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Therapeutic Workshops

Topics and panelists subject to change.

The Ultimate Rejection: Fighting Cancer with Immunotherapy

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 10:30 a.m. - 11:25 a.m., Twin Peaks North/South

Enhancing the human body’s natural immune system to stimulate response and produce effective treatments has long been thought to be a promising a approach to fighting cancer and other debilitating illnesses. By leveraging the body’s own ability to fight disease, immunotherapeutics effectively “work smarter” than traditional treatments. With pharma companies wiling to pay top dollars to develop these drugs, the field of cancer immunotherapy has piqued the interest of investors as well. This year’s ASCO spotlighted lung cancer as the newest target for immunotherapy. Hear experts from companies at the forefront of this exciting field discuss what lies ahead.


  • Joseph Pantginis, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, ROTH Capital Partners


  • James B. Breitmeyer, MD, PhD, Division President Cancer Vaccines, Executive Vice President, Bavarian Nordic A/S
  • Lawrence Fong, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology), UCSF Medical Center
  • Paul G. Higham CEO immatics biotechnologies GmbH
  • J. Joseph Kim, PhD, President, CEO & Director, Inovio Pharmaceuticals

The Non-Orphan Panel: Shifting the Focus from Rare Diseases to Primary Care

9:00 a.m. - 9:55 a.m., Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Twin Peaks North/ South

With the sudden attention and spotlight on rare and ultra rare diseases, it seems everyone is forgetting about the once coveted blockbuster drug in the primary care setting and jumping on the orphan drug bandwagon. With patent cliffs looming, much of large biopharma has turned to niche indications but what does this mean for the primary market? We still need safer, more effective and less costly drugs for more common medical issues. What role can venture capital play in fostering the primary care disease market and what should emerging biotechs be thinking about?


  • Charles C. Duncan, PhD, Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst, Piper Jaffray


  • Marianne Andreach, VP of Strategic Marketing & Product Planning, Esperion Therapeutics
  • Ed Mathers, Partner, New Enterprise Associates
  • Michael Wyzga, President & CEO, Radius Health

GAINing Ground in Antibiotics– New Incentives for Biopharma

2:00 p.m. - 2:55 p.m., Tuesday, October 8, 2013, Twin Peaks North/ South

Antibiotic resistance is one of the largest threats to global health. A recent report released by the CDC estimates that every year in the US, 2 million people acquire an antibiotic-resistant infection. But with only 9 new antibiotics approved in the last 15 years, it is apparent biopharma companies have not had much incentive to develop any new and novel antibiotics. However, last year Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the FDA Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) which included provisions specifically designed to increase investment in the research and development of antibiotics (GAIN -Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now).

This panel will explore how those incentives work and discuss how and if they will spur development of antibiotics. Additionally, the panel will discuss new approval pathways being proposed by FDA, Congress and other stakeholders, and how they could jump-start development of new antibiotics and address the rising threat of antibiotic-resistance.


  • Cartier Esham, Senior Director of Emerging Companies Health and Regulatory Affairs, Biotechnology Industry Organization


  • Steve Conafay, JD, Principal, The Conafay Group
  • Michael J. Eichberg, PhD, Senior Director, Alliance Management, Achaogen
  • Thomas Kapsner, CEO, Morphochem AG
  • Brad Spellberg, MD, Investigator, LA BioMed
  • Eugene Sun, MD, Executive Vice President, Research & Development, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals

*as of 9/25. Program updated frequently. Please check back.