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2020 Life Science Innovation Northwest - Speakers
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James Sabry, MD, PhD

Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche

James Sabry, Global Head of Roche Pharma Partnering, leads the combined team of Roche Pharma and Genentech Partnering, responsible for bringing external innovation into the Roche group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he started his path in healthcare with an M.D. from the Queen's University in Kingston, Canada before moving on to Harvard Medical School and UCSF to complete his Ph.D. in Neurology. His career took James through various roles in academia, biotech (including founding his own biotech and making it public) and the pharmaceutical industry. Today, James is located at the Roche's Headquarters in Basel, a member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee and also maintains membership on the Scientific Advisory Board of Cytokinetics and the external advisory board of QB3 at UCSF.


Amy P. Abernethy, MD, PhD

Principal Deputy Commissioner, FDA

As the Principal Deputy Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Amy P. Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., helps oversee the agency's day-to-day functioning and directs special and high-priority initiatives that cut across offices overseeing FDA's regulation of drugs, medical devices, tobacco and food.

Dr. Abernethy, a hematologist/oncologist and palliative medicine physician, is an internationally recognized clinical data expert and clinical researcher. Her areas of expertise include cancer data, real world evidence, clinical trials, health services research, patient reported outcomes (PROs), clinical informatics, and patient-centered care.

Before coming to FDA, Dr. Abernethy served as chief medical officer, chief scientific officer, and senior vice president for oncology at Flatiron Health (a member of the Roche Group), where she led the research oncology, clinical operations and data science teams, and contributed to the overall strategic vision of the company, including directing their research vision on real world evidence.

Prior to that, Dr. Abernethy was professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, where she ran the Center for Learning Health Care in the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Duke Cancer Care Research Program in the Duke Cancer Institute. At Duke, she pioneered the development of technology platforms to spur novel advancements in the care of people with cancer and other serious life-limiting illnesses.

Luke Timmerman

Journalist, Timmerman Report

Luke Timmerman is an award-winning journalist who has been covering biotechnology since 2001. Before founding Timmerman Report in 2015, Luke wrote about the industry for a regional newspaper (The Seattle Times), a global financial publication (Bloomberg News), and an online startup (Xconomy). Luke's first book, "Hood: Trailblazer of the Genomics Age" was called a "must-read" by Forbes, and named one of the "100 Best Indie Books of 2017" by Kirkus Reviews.

Luke was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Biotechnology by Scientific American in 2015. He has won a number of journalism prizes, including the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award, the Association of Health Care Journalists Award, and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) award. Luke received his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. For the 2005-2006 academic year, he was awarded a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.

Outside of work, Luke enjoys running, family camping trips, and mountaineering. He reached the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest mountain in the world at 29,029 feet/8,848 meters, on May 22, 2018. Luke’s Climb to Fight Cancer campaigns have raised $1.9 million for cancer research at Fred Hutch. He lives in Seattle with his wife and daughter.



Bonnie H. Anderson

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Veracyte

Bonnie H. Anderson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veracyte, a leading genomic diagnostics company that improves the lives of patients by providing answers to challenging clinical questions. The company’s first-to-market tests are developed using RNA whole-transcriptome sequencing and machine learning and are transforming care in thyroid cancer, lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis where they improve diagnosis and inform treatment decisions. Ms. Anderson’s career spans over 30 years in regulated diagnostics and life science markets. She cofounded Veracyte in 2008 and served as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer until 2016, when she was also appointed Chairman of the Board. She led Veracyte’s initial public offering in 2013 and has spearheaded commercialization of Veracyte’s market-leading products.

Prior to Veracyte, Ms. Anderson provided strategic consulting services to venture capital firms and early-stage businesses following 18 years in leadership positions at Beckman Coulter. She serves on the boards of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Castle Biosciences and is President of the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine. She is a trustee emeritus of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.

Allison Balmer

Vice President of Business Development & Strategy, Agilent Technologies

Allison Balmer lead all aspects of corporate strategy, M&A, partnering and collaboration across Agilent's $1B Diagnostic and Genomics business group. Developing strategy-to-execution plan to significantly increase company's participation in Precision Medicine for Next Generation Sequencing and Cancer Diagnostics, aiming to deliver transformational revenue growth in adjacent markets.

