Fred Hassan, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus with Brent Saunders, Chairman, President & CEO, Allergan

Each year, The Conference Forum holds the R&D Leadership Summit, a private event for primarily senior level R&D executives from mid to large pharma and biotech companies to address timely and relevant issues impacting R&D decision-making. The theme for 2018 was “Growth: Where will it come from?” The agenda was made up of approximately 20 topic sessions, with a speaking faculty of 50 presenters who were mostly from senior R&D leadership, with CEOs, investors, analysts, representatives from the payer community and government.

The annual opening keynote was given by Fred Hassan, Special Limited Partner, Healthcare, Warburg Pincus. Keynote discussions scheduled included Brent Saunders, CEO, AllerganJoaquin Duato, MBAWorldwide Chairman of Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & JohnsonChris Viehbacher, Managing Partner, Gurnet Point Capital; Steve Frank, Chairman, Global Health Care Group, JP Morgan; and David Epstein, MBAExecutive Partner, Flagship Pioneering.

We were delighted to welcome our veteran and new leadership to the speaking faculty, including co-chairs Dr Bahija Jallal, EVP,  Medimmune and David Nicholson, PhD, Chief R&D Officer,  Allergen; as well as veteran and new leadership to the speaking faculty, including Dr Roy Baynes, SVP, Head Global Clinical Development, CMO, MerckMarc Boutin, CEO, National Health CouncilDr Ron Cohen, President and CEO,  Acorda Therapeutics; Ronny Gal, Senior Analyst, Healthcare, Sandford Bernstein; Glenn Gormley, MD, PhDSenior Executive Officer and Global Head of R&D, Daiichi SankyoDr Monika Lessl, Head of Corporate Innovation and R&D, Bayer AG; Diego Miralles, MD, CEO, Vividion Therapeutics;  Clive Meanwell, MD, PhD, CEO, The Medicines Company; Azmi Nabulsi, MD, Deputy Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Head of R&D Strategic & Professional Affairs, Takeda PharmaceuticalJoseph Papa, MBA, CEO, ValeantDr Alise Reicin, Head of Global Clinical Development, EMD SeronoDr Moncef Slaoui, former Chairman of Vaccines, GSK and Partner, Medicxi; Kent ThoelkeEVP, Medical and Scientific Affairs & Commercialization Services, PRA Health Sciences; Brian Slomovitz, MD, Sylvester Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology and Human Genetics, Miller School of Medicine, University of MiamiRobert Stein, MD, PhDSenior Advisor, R&D, Agenus Inc; and Dr Elias Zerhouni, President, Global R&D, Sanofi.

Dr Bahija Jallal leads a discussion with Dr Jay Siegel, Dr David Shulkin, Craig Wheeler, Dr Jan Lundberg and Dr Ron Cohen.












We were especially pleased to welcome the following new speakers participating for the first time at the Summit:

Andrew Baum, MD, Head of Global Healthcare; Managing Director, Equity Research, Citi

Jeff BerkowitzFormer EVPUnited Health Group

Mark Bodmer, PhD, President of R&D, CSO, Evelo

Katrine Bosley, CEO, Editas Medicine

C. Bernie Good, MD, MPH, Lead, Center for Value-Based Purchasing of Drugs, UPMC Health Plan

Steven Hildermann, MD, Global CMO and Head of Global Medical and Safety, EMD Serono

Axel Hoos, MD, SVP Oncology R&D, GSK

David Maris, MBA, Equity Research Analyst, Managing Director, Wells Fargo

William Meury, Chief Commercial Officer, Allergan

Joerg Moeller, MD, Corporate EVP, Head of Global Development, Bayer AG

Sylke Poehling, PhD, SVP and Global Head, Strategy, Portfolio & Clinical Operations, Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche

Dan Wechsler, CEO, Melinta Therapeutics

Chris Viehbacher, Managing Partner, Gurnet Point Capital

Susan Windham-Bannister, PhD, Former CEO, MLSC


Investor Panelists Announced:

Alexis Borisy, Partner, Third Rock Ventures

Liam Ratcliffe, MD, PhD, MBA, Managing DirectorNew Leaf Venture Partners

Mark Simon, MBA, Partner, Torreya Partners

Moncef Slaoui, PhD, Partner, Medicxi


Many thanks to the executive team at PRA Health Sciences for their support, to Dr Thomas Koestler, Executive Director Health Care, Vatera Health Care Partners, for his guidance, and to the entire speaking faculty, who brought their vast experience together to identify and collaborate over ideas that will advance therapeutics for the benefit of patients.

Bahija2men - RDL2016

Dr Bahija Jallal, EVP, MedImmune, Genghis Lloyd-Harris, Partner, Abingworth & Francesco De Rubertis, Partner Medicxi Ventures

The format of the Summit is a combination of presentations, interviews and panel discussions. The event provided plenty of networking opportunities, including breakfast, luncheons, a welcome reception, the annual dinner and networking breaks.

The Summit is open exclusively to senior level R&D executives from clinical stage pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and vaccine companies.

Our audience is as much a part of the event as our speaking faculty. Our ultimate goal is to foster a Summit environment that inspires positive change to advance R&D and to provide support for the leaders behind the movement.

For questions about the R&D Leadership Summit, please contact Valerie Bowling at Valerie@tcfllc.org or Jennifer Moran at Jennifer@tcfllc.org.


Valerie Bowling New


Valerie Bowling
Executive Director


Jennifer Moran B&W1


Jennifer Moran
Project Manager



Meredith Sands
Executive Director, Business Development


*Please note the leadership R&D program for emerging biotechs is held in Boston each May and is called the CMO Summit.

Click here to learn more about the CMO Summit.






  • "One of the best conferences and a great group of leaders and organizers and all done with such thought put into the agenda and topics."

    - Mark Currie, Ironwood Pharma