzkontor. Therese has a PhD in Immuno-Oncology from University College London, an MSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in Biology and Business studies from New York University. Therese is based in Amsterdam.
David Hwang, Managing Director, Early Stage Partnerships, Agilent Technologies
Mr. Hwang currently is Senior Director of Strategy and Corporate Development at Agilent Technologies and a Managing Director of Agilent’s Early Stage Partnership Program that helps early stage companies navigate the complex life science ecosystem. He has more than 18 years of experience in corporate development, venture investment, corporate financing, and M&A. Mr. Hwang is responsible for managing strategic investments, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) globally. He has worked on several transformational initiatives including the spinoff of Keysight Technologies from Agilent in 2014 and Agilent’s $2.2 billion acquisition of Dako, a Danish cancer diagnostics company. Prior to joining Agilent, Mr. Hwang held several senior roles at boutique investment banks in New York City and San Francisco. He holds a BA from Brandeis University and an MBA from Rutgers University.
Victor Stone, Partner, Takeda Ventures
Victor Stone (Yoshihide Ishii) joined Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) in January 2020, as Partner, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining TVI, Victor was a Director at Whiz Partners in Tokyo, where he served leading roles as company creation and fund establishment. His responsibilities include investment committee member of a joint fund with Takeda. Prior to his transition to business, Victor served in the United States Navy and Marine Corps as a Naval Flight Surgeon. His military service includes multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan; humanitarian aid in Bangladesh, and Officer in Charge of all rotary wing medical forces of the Marine Atlantic fleet. As a physician, he assumed operational responsibility for a 67-person outpatient clinic in North Carolina. Victor holds an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, and MBA from Harvard Business School.
This panel focuses on investment in new medical devices from development stage through to early commercialization. Topics may include:
What are investors looking for?
Areas of interest
How to approach an investor
Successful deals they’ve done before
Common mistakes/Red flags
Panelists will discuss how to meet the challenges of raising financing for a new device and advise startups on how to make the investment case for their novel technology. Panelists will also explore what technology areas are of top interest to them and how a startup can get them into dialogue regarding an investment or deal.
George Li, Managing Partner, Proxima Ventures
George has over 12 years’ experience of management, start-up consulting and investment in high technology sector. He has been selected as advisory member of innovation and entrepreneurship committee of Oversea Chinese Affairs Office of The State Council, innovation talent program of Ministry of Science and Technology, Chair Judge of Chunhui competition organized by Ministry of Education. George is the founder of Biohub International (formerly known as Bridgebio International). Biohub is one of the leading medical incubators in China and currently has set up innovation bases focusing on innovative medical treatment in Wuhan, Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, Wuxi and Chengdu. Biohub provides professional carriers for innovative start-ups, has built professional laboratories and CFDA certificated clean workshop, and set up a professional team to provide one-stop service for enterprises from start-up counseling, production system construction to registration declaration. Since the establishment of the innovation incubators, hundreds of innovative medical projects have been introduced, incubated and transferred covering biomedicine, medical devices, diagnostic reagents and medical services. Before founding Biohub, George co-founded Bioherms and grew it into a leading IVD company in China. Before Bioherms venture, he served as project manager and deputy department manager role of D&P wireless department of Huawei and led the R&D and pilot production of Huawei’s wireless switcher. George got his MBA with excellence honor from Hult International Business School and bachelor degree from Zhejiang University.
