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Health Reform Implementation in China: Attaining New Levels of Prevention through Public-Private Partnerships

Thursday, October 13th, 1:30pm - 2:45pm

New government investments in urban health care reforms present an important opportunity to increase immunization rates across all ages.  Local and multi-national vaccine developers, working with government entities and non-governmental organizations, are collaborating on new vaccines to conquer emerging infectious diseases.  Panelists will share new developments in vaccines targeted to children, adolescents and adults for both rural and urban areas.  Panelists will discuss their strategies, successes and challenges in their attempts to build productive relationships with their various partners.  Opportunities for contract research and manufacturing, technology transfer and other partnering options will be evaluated and discussed as well as the role of government.


  • James McGregor, Senior Counselor, APCO Worldwide, China


  • Sam Liao, Asia Head of Business Development & Licensing, Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc.
  • Michel Vounatsos, Senior VP & Head of MSD, China, Merck Sharp & Dohme
  • Bing Yan, Senior Regional Medical Director, Pfizer, Inc.

Who's Who


Sam Liao -  Sam Liao is the Asia Head of Business Development & Licensing for Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc. He is responsible for the evaluation, negotiation, and execution of various commercial, licensing and co-development deals with international biotech companies and academics. He is also responsible for merger and acquisition activities and manages business alliances in Asia Pacific region.

Before joining Novartis, he was a Director of Corporate Development at Sanofi Pasteur, where he has over 15 years’ experiences working in the vaccine industry and held various positions in R&D, Marketing, Project Management and Strategic Planning. He has executed multiple deals worth more than $1 billion, and signed agreements with companies in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia. He was responsible for several high-profile government contracts with HHS, CDC and NIH, for SARS vaccine and pandemic avian influenza vaccine developments.

Sam Liao earned his medical degree from West China University of Medical Sciences, a Master’s degree on Biochemistry from University of Scranton, and an MBA from Columbia University. 

James McGregor - Mr. McGregor is a senior counselor for APCO Worldwide in China, author of the bestselling book One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China and a veteran reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to joining APCO, he served as chairman and CEO of a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds. He also held previous roles as a senior advisor for Ogilvy Public Relations China and the China managing partner for GIV Venture Partners, a venture capital fund that focused on technology and Internet investments in China and India.

Mr. McGregor was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Knight-Ridder newspapers during the Reagan administration. After serving as the Taiwan bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal from 1987 to 1990 and China bureau chief from 1990 to 1994, he spent seven years building Dow Jones’ media business in China as CEO of Dow Jones’ China operations and an international vice president of the company. During this time, he established CNBC in China and created the Chinese language Web site of, Dow Jones’ Chinese-language newswires, Chinese stock-market indexes and the first weekly business-television show in China. He was also a Series A investor in and served on their board for several years, including during the company’s NASDAQ listing. After successfully preventing Xinhua News Agency from obtaining a monopoly on financial information in China, he received the Barney Kilgore award, Dow Jones’ highest employee accolade.

Mr. McGregor is a professional speaker, regular television and radio commentator and a contributor of essays and opinion articles for a variety of publications. He has more than 20 years of China experience and can speak and read Chinese. He was an active member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham) for more than 10 years and served as chairman in 1996. He is currently chairman of the U.S. Government Relations Committee for AmCham. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Global Council member of the Asia Society, a board member of the U.S.-China Education Trust and a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Michel Vounastos - With nearly 20 years experience in healthcare industry, Mr. Vounatsos brings a vast knowledge and expertise to drive MSD China to the new levels of success.

Mr. Michel Vounatsos has extensive experience across the world, Europe (France, Belgium, Poland) but also in the US, Middle-East and Africa. His last assignment before coming to China was the president of MSD in France, one of the largest MSD subsidiaries outside the US. During his assignment as the Managing Director of MSD Poland, he was able to significantly increase MSD's presence while supporting the Health Care reform of this emerging market. Due to his profound experience in mature and emerging markets, his appointment demonstrates China's strategic significance to MSD as well as the company's continuous investment and commitment to best serve China, including providing development and career opportunity to the best talent in China.