The Ultimate Rejection: Fighting Cancer with Immunotherapy

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 10:30 a.m. - 11:25 a.m., Twin Peaks North/South

Enhancing the human body’s natural immune system to stimulate response and produce effective treatments has long been thought to be a promising a approach to fighting cancer and other debilitating illnesses. By leveraging the body’s own ability to fight disease, immunotherapeutics effectively “work smarter” than traditional treatments. With pharma companies wiling to pay top dollars to develop these drugs, the field of cancer immunotherapy has piqued the interest of investors as well. This year’s ASCO spotlighted lung cancer as the newest target for immunotherapy. Hear experts from companies at the forefront of this exciting field discuss what lies ahead.

Moderator

  • Joseph Pantginis, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, ROTH Capital Partners

Panelists

  • James B. Breitmeyer, MD, PhD, Division President Cancer Vaccines, Executive Vice President, Bavarian Nordic A/S
  • Lawrence Fong, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), UCSF Medical Center
  • Paul G. Higham, CEO, immatics biotechnologies GmbH
  • J. Joseph Kim, PhD, President, CEO & Director, Inovio Pharmaceuticals

Who's Who

James B. Breitmeyer, MD, PhD
Division President Cancer Vaccines, Executive Vice President, Bavarian Nordic A/S

Prior to joining Bavarian Nordic A/S, Dr. Breitmeyer served as Executive Vice President of Development and Chief Medical Officer of Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc. from 2006 to 2012. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Chief Medical Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Breitmeyer served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute. From 1991 to 2000, he held a variety of positions at Serono Laboratories Inc., including Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to Serono, he served as a scientific advisor to Immunogen Inc., and held clinical and teaching positions at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Laurence Fong, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), UCSF Medical Center

Dr. Lawrence Fong is a specialist in genitourinary cancer at UCSF Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Fong is particularly interested in tumor immunology and developing immune-based treatments of cancer. He earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his medical degree from Stanford University. He completed an oncology fellowship at Stanford, then joined the medical staff there in 1999. Fong joined UCSF Medical Center in 2002.

Paul G. Higham
CEO, immatics biotechnologies GmbH

Paul Higham served as Director Commercial Development at Ark Therapeutics Group plc (LSE: AKT.L) where he was responsible for commercial strategy and all business development activities. In addition, he was in charge of establishing the operations and gene-based medicine production facilities of Ark Therapeutics in Finland.

Prior to joining Ark Therapeutics in 2001, Paul Higham worked as International Commercial Vice President for GI, Metabolic and Pain at GlaxoWellcome plc from 1996 to 2001, where he covered all aspects of business development, strategic marketing and sales. From 1985 to 1996, after completing his studies in Applied Biology, he held various sales and marketing positions of increasing responsibility with Bayer AG and eventually became General Manager of Bayer Pharmaceuticals for Sweden and Denmark.

J. Joseph Kim, PhD
President, CEO & Director, Inovio Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Kim was appointed President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in June 2009. Dr. Kim co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, a synthetic vaccine company, in 2000 to develop intellectual property related to immunotherapeutics licensed from the University of Pennsylvania. He led that company for nine years and combined VGX with Inovio Biomedical in 2009 to form Inovio Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Dr. Kim was a senior vaccine developer at Merck & Co. where he successfully led efforts in manufacturing and process development for several FDA-approved products for hepatitis and developmental vaccines and therapeutics for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Kim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a U.S. Senate Honors Scholar. He holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Wharton School. Dr. Kim has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds numerous patents and sits on several editorial boards and review panels.

Joseph Pantginis, PhD
Senior Research Analyst, ROTH Capital Partners

Joseph Pantginis, Ph.D. joined ROTH Capital Partners in 2009. Prior to joining Roth Dr. Pantginis was a senior biotech analyst at Merriman Curhan Ford. Dr. Pantginis was also a senior biotechnology analyst at Canaccord Adams, focusing on the oncology, inflammation and infectious disease spaces. Prior to Canaccord Adams he was a biotech analyst at several firms, including JBHanauer & Co., First Albany Corporation, Commerce Capital Markets and Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc. Prior to his tenure on Wall Street, Dr. Pantginis served as an associate manager/scientist of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' Retrovirus Core Facility. Dr. Pantginis received an M.B.A. in Finance from Pace University; a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and an M.S. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and a B.S. from Fordham University.