Rachel is a Director of Business Development and Licensing at Medtronic. She has been with Medtronic for almost 9 years serving both its Respiratory, Gastrointestinal & Informatics division and more recently its Surgical Innovations division. As a Director of Business Development and Licensing, Rachel is focused on opportunities to bring additional innovation to Medtronic and its patients. These opportunities could consist of licensing, distribution, investment, acquisition, etc. Rachel has a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami in Miami, FL, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Gary Gershony, Medical Device Committee, Life Science Angels
Dr. Gershony grew up in Toronto, Canada and attended the University of Toronto where he graduated from medical school at age 23. He continued his training in internal medicine and general cardiology at the University of Toronto where he also served as Chief Medical Resident. Dr. Gershony continued his training in interventional cardiology, serving a fellowship at Emory University in Atlanta under the auspices of Dr. Andreas Grüntzig, the inventor of coronary and peripheral angioplasty. From 1993-1997, Dr. Gershony was Director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratories and Interventional Cardiology at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. For the past 20 years he has practiced interventional cardiology at John Muir Cardiovascular Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is currently the Director of Cardiovascular Research, Education and Technology, and has established a successful Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program. Dr. Gershony’s research interests include novel devices for complex coronary and peripheral angioplasty, percutaneous valve therapies and local drug-delivery to prevent restenosis. He has participated in numerous multi-center clinical trials as a Principal Investigator. Dr. Gershony is board certified in general cardiology and interventional cardiology and is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Royal College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions. Dr. Gershony has authored over 100 manuscripts and abstracts in the field of cardiology and is a regularly invited faculty lecturer to the preeminent U.S. and international interventional cardiology meetings.
Mishael Zohar, Associate, OrbiMed Advisors LLC
Mishael Zohar, MD MBA, is an Associate at Orbimed Israel a leading healthcare investment firm, with $13 billion in assets under management, covering venture capital investments in biotech, medical devices, and diagnostic companies. Prior to joining OrbiMed he Co-founded and managed Orion.ID – a startup company that developed and designed medical applications for mental health early prevention and management. Before establishing Orion.ID Mishael was Co-partner & Head of the Training Division at M-TACS – a company that provides tactical medical solutions services worldwide. Mishael received his BMedSc and MD from Ben-Gurion University, Faculty of Health Sciences, as well as an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Harrison School of Business. Dr. Zohar is a researcher at the Julis-Rabinowitz Data Science institute at IDC, Herzliya focusing on medical big data.
Flora Yao, Founding Partner, Ivy Elite Capital
Flora is the Founding Partner of Ivy Elite Capital. IEC is a venture capital firm investing in biotech and life science. Flora is mainly responsible for post-investment management, and the Government and investor relation management. She has an extensive global business experience in China, Canada and US. She took leadership roles in global leading marketing and consulting groups and provided business break-in and business strategies for biotech clients such as Johnson and Johnson , and LG Healthcare Solutions. Flora also has rich experiences in go-to-market strategies and investment consulting, and has a wide range of social resources and connections. Flora obtained her MBA degree from McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin.
Leveraging Software to Lower Costs and Improve the Quality of Care
Leveraging Software to Lower Costs and Improve the Quality of Care
This panel focuses on investing in innovative digital health products that bring new efficiencies to the healthcare system, change how care is delivered or managed, and how patients are involved in their own care. Panelists will explore topics related to investing in digital health, including:
In what kinds of digital health technologies are they interested in investing?
What metrics and evidence do you look for in a digital health startup?
How can an early stage digital health company demonstrate the value of their products?
What are the main challenges for startups raising capital in this space?
The moderator and panelists will discuss this rapidly evolving field of healthcare investment, and will introduce the audience to the key fundraising opportunities and challenges facing digital health entrepreneurs today.
Ute Mercker, Investment Director of the Healthcare Team, IBB Ventures
Ute Mercker is Investment Director at the Life Sciences Team of IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, the regional Venture Capital funds of Berlin. Since 1997 she had been responsible for IBB´s Biotech and Medtech portfolio and managing investments into companies like Jerini or Scienion. Spin-offs from Universities or research institutions like Humedics, Scopis and EternyGen have always been an important part of her investment activities. Successful exits like the IPO / Takeover of Jerini AG (Charité Spin-off) by Shire as well as the latest trade sale of Scopis (TU Berlin / Charité Spin- off) to Stryker support this investment approach. Ute enjoys discussing and developing strategic and financial options with the founders / management / Board of their portolio companies. Ute represents the funds managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft as Board member of Humedics, Omeicos and Eternygen as well as the digital health startup Selfapy. She holds an MBA from the Freie Universität Berlin.