Sara Demy

Founder & CEO, Demy-Colton

Sara Demy established Demy-Colton in 2008 to develop high value-added events and help reposition existing events in the life sciences industry.

She has taken her formidable experience and expertise to craft effective investor and CEO events that further business objectives. Her impressive background in supporting biotech's growth includes being the founder of Biotech Showcase and the Biotech CEO Summits that are held in Napa and Europe. In addition, Sara was Vice President, Business Development & Investor Relations, and Head of the New York Office for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Sara understood the problems facing biotech companies and developed solutions to help advance the sector. She launched and developed the BIO CEO & Investor Conference, BIO Investor Forum, BIO's regional venture conferences, CEO boot-camps, the Business Forum at BIO's Annual Meeting, BioEurope, BioEurope Spring, and BIO Asia. Sara also built the prototype for "the partnering system," which is used throughout the biopharmaceutical sector today.

Jeff Elton, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, Concerto HealthAI

Jeff Elton, PhD, is CEO of Concerto HealthAI, a rapidly growing Precision Oncology company with facilities in New York, Philadelphia, Los Altos, and Bangalore that recently moved its headquarters to Boston. Concerto HealthAI is a partner with the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s CancerLinQ program, working with that group and U.S. FDA to advance the use of real world data for pre- and post-approval regulatory submissions, outcomes studies, and value-based care. Previously, he was Managing Director, Accenture Strategy & Predictive Health Intelligence, global COO of Novartis’ Institutes for BioMedical Research and a McKinsey partner in Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products. Dr. Elton co-authored, “Healthcare Disrupted: Next Generation Business Models and Strategies” in 2016, creating an industry roadmap for AI, advanced analytics, real-world data and digital medical solutions.

Simone Fishburn, PhD

VP and Editor in Chief, BioCentury Inc.

Simone serves as Vice President and Editor in Chief at BioCentury, bringing experience from both industry and academia in translational science, where she focused for over 15 years on the scientific, commercial and strategic considerations for advancing laboratory discoveries to products for patients.

Since joining BioCentury in 2013, Simone has written and edited on innovation from idea to patient, most recently serving as Executive Editor. Previously, she was a director of translational research at Nektar Therapeutics and a senior managing consultant at Exponent Inc., where she specialized in projects for the biopharma industry. Simone serves as an adviser on multiple university translational programs, including initiatives at the University of California and Stanford University. Simone is also active in programs to advance women's careers; she is a board member of Women In Bio and served as its President in 2013-14.

Simone is a Fulbright scholar and performed a post-doc at the University of California San Francisco. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and an M.A. and B.A. in Pharmacology from Cambridge University.

David W. Ghesquiere

Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development, nanoString

David W. Ghesquiere has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate & Business Development since November 2013. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Ghesquiere was the founder and managing director of Adrenaline Venture & Advisory LLC, an international advisory firm, from August 2012 to November 2013. Prior to founding Adrenaline Venture & Advisory, Mr. Ghesquiere served as Senior Vice President, Corporate & Business Development at Dendreon Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 2011 to 2012. From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Ghesquiere held a variety of executive positions at OSI Pharmaceuticals, acquired by Astellas Pharma in 2010, including Senior Vice-President of Corporate & Business Development and Managing Director of OSI Investment Holdings GmbH and OSI Investment Management GmbH, OSI's wholly owned, Switzerland-based subsidiaries, where he played a key role in establishing OSI's venture capital arm. Earlier in his career, Mr. Ghesquiere served as Director of Global Business Development for Aventis Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Sanofi in 2004, and worked in product marketing at Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Ghesquiere received an M.B.A. from The University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business and a B.A. in economics from The University of Western Ontario.

