Open Nav

Topics and panelists subject to change.

Opening Panel: IPO Frenzy – Are the GoGo Markets Here to Stay? The Investor Perspective

12:00 p.m.-1:25p.m., Tuesday, October 8, 2013, Sunset Court

With 31 (and counting) life sciences companies having already placed IPOs on the market in the first 5 months of this year and others lining up for S-1 filings, biotech is buzzing about a revival of the IPO market – Is it a bubble? Will it translate to more funding? This panel will take a look at what this renewed interest will mean and won’t mean for the industry.

Opening Remarks

  • David Thomas, CFA, Director, Industry Research & Programs, BIO


  • Eugene Rozelman, Managing Director, Biopharma Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity


  • Mark Charest, Vice President, New Leaf Venture Partners
  • Evan McCulloch, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Franklin Templeton Investments
  • Effie Toshav, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP

Crowdfunding in Healthcare and Biotech - Will it Bridge the "Valley of Death"?

3:30p.m. - 4:25p.m., Tuesday, October 8th, Twin Peaks North/ South

Smaller private companies are constantly in search of capital, but many find it difficult to navigate the step between a “friends & family” round or one with angels and an initial venture round. Crowdfunding has been used in a limited number of examples for life science companies, but where is this pathway heading? How should a company look at opportunities for crowdfunding? The panel will look at life of a small company, as a CEO moderator asks a set of investors and others about both crowdfunding and other pathways.


  • Nicholas Franano, MD, Founder, President & CEO, Novita Therapeutics


  • Andrew Merickel, PhD, Partner, Knobbe Martens 
  • Deepa Pakianathan, PhD, General Partner, Delphi Ventures 
  • Gregory C. Simon, CEO, Poliwogg 
  • Hemai Parthasarathy, PhD, Scientific Director, Breakout Labs/Thiel Foundation

The New Road to IPO in the Age of the JOBS ACT: The Company Perspective

Wednesday, October 9th: 2:00pm - 2:55pm

Whereas the investors on the Opening Plenary tackled questions about the IPO market and the opportunities it will or will not present for the industry, the biotech CEOs and industry experts on this panel will provide an in-depth look into the key elements for a successful offering. Topics will include how to engage with the Board, investors and the JOBS Act.


  • Jeffrey A. Baumel, Partner, Dentons


  • Michael Dybbs, PhD, Principal, New Leaf Venture Partners
  • Paul J. Hastings, President and CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals
  • Michael Margolis, RPh, Managing Director, ROTH Capital Partners
  • Steven J Mento, PhD, President and CEO, Conatus Pharmaceuticals

Closing Plenary: Early Stage Venture Investing – Will Current Trends Continue into 2014?

3:30 p.m. - 4:25 p.m., Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Sunset Court

Any early-stage biotech companies looking for funding can readily recognize the challenge. It’s getting harder and harder to secure dollars from the 10 or so venture capital firms left to consider an investment – but these firms exist and some even have success stories to tout. This panel takes a look at the VC firms considering early-stage investments and their investment models.


  • Luke Timmerman, Vice President, Life Sciences Initiatives, Xconomy


  • Srini Akkaraju, MD, PhD, General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures
  • Brian Atwood, Managing Director, Versant Ventures
  • Alexis Borisy, Partner, Third Rock Ventures
  • David Donabedian, Vice President, Venture Investments, AbbVie Biotech Ventures
  • Andrew J. Schwab, Managing Partner, 5AM Ventures

*as of 9/17. Program updated frequently. Please check back.