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6th Annual Chief Medical Officer Summit Announces the Speaker Lineup


  • March 20, 2018

  • New York, NY: March 15, 2018 – The Conference Forum is pleased to announce the lineup for the 6th annual Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Summit to be held on May 7-8, 2018 at the Omni Parker House in Boston, MA. The CMO Summit is the only event in the country to specifically provide a forum for the exchange of best practices for Chief Medical Officers driving all R&D functions while supporting their CEO in biotech.

    “We recognize the unique set of skills required of Chief Medical Officers and the challenges of dealing with competing priorities and a limited set of resources,” explains Allyson Adams, producer of the event. “The CMO Summit addresses the wide range of responsