2019 Program

Founded in 2016, the central theme of the first Boston/Paris Biotechnology Summit in 2017 was an introduction to the biotechnology ecosystems in Boston and Paris, which were also highlighted in terms of innovation and leadership. The Summit®’s framework for its 2018 edition was “from the promise of raising capital to the reality of clinical trials” and featured speakers from the academic, biotech, investor, legal/regulatory and pharma worlds. The objective of the third Boston Biotechnology Summit will be to further ensure that the Summit® provides an efficient and cost-effective forum that will add value for the companies which take part. We aim to achieve this by maintaining a hand-crafted content, maintaining its “human size” and strategically expanding this US-based Summit® to broader European participation.

The central theme, in 2019, of the 3rd Summit will be “Collaboration”.

Collaboration is becoming an increasingly important component in the next stage of biotechnology’s evolution. There are at least three fundamental reasons: First, no single technology is likely to generate all the drug innovations required to treat the complex range of diseases that constitute unmet medical needs in our societies. Second, no single company or type of company can possibly possess all the answers, and third, the risky nature of the economics of biotechnology is such that no single region can achieve results on its own.

2019 Venue


The Wistar Institute

3601 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA, USA 19104




Executive level speakers from 40 organizations in 5 sessions: Collaboration accross Geographies, AI & Big Data, Wistar Institute model, CNS & Neurology, Immunotherapy and Infectious Diseases. More Speakers will be added soon.

8:00 AM

Registration, Morning Coffee Networking, Personal Greeting of Participants, Speakers load slides.

9:00-9:30 AM

International Program Committee & Organizing Committee 

What do we want to achieve today?

Pravin Chaturvedi, Jennifer Chase, Pierre Courteille, Annika Pierson, Frederic E. “Rick” Pierce II, Christine Sarkisian, Heather Steinman, Soheila Gharakhanian.

Shahin Gharakhanian: Collaboration & the current complexities of problem solving in Clinical Development.

9:35 AM

The WISTAR Institute Model for Collaboration and Curing Chronic Diseases

Introduction by Soheila Gharakhanian, Summit Principal & Head, Organizing Committee.

Heather Steinman Vice President for Business Development & Executive Director of Technology Transfer, The WISTAR Institute, Philadelphia PA, USA, Steering Committee Member, BIO Convention 2019. Member, Summit Program Committee.

Luis Montaner, Vice President, Scientific Operations. Professor of Immunology & Director HIV Immuno-pathogenesis Laboratory.

10:00-11:00 AM

Does Collaboration Across Geographies Help Biotechnology Productivity?

Moderators:Jennifer Chase, Managing Director, Global Life Sciences Practice, Witt/Kieffer International Ltd, Burlington MA, USA – Pierre Courteille, Vice-President, France-Biotech, Paris, France – Annika Pierson, Chief Operating Officer, German Accelerator Life Sciences, Cambridge MA, USA.

David Meek, CEO, IPSEN, Paris, France & Cambridge MA, USA. Summit Keynote Speaker: 2017-2018.

Horst Domdey, Co-Founder MediGene, Professor of Biochemistry at the LMU Munich, Germany. 

John Hallinan, Chief Business Officer, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBIO), Boston MA, USA.

John Pottage, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer, ViiV Healthcare, [GSK, Pfizer, Shionogi Joint Venture] Collegeville, PA.

11:15 AM 12:30 PM

Collaborating in the Era of Artificial Intelligence, Big Data & Digital Health; What Innovative Treatments are We Capable of Optimally Delivering to Patients, Globally?

Moderators: Pravin Chaturvedi, CEO Oceanyx Pharmaceuticals, Woburn MA, USA, 2019 Summit Guest Program Chair – Denis Gauvreau, Director of Innovation and Business Development at Polytechnique Montréal, Canada – Christine Sarkisian, International Business Development, Co-founder, Canadian Technology Accelerator. Consulate General of Canada, Boston MA, USA.

Philippe Jouvet, Deputy Director of the Research Center and the Scientific Director of the Health Technology Assessment Unit of the Sainte Justine Hospital-University of Montreal.

