2017 Fireside Chat Speakers:
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:25 pm
Kristina Burow is a Managing Director with ARCH Venture Partners and is focused on the creation and development of biotechnology, pharmaceutical and agbiotechnology companies. Since joining ARCH in 2002 Ms. Burow has played a significant role in the creation and development of a number of companies. Ms. Burow is a Director of Vividion Therapeutics, Lycera, BlackThorn Therapeutics, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals (SNNA), Metacrine, Scholar Rock, Unity Biotechnology, AgBiome, AgTech Accelerator, Boragen and Vir Biotechnology. She previously was a co-founder and Director of Receptos (RCPT – acquired by Celgene). Ms. Burow has participated in a number of other ARCH portfolio companies including Aledade, Siluria Technologies, Kythera (KYTH – acquired by Allergan), Ikaria (acquired by Madison Dearborn) and was a co-founder and board member of Sapphire Energy. Prior to joining ARCH Ms. Burow was an Associate with the Novartis BioVenture Fund in San Diego. As an early employee at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), she directed Chemistry Operations and was active in Business Development where she helped create numerous companies as spin-outs from GNF. Ms. Burow holds a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, a M.A. in Chemistry from Columbia University and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:25 pm
Dr. Richard Scheller joined 23andMe in 2015 as chief science officer and head of the newly formed therapeutics group. In his role, Dr. Scheller is responsible for building a dedicated research and development team that will use human genetic data as the starting point for identifying new therapies for both common and rare diseases.
Prior to 23andMe, Dr. Scheller retired from a 14-year career at Genentech where he served as executive vice president of research and early development. Dr. Scheller also served on the faculty of Stanford University for 19 years as a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and was an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Stanford University Medical Center.
In 2013, Dr. Scheller received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, often referred to as “America’s Nobels,” for discoveries concerning the molecular machinery and regulatory mechanism that underlie the rapid release of neurotransmitters. He has published more than 280 research studies.
Dr. Scheller is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the California Institute of Technology.
Dr. Scheller holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology and a postdoctoral fellow in Molecular Neurobiology at Columbia University at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Bispecific Antibodies to Supercharge Oncology Treatments
Tuesday, October 17, 8:30-9:25 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
Antibody-based therapy for cancer is one of the most successful strategies for treating patients. With the introduction of bispecific antibodies, we are now able to combine the targeting specificity of monoclonal antibodies with the cytotoxic effects of cellular therapy. While industry reports estimate that by 2023, the bispecific antibodies market is estimated to be worth USD 4.4 billion, we can anticipate this estimate to increase multiple-folds due to the significant advances and positive results being enabled by immuno-oncology therapy. This session will highlight the innovative pipelines and combo therapies utilizing a bispecific approach.
Prioritizing Translational Research Bottlenecks
Tuesday, October 17, 9:45-10:40 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
Recent research has suggested a 29-year gap between a biopharma technology’s discovery and it becoming an established treatment. This research also fails to find a correlation between rising numbers of published biomedical research papers and the stable rate of approval of new medicines. Given the preciousness of patent lifetimes, even small percentage improvements in the translational research process could yield significant economic benefits, as well as helping more patients sooner. This session will discuss the major bottlenecks in the commercialization of medically promising basic research and propose new approaches to addressing those challenges.
Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance: New Research and Funding Opportunities
Tuesday, October 17, 10:45-11:40 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
The CDC estimates that at least 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections. Due to the rising need to develop new antibiotics, a number of new promising targets have been identified in recent years and multiple new funding opportunities have also surfaced to provide support. For example, the CDC, BARDA, the Wellcome Trust, and many others are all committing resources through new initiatives, like the CARB-X grants, to help advance novel, life-saving antibiotics. This session will highlight innovative developments in researching new drugs as well as discuss strategies and funding models responding to the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.
Acceleration in Cross-Pacific Investment Activities and Opportunities: Widening the Network
Tuesday, October 17, 2:00-2:55 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
Foreign direct investment in U.S. biopharma has more than doubled in the past three years, with more than USD 4.5B dollars committed in 2016 and 2017 tracking ahead of last year, the role of cross-Pacific biotech investments is accelerating. The eagerness of China-based and other investors from the region to support foreign biotechnology development as well as the maturation of Asian start-ups into having assets ready for licensing adds new dimensions to conventional business development partnership processes. This session will examine some of the largest recent deals with experts from the Asia venture communities seeking to globalize the lessons of Silicon Valley. You will also hear from biopharmas collaborating on a cross-Pacific basis who can share tips for CEOs on making relevant connections to expand your pool of potential, interested partners.