Terri Mead, Founder, Class Bravo Ventures
Terri Hanson Mead is the Managing Partner of Class Bravo Ventures and President of Solutions2Projects, LLC, a consulting company that provides IT strategy and IT compliance services in the life sciences space in addition to expert witness consulting services. She is an active angel investor, former Vice President of Sand Hill Angels, an EIR with Tech Futures Group, a Springboard advisor, a podcaster (Piloting Your Life), a speaker, a blogger, and regularly advises early stage startups across all sectors. Terri invests in early stage digital health startups, specifically FemTech and PediaTech. In her spare time, Terri flies helicopters. She is passionate about supporting, and advocating for, under-represented founders and investors. Terri’s startup investments have included MyHealthTeams, Sandstone Diagnostics, Zum, TomboyX, Tactical Haptics, Tueo Health, and Magnetic Insight. She participates in multiple funding rounds for select startups.
Sean Cheng, Senior Investment Manager, Philips Health Technology Ventures
Sean is currently an Investment Manager at Philips Ventures, a portfolio of promising health tech companies including Babyscripts, Xealth, Mytonomy, as well as a fund-of-funds to fulfill the Philips Healthtech strategy. He is interested in early-stage investment opportunities in digital health, medical devices and therapeutics. Previously, Sean held positions at the Boston Consulting Group, the U.S. FDA, and NASA. Sean also serves on the Board of Directors of The Professional Center for Child Development, Board of Advisors at the Johns Hopkins University, and the Advisory Council of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. Sean holds a PhD in Engineering Design from the University of Cambridge in England, where he developed expertise in medical device design and optimization algorithms.
Richard Proscia, Senior Associate, Providence Ventures
Richard joined PV in 2019 as a Senior Associate. Prior to joining PV, he sat on the corporate innovation and development team at CVS Health, focused on digital health strategy, partnerships, and investments. Before CVS, Richard spent time on the corporate venture capital and development team at Athenahealth, where he focused on early stage investing, acquisitions, and partnerships for the More Disruption Please program. In his spare time, he also serves as an Advisor for TMCx, the Texas Medical Center Accelerator program and the MassChallenge HealthTech program. Richard is a graduate of Bentley University with a Bachelor’s of Science in finance and accounting.
Sven Dethlefs, EVP Global Marketing & Portfolio, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries
Dr. Dethlefs became Executive Vice President, Global Marketing & Portfolio in November 2017. From 2016 to 2017, he served as Global Head of Respiratory Medicines, Global Specialty Medicines. From 2013 to 2016, he served as Chief Operating Officer, Teva Global Operations. Dr. Dethlefs joined Teva as General Manager, Teva Germany in 2008. Prior to joining Teva, he served for over eleven years as a partner at McKinsey & Company. Dr. Dethlefs received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the FU Berlin/Pasteur Institute Paris.
This panel aims to bring a diverse group of experts & senior decision making staff from VCs, corporate pharma, and other investor types together to discuss topics such as:
How they make decisions
What can startups do to be more attractive?
Areas of high need
Common mistakes/red flags
The moderator will guide the discussion through topics including how the investors source & vet novel therapeutic assets, what kinds of technology are of interest to them right now, and how they as investors work with a startup to move a new drug toward commercialization.
Yaniv Sneor, Founding Member, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels
Yaniv Sneor is a (reformed) physicist, who made the transition into the business world after being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Yaniv has been involved in founding, growing, managing and re-engineering companies for the past 25+ years, in multiple industries. He ran companies of different sizes and at different life-stages, led re-structuring activities, purchased and sold multiple companies, and negotiated and integrated joint ventures and strategic relationships.Yaniv is one of the founders of MABA – Mid Atlantic Bio Angels (bioangels.net) a life science angel investor group. He is president of Blue Cactus Consulting (bluecactusconsulting.com), and CEO of Native State Therapeutics, a recently-formed biotechnology company, in the neurodegenerative space.
