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Wednesday, October 24th, 1:30-2:55pm

Emerging and mid-sized biotech companies are 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? Industry experts and biotech executives will tackle the tough questions surrounding operational tactics in China.


  • Jimmy Zhang, Greater China Lead, Licensing, Acquisitions & External Research, Worldwide Licensing & Acquisitions, Merck & Co. (MSD)


  • Friedhelm Blobel, PhD, President & Chief Executive Officer, SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Lian Yong (Leon) Chen, PhD, Founder & Managing Partner, Frontline BioVentures
  • Stanley C. Erck, President & Chief Executive Officer, Novavax, Inc.
  • Kewen Jin, Managing Director, Nimbus Innoworks

Who's Who

Friedhelm Blobel, PhD
President & Chief Executive Officer, SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Friedhelm Blobel, PhD, has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a 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.

Lian Yong (Leon) Chen, PhD
Founder & Managing Partner Frontline BioVentures

Dr. Chen is Founder and Managing Partner of Frontline BioVentures. He has over eighteen years of experience in the Life Sciences industry in China and the U.S. as a venture capitalist, senior management executive, entrepreneur, and scientific inventor. He is a member of the Expert Review Panel for the Chinese Central Government HR’s 1,000 Talent Project, and an adviser to BioBAY of Suzhou Industry Park. As a venture capital investor, his current and past affiliations include Fidelity Growth Partners-Asia (Partner) and BioVeda China (Managing Partner). Representative Investments include CITIC Pharmaceutical (Director of Board, Acting CFO), Cathay Industrial Biotechnology (Director of Board), Hile Biopharma (Director of Board), Hua Medicine (Shanghai) (Director of Board), Innovent Biologics Ltd (Chairman), Adagene (Director of Board) and MDDF (Director of Board). As a management consultant, his past affiliations include McKinsey & Company (Brussels), Ernst & Young (Palo Alto) and Life Science Strategic Consulting (Managing Partner, San Francisco Bay Area).

As a PhD scientist, he worked with Schering Plough (New Jersey), and is a key member of the discovery team of Zytia/Vytorin - a multi-billion drug. Dr. Chen was a Post-Doc at MIT, PhD (with top honor) from the University of Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, BS from Peking University. Leon holds 6 issued US Patents, and is co-author of the 14th and 15th Ernst & Young Biotechnology Annual Report.

Stanley C. Erck
President & Chief Executive Officer, Novavax, Inc.

Mr. Erck was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Novavax in April 2011. He became a Novavax Director in June 2009 and beginning in February 2010, served as its Executive Chairman of the Board. From 2000 to 2008, Mr. Erck was President and Chief Executive Officer of Iomai Corporation, leading the company through an initial public offering and a merger with Intercell, an Austrian vaccine company, and through the development of a late-stage infectious disease product candidate. Prior to Iomai, Mr. Erck served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Procept, a publicly traded immunology company; as Vice President, Corporate Development at Integrated Genetics (now Genzyme), and in management positions within Baxter International. Mr. Erck currently sits on the Board of Directors of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, MaxCyte, Inc. and the MdBio Foundation.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.

Kewen Jin
Managing Director, Nimbus Innoworks

Mr. Kewen Jin is a serial entrepreneur in China's 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.

Mr. Jin 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.


Jimmy Zhang
Greater China Lead, Licensing, Acquisitions & External Research, Worldwide Licensing & Acquisitions, Merck & Co. (MSD)

Dr. Jimmy Zhang is Greater China Lead, Licensing, Acquisitions & External Research at Merck & Co., and a member of Leadership Team of MSD China R&D.  He is responsible for Merck's licensing, acquisitions, research collaboration, alliance/partnership management and venture capital investments 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. 

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 BS in biochemistry from Nanjing University, and PhD 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 12thAnnual MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.

Jimmy has published in Cell, Nature, Neuron, and JBC, and holds multiple patents.  He’s a founding member and the currentChairman, 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.