BIO Announces Plenary Sessions and Participants for the 2014 BIO Investor Forum

Sessions to focus on the FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation Process, IPO Market, and BioCentury’s Back to School issue

13th Annual BIO Investor Forum

WASHINGTON--()--The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) announces a robust program featuring plenary sessions, therapeutic sessions and business roundtables for the 13th Annual BIO Investor Forum. The event, an international investor conference which explores investment trends and opportunities in life sciences, will take place October 7-8, 2014 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, California.

“For the past several years we have seen greatly increased interest from investors in the biotech sector,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “Given that interest, we have worked hard to bring together a leading group of biotechnology executives, analysts and investors for our panel sessions this year. Attendees can expect lively and informative discussions of the top issues affecting investment in our industry.”

Plenary Sessions include:

Opening Plenary Welcome Remarks: Jim Greenwood, President and CEO, BIO
Tuesday, October 7, 12:00 – 12:10 p.m.

Ebola Update: A Conversation with Tekmira’s President and CEO, Mark Murray, MD
Tuesday, October 7, 12:10 – 12:30 p.m.
The biotechnology industry has been asked to accelerate its response in the face of this year’s record setting Ebola outbreak. We will discuss the tensions and the path forward with the CEO of Tekmira, a leading company developing an Ebola therapy.

Opening Plenary: A High-Speed Option at the FDA: Lessons from Veterans of the Breakthrough Therapy Designation Process
Tuesday, October 7, 12:30 – 1:25 p.m.
The Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) program instituted under the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012 has produced its first set of accelerated approvals under this program. Our panelists will discuss the characteristics of successful applicants, what lessons they learned from their BTD program experience and what advice they would give companies seeking to apply.


  • Edward Dougherty, Principal, Dentons


  • Cartier Esham, PhD, EVP Emerging Companies Section, BIO
  • Patrick J. McEnany, CEO, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners
  • William Lis, CEO, Portola Pharmaceuticals
  • Robert Ryan, MD, President and CEO, Scioderm

Lunch Plenary: BioCentury Presents: 22nd Annual “Back to School Report”
Wednesday, October 8, 12:30 – 1:25 p.m.
The 22nd annual “Back to School” report from BioCentury, released in September, brings a spotlight to important issues affecting the industry. At this session, all corners of biotech will be asked to weigh in regarding where progress is most achievable.

Closing Plenary: Up, Up and Away: How Fragile is the Biotech Rally After Five Positive Years
Wednesday, October 8, 3:30 – 4:25 p.m.
The past year has seen more biotech IPOs than the past five years combined. That said, public officials have questioned whether there is a biotech “bubble” creating temporary market shocks related to investor confidence. Are the innovative researchers and experienced investment community that brought the industry to its current peak communicating well enough to sustain this growth?


  • David Donabedian, PhD, Vice President, AbbVie Biotech Ventures, Inc.
  • John Maraganore, PhD, CEO, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals
  • Ellen Lubman, VP Strategy and Innovation, Forest Laboratories
  • Rachel King, CEO, GlycoMimetics
  • Todd Foley, Managing Director, MPM Capital
  • Michael Margolis, RPh, Managing Director, ROTH Capital

Therapeutic Sessions include:

T-Cell therapies: Best Bets in Pushing down the Cost Curve and Prioritizing Cancer Targets
Tuesday, October 7, 9:00 – 9:55 a.m.
New approaches in cancer immunology are achieving promising early-stage results through novel techniques for arming the body’s own T-cells to have greater impact on reducing tumors and preventing the spread of disease. This panel will review priorities in the field for tailoring T-cell approaches to different cancer types and improving therapy efficiencies.


  • Kristen Hege, MD, San Francisco Site Head, VP Translational Development, Hematology & Oncology, Celgene; Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, UCSF


  • Timothy C. Rodell, MD, CEO and President, GlobeImmune
  • David D. Chang, MD, PhD, EVP Research and Development, Chief Medical Officer, Kite Pharma
  • Jonathan Lewis, MD, PhD, CEO, ZIOPHARM Oncology

Gene Therapy Ascending? Today’s Advancements Over Past Hurdles
Wednesday, October 8, 10:30 – 11:25 a.m.
Across a wide range of diseases, gene therapy is showing traction with fresh clinical results and attracting a record amount of venture capital. However, real challenges remain in delivery of therapies in sufficient concentrations to achieve lasting results without introducing harmful complications. This panel will discuss the variety of strategies companies are employing to reduce risks and improve patient outcomes.


