Open Nav

Drugs Need Friends Too – Companion Diagnostics and Drug Development

Tuesday, February 14th, 10:30am-11:25am

Promising improved treatment outcomes tailored to genetic etiology and disease pathology, the field of companion diagnostics has ignited the interest of clinicians and investors and spurred lucrative industry partnerships.  This exciting field will play a role in optimizing and expediting the development of targeted therapies for many conditions among validated patient populations.   Companion diagnostics may be great in concept, but how do these new technologies fit into the biotech business model?  How can companies leverage companion diagnostics to enrich products and expand therapeutic opportunities?


  • Steve Brozak, President, WBB Securities LLC


  • Partrick M. Burke, PhD, Vice President, Strategic Collaborations, Myriad Genetics Laboratories, Inc.
  • Thomas Davis, MD, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.
  • Joanna C. Horobin, MD, President & CEO, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Patrick J. Mahaffy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Clovis Oncology
  • Mark J. Pykett, VMD, PhD, President & Chief Executive Officer, Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

Who's Who

Thomas Davis, MD
Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.
Dr. Davis joined Celldex in 2006 as Vice President of Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer and was appointed to Senior Vice President in March 2008. He was formerly Chief Medical Officer at GenVec and Senior Director of Clinical Science at Medarex. He has supervised clinical efforts in adult hematologic malignancies and marrow transplantation and therapeutic antibodies and vaccines at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and worked with Dr. Ron Levy on the development of rituximab and idiotype vaccines at Stanford University. Dr. Davis received his B.A. in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins, M.S. in Physiology and M.D. from Georgetown University, and Oncology training at Stanford University.

Joanna C. Horobin, MD
President & CEO, Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Formerly vice president of oncology at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) and chief operating officer (COO) of CombinatoRx, Inc. (now Zalicus), Dr. Horobin has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience in multiple therapeutic areas, with a focus on oncology and a particular interest in the development of combination strategies. Her pharmaceutical experience spans clinical development, marketing, and general management in both public and private companies.

At Rhone-Poulenc Rorer she led the global oncology business, including directing the successful global launch, and subsequent market expansion, of Taxotere® (docetaxel) and led a successful joint venture with the Japanese company Chugai, Chugai Rhone-Poulenc, which developed and launched the granulocyte growth factor Granocyte® (lenograstim) for the European market. During her time as COO at CombinatoRx, a company focused on combination products, she raised over $70 million in private financing, transitioned the company from a discovery-focused start-up to a clinical-stage enterprise, and positioned the company for a successful initial public offering.

Prior to CombinatoRx Dr. Horobin was executive vice president at EntreMed, a company developing angiogenesis inhibitors. She spent a year as ‘entrepreneur in residence’ with the venture capital firm MPM Capital. Dr. Horobin received her medical degree from the Victoria University of Manchester, England, and gained membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom. She holds a diploma of pharmaceutical medicine from the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom.

Patrick J. Mahaffy
President and Chief Executive Officer, Clovis Oncology
Patrick J. Mahaffy is one of the co-founders of Clovis Oncology and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors since it’s inception. Previously, Mr. Mahaffy served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors at Pharmion Corporation, which he founded in 2000 and sold to Celgene Corporation in 2008. From 1992 through 1998, Mr. Mahaffy was President and Chief Executive Officer of NeXagen, Inc. and its successor, NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Prior to that, Mr. Mahaffy was a Vice President at the private equity firm E.M. Warburg Pincus and Co. Mr. Mahaffy also serves on the boards of directors of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OREX) and Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. He is also a trustee of Lewis and Clark College. Mr. Mahaffy has a B.A. in international affairs from Lewis and Clark College and a M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University. Mr. Mahaffy possesses specific attributes that qualify him to serve as a member of Clovis’ board of directors, including his experience in the venture capital industry, his historical knowledge, his operational and management expertise and his years of leadership experience.