Early stage drug discovery is in a state of disruption. Challenges have grown while R&D has suffered from a decline in productivity. New models for developing innovative drug candidates inside and outside of pharma are likely to re-shape the industry in the coming years. Pharmaceutical companies are reorganizing to capture new talent from outside. Pre-competitive consortia of pharma companies, big-data-related methods of generating or capturing chemical and biological diversity, and novel therapeutic modalities like RNA interference, gene therapy, cell therapy and viral therapy each present new opportunities and challenges.
Steve Dickman is CEO of CBT Advisors, a life sciences consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Steve Dickman knows both sides of the dealmaking process. A former VC and writer with Nature and The Economist who has been in consulting for the past ten years, he applies sharp analytical skills and deep industry experience in conducting the right expert interviews, creating the right materials and telling the right stories on behalf of his clients. Steve has worked with biotech, diagnostics and medical device firms as well as top-tier VC funds.
Steve publishes a well-regarded industry blog, Boston Biotech Watch, that tracks biotech, VC and technology trends. Before founding CBT Advisors in 2003, Mr. Dickman spent four years in venture capital with TVM Capital. There, Mr. Dickman's deals included Sirna Therapeutics, sold to Merck in 2006 for $1.1 billion and Genetix Pharmaceuticals, later renamed bluebird bio, which IPO'd on Nasdaq in 2013.
Dr. Kauffman received his M.D. and Ph.D. (Microbiology) degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and is Board Certified in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Kauffman was Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Beth Israel Hospital) prior to joining Syntex Corporation in Palo Alto, California where he led the global development, NDA and EMEA filings and approval of CellCept (mycophenolate mofetil) for use in solid organ transplantation. Subsequently, he was Medical Director at Serono Laboratories, where he contributed to the development, NDA filing and FDA approval, of Serostim (recombinant human growth hormone) for treatment of AIDS wasting. Prior to joining Vertex in September, 1998, Dr. Kauffman was Vice President, Clinical Affairs at Biotransplant, Inc., developing systems for induction of immunologic tolerance to solid organ allografts. At Vertex, Dr. Kauffman led the clinical development program, NDA filing and FDA approval for Incivek (telaprevir), a direct-acting inhibitor of hepatitis C virus, and contributed to the development and approval of Kalydeco, the first CFTR modulator for treatment of Cystic Fibrosis.
Louis Matis, M.D., has more than 30 years of experience encompassing clinical medicine, drug development, regulatory affairs, biomedical research, and executive leadership within the biotechnology industry. Since June 2011, Dr. Matis has been the Executive Director of Strategic Evaluation at Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Prior to that, Dr. Matis served from 2006 as the President and CEO of the Immune Tolerance Institute, founded to advance personalized medicine solutions for the treatment of diseases of the immune system. From 2000 to 2006, Dr. Matis was the President and CEO of CGI Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company developing small molecule kinase inhibitors for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cancer. Prior to leading CGI, Dr. Matis was the Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he played a leading role in the discovery and development of novel biopharmaceuticals, including the first clinically approved complement inhibitor therapeutic. Before joining Alexion in 1993, Dr. Matis held various appointments at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1977 to 1992. He was Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation and the Medicine Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a Senior Fellow in the Center for Biologics, FDA, and a Clinical Associate in the Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Dr. Matis is a co-author of more than 120 publications in the fields of immunology, cell and molecular biology, and clinical medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and completed clinical training at the University of Chicago Hospitals and the NIH. He is a recipient of the NIH Award of Merit, the Commendable Service Award from the FDA, and was elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Prior to joining FORMA, Steven Tregay was a Managing Director for the $200M Novartis Option Fund. He led the fund's investments in and served on the Board of Directors of FORMA Therapeutics, Adenosine Therapeutics (acquired by Clinical Data: FRX) and Cequent Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Marina Biotech: MRNA). Prior to joining the venture group, he was the Executive Director and Head of Strategic Alliances-Oncology, Ophthalmology and Technologies at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. He managed a team who were responsible for identification, negotiation and management of collaborations for the oncology and ophthalmology disease areas and all the technology areas. Prior to Novartis, he had roles in business development at Array BioPharma and research. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in organic chemistry from Harvard University and a B.S. from Davidson College.
Daphne Zohar is the founder and CEO of PureTech, a technology development company tackling tomorrow's biggest healthcare challenges. Ms. Zohar was recognized by Fierce Biotech as one of the "Top 10 Women in Biotech," BioWorld as one of 28 leaders predicted to be the "movers and shakers" of the biotechnology industry over the next twenty years, and by the Boston Globe as one of the "Top 15 innovators" and "10 most influential women." Ms. Zohar created PureTech and assembled a leading team to help implement her vision for the firm. She sits on the Boards of Directors of PureTech, Enlight (a cross disciplinary consortium of leading healthcare and pharma companies), Follica Inc., Akili Interactive Labs, Vedanta Bioscience, Mandara Sciences, Karuna Pharmaceuticals, and Tal Medical. She also sits on the Technology Development Fund Advisory Board at Children's Hospital Boston and is an Editorial Advisor to Xconomy, a national technology news blog. Follow her on Twitter at @daphnezohar.