Wende Hutton, MBA

General Partner for West Coast, Canaan

Wende identifies, builds and invests in companies that change medicine by bringing novel drugs, technologies and devices to market. She has partnered with founders to deliver more than a dozen of those innovations to patients. She started her venture career as a General Partner at Mayfield. She previously held senior marketing roles at GenPharm and Nellcor. Wende holds an A.B. in human biology from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Lara Mangravite, PhD

President, Sage Bionetworks

Lara Mangravite, PhD, is President of Sage Bionetworks. This organization is focused on the development and implementation of practices for large-scale collaborative biomedical research. Our work is centered on new approaches to scientific process that use open systems to enable community-based research regarding complex biomedical problems. Previously, Dr. Mangravite served as Director of the Systems Biology research group at Sage Bionetworks where she focused on the application of collaborative approaches to advance understanding of disease biology and treatment outcomes at a systems level with the overriding goal of improving clinical care. Dr. Mangravite obtained a BS in Physics from the Pennsylvania State University and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of California, San Francisco. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular pharmacogenomics at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

Laurie McGraw

Senior Vice President, Health Solutions Group

Laurie McGraw is the Senior Vice President of Health Solutions, the unit that provides AMA's data solutions (CPT®, physician data) used across the entire US healthcare industry and increasingly, globally. For over 25 years, she has led high-growth health information companies, bringing innovative technology to healthcare.

Her first ten years were at IDX Corporation and its internet spin off ChannelHealth where she led electronic health record (EHR) product development. Prior to joining the AMA in 2016 McGraw led a clinical documentation startup after having spent 14 years at Allscripts where she held a variety of senior leadership positions—including chief client officer, president of strategic accounts and president of enterprise solutions—and was primarily responsible for running its flagship EHR businesses. McGraw&pos;s tenure at Allscripts coincided with its growth from a $30 million company with five initial clients to a $1.5 billion company serving the needs of tens of thousands of clients across the health care spectrum.

McGraw is a graduate of Brown University, where she earned a Sc.B. in cognitive science. She is also a passionate outdoor enthusiast and has served on the Yellowstone Park Foundation's Advisory Board for many years. Laurie and her husband, Kevin, have two children, Colin and Chelsea.

Trevor Moody

Partner, Medical Devices, M.H. Carnegie & Co.

Trevor has broad, global experience with over 25 years in growth-oriented medical technology markets. Trevor’s 25+ year career in medical technology has included roles in product development, marketing, management consulting and venture capital investing. Trevor has been instrumental in working with M. H. Carnegie & Co. to build their healthcare portfolio. He has been directly involved in sourcing, negotiating and managing investments in high-growth medical device companies including Cardiac Dimensions (percutaneous mitral valve repair), Serene Medical (aesthetic medical devices), Renew Medical (accidental bowel leakage), Simplify Medical (cervical spinal disc replacement) and EBR Systems (leadless pacemaker). In 2015 Trevor also served as Interim CEO of Cardiac Dimensions.

Trevor serves on the board of the Center for Infectious Disease Research, the largest independent, non-profit research institute in the US focused on vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics for diseases of the developing world. He was the board chair from 2012 to 2014. He is also on the board of ElectroCore, Renew Medical, Serene Medical, Simplify Medical, Cardiac Dimensions and EBR Systems.

Neil Oberoi

Senior Managing Director, Guggenheim Securities

Neil Oberoi joined Guggenheim Securities in 2015 as a Senior Managing Director and was a founding member of the firm's medical device investment banking team. Prior to joining Guggenheim Securities, Neil worked within the Healthcare Corporate Investment Banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch over a 12-year period, most recently as a Managing Director. He has worked on numerous merger and acquisition buy and sell-side advisory mandates and corporate financings. Mr. Oberoi received an M.B.A from Columbia Business School with honors and a B.S. in biology from the University of Richmond.

Linda Pullan, PhD

Founder, Pullan Consulting

Linda Pullan is the founder of Pullan Consulting, which helps in all aspects of business development for fund raising and partnering, including outreach, evaluation, valuation, negotiation and strategy. Linda and her team have an extensive deal sheet from company acquisitions to Phase III to preclinical candidates to technologies, with deals and clients in the US, Europe, and Asia.