Sunil Shah, CEO, O2h Ventures
Sunil has been active in the early stage biotech community in the UK since the mid 1990’s, his respective thesis at Cambridge addressed issues in virtualised networks in science. In 2003, following a brief period at PA Consulting Group Oxygen Healthcare was formed providing discovery services to biotech and pharma. The company grew into a team of 350 employees and was acquired by Piramal Enterprises (NSE:PEL) in 2011-2013. o2h Ventures was co-founded by Sunil in 2013. In the last 4 years, it has co-founded four companies with UK based academics and entrepreneurs, provided consultancy services to five companies, held Chairman or Director level positions in nine companies, built up a portfolio of twenty early stage investments, and executed early stage drug discovery research projects for fifteen different companies.
Travis Whitfill, Partner, Bios Partners
Travis Whitfill is a Partner at Bios Partners. His background began in molecular biology and biochemistry at the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Duke University. He is the co-founder of several startup companies. He is on the board of several companies, including Incysus Therapeutics. He brings a strong background in entrepreneurship and business and was acknowledged as Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2018. He’s also the Senior Analyst at Bios Research. He also is an Associate Research Scientist in the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Yale. Mr. Whitfill has led numerous grant-funded projects, holds nearly a dozen patents, and has co-authored over 40 publications. Mr. Whitfill received degrees from Yale University (MPH) and Dallas Baptist University (BS) and is working on a PhD from University College London.
Z Haroon, Chairman and General Partner, Julz Co LLC
Julz Co is an investment management company focused on investing in early-stage healthcare companies in the area of therapeutics, medical devices, services and digital healthcare. The company has offices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA and Suzhou, China. Julz invests globally in companies that have novel and proprietary technology addressing a vital market need and are driven by experienced management teams.
Sascha Berger, Partner, TVM Capital Life Science
Sascha Berger, PhD, joined the TVM Capital Life Science team in Munich in 2016. He is active in deal flow generation, investment due diligence, deal and exit transactions, investor communication as well as corporate finance aspects of the fund.
Sascha has a strong financial background with almost ten years of professional transaction and strategy experience. He has a track-record of concluding 20 M&A transactions, five of those he led as responsible project manager in his previous role as Senior M&A Manager in a PE backed global corporation. He was a core team member in a successful EUR 2.5bn revenue cross-border merger and successfully coordinated global merger clearance procedures (USA, China, EU, Korea).
Prior to this recent role, Sascha successfully advised multiple renowned clients in corporate finance and strategy projects working as (senior) consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Boston Consulting Group. He was selected for the global leadership development program in his previous role and was named a global high-potential in PwC.
Sascha studied technology management in Munich, Singapore and Boston and holds a Master from Munich University of Technology with majors in entrepreneurial finance and chemistry, magna cum laude. In his master thesis he analyzed the specific challenges of biotech VC financing rounds. Later he completed his PhD studies in banking and finance while already working for PwC. He is a regular speaker on corporate finance topics for German universities and business schools.
During his studies he already supported TVM Capital Life Science part-time; he supported the IPO of a German technology company at Deutsche Bank and advised Private Equity funds at Deloitte in summer internships. He lived in Singapore and New York, co-founded a student initiative on Entrepreneurship in Munich and in his spare time enjoys triathlon and world travelling.
Dennis Ford is an entrepreneur and author with expertise in sales, marketing, and business development. He has spent most of his career finding, vetting and launching a myriad of technology-based companies. Over the last decade, he has worked extensively with global alternative investors and is deeply interested in getting funding for high-growth early-stage technologies. He is a big proponent of using profiling and matching technology to find that all-important business fit in the marketing and selling process. In today’s context Dennis can connect early stage life science companies with 10 categories of global partners thus making the finding of capital and distribution channels very efficient.
