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Neurology: "Alz" Well That Ends Well—Settling the Beta-Amyloid Debate

Monday, February 13th, 1:30pm-2:25pm

Researchers and clinicians alike believe there is substantial evidence to support the amyloid hypothesis as a major cause of Alzheimer’s disease; however, drugs targeted towards beta-amyloid have met with a number of setbacks during the development process, challenging whether the target is in fact “real.” The debate continues with several late stage drugs targeting beta-amyloid poised for market entry, but these developments are still met with cautious optimism from a number of industry and clinical experts. Key opinion leaders in the treatment of Alzheimer’s and scientific industry specialists on either side of the debate will proffer their insights and perhaps settle the long dispute over beta-amyloid, once and for all.


  • Joshua Schimmer, MD, Managing Director, Biotechnology, Leerink Swann, LLC


  • Ted T. Ashburn, MD, PhD, Project Head, Leukine® (sargramostim) and Elitek®/Fasturtec® (rasburicase), Sanofi Oncology
  • Michael Gold, MS, MD, Vice President, Clinical Development & Chief Medical Officer, Allon Therapeutics Inc.
  • Marc L. Gordon MD, Chief of Neurology, Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
  • Hyoung-Gon Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pathology and Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine


Who's Who

Ted T. Ashburn, MD, PhD
Project Head, Leukine® (sargramostim) and Elitek®/Fasturtec® (rasburicase)
Ted T. Ashburn, MD, PhD is the Project Head for Leukine® (sargramostim) and Elitek®/Fasturtec® (rasburicase) for Sanofi Oncology. In this role, Ted provides global leadership for these products and works closely with the R&D, global marketing and regional commercial teams to identify, develop, prioritize and execute on new commercialization and life-cycle management strategies that will drive growth and is the commercial point for manufacturing and supply considerations. He also leads certain, ongoing development efforts targeting Alzheimer’s disease for Genzyme, a Sanofi Corporation.

Ted joined Sanofi Oncology from Genzyme’s Corporate Development group where he led business development efforts for the Genzyme’s rare disease franchise. Since joining Genzyme in 2006, he has also led business development efforts for Genzyme’s solid organ and bone marrow transplant franchises and was responsible for Genzyme’s 2009 licensing deal with ViroPharma.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Ted worked for privately-held Dynogen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (re-positioned drugs for irritable bowel syndrome and overactive bladder) and the venture capital firm Oxford Bioscience Partners. While at Oxford he co-founded both Dynogen and BrainCells, Inc. (drugs targeting neurogenesis for severe, refractory depression). Before joining Oxford, he worked at Pfizer Inc. where he was involved in the analysis of several acquisition and new business opportunities including Pfizer’s acquisition of Warner-Lambert in 2001.

Ted earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were he focused on elucidating the structure and properties of amyloid plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease in order to facilitate the development of compounds that could be used as either diagnostics and/or therapeutics for Alzheimer’s and other diseases characterized by amyloid deposits such as Type II diabetes. He graduated magna cum laude from Ball State University where he studied chemistry and computer science. He has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals and has worked as a postdoctoral associate in the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and with the Genzyme Corporation.


Michael Gold, MS, MD
Vice President, Clinical Development & Chief Medical Officer, Allon Therapeutics Inc.
Michael Gold was awarded a BS (cum laude) degree in Chemistry, an MS degree in Mathematics/Computer Science (1984) focused on computational theory and compiler theory and an MD degree (1988) from the University of Miami. Michael completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Mt. Sinai Medical Center (Miami), a Neurology residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1992) and a postdoctoral fellowship in behavioral neurology/neuropsychology (1994) under Dr. Kenneth Heilman at the University of Florida College Of Medicine.

Dr. Gold served as an Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine Department of Neurology. In that capacity, Dr. Gold maintained a general neurology practice while focusing his research interests on neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Gold served as the principal investigator for several clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia and eventually served as the medical director of the Memory Disorder Clinic. Dr. Gold was integrally involved in the training of medical students, resident physicians, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

Dr. Gold joined the Bristol-Myers-Squibb’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine in 1998 where he worked in the early development of several compounds within the neurosciences. He was responsible for the introduction of several compounds into humans as well as the medical governance of a large number of clinical pharmacology trials. He then worked for the pharmaceutical research arm of J&J where he initially focused on biomarkers and diagnostics for neurological disorders and on the clinical development of late-stage assets including Galantamine. He eventually served as the compound development team leader for Galantamine before joining GSK in 2005 as vice-president for Neurology.

At GSK, Dr. Gold was responsible for leading the Neurology portion of the Neurosciences Medicine Development Center. In that capacity he was involved in the approval of several compounds (Requip for RLS, Treximet for migraine) and the approval of novel formulations (Requip XL for Parkinson’s Disease). He was part of the team that evaluated and eventually in-licensed Horizant from Xenoport and continued to support in-licensing efforts. As of March 2008, Dr. Gold took on the role of Medicines Development Leader and led a team that conducted several pivotal trials for rosiglitazone as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease as well as conducted several phase IIb studies for two novel compounds.

In 2011, Dr. Gold joined Allon Therapeutics as their vice-president for clinical development and Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Gold is accountable for all clinical, regulatory and safety issues related to Allon’s lead compound AL-108 as well as for supporting other corporate functions.

Marc L. Gordon MD
Chief of Neurology, Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Zucker Hillside Hospital, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine
Marc Lawrence Gordon, M.D. is Chief of Neurology at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, and Associate Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He received his M.D. degree from Columbia University, College of Physicians & Surgeons in 1985. He completed his neurology residency training and a fellowship in neuropsychopharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1990. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Gordon is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Gordon’s primary subspecialty interest is in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. His research and clinical expertise includes patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders, multiple sclerosis, and headaches.

Joshua Schimmer, MD
Managing Director, Biotechnology, Leerink Swann, LLC
Joshua Schimmer, M.D., is a Managing Director, Biotechnology analyst covering mid and large-cap biotechnology companies for Leerink Swann.
Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Schimmer was a Managing Director for FTN Equity Capital Markets Corp, where he covered mid and large-cap biotech companies. Before that, he spent two years as Healthcare Equities Analyst for buyside firm, Davidson Kempner Capital Management, LLC. Dr. Schimmer previously was a Director in Biotechnology research at Cowen & Company for three years, and began his career in biotechnology equity research at Deutsche Bank Securities.

He holds a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Toronto and a Master in Business Administration degree from Harvard University. Dr. Schimmer completed his Internal Medicine residency at the University of Toronto, as well as a fellowship in Rheumatology, where he was Chief Fellow.

Hyoung-Gon Lee, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pathology and Neurology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Dr. Hyoung-gon Lee currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Neurology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Specializing in neurodegenerative diseases, Dr. Lee has published numerous scientific articles on Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. He is also an Associate Editor of the Open Pathology Journal and serves on the editorial board of several other academic journals, including the International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and the Journal of Neuroinflammation. He recently received the Junior Faculty Award at the 10th International Conference on Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases.

Dr. Lee holds a PhD in pathology from Case Western Reserve University and his current researches are focused on delineating the pathogenic mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.