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2014 Featured Talks » Panel Discussion: Funding Innovation

Panel Discussion, part 1 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion, part 2 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion, part 3 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion, part 4 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion, part 5 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion, part 6 from MCC Industry Relations on Vimeo.

Panel Discussion:
Funding Innovation

Chris Cain, PhD, SciBX:Science-Business eXchange, BioCentury Publications

Panel Members:

Michael Flaschen, Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Richard Heyman, PhD, Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD, Moores Cancer Center

Jay Lichter, PhD, Avalon Ventures

Greg Simon, Poliwogg

Chris Cain, PhD
Senior Writer
SciBX:Science-Business eXchange, BioCentury Publications

Chris is a senior writer for BioCentury and SciBX: Science-Business eXchange, a weekly review of translational research co-published by BioCentury and Nature Publishing Group. He has been with BioCentury Publications since 2010, when he completed graduate work in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, San Francisco. He did his undergraduate work in biology at the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara, where he studied mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis.

Michael Flaschen
Transactions Team Lead
Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center

Michael is the Transactions Team Lead at the J&J Innovation Center. Michael has been working on technology transactions for over fifteen years, first as an attorney and then as a business development lead. Michael has experience with a wide variety of transactions, from academic collaborations to commercial product licensing. Michael led the negotiation and execution of the J&J Innovation Center’s alliances with QB3 and LabCentral. Prior to joining J&J, Michael was in strategy and corporate development at Amgen. While at Amgen, Michael led a number of innovative transactions on the BD or legal side, including Amgen’s multi-product clinical inflammation collaboration with Astra-Zeneca, Amgen’s partnerships with Micromet, Xencor and Cytokinetics, and Amgen’s denosumab partnership with GSK.

Richard Heyman, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Richard A. Heyman, PhD, currently serves as CEO of Seragon Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company recently spun-out of Aragon Pharmaceuticals that focuses on the development of Selective Estrogen Receptor Degraders (SERDs) targeting hormone dependent cancers. He was cofounder and CEO of Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased by Johnson & Johnson in August 2013 for $650 million in cash upfront along with $350 million in contingent development milestones. Previously, he cofounded and served as Chief Scientific Officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics, a company that developed compounds targeting nuclear receptors for the treatment of metabolic diseases, which was acquired by Exelixis in 2004. Prior to X-Ceptor, he held various roles at Ligand Pharmaceuticals, including Vice President of Research, where he served as project leader leading to the successful identification and development of Panretin® and Targretin®, retinoids approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer. He is the author or inventor on more than 120 publications and patents. Dr. Heyman serves on the Board of Directors for BIOCOM, Organovo Inc., The Jenna Druck Center, a non-profit in San Diego, and is a member of the Therapeutic Advisory Board for aTyr Pharma. He was an NIH postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at the Salk Institute, working with Dr. Ronald Evans. Dr. Heyman received a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Minnesota and a BS in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology-Oncology
Director, Stem Cell Research Program, Moores Cancer Center

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology-Oncology and Director for Stem Cell Research at Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Jamieson specializes in myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) and leukemia. Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a family of uncommon but not rare degenerative disorders in which the body overproduces blood cells. Myeloproliferative neoplasms can cause many forms of blood clotting including heart attack, stroke, deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary emboli and can develop into acute myelogenous leukemia. Although some effective treatments are available, they are laden with serious side effects. In addition, individuals can become resistant to the treatments. Dr. Jamieson studies the mutant stem cells and progenitor cells in myeloproliferative neoplasms. These cells can give rise to cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells may lie low to evade chemotherapy and then activate again later, causing disease progression and resistance to treatment. Her goal is to find more selective, less toxic therapies.

Jay Lichter, PhD
Managing Director
Avalon Ventures

Jay Lichter, Ph.D. is an entrepreneur and seasoned investor in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arena with over 25 years of expertise in management, scientific research, and business development. Throughout his career, Dr. Lichter has applied an exceptional combination of business acumen and deep technical knowledge to create commercially viable and successful biotech collaborations and identify potential scientific discoveries at their earliest stages. Dr. Lichter is the inventor on over 260 patent and patent applications for six Avalon portfolio companies, including 78 issued patents. Dr. Lichter continues to be a powerful force in the pharmaceutical industry and has been involved in licensing or merger and acquisition deals valued in excess of $1 billion.