Dennis created the Redefining Early Stage Investments conference series to facilitate an interactive ongoing dialog between buyers and sellers in the life science arena. Before LSN, Dennis was the President and CEO of a company that improved the way hedge fund and private equity fund managers raised capital and marketed their funds to investors.
Ford is the author of The Peddler’s Prerogative and The Life Science Executive’s Fundraising Manifesto, two well-received sales and marketing books.
Greg Mannix, VP of International Business Development, Life Science Nation
Greg Mannix is Vice President of International Business Development at Life Science Nation. After graduating from the University of California, he moved to Europe where he began a career in the life sciences and obtained a Master’s degree from IE Business School in Madrid. He has extensive experience in sales and marketing management in the medical devices field. He has worked extensively in Europe, North America and Latin America and he speaks English, Spanish and French. Greg’s role at LSN is to provide international early-stage companies with the tools and strategies to succesfully fundraise and to facilitate cross-boarder investments, licensing and M&A transactions.
Negotiating Term Sheets: What’s Best for the Company and What’s Best for You?
This interactive workshop, organized and led by McDermott Will & Emery, will provide wisdom to early stage CEOs and management on the latest trends in term sheets, with a focus on founder and management equity opportunities. The workshop will cover common issues of concern to entrepreneurs (valuation/dilution, liquidation preference, board makeup, protective provisions, anti-dilution). Experts from the legal, investment and entrepreneurial community will discuss the interplay of financing milestones in the term sheet discussion.
Roger Kuan, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Mark Mihanovic, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
Ha Nguyen, Sr. Director, Office of Technology Development, Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Jeffrey Cleland, Chairman, CEO & President, Ashvattha Therapeutics
Valuation is a key factor for any biotech, medtech and pharma company. Learn what the key value drivers are when speaking to investors and how to calculate and determine the right assumption for the valuation of your company. Valuation in Life Sciences is probably one of the most difficult tasks. What should be the equity share to a new investor? How much dilution do you have to accept? These are critical question for most life sciences companies. However, valuation is more than just numbers – its about the assumptions and about understanding the business, so it comes down to the potential of a product or company and the associated risk. In this workshop you will learn according to an example what the key parameters are and how a valuation can be structured.
NIH Funding and Support for Small Business Product Development
NIH Funding and Support for Small Business Product Development
The NIH Small Business Programs (SBIR and STTR) provide non-dilutive funding and a wide range of business development services to small businesses developing life science products and services. The NIH Small Business Programs invest over 1.2 billion dollars every year in more than 1,500 United States small businesses. In this panel, startups, investors, and strategic partners can learn about NIH small business funding opportunities and resources from representatives from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institute on Aging (NIA), and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The panel will also highlight how NIH has partnered with major life science organizations and conferences to showcase innovative NIH-supported technologies to investors and industry strategic partners. These NIH programs and services help small businesses overcome development challenges and strengthen the early-stage product development pipeline.
Matthew McMahon, PhD, Director, SEED, NIH
Matt leads the SEED Office to accelerate NIH-funded biomedical innovations from bench to bedside. SEED supports a comprehensive translational research ecosystem that includes a national network of academic proof-of-concept centers and a small business program that invests over $1 billion annually in a portfolio of more than 1500 life science companies. SEED also provides technical and entrepreneurial advisory services and builds relationships with business, finance, and healthcare stakeholders to ensure these innovations will impact patients’ lives. Matt has a diverse background in academia, biomedical small business, congressional policy, and NIH program development and management. His previous experience also includes service as the principal scientist for the bionic eye company Second Sight Medical Products and as a staff member on both the United States Senate and House of Representatives committees responsible for science, technology, and innovation policy.
