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Opportunity or Apocalypse? Prophecies for 2012 

Is 2012 the end of the world as we know it? Or is this prediction just bunk? How will the industry fare with the still volatile market conditions? Will world economies affect the ability for companies to acquire financing? Join seasoned biotech investors for a candid and insightful discussion on what can we expect in 2012.  

  • Luke Timmerman, National Biotech Editor, Xconomy
  • Ron Laufer, MD, Senior Managing Director, Medimmune Ventures
  • Matthew D. Perry, Portfolio Manager, Biotechnology Value Fund, LP (BVF)
  • Bryan Roberts, PhD, Partner, Venrock
  • Kurt von Emster, PhD, Managing Director, venBio LLC

  Who's Who


Ron Laufer, MD - Ron started his career as a physician and entrepreneur, before moving into venture capital. He was a co-founder of Lilly Ventures, the venture capital arm of Eli Lilly & Company, and later a managing director at Visium Asset Management, a healthcare-focused investment firm, before joining MV in April of 2010.
Ron received his B.Sci., M.D. and M.P.H. from Hebrew University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He is currently an adjunct Professor of business administration at the Kelley Business School. 

Matthew D. Perry - Mr. Perry is the Portfolio Manager of the Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. (BVF). BVF is a private investment fund that manages approximately $600m. The fund focuses on small-cap, value oriented investment opportunities. Mr. Perry joined Biotechnology Value Fund, L.P. in December 1996 as an investment analyst.

Prior to joining BVF, Mr. Perry held the position of account executive with Feinstein Partners; a consulting firm with an emphasis on investor relations for emerging health care companies focused on the development and commercialization of therapeutic products. He was simultaneously an account executive with FPI’s affiliate, Kendall Strategies, a business development and strategy consulting firm assisting start-up through large public biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Before joining Feinstein Partners/Kendall Strategies, Mr. Perry owned and operated a private business for two years and monitored the biotechnology sector through an active investment program. Mr. Perry is also a co-founder and director of Nordic Biotech Advisors ApS, a venture capital firm based in Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds a B.S. degree from the Biology Department at the College of William and Mary.

Bryan Roberts -Bryan joined Venrock as a Kauffman Fellow in 1997. Previously, he earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry & Chemical Biology at Harvard University and, prior to his doctoral program, held corporate finance positions at Kidder, Peabody and Co.  Bryan was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute in 2006, he was named to healthspottr’s 2009 Future Health 100 list and has been the highest-ranking healthcare investor on Forbes' Midas List since 2008.

Luke Timmerman -Luke is an award-winning journalist specializing in life sciences. Before joining Xconomy, he was the U.S. biotechnology reporter for Bloomberg News, based in San Francisco. There, he led coverage of major medical meetings and broke news about the industry’s top companies. His stories appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and International Herald Tribune. Before that, his passionate coverage of biotechnology won many awards for The Seattle Times.

While at the Times, Luke was the lead reporter on an investigation of doctors who leaked confidential information about clinical trials to investors. The story won the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, the Sigma Delta Chi prize from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers award, an honorable mention Gerald Loeb Award, and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in public service. He was named one of the nation's top biotech writers in 2010 by FierceBiotech.
Luke holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2005-2006, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. In his spare time, Luke enjoys distance running, mountaineering, and fantasy baseball. Having grown up in Wisconsin, he is, naturally, a lifelong fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Wisconsin Badgers.

Kurt von Emster - Mr. von Emster is a founding partner of venBio LLC, a strategic investment firm.  He is also the Portfolio Manager of the venBio Select Fund, and a General Partner of the venBio Global Strategic Fund. Previously, as a Managing Director at MPM Capital from 2001 until 2009, Mr. von Emster founded and managed the MPM BioEquities Fund, a cross-over fund investing in public and private life sciences companies. Mr. von Emster also spent 11 years at Franklin Templeton, most recently as the founder and Portfolio Manager of the Morningstar five-star rated Franklin Biotechnology Discovery Fund, a $2B life science fund. Mr. von Emster is responsible for seven private company investments in his career and is an independent board member of Somaxon Pharmaceuticals and Metabolex, as well as a former member of Facet Biotech and observer of Acceleron Pharmaceuticals. Mr. von Emster is located in venBio’s San Francisco office.