Open Nav

Monday, February 11th, 3:30pm - 4:25pm

Big pharmaceutical companies aren’t the only ones investing in China. Emerging and mid-sized biotech companies are also exploring ways to enter China’s lucrative market and maximize their investment in the country. With more limited resources than multinational biopharma companies, how can these smaller companies operate efficiently and give Chinese patients access to their innovative products? What deal making strategies have proven successful? Industry experts and biotech executives will tackle the tough questions surrounding operational tactics in China.


  • Jimmy Zhang, PhD, MBA, Managing Director, MSD Early Investments--Greater China, Merck & Co. Inc.


  • Friedhelm Blobel, PhD, President, CEO, & Director, SciClone Pharmaceuticals
  • Alan Eisenberg, Executive Vice President, Business Development and Emerging Companies Section, BIO
  • Kewen Jin, Managing Director, Nimbus Innoworks
  • Laurence Reid, PhD, Senior Vice President & Chief Business Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals


Friedhelm Blobel, PhD
President, CEO, & Director, SciClone Pharmaceuticals

Friedhelm Blobel, has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of SciClone since June 2006. From July 2000 to 2006, Dr. Blobel was President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Gryphon Therapeutics, Inc., a South San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company. Prior to joining Gryphon Therapeutics in July 2000, Dr. Blobel spent more than two decades as an executive with the Hoechst Group and the Boehringer Mannheim Group, including responsibilities in the areas of diabetes and in vitro diagnostics. His roles at these companies included Group President of several product divisions, Chief Technology Officer and General Manager in Tokyo, Japan of a marketing and sales joint venture between Boehringer and Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals (now Astellas Pharma, Inc.), Senior Vice President of Research and Development Diabetes and Patient Care in Mannheim, Germany as well as in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Blobel earned his doctorate degree (“Dr.rer.nat.”; a PhD equivalent) with a dissertation in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Hohenheim, Germany and holds an advanced degree in Chemistry from the University of Stuttgart, Germany.

Alan Eisenberg
Executive Vice President, Business Development and Emerging Companies Section, BIO

Alan F. Eisenberg serves as Executive Vice President for Emerging Companies & Business Development at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). In this role, Eisenberg manages and directs BIO’s services and advocacy efforts for BIO’s 650+ emerging companies, which comprise approximately 90% of BIO’s membership.  This includes tax, capital formation, financial services, and selected health policy development and advocacy, BIO’s global portfolio of investor and partnering events, industry research and analysis, and BIO’s affinity purchasing program enrolling over 2,000 companies. 

Previously at BIO, Eisenberg served in other senior leadership roles, including responsibilities for BIO’s communications function, as well as state government relations, Board operations, and BIO’s political action committee.

From 2001 through 2004, Eisenberg served as Health and Economics Policy Advisor to BIO CEO Jim Greenwood during his tenure in Congress. In this role, Eisenberg was extensively involved in the enactment of several public laws including the Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (P.L. 107-250), the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act (P.L. 107-109), as well as key provisions of the Medicare Modernization Act (P.L.108-173).  

Prior to that, Eisenberg briefly served on the staff of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Public Health Subcommittee as Health Policy Advisor and also was a legislative assistant for Congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ).

Before coming to Washington, Eisenberg spent four years with Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, as a research economist and finance manager in manufacturing. As an economist, Eisenberg was responsible for conducting and overseeing the development of analyses relating to a variety of energy, regulatory and tax matters.

Eisenberg holds a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), a Master of Science in Finance degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Union College. He is married to Shalla Ross, and they have two daughters, Michayla and Isabella.

Kewen Jin
Managing Director, Nimbus Innoworks

Mr. Kewen Jin is a serial entrepreneur in China life science industry. He is currently Managing Director of Nimbus Innoworks, a life science incubator based in Suzhou. He was previously General Manager of Charles River Lab’s China company.

Kewen has co-founded and served as CEO of several companies in CRO biotech and medical device.

He is an advisor to Suzhou Biobay, a leading life science park in China. He served as advisor to several multinational pharmaceutical companies, investment and consulting firms and NGOs.

He was a marketing and international operation executive with Wyeth from 1993 to 2000 , in the U.S. and in China. 

He was trained in medicine (Shanghai Jiaotong University), molecular biology (Rockefeller), and finance (Columbia).

He was granted the 2005 Magnolia Award by the Shanghai government. He served as the founding Chair of the Shanghai CRO Association. He was a Board member for Bayhelix.

He lives in Shanghai with three beautiful and brilliant women, his wife and two teenage daughters.

Laurence Reid, PhD
Senior Vice President & Chief Business Officer, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Reid brings to Alnylam over 20 years of business development and strategic planning experience within the global biotechnology industry. During his tenure at Ensemble Discovery, he led the development and implementation of key business strategies for the company's therapeutic and diagnostic portfolios, as well as executed major therapeutic discovery alliances with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. Prior to that, Dr. Reid worked as a founder of two start-up companies in the fields of stem cell therapeutics and inflammation. He previously spent ten years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he had worked in a range of general management and business development positions. Roles included General Manager of Millennium UK with responsibility for Millennium's European operations, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Planning for the company's predictive medicine efforts, as well as in pharmaceutical business development and technology acquisition. Before joining Millennium, he was an assistant editor of the journal Cell. Dr. Reid received his Ph.D. from London University and his B.A. from Cambridge University.

Jimmy Zhang, PhD, MBA
Managing Director, MSD Early Investments--Greater China, Merck & Co. Inc.

Dr. Jimmy Zhang is the Managing Director, MSD Early Investments – Greater China at Merck & Co., and a member of Leadership Team of MSD China R&D.  He's responsible for Merck's venture capital investments, licensing, acquisitions, external research collaboration, and alliance/partnership management in Greater China.  

Before joining Merck, Jimmy was a Senior Vice President at Synergenics, LLC, a professional service and venture firm founded and led by Dr. Bill Rutter, one of the founding fathers and pioneers of the biotech industry.  Synergenics invests and manages early-stage companies in drug discovery, vaccine, diagnostics, and healthcare IT.  Jimmy is responsible for the business development and operations of Synergenics and some of its portfolio companies, and their businesses in China.  He was also the executive vice president of ReLIA Diagnostic Systems and its wholly-owned China subsidiary ReLIA Biotechnologies (Shenzhen).

Jimmy was previously a consultant at McKinsey & Company traveling and working in China, US and Germany, a registered patent agent in the Palo Alto office of Morrison & Foerster, and a project manager at Chiron Corporation (now part of Novartis).  

Jimmy received his B.S. in biochemistry from Nanjing University, and Ph.D. in biomedical sciences from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where he worked closely with two Nobel Laureates.  While studying his MBA in MIT Sloan School of Management, Jimmy was elected as the treasurer of MIT Graduate Student Council.  He was also a finalist of the 12th Annual MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition. 

Jimmy published in Cell, Nature, Neuron, and JBC, and holds multiple patents.  He’s a founding member and the current Chairman, Board of Directors of BayHelix Group, a prestigious non-profit organization of Chinese life sciences business leaders.  Jimmy is also the Strategic Advisor to both ChinaSF and China Committee of Bay Area Council, and a guest/adjunct professor at Tongji University, Shanghai.   Jimmy is a frequently invited speaker and panelist at bio-pharma conferences and hi-tech meetings on business development and doing business between US and China.  He is often quoted in both US and Chinese news media.