  • Eli A. Loots, PhD, Partner, Knobbe Martens


  • Thomas W. Chalberg, Jr., PhD, Founder and CEO, Avalanche Biotechnologies
  • Rachel Haurwitz, PhD, Founder, President and CEO, Caribou Biosciences
  • Katrine Bosley, CEO, Editas Medicine
  • Harry E. Gruber, MD, Chairman, CEO and President, Tocagen

Electroceuticals and Digital Drug Delivery: Neurological Stimulation, the Bionic Pancreas and Beyond
Wednesday, October 8, 9:00 – 9:55 a.m.
Some of the most experienced executives in biotechnology have begun asking themselves, “Can we foresee the day of diminishing returns from research in traditional molecular biology?” Panelists will discuss the new approach researchers are taking to investigate alternative modalities of providing therapy that would combine electronic sensing with drug delivery or even stimulating the body through electricity alone to produce a desired response.


  • Juan-Pablo Mas, Partner, Action Potential Venture Capital
  • Christopher J. Czura, PhD, VP, Scientific Affairs, CFO, Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
  • Cheryl R. Blanchard, PhD, CEO, microCHIPS
  • Martha J. Morrell, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NeuroPace

Business Roundtables include:

JOBS Act, from Enactment to IPO: Surprises from the CEOs in the First Generation
Tuesday, October 7, 3:30 – 4:25 p.m.
Panelists will discuss how investors’ expectations of biotech CEOs are changing. CEOs will describe new opportunities they have and surprises they encountered in taking their companies public in a post-JOBS Act environment.


  • Cartier Esham, PhD, EVP Emerging Companies Section, BIO


  • Effie Toshav, Partner, Fenwick & West LLP
  • John Orwin, President and CEO, Relypsa
  • Paul J. Hastings, Chairman and CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals
  • Robert Ward, President & CEO, Radius Health

Blurred Lines: VCs, CVCs and IBs Explain Their Re-Thinking of Traditional Private-Only or Public-Only Investment Strategies
Wednesday, October 8, 2:00 – 2:55 p.m.
The recent expansion and acceleration of the biotech stock market has seen a new willingness and in some cases eagerness to pursue crossover investing in firms pre- and post-IPO. This panel will discuss how temporary or permanent these shifts appear to be and the implications for biotech firms reaching out to the investment community.


  • Michael J. O’Donnell, Partner, Morrison Foerster


  • Jonathan Leff, Partner, Chairman of the Deerfield Institute, Deerfield
  • Oleg Nodelman, Founder and Managing Director, EcoR1 Capital
  • Rajeev Shah, Portfolio Manager, RA Capital
  • Graeme Martin, PhD, President and CEO, Takeda Ventures

The BIO Investor Forum features public and venture-stage company presentations, one-on-one investor meetings and networking opportunities.

To learn more about the BIO Investor Forum, including registration, program and partnering information, please visit here. Media registration is now open for qualified members of the press.

About BIO

BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIO produces BIOtechNOW, an online portal and monthly newsletter chronicling “innovations transforming our world.” Subscribe to BIOtechNOW.

Upcoming BIO Events:

Livestock Biotech Summit
September 16-18, 2014
Sioux Falls, SD

BIO Investor Forum
October 7-8, 2014
San Francisco, CA

BIO Europe 2014
November 3-5, 2014
Frankfurt, Germany

BIO IPCC Conference
November 10-12, 2014
Nashville, TN

BIO Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology & Bioenergy
December 7-9, 2014
San Diego, CA

BIO CEO & Investor Conference
February 9-10, 2015
New York City, NY

BIO International Convention
June 15-18, 2015
Philadelphia, PA


Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
Abigail Hirsch, 202-962-9230
Twitter: @IAmBiotech

Release Summary

BIO announces a robust program featuring plenary sessions, therapeutic sessions and business roundtables for the 13th Annual BIO Investor Forum. The event will take place October 7-8, 2014 in SF, CA.


Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
Abigail Hirsch, 202-962-9230
Twitter: @IAmBiotech