Stephanie Fertig, MBA, HHS Small Business Program Lead, NIH
Ms. Stephanie J. Fertig is the HHS Small Business Program Lead in SEED (Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She currently oversees the Health and Human Services (HHS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, which includes the NIH SBIR and STTR programs. The HHS SBIR and STTR programs are congressionally mandated set-aside programs that provide over $1.2 billion dollars per year to small business concerns. Prior to joining SEED, she managed the SBIR and STTR Programs at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). During her over 15 years at NIH she has led the development and implementation of multiple programs focused on small businesses and translational research. Ms. Fertig has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a major in Physics from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Chris Sasiela, PhD, Team Lead, Innovator Support, SEED
Dr. Sasiela has over a decade of experience providing support and consultation to academic innovators and small businesses engaged in therapeutic, device, and diagnostic development programs. As the Innovator Support Team Lead in SEED (Small business Education and Entrepreneurial Development) in the Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health, Chris coordinates the activities of a team of seasoned professionals with experience in product and business strategy, business development, fundraising, partnerships, reimbursement, and regulatory affairs. Chris is passionate about enabling NIH’s innovator community to progress their discoveries as far as science and human biology permit. Starting her career as a researcher, Chris worked in basic research at the University of Southern California and the University of Maryland, and in drug discovery, development, and improvement groups at Baxter, the Department of the Army, and the National Cancer Institute. Chris transitioned from a research to a regulatory career path via an Interagency Oncology Taskforce Fellowship at the US Food and Drug Administration. Continuing her regulatory career path at Social & Scientific Systems, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Chris deepened her experience working with product development researchers understand, develop, and execute regulatory plans to get their innovative technologies from ideas to first-in-human and beyond. She regularly conducts project-focused consultations, delivers educational seminars, and develops regulatory resources for internal and external audiences. Dr. Sasiela earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Whittier College, a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy, and has maintained Regulatory Affairs Certification status from the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society since 2011.
John Sullivan, MBA, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, SEED
John Sullivan has been a leader in healthcare technology innovation throughout his career, with extensive experience in operating, investing in, developing and acquiring market-leading businesses. Prior to the NIH, John worked with healthcare leaders such as Cardinal Health (VP, Strategy and Business Development) and Boston Scientific. He was a Partner with Foundation Medical Partners, a national healthcare venture capital firm with financial backing from the Cleveland Clinic. He also helped to start Molecular Staging Inc., a biotechnology tools company spun out of Yale University School of Medicine. Working with Yale University founders, he helped grow the company to over 100 employees, develop its product and service lines, and ultimately sell the company to Qiagen, a global life sciences company. He has served on the boards of directors of Semprus Biosciences (acquired, Teleflex), Coapt Systems (acquired, MicroAire), KEW Group, and Direct Flow Medical and held board observer roles at BridgePoint Medical (acquired, Boston Scientific) and Explorys (acquired, IBM). John earned a BS in Industrial Engineering degree with distinction from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Non-Dilutive Startup Funding & Resources from the NIH
Non-Dilutive Startup Funding & Resources from the NIH
NIH recently created the SEED Office to accelerate NIH-funded biomedical innovations from bench to bedside. SEED supports a comprehensive translational research ecosystem that includes a nation-wide network of academic proof-of-concept centers and a small business program that invests over $1 billion annually in a portfolio of more than 1500 life science companies. SEED also provides technical and entrepreneurial advisory services and builds relationships with business, finance, and healthcare stakeholders to ensure these innovations will impact patients’ lives. This panel will highlight NIH’s strategic focus in early product development, resources and opportunities available to academic and small business innovators, and the ways strategic partners and investors can partner with NIH to access novel technologies.
Economic Frameworks and Impacts: How will AI impact how we innovate and create, produce, and deliver new products and services, and work and engage with one another? How might the new tools and insights offered by AI improve our ability to recommend and assess changes to IP policy?
Patents and Trade Secrets: How can AI-related inventions be protected? What are the challenges that inventors and rights-holders face, whether they are a Fortune 500 company, a start-up, or a nonprofit?