After a PhD in Biochemistry, Linda has over 20 years of industry experience, starting in drug discovery at Monsanto/Searle/Pfizer and ICI/Zeneca/AstraZeneca. She led teams that put Seroquel, a multi-billion dollar antipsychotic, and other molecules into development. Business development began with in-licensing technology and early drug candidates at AstraZeneca, and continued as head of oncology hematology licensing for Amgen. She then joined Kosan Biosciences as VP of Business Development, focusing on out-licensing. Now she and her team serve as consultants to a wide array of biotechnology and pharma companies. She also served as CEO and on boards for several small companies and for the AUTM Foundation. Linda has spoken at many meetings, published papers and chapters.

Chad Robins

Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Adaptive Biotechnologies

Chad Robins co-founded our company in September 2009 and has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since incorporation. Prior to co-founding our company, Chad held numerous executive-level positions in medical technology, investment and real estate companies. Chad holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in Managerial Economics from Cornell University.

Clifford Stocks

Chief Executive Officer, OncoResponse

Mr. Stocks brings more than twenty-eight years of experience in the biotech industry to OncoResponse. Most recently, Mr. Stocks served as Chief Executive Officer at Theraclone Sciences, where he was responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s efforts to discover and develop novel therapeutic antibody immunotherapies for the treatment of infectious disease. Prior to Theraclone, Mr. Stocks served as Chief Business Officer of Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led the partnering activities and M&A teamwork that resulted in the acquisition of Calistoga by Gilead for $600 million in Q2 2011. Prior to Calistoga, Mr. Stocks spent over 15 years at ICOS Corporation, where he served as an Executive Officer and Vice President of Business Development. While at ICOS, he led acquisitions and joint venture activities, as well as alliance formation, strategy, licensing and deal making. He played an instrumental role on the leadership team that developed and launched Cialis®, and was a key architect of the Lilly ICOS joint venture partnership leading to the $2.3 billion acquisition of ICOS in 2007. Mr. Stocks's early career includes a turn as a management consultant in the Health Services practice of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, as well as academic research in the department of immunology at the University of Utah and the department of molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago.

Mr. Stocks received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago, Booth Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Utah.

Julie Sunderland, MBA

Managing Director, Biomatics Capital

Prior to co-founding Biomatics Capital Partners in 2016, Ms. Sunderland was director of Program Related Investments for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She led the foundation’s $1.5 billion strategic investment pool, which focused on global health, global development and education. She funded 50 investments, including 30 in health care, and built a team of 10 investment professionals.

Ms. Sunderland also chaired Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment committee, which reviews all program-related investments. Prior to that role, she advised foundations, development finance institutions and governments on venture capital, SME financing and technical assistance programs. Ms. Sunderland holds a B.A. from Harvard University, an MBA from Wharton Business School and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Ms. Sunderland sits on the Board of Directors for several of Biomatics' portfolio companies including Aledade, BlackThorn, eGenesis and Verana.

Brad Vale, PhD

Founder and General Partner, Strategic Healthcare

Brad is a founding general partner of Strategic Healthcare Investment Partners.

He currently serves on a number of private company boards and one public board, Nevro, where he was an investor prior to the IPO. Brad led JJDC investments in a number of companies that were ultimately acquired by JNJ, including Biosense, Atrionix, and Indigo Medical.

Brad was Head of Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) from 2011 to 2015. JJDC is Johnson & Johnson's venture investing arm and has investors based in Si-Valley, Boston, Shanghai, London and Tel Aviv. He established JJDC's west coast office in 1997 and was an investor in medical devices, healthtech, and biotech for JNJ from 1992-2011.

Prior to JJDC, Brad worked in preclinical surgery and product development at Ethicon, JNJ's wound closure company, in projects to develop lasers, blood compatible polymers, wound healing stimulation, internal and external stapling and suture materials. Prior to joining JJDC he was in JNJ's Corporate Office of Science and Technology focused on next generation procedures and biomaterials for medical device applications.

Dr. Vale received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Iowa State University on the development of blood compatible polymers and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University.

more Calendar

2/25/2020 » 2/27/2020
Workshop: Ensuring supply chain flexibility and viability for biologics

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