Lizabeth Leveille, Associate VP, Head BD&L Boston Innovation Hub, Merck Research Laboratories.

AI & Big Data Analytics Speakers*

Veronica Miller, Executive Director, Forum for Collaborative Research, Washington DC & Adj. Professor, University of California, Berkley CA, USA.

12:30-1:30 PM

Lunch, Networking, Major Sponsor’s one-to-one meetings, Partnering conversations, Sponsor exhibits’ visit.

1:30-2:45 PM

Which Collaborative Approaches will Improve CNS: Central Nervous System, Neurological and Aging-related Complications?

Moderators: Cynthia “Cindy” Lander, CEO Moerae Matrix, Partner, Nascent Enterprises, Boston MA, USA, PhD Neurosciences – Michael Nowak, Managing Partner, Nowak Ventures LLC, Wellesley MA, & CEO Navan Technologies, Inc, South San Francisco, CA, USA.


Retsina Meyer, Neuroscientist-innovator-entrepreneur, Cambridge MA, is Advisor & Coach to pitching CEOs.

Steve Davis, CEO, ISOMA Diagnostics, Philadelphia PA. (Glioblastoma Multiforme Platform).

Geeta Singh, CEO, MAG OPTICS, [Ophthalmological Platform], Lowell MA/Chicago IL 2018 Finalist @ M2D2 Challenge & MASSMEDIC.


Gilles Avenard, CEO Acticor, 2018 Best Biotechnology Entrepreneur Awardee, France.

Paul Hartung, representing Launchpad Ventures LLC, Boston MA.

Lizabeth Leveille, Associate VP, Head, Boston Innovation Hub Business Development & Licencing, Merck Research Laboratories, Boston MA.

Maria Lopez-Bresnahan, VP, Clinical Research for Neurology, Alkermis, Waltham MA.

Bernard “Bernie” Rudnick, Angel Investor & Business Strategist, Capgenic Advisors, Newark DE.

Academic Expert Neurology*

3:00-4:15 PM

Have we optimized the Potential of Immune-Based Treatments in Infectious Diseases, Chronic Inflammation & Oncology?


Shahin Gharakhanian, Pharmaceutical Medicine & Infectious Diseases, CIC: Cambridge Innovation Center, Summit Program Chair, Cambridge MA, USA – Stephan Ogenstad, President, Statogen Consulting LLC, Fmr. Advisor to Sweden’s Nobel Prize Committee for Medicine.


Elena Diez, Director of Business Development and R&D Strategy at A2A Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge MA, USA.

Abderrahim Lachgar, CEO, Par’Immune, EuraSanté Lille, France [Immunotherapy of Chronic Inflammation].

Christopher Locher, CEO, Versatope, Cambridge MA [Universal Flu & Vaccine Platform] 2018 MALSC Innovation Day 1st Prize, 2018 M2D2 Challenge Finalist, JLABS Resident Company.

Andrew Luber, President/COO, Virion Therapeutics, DE, USA [Infectious Ds/Oncology Vaccine Platform], A Wistar Spin-Off Company.


Marion Hitchcock, Global External Innovation & Alliances, BAYER, Cambridge MA, USA.

Greg Mannix, VP, Life Science Nation, Boston MA.

Veronica Miller, Executive Director, Forum for Collaborative Research.

Nicola La Monica, Senior Director, Infectious Diseases Scientific Innovation @ Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Boston MA, USA.

Frederic E. “Rick” Pierce II, FEP Capital Advisers, Cambridge MA – New York – Beijing – Shanghai.

John Pottage, Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, ViiV Healthcare, Collegeville PA.

4:20 PM

What have we Learned Today about Effective Collaboration? Is it about Finance, Ideas, People or Technology?

International Program Committee on Podium: Pravin Chaturvedi, Denis Gauvreau, Nicola La Monica, Abderrahim Lachgar, Cynthia “Cindy” Lander, Michael Nowak, Stephan Ogenstad.

4:45 PM

PRINCIPALS ADJOURN 2019 SUMMIT WITH APPRECIATIONS: Soheila Gharakhanian & Shahin Gharakhanian

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