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Wednesday, October 10th, 12:30pm-1:25pm, Twin Peaks N/S

Funded by deep pharma pockets and an investment strategy often focused on early stage, corporate venture capital (CVC) has been a much-needed funding source for companies struggling to keep their development programs moving. The CVC model has been around since the early 1970s, but a new crop of CVCs has sprouted in recent years. How has the CVC model changed over time, and have the seasoned funds remained consistent with their original strategies? What approaches are the new funds taking, and how do they measure up to the tried and true models? A panel of leading CVCs will explore and dissect the models.


  • Joseph S. Dillon, CLP, Managing Director, Investor Relations & Business Development, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)


  • Jeff Calcagno, MD, Senior Director, Emerging Technologies, California Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson
  • Ron Laufer, MD, MPH, Senior Managing Director, MedImmune Ventures
  • Lauren Silverman, PhD, Managing Director, Novartis Option Fund
  • Geeta Vemuri, PhD, VP, Head, Baxter Ventures 

Who's Who


Jeff Calcagno, MD
Senior Director, Emerging Technologies, California Innovation Center, Johnson & Johnson 

Jeff Calcagno, MD, is Senior Director, Emerging Technologies, California Innovation Center, at Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s largest diversified healthcare companies.  Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and responsible for the Western US and Canada, Jeff’s role is to identify innovative healthcare technologies that may improve the lives of patients and fuel future growth for Johnson & Johnson.  He also conducts clinical and scientific due diligence on select potential investments and acquisitions.

Jeff joined Johnson and Johnson in 2011 from Scale Venture Partners where for four years he was a Principal and Kauffman Fellow.  Earlier, Jeff was Chief Business Officer & Chief Financial Officer for Vela Pharmaceuticals, a venture-backed drug development company.  Before that, he ran corporate development and operations for WIDCOMM, a wireless software company acquired by Broadcom.  He also served as a healthcare research analyst for JP Morgan Hambrecht & Quist.  He began his business career as a management consultant for McKinsey & Company where he advised major pharmaceutical companies on strategic and operational issues.

Jeff graduated Phi Beta Kappa in Biology from Harvard College and earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical-psychiatric internship and psychiatry residency at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute where he was program chief resident.  He also completed a clinical neuropharmacology fellowship.  A former Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar in Europe, Jeff speaks six languages.

Joseph S. Dillon, CLP
Managing Director, Investor Relations & Business Development, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 

Joseph S. Dillon, MBA, CLP, is Managing Director, Investor Relations and Business Development for Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) in Washington, DC. Mr. Dillon is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with over 20 years of experience. He has extensive experience in global pharmaceutical business development, planning and analysis, corporate finance, M&A, licensing, and technology valuations. He has been directly involved in the closing of over 40 licensing, M&A and financing transactions. Prior to joining BIO, Mr. Dillon was President & CEO of Dillon Capital Strategies, a strategy and business analytics advisory firm. Mr. Dillon held senior positions with two pharmaceutical management consulting firms, most significantly was as Senior Vice President, Head of Corporate Development Services and Valuations for The Mattson Jack Group (now Kantar Health). Other previous positions include CEO, President, and Director of The Pharmaceutical Development Center, a pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer; Executive Vice President and CFO of Vail Banks Inc., a multi-bank holding company; CFO and Treasurer of Oread Inc., a contract pharmaceutical developer and manufacturer; and corporate positions with predecessor companies of Sanofi. Mr. Dillon is Chairperson of the Licensing Executive Society Life Sciences Sector Executive Committee and Past-Chairperson of its Education Committee. He is a veteran speaker at BIO, LES, WBR, EBD, and other prominent industry organization events. Mr. Dillon holds an M.B.A. in International Finance, a bachelors in Finance and has earned the Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) designation.

Lauren Silverman, PhD
Managing Director, Novartis Option Fund 

Prior to joining the Option Fund she was Global Head of Oncology Research Operations for Novartis. Previously, Lauren spent much of her career in Licensing & Business Development, first at OSI Pharmaceuticals and later at Pfizer with responsibilities in the areas of CNS, ophthalmology and oncology. Lauren was also a Director of Strategic Alliances and Head of Cell Biology where she led multiple research teams after having been a founding scientist of Cadus Pharmaceuticals. Lauren was a postdoctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Princeton University and earned her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Utah. She serves on the Business Advisory Board of the Epilepsy Research Foundation’s Epilepsy Therapy Project, National Cancer Institute’s SBIR review panel, Mass Life Sciences Center Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Directors of Science Club for Girls. Lauren currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Novartis Venture Funds portfolio companies:  Ra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Proteostasis Therapeutics, Pulmatrix Inc., Viamet Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Celladon Corporation.

Geeta Vemuri, PhD
VP, Head, Baxter Ventures 

Geeta Vemuri joined Baxter in January, 2012 as Senior Managing Director - Baxter Ventures, the corporation’s $200 million venture fund. Prior to joining Baxter, she was a General Partner at Quaker Partners, where she spent the last 8.5 years leading investments in Biopharmaceutical and Healthcare companies and being integral part of the team in raising capital for the funds. Dr. Vemuri's role in building and mentoring portfolio companies has helped lead their exit through either acquisition or through Initial Public Offering. Some of her representative Quaker portfolio board member or observer responsibilities include Protez, Cempra, Corridor, Regado and Tranzyme Pharma.