SEBIO One More Week – New Speakers Announced

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018

Fundraising to make successful businesses in the early stage life sciences space is a daunting and complicated undertaking. Where to find the funds to advance these opportunities sometimes requires that an entrepreneur range far and wide.  Fortunately, there are a number of ways for early stage life science companies to raise funds and with a new Early Stage panel, sources of funding in the southeastern early stage life sciences world will be discussed.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber is sponsoring the Early Stage Investing: And We Mean Early Panel.  This panel will be comprised of: Bob Creeden, Managing Director, UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures; Bob Crutchfield, Managing Director, BrightEdge Ventures; Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., Executive Director, Emory Institute for Drug Development Alan Bentley, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Vanderbilt Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization.  Doug Goodingof Knowles Intellectual Property Strategies will moderate.

Bob Creeden joined the UVA Licensing & Ventures Group in September 2016 as its first Managing Director of the UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures. Bob was the optimum candidate for the position for his experience in launching the Partners Innovation Fund at Partners HealthCare in Boston, one of the first academic medical center venture funds of its kind in the country, and for his interest in integrating the UVA LVG Seed Fund with professional education at the UVA Darden School of Business.  Prior to joining LVG, Bob most recently served as the founding executive director of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in the North Carolina Research Triangle. His efforts helped strengthen the area’s business environment, resulting in early-stage and seed investment of more than $60 million.

Robert L. Crutchfield is Managing Director, BrightEdge Ventures.  The American Cancer Society BrightEdge Ventures Fund is a philanthropic venture capital fund investing in companies that are advancing innovative therapies, technologies and tech-enabled services focused on cancer. He serves as a Board Member of IngagePa­tient and WellCentive, and as a board observer for ControlScan, MaxCyte, nContact, OpenQ and WiserTogether. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Southeast Medical Device Association, the Florida Venture Forum, the Innovation Depot in Birmingham, AL, and the Atlanta Venture Forum. Mr. Crutchfield also serves as a member of the Investment Advisory Board for the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, the Florida High Tech Corridor Council¸ is a Venture Fellow at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, is a member of the Advisory Board for the STEM Path to MBA at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and is a Visiting Executive at Auburn University. Mr. Crutchfield also served as Senior Vice President/General Manager of the Pharmacy Services Division at U.S. Oncology and a Senior Executive at CardinalHealth, where he served as Vice President of New Ventures.. Mr. Crutchfield is a graduate of the University of Georgia and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Chemistry.

Through his discoveries, Professor Dennis Liotta has helped to transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic infection in which patients are able to live active, near normal lives.  The Emory Office of Technology Transfer estimates that greater than ninety per cent of all of the HIV-infected persons in the United States take (or have taken) one of the drugs he invented.  His contributions are not restricted to AIDS: (a) one of the drugs he discovered, Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV), became the first drug approved for the treatment of hepatitis B; and (b) a company he founded, Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences) developed Sofosbuvir, which has become the first line therapy for treating (and perhaps curing) hepatitis C.  Moreover, in his current role as Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, Dennis participated in the discovery and development of another novel nucleoside analogue, EIDD-2023, for treating hepatitis C infections.  His research group has also recently discovered the first potent, dual tropic (CCR5/CXCR4) HIV entry inhibitor.

Dennis is an inventor on 75 issued US patents, many of which cover the antiviral and anticancer drugs and drug candidates he has discovered.  In the United States he is recognized as one of the premier discoverers of novel therapeutics, having been one of the inventors associated with ten FDA approved therapeutics including Epivir, Combivir, Trizivir, Epzicom, Epivir-HBV, Emtriva, Truvada, Atripla, Complera and Stribid.  In addition to Pharmasset mentioned above, Dennis has founded numerous other companies including: (a) Altiris (drugs for stem cell mobilization and as potential treatments for a variety of cancers); (b) Triangle Pharmaceuticals (developed emtricitabine and was subsequently acquired by Gilead Science); (c) NeurOp (therapies for treating ischemic conditions, such as stroke); (d) Syn4P (drugs for treating traumatic brain injuries in emergency situations); (e) iThemba Pharmaceuticals (a South African company that is developing continuous flow manufacturing techniques to cost effectively produce generic drugs); (f) FOB Synthesis, which has developed a drug (licensed to Astra Zeneca) for treating acinetobacter infection; (g) QUE Oncology, a joint venture owned by the University of Queensland and Emory, that is carrying out the Q-122 clinical trials (vide supra); and (h) DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory.

Alan Bentley, is Assistant Vice Chancellor of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development and is responsible for the Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization (CTTC).   The OTTED’s mission is to protect and preserve the intellectual property assets of Vanderbilt University, licensing technology– inventions and innovations–developed by Vanderbilt’s faculty and staff, and assist in the start-up of companies that commercialize Vanderbilt technology.

During his tenure with the Cleveland Clinic, Bentley was responsible for directing the institution’s technology transfer activities, and also served as executive director for the Atrial Fibrillation Innovation Center, a $23 million research center dedicated to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Prior to his tenure with the Cleveland Clinic, Bentley spent 12 years with the University of Virginia in a series of progressively responsible roles with the university’s Patent Foundation.