Dr. Lichter led Avalon investments in Afraxis, Carolus, Otonomy, Zacharon Pharmaceuticals, and Sova. Dr. Lichter has served as CEO of many these companies, which has included leading both their business and scientific operations during the companies’ formative periods. He is on the board of directors of all of these companies and also serves on the Board of RQx, another Avalon company. He led the first life science investments for Avalon IX, Sova Pharmaceuticals, and serves as it’s CEO and board member and Aratana Therapeutics, where he serves as a member of the board. Dr. Lichter took over the leadership of Avelas in order to turn that company around after a change in management. He also serves as an observer to the board of directors of Syndax. In addition to his Avalon activities, Dr. Lichter serves as a director on the board of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and a trustee and Chairman elect to Pacific Ridge School located in Carlsbad.

Upon completing his Ph.D. in 1990, Dr. Lichter held a postdoctoral position in Human Genetics at Yale University. Dr. Lichter held a 2nd postdoctoral position at DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co., where he focused on pharmacogenetics. These positions lead to Dr. Lichter becoming a co-Founder of Sequana Therapeutics, with Avalon Ventures, in 1993. Dr. Lichter received a B.S. and Ph.D. from the Univ. of Illinois.

Greg Simon
Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Simon has held senior positions in both houses of Congress and the White House, been a senior strategy consultant to a number of international technology CEOs, led a national patient advocacy nonprofit he co-founded with Mike Milken, and has served as a senior executive at a large pharmaceutical corporation. He has developed a reputation as a visionary strategist, dynamic public speaker and writer, and as a knowledgeable analyst of emerging trends in healthcare, information technology, drug research and development, and patient advocacy.

Most recently Mr. Simon was Senior Vice President for Patient Engagement at Pfizer, Inc. In that role he focused on engaging patients more productively in research and clinical trials and on helping Pfizer develop policies, practices, and medical solutions to improve health, happiness and productivity.

Previously, from June 2009 to February 2010, he was head of Pfizer‘s Worldwide Policy group. He led a global team of professionals in: 1) worldwide government policy, 2) science policy, 3) economic policy and research, and 4) international policy. He advised the CEO on the company’s efforts in Healthcare Reform. br>
Prior to joining Pfizer, Mr. Simon was the founding President of FasterCures/The Center for Accelerating Medical Solutions, an independent, nonpartisan organization that is a center of the California-based Milken Institute. There he led efforts to reform policies governing biopharmaceutical discovery and development, with the goal of bringing a greater number of lifesaving medicines more quickly to doctors and patients.
Immediately prior to joining FasterCures, Mr. Simon was CEO of Simon Strategies and provided strategic advice to CEO’s of major international firms such as Sony, Cisco, Netscape, Motorola, Sega and AOL. b>
Mr. Simon was Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore from 1993 to 1997. He was the lead staffer for the Clinton-Gore Administration for development and passage of the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 as well as development of the National and Global Information Infrastructure. He represented the Vice President on the National Economic Council, helped negotiate the US-Russia agreement on the International Space Station and oversaw a number of key initiatives, including programs at the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Human Genome Project. He was also instrumental in crafting the regulatory framework that is now the foundation for the biotechnology industry. The journal Nature Medicine named Greg one of “Ten People to Watch” in health care policy, noting that he was among “a handful of influential people who quietly keep the wheels of biomedical science turning.” In 2010 he received the Genetic Alliance’s “Art of Advocacy” award. In May 2011 Greg was invited to be the second lecturer in the Constantin Spiegelfeld Lecture series of the Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is a regular presenter at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the OECD, the Washington Campus (a nonprofit educational institution in Washington, D.C.) and at health conferences and academic institutions around the country. b>br> Mr. Simon served as Sen. Gore`s Legislative Director from 1991 to 1993. He was Staff Director of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology from 1985 to 1991. He received his law degree from the University of Washington in 1983 where he was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court. He has a B.A. in history from the University of Arkansas. He is a resident of Bethesda, Maryland.