Trademarks: Will AI change the likelihood of confusion and liability? How will it impact the branding of products and the protection of trademarks?
Copyright: Who is the author of AI-generated content? Are such works copyrightable? What policy did implications arise from the use of copyrighted works for the purposes of machine learning?
IP Enforcement: Counterfeit goods make up an estimated $461 billion or 2.5 percent of all global trade. How is AI improving counterfeit detection? And how can we leverage new technologies to solve this age-old problem?
International Perspectives: How are other major economies addressing AI, and in what ways do they differ from the U.S. approach? How do those differences matter to U.S. companies and researchers?
Howard Susser, JD, Partner & Chair, IP Litigation, Burns & Levinson LLP
Howard Susser is a Partner and Chair of IP Litigation in the Firm’s Intellectual Property Group. He is also a member of the Firm’s Business Litigation, International, Life Sciences and Science & Technology Groups. He has extensive experience in litigation involving patent, trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, copyright, licensing, trade secret, employment and antitrust laws. For over three decades, Howard has litigated intellectual property cases in the nation’s courts concerning diverse high tech and life sciences industries. A member of the Patent Bar with an engineering background, Howard advises clients at the intersection of science, technology, and law. He has represented clients in computer hardware and software, telecommunications, electronics, Internet, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical device, chemicals, and numerous other high and low technology industries as to intellectual property and related matters. Howard has conducted numerous commercial arbitration and mediation proceedings involving intellectual property. If litigation cannot be avoided through alternative dispute resolution techniques or negotiation, he brings a hands-on, detail-oriented style to the table, and develops close client relationships to understand and efficiently achieve a client’s business objectives. Howard regularly counsels clients in complex business transactions involving intellectual property assets, including drafting and negotiating research and development, sales and license agreements, and supporting M&A, funding rounds and other due diligence. Howard also counsels clients regarding patent prosecution, and has conducted U.S. Patent & Trademark Office proceedings, including inter partes reviews, patent reexaminations and interferences, as well as trademark oppositions and cancellations.
Mark Schonfeld, JD, Partner, Burns & Levinson LLP
Mark Schonfeld concentrates his practice in complex business and intellectual property litigation, especially protection of corporate intellectual property through effective methods of trademark, copyright and patent litigation. Mark has extensive experience in protecting the world’s leading brand names from infringement and is responsible for the seizure of millions of dollars in counterfeit merchandise from distribution centers, retail operations and factories that manufacture counterfeit products. He is highly skilled in preventing and stopping “gray market” imports by using innovative techniques. Mark has conducted software audit raids for major software companies and several of his cases have resulted in federal criminal prosecution. He obtained the first “asset freeze” order in Massachusetts in a trademark counterfeiting case. Mark also serves as counsel to the Imaging Supplies Coalition, an organization formed by prominent computer companies to combat counterfeiting and unfair and deceptive trade practices affecting the computer supplies industry.
Christopher Schultz, JD, Partner, Burns & Levinson LLP
Christopher S. Schultz is a patent attorney who has litigated and counseled clients in intellectual property law for over twenty years and is the head of the firm’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) practice. He is an experienced lead trial attorney who has successfully litigated patent and trade secret matters in federal district court, the PTAB, the International Trade Commission (ITC), and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Mr. Schultz lectures on patent litigation at the Practicing Law Institute in New York City. Mr. Schultz has a degree in electrical engineering and is skilled on matters involving complex technologies, particularly in computer hardware and software, networking, wireless telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and medical devices. In his counseling practice, Chris advises clients in licensing, due diligence, freedom to operate, portfolio management, patent prosecution, and monetization of IP rights. He also works extensively with startups and venture-backed companies. Prior to becoming an attorney, Chris was a patent examiner in the electrical engineering art. He also served as a full-time intern for the Honorable Randall R. Rader at the U.S. Court of Appeals to the Federal Circuit. In his pro bono work, Chris works on matters with the New England Innocence Project.