Plenary Keynotes

TUESDAY, JUNE 18 | beginning at 4:20pm


How are life science companies improving R&D productivity and maintaining a fast pace of drug discovery and development? How are they decreasing the rate of translational failures? The World Pharma Week plenary session will tackle these and other questions by highlighting two stories from two worlds, a top pharma company and a small biotech. The common denominator is the goal of bringing novel therapies safely and effectively to patients and their physicians.

4:20 Welcome Remarks

Marina Filshtinsky, MD, Executive Director, Conferences, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

4:30 TURNING SCIENCE INTO MEDICINE: The Science behind the 5R Framework

Fawell_StephenStephen Fawell, PhD, Vice President, Head Oncology Discovery, AstraZeneca

Morgan P, Brown DG, Lennard S, Anderton MJ, Barrett JC, Eriksson U, Fidock M, Hamrén B, Johnson A, March RE, Matcham J, Mettetal J, Nicholls DJ, Platz S, Rees S, Snowden MA, Pangalos MN. Impact of a five-dimensional framework on R&D productivity at AstraZeneca. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (2018) 17, 167–181.

Cook D, Brown D; Alexander R, March R, Morgan P, Satterthwaite G and Pangalos MN. Lessons learned from the fate of AstraZeneca's drug pipeline: a five-dimensional framework. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (2014) 13, 419-431.
Speaker Biography

Improving R&D productivity is critical to the success of drug discovery, with failure rates from pre-clinical development to launch often in excess of 90 percent. In AstraZeneca, we conducted an in-depth review of our R&D activities to help us identify ‘success factors’ that could improve the probability of success for any given drug discovery program. As a result, we launched the ‘5R framework’: right target, right tissue, right safety, right patient, and right commercial, focused on the quality of our programs rather than the quantity of programs. In the five years since inception of this 5R framework our success rates have increased almost five-fold to 19% from pre-clinical investigation to completion of Phase III clinical trials.

4:55 MINING FOR TOMORROW’S CURES: A Nex-Gen Model of Drug Development

Jennifer Michaelson, PhD, Vice President, Preclinical Research & Early Development, Cullinan Oncology

Drug development in oncology and immuno-oncology is accelerating at a record pace. The multitude of drug targeting modalities and mechanisms being pursued within big pharma and biotech is astounding. Cullinan Oncology has a unique approach to leverage the array of cutting-edge opportunities and broad range of scientific approaches within the fast moving oncology drug development space. A hybrid operating structure enables Cullinan to develop a diversified oncology portfolio of single asset opportunities across a range of mechanisms and modalities within oncology and immune-oncology. The model entails a balance of externally and internally derived programs, a cost-efficient management structure, and an outsourced model to drive speed, nimbleness, risk diversification and efficiency. Case studies exemplifying the efficiency in getting to key go/no go decisions will be presented. The ultimate goal is to develop high value oncology therapeutics that have the potential to significantly improve upon standard of care for patients.
Speaker Biography


5:25 Meet the Plenary Keynotes! Join us at the Solutions Theater in the Commonwealth Hall to meet the Plenary Keynotes and ask additional questions.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 | beginning at 12:50pm


12:50 pm Organizer Welcome Remarks

12:55 Controlling Prescription Drug Pricing: Where is it Headed?

Ed Silverman, Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer, STAT

The Trump administration, Congressional Democrats and lawmakers in a growing number of states are pushing various proposals to lower drugs costs. The ideas include eliminating rebates for federal health programs; tying prices for some Medicare drugs to an international pricing index; treating drug makers as utilities and importing medicines from Canada. But which, if any, can gain traction?

1:15 Introduction for the Plenary Panel

Ashoka Rajendra, Head, Product, Molecular Biology and Inventory, Benchling

1:30 PLENARY PANEL DISCUSSION: Data Driven Drug Discovery and Development: Digital, AI and ML to Re-Shape R&D


Peter Henstock, PhD, AI & Machine Learning Lead, Pfizer

Speaker Biography


Litao Zhang, PhD, Vice President, Leads Discovery and Optimization, Bristol-Myers

Speaker Biography

Peter Bergethon, Vice President, Quantitative Medicine & Clinical Technologies, Biogen

Speaker Biography

Laramie_JasonJason Laramie, PhD, Vice President, Global Head, Translational Medicine Data Science, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)

Speaker Biography

Jemison_JamilehJamileh Jemison, MS, MD, Head of Clinical Development, Healthmode

This panel will ask leaders focused on drug discovery and development how they view AI/ML/Digital as an opportunity over the next 1-5 years to improve their business including:

  • In what parts of the business do they see the most opportunities and needs now?
  • How does these technologies fit within their overall strategy?
  • What is the right balance of partnering externally versus developing an internal Digital/AI team?
  • What were the challenges in kickstarting the first AI/Digital projects?


2:25 Meet the Plenary Keynotes! Join us at the Solutions Theater in the Commonwealth Hall to meet the Plenary Keynotes and ask additional questions.

Join us for an IO focused Keynote Panel on Partnering Ecosystem as part of the IO Pharma Congress.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18 | beginning at 3:10pm



PANEL DISCUSSION: Partnering, Preclinical Strategies and Tools, IO Clinical Trials; Capital Invested in IO Relative to Other Oncology Areas


Leigh Zawel, PhD, CSO, Cullinan Oncology; Executive Partner, MPM Capital

Speaker Biography


Michael Woo, MBA, Head, Search & Evaluation, Immuno-Oncology, Business Development & Licensing, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.

Speaker Biography

Sybil Williams, PhD, Director, Biology Oncology Discovery, Merck

Speaker Biography

Paul Young, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, Merck

Speaker Biography

Stacey J. Adam, PhD, Director, Cancer Research Partnerships, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

Speaker Biography

  • Has the IO bubble popped? Why have no other IO drugs emerged with PD1/PDL1-like efficacy?
  • What combination strategies are being explored to convert poorly PD1 responsive tumors to more responsive ones?
  • Are there new IO monotherapies or combos that appear promising?
  • Is patient stratification practical with IO therapies?
  • What partnering strategies are most effective?
  • What is a recent deal your firm signed that you’re excited about?