View from the Board—Navigating New Funding Rounds with Current VC Directors
Tuesday, October 17, 3:15-4:10 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
When raising a seed round of venture capital, the focus of founders tends toward securing meetings and “acing” their pitches. It is a critical moment in the growth of an early-stage biotech that the first interested party is secured in order to more easily convince other investors to join and complete that round of funding. But what happens when you do succeed in generating interest and commitments for your initial round, and the focus shifts to fundraising new funding rounds? CEOs must then walk the fine line during discussions with the current board regarding new investor capital contributions, dilution rights, criteria for new board members, and the overall, long-term health of the company. The panel of start-up executives, directors, and investors will discuss their perspectives on how to crystalize and close subsequent-stage investment rounds, a complex and unclear path from the outside, but a vital step in the process for founders, while navigating the many personalities and interests involved.
Practical Approaches for Improving Leadership Diversity
Tuesday, October 17, 4:15-5:10 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
Despite a workforce with more women graduating college than men, data from Liftstream’s 2017 analysis of biopharma boards finds women constitute fewer than 11% of directors—and that number is largely unchanged since 2012, despite robust expansion in the industry. Similar analysis finds the same pattern for women partners at venture capital firms and for the degrees of diversification of other influential positions in categories other than gender. Traditional decision-maker recruitment processes often fail to reflect the employee bases they lead or patient populations they serve. This session will focus on practical approaches and successful examples to diversify leadership recruitment efforts and better align organizations with the full measure of talented people available.
Preparing for the Value Discussion with Investors, Payers, and Patients
Wednesday, October 18, 8:30-9:25 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
The public debate regarding appropriate levels of spending on prescription medicines has continued to grow and take root since the early headlines during the last U.S. presidential election. Even beyond the policymakers’ various proposals, major payers, pharmacy benefit managers, and value framework advocates have increased the pressure to have clearly defined arguments available earlier than ever about a proposed therapy’s worth and economic impact on healthcare systems, not just a therapy’s medical effects on patients. As investors readjust their approach to including pricing models in their risk calculations, CEOs need to be aware of the expanding range of new therapy payment models under development and effective ways of communicating the value of innovative medicines, even when still in development. This session will hear from multiple sides of the current discussion about which approaches are proving most constructive.
Policy Outlook— Planning Under PDUFA VI and the Trump Administration's Healthcare Plans
Wednesday, October 18, 9:45-10:40 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
With revised prescription drug application user fees and new review process commitments, the enactment of FDARA legislation updates the regulatory landscape for drug developers. This panel of people close to the policymaking process will share the latest data on FDA expectations, plus discuss the Trump Administration’s stances on healthcare spending and tax policies that will affect biopharmas both immediately and in the years ahead.
Liquid Biopsies: Possibilities and Challenges
Wednesday, October 18, 10:45-11:40 am, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
As FDA approvals of diagnostic tests to detect progress of identified tumors via genetic fragments in blood samples progress into medical practice, the flow of investments into broadening the validation and reach of liquid biopsies is accelerating, with more than USD 1 billion announced for startups in this space in the past year. This session will feature companies trying to expand this frontier, the investors distinguishing among the competing technologies, the therapeutic partners who might benefit from such tests, and clinical experts on the most likely pathways innovations will take to reach patients.
Alternative Funding Models: Royalty, Debt, Non-Profit Foundation, Crowdfunding Decision Guides
Wednesday, October 18, 1:45-2:40 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
After a reined in 2016, that saw U.S. biopharmas slow their blistering pace of funding with record-setting quarters from the previous year, which were invested from the coffers of venture capitalists, hedge funds, and public market “crossover” investors, the investment environment has pushed the needle toward more non-traditional parts of the financial swimming pool. This shift has led in part to a resurgent 2017, where investments could easily surpass the USD 8.1B mark from last year. A panel of investment experts will share their views on some of the more innovative ways, than the typical glitz and glam usually associated with taking a company public via a traditional IPO, that companies can use their resources to raise capital and get their start-up actually started up.
Lessons from the Immuno-Oncology Inhibitor Landscape for Neurology and Beyond
Wednesday, October 18, 3:00-3:55 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
As long-studied neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s continue to yield disappointing clinical trials success rates, signs are growing that many diseases in CNS and other areas might learn from the positive lessons of immuno-oncology checkpoint inhibitors to enlist the body’s own immunological responses to adjust inflammation and to modify disease progression. This session will feature scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors operating at the frontier of this approach to pursuing new treatment avenues in hopes of helping patients.
Market Outlook—Evaluating IPO Reliability, M&A Patterns, and the Private Funding Climate
Wednesday, October 18, 4:00-4:55 pm, California East Room, Westin St. Francis, San Francisco
With renewed interest and appealing financial markets, the biopharma sector has had 25 companies complete their IPOs on U.S., European, and Australasia exchanges in the first half of 2017, double the prior year’s pace but less than 2015’s. Will public market exits strengthen or will the M&A climate escape its current slowdown? With cash reserves at large pharma and newly raised private equity funds above historical average levels, the prospects for biotechs in development are bright, but complicated to predict. Hear from active dealmakers which recent deals are resetting market trends in their opinion as they prioritize possible avenues for entrepreneurs seeking their next level of funding.