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Immunotherapy: Heal Thyself

Tuesday, October 25th, 10:30am-11:25am, Twin Peaks N/S

Enhancing the human body’s natural immune system to stimulate response and produce effective treatments has long been thought to be a promising approach to fighting cancer and other debilitating illnesses. However, until a couple of recent FDA approvals, there had been limited evidence of success with these types of treatments. By leveraging the body’s own ability to fight disease, immunotherapeutics effectively “work smarter” than traditional treatments. With pharma companies willing to pay top dollar to develop these drugs, the field of immunotherapy has piqued the interest of investors as well. Hear experts from companies at the forefront of this exciting field discuss what lies ahead.  


  • Jason Kantor, PhD, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets


  • Hervé Brailly, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Innate Pharma SA
  • Kevin N. Heller, MD, Director, Immuno-Oncology- Strategic Transactions Group,  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Carlos Paya, MD, PhD, President & Chief Executive Officer, Immune Design Corp.
  • Timothy C. Rodell, MD, Chief Executive Officer & President, Globeimmune, Inc.    

Who's Who


Hervé Brailly, PhD. - Mr. Brailly, age 49, was previously a researcher at Immunotech SA, a biotechnology start up acquired in 1995 by Beckman-Coulter (1986-1994), and then in charge of marketing, business development and R&D, as well as the business activities in China (1994-1998). Beginning in 1998, Mr. Brailly was the director of a business unit of the company with 65 employees, with annual sales of 30 million U.S. dollars.

Hervé Brailly is also treasurer of BioCluster Eurobiomed which groups companies in life sciences and technologies together in the PACA region, a member of the Board of Directors of INSERM transfert and of France Biotech.

Hervé Brailly is a graduate of the Ecole des Mines de Paris (1983) and a Doctor of Immunology, with a specialization in immuno-pharmacology.


Kevin N. Heller, MD- Dr. Heller received his Bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and his medical degree from George Washington University before training first in pediatrics and then pediatric hematology/oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Following fellowship, Dr. Heller joined the faculty of the Rockefeller University as Instructor and subsequently Chief Clinical Scholar of Clinical Investigation.  During this time, he served as principle investigator on clinical trials, including conducting and publishing his own NIH-funded research into T-cell mediated immune responses among patients with EBV-mediated lymphomas. 

Since joining BMS in 2007, Dr. Heller has worked on early development programs and was the US medical lead during the BLA filing of ipilimumab.  In this role, he led the writing of the FDA approved label and participated in the preparation of the REMS-Side Effect Guidelines for Ipilimumab.  He is currently director of immuno-oncology in the strategic transactions at BMS.


Carlos Paya, MD, PhD. - Dr. Paya joined Immune Design Corp. in May 2011 as President and Chief Executive Officer.  He previously served as President of Elan Corporation and led the biotechnology company’s commercial, marketing, clinical, research, and development teams from 2008 to 2011.  Before joining Elan, Dr. Paya was at Eli Lilly & Company as Vice President, Lilly Research Laboratories where he led various therapeutic areas encompassing discovery, clinical development, and the Diabetes and Endocrine franchise.  Prior to this, Dr. Paya was Professor of Medicine, Immunology, and Pathology, and Vice Dean of the Clinical Investigation Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  He received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Madrid and underwent postdoctoral training at the Institute Pasteur, Paris, France.


Timothy C. Rodell, MD - Dr. Rodell has been President and Chief Executive Officer of GlobeImmune, Inc., since 2004.  From 1999 until 2002, Dr. Rodell was President and Chief Executive Officer of RxKinetix, Inc., a private drug delivery company that was sold to Endo Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc.  From 1996 until 2000, he held a number of positions at OXIS International, Inc., including Chief Technology Officer and Chairman and President of OXIS International, SA, the Company’s French subsidiary, and led the Company’s IPO on the Nouveau Marché of the Paris Bourse.  From 1985 until 1995, Dr. Rodell was Executive Vice President of Operations and Product Development for Cortech, Inc. where he led all development of three clinical programs and co-led the Company’s successful IPO.  Dr. Rodell is a founder of Barofold, Inc., a protein re-folding company and Managing Partner of SMG, Inc., a healthcare consulting company. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and on the BIO Emerging Companies and Health Sections Governing Boards.  Before moving to industry, Dr. Rodell practiced academic Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.  Dr. Rodell earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in 1980. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine as well as being a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He completed post-doctoral fellowships in molecular biology and cell biology at the Eleanor Roosevelt Cancer Institute and the Webb Waring Institute respectively.