Alan is deeply involved in the Deerfield Management and Vanderbilt University launch of Ancora Innovation, LLC (“Ancora”), a Deerfield company that will support Vanderbilt’s innovative life science research and leverage Deerfield’s expertise in accelerating state-of-the-art drug development. Ancora will fund projects with the aim of changing the current paradigm of drug development and establishing novel therapeutics to cure life-altering diseases.  Through Ancora, Deerfield will commit up to $65 million to support promising Vanderbilt life sciences research through the development process, provide operational support, and make additional capital investments into any spin-offs that emerge from Ancora projects. Deerfield has entered into similar arrangements with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as well as with Johns Hopkins University.

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Other Speakers have also been added.  On the Medical Device Panel Peter Shagory,Executive Vice President, CONMED Corporation will now also contribute to the conversation. Peter joined the Company as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Development in May 2015. Mr. Shagory has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare venture investing and mergers and acquisitions through his previous venture capital, investment banking and corporate roles. Prior to joining CONMED, Mr. Shagory led the strategy and business development efforts for Cardinal Health’s Medical Products Group within the Medical Segment from June 2013 to May 2015, where he played a key role in Cardinal Health’s entry into the interventional cardiovascular and the advanced wound care categories. Prior to that, Mr. Shagory led the healthcare and life sciences investment effort at Baird Venture Partners from January 2004 to mid-2013, focusing on medical technology and research tools and diagnostics. Mr. Shagory earned an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and a BS in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Teo Dagi is an internationally recognized neurosurgeon, scholar, educator, venture investor and entrepreneur with extensive experience in public service. He has helped raise over $500 million in funds for portfolio companies and venture capital funds and has more than 15 years of successful experience in founding, managing and exiting companies in health care services and in the life sciences.  He currently serves as CEO of Boston Neurosciences, Managing Partner of Salutramed, and Director of Life Sciences for Anglo Scientific.  He has operating experience in healthcare services, healthcare information technology and the biomedical sector, and has served on the boards of directors of publicly traded and privately held companies.

Dr. Dagi serves as Honorary Professor, and Chairman of International Advisory Panel of the School of Medicine of Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK), and Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. He chairs the Committee on Perioperative Care of the American College of Surgery and serves as a Director of the Council for Surgical and Perioperative Safety and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. He lectures in the Harvard Business School on healthcare innovation and in the Biomedical Entrepreneurship Program at the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology on new technology development, assessment, and commercialization.

Dr. Dagi received an AB from Columbia University, his MD and MPH degrees from Johns Hopkins, and an MBA from the Wharton School. He was named the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Fellow at Harvard, from which he also received a MTS degree in jurisprudence. He trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Neurosurgical Unit of the Guy’s, Maudsley and King’s College Hospitals in London. He was President of the Georgia Neurosurgical Society and a Director of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Among other distinctions, he has been awarded the US Humanitarian Service Medal, and a DMedSc (Hon. Causae) for contributions to medicine and public service from Queen’s University. He was named the Sir Thomas and Edith Dixon Medalist for 2012 and was named to an ad hominem Fellowship in the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh in 2013. He is an editor of Neurosurgery and the Journal of Clinical Ethics, has published over 175 articles and co-authored or edited several books.

Shawn Hingtgen, Ph.D., is pioneering a new treatment for cancer using induced neural stem cells to deliver therapeutic agents at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.  He is also the founder of Falcon Therapeutics, founded to advance the discoveries generated in the Hingtgen lab towards the clinic to redefine the care for patients with cancers that are currently incurable. The company’s initial successful research was also in glioblastoma, but they have developed their personalized tumor-homing cell therapy technology into a platform able to treat solid tumor cancers, childhood cancers and metastatic disease.

Hingtgen joined the School’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and Pharmacoengineering as an assistant professor in 2012. He holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the UNC School of Medicine.

In 2014 he received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuro-Oncology and was a finalist for the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation in 2013. He is the author of twenty-five refereed papers and articles with an h-index of 15 cited more than 700 times, as well as two book chapters.

Hingtgen completed his undergraduate work and earned his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology from the University of Iowa. He then completed postdoctoral fellowships with Ralph Weissleder, M.D., Ph.D., and Khalid Shah, Ph.D., at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Owen B. Samuels, M.D. received his M.D. degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn and completed his internship and residency training at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He completed a Cerebrovascular Disease Fellowship at Emory University and a second fellowship in Neurologic and Neurosurgical Neurointensive Care Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Samuels was instrumental in the redevelopment of Emory University Hospital’s Neurointensive Care Unit. In 2007, Emory opened its 20-bed, neurosciences ICU that allows for centralization of the most critical medical services for patients suffering from severe neurologic and neurosurgical brain injury. Emory’s new unit is one of the largest and busiest in the country, and one of only a few of this type of unit in the Southeast. It provides an unparalleled level of comfort and convenience, and most importantly, the integration of family members who wish to remain near their loved ones. The Neurosciences Critical Care Unit at Emory University Hospital was selected as the recipient of the 2008 ICU Design Citation Award.

To view the entire conference program, visit our online agenda.

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