Open Nav

2018 Keynote Speaker:

Samantha Du, PhD, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Zai Lab

Samantha Du

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 
12:30 pm - 1:25 pm

Samantha Du, Ph.D., co-founded the company and has been the director, chairman and chief executive officer since its inception. Prior to founding Zai Lab, Dr. Du spent two years as managing director of healthcare investments at Sequoia Capital China, where she led four investments. From 2001 to 2011, Dr. Du was founder and chief executive officer of Hutchison Medi-Pharma and the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Hutchison China MediTech Limited, a Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company, where she pioneered China-based global biopharmaceutical innovation by bringing five internally-discovered innovative drug candidates into clinical trials, including two global Phase III ready drug candidates. Dr. Du began her career with Pfizer in the United States in 1994, where she was involved in the development and launch of two global drugs. While at Pfizer, she was responsible for Pfizer’s global metabolic licensing program on the scientific side. She received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Du has also been involved with and chaired several Chinese regulatory and government related committees.

2018 Panel Sessions

Next-Generation Oncology Treatments: CAR-T and Beyond
Monday, March 19, 10:15-11:00 am

As the first personalized CAR-T treatments have received regulatory approval and start to be commercialized, and with more than 100 CAR-T clinical trials underway in Asia alone, the eagerness to improve upon the pioneer approaches is creating major cross-border deal activity and alliances to advance new therapeutic approaches.  These new approaches include allogenic CAR-T products, oncolytic viruses, natural killer (NK) cells, and other immuno-oncology mechanisms.  This session will discuss the dynamic opportunities in this space to fight cancer more effectively.

Measuring the Impact of Regenerative Medicine Regulatory Reform
Monday, March 19, 11:00-11:45 am

In the approximately three years since Accelerated Approval Pathways have been in place in Japan for regenerative medicine therapies, there has been a major rise in the number of these treatments being pursued there first for the purpose of clinical trials and first commercialization.  Experts who have been involved in this process can point to advantages and remaining challenges with the policy infrastructure, including ensuring access for patients to benefit from these innovative treatments.  This session will detail the real impact on therapy development and commercialization so far to provide lessons for future policy improvements and for the transferability of conditional approval pathways to other countries.  

Developing a National Bioventure Infrastructure and Start-Up Culture
Monday, March 19, 2:00-2:55 pm

Countries seeking to energize the growth of their high-tech industries frequently wish to recreate the Silicon Valley system, but have difficulty achieving a critical mass of capital providers and entrepreneurs collaborating at the same pace.  Within global biotechnology, as more clinically successful new medicines get their development start via entrepreneurs instead of internal R&D, fostering a start-up culture where it does not yet exist becomes necessary for long-term industry growth.  As one infrastructure example, this session will examine how launching corporate venture arms can help change industry culture and send the right signals to invite more scientist-founders and independent venture capitalists into the sector to start new biotechs. 

Mapping the Next Platform Technology Innovations
Monday, March 19, 3:00-3:55 pm

With the scientific and investor interest in CRISPR and mRNA technologies as recent examples, what are the next areas on the radar of investors to emerge from academic and pre-clinical research and make major impact on therapeutic development?  This session will examine which platforms will be generating significant pipeline opportunities and techniques for mapping out these trends as well as prioritizing the platform technologies that will begin to show results sooner rather than later.

Market Outlook—Investor Priorities and Structuring Cross-Border Financing
Monday, March 19, 4:00-4:55 pm

As the OECD predicts 3.6% global growth for 2018, the outlook for biopharma features positive signs via scientific progress but negative signs in terms of growth prospects in mature subsectors, as attention increases to climbing reimbursement trends.  Many companies are responding by seeking cross-border partners earlier in their development to compete sooner at a multinational scale, than they traditionally did based on national drug approvals.  This session will hear from deal makers on the trends they see as most influential for the year ahead in terms of licensing and equity investing.

Lessons on Biopharma Partnerships with Universities
Tuesday, March 20, 9:00-9:30 am

With multiple recent Nobel prizes and scientific breakthroughs in the academic establishments throughout Asia, the preliminary source of biomedical innovation is in the university community.  For those discoveries to reach patients, commercial biopharma creates a variety of collaborative pathways with researchers.  This session will examine the characteristics of highly effective industry-university partnerships from experts with experiences on both sides.

BIO SPARK Showcase
Tuesday, March 20, 9:30 am-2:45 pm

The BIO SPARK Showcase aims to provide an excellent opportunity for academic researchers in the SPARK network, originally developed at Stanford University, to showcase drug development programs that are ready for partnering or venture funding.  This Showcase will feature nine presentations of cutting edge medical research from SPARK affiliates in Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan.  Presentation details are listed here at BIO’s web site.

Crafting an Effective China Strategy: Investments and Clinical Approvals
Tuesday, March 20, 3:00-3:55 pm

With China becoming the second largest market for medicines, and its CFDA taking significant steps to make the drug approval process more appealing for both domestic and international drug development, the opportunities for companies outside the country to partner productively have increased dramatically within the past year.  This session will examine the acceleration of capital flows from China into international biotechs and from large biopharmas into China-based therapeutic development pipelines with local partners


 Tuesday, March 20, 2018 | 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

The BIO SPARK Showcase aims to provide an excellent opportunity for academic researchers in the SPARK network to showcase drug development programs that are ready for partnering or venture funding.

The BIO Asia International Conference is historically well attended by the business development units of major pharmaceutical companies, smaller specialty pharma/biotech companies looking to add to their pipelines, start-ups, and venture capital firms, making it the ideal setting for early-stage assets from the university setting. Academics interested in partnering will present their development candidates and also have one-on-one discussions with interested parties at the conference. 


National Taiwan University
Development of Potential Therapeutic Agents for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Ling-Wei Hsin

Development of Antibody Drug AP001 Against a Novel Tumor Marker Protein AP for Human Cancer Treatment
Yu‐Ching Le

National Taiwan University
Novel NMDA Modulator: RS-D7
Y. Jane Tseng

Kyoto University
Cancer Starvation Therapy with ALESIA
Masatoshi Hagiwara

Kyoto University
Pan-Antiviral Drug FIT039
Masahiko Ajiro

Oita University
Unstructured Protein: A New Approach for Drug Discovery—Anti-Rabies Virus Project
Hiroyuki Kouji

School of Materials Science & Engineering, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
Better Management of Parkinson’s Disease with a Once-a-Day Formulation
Joachim Say Chye Loo

School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
Development of ANGPTL4-based Diagnostic Kit and Antibody Therapy for Pneumonia and Metastasis
Andrew Tan Nguan Soon

Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
Peptide Inhibitors of Kv1.3 as Therapeutics for Autoimmune Diseases
George Kanianthara Chandy

More details to be announced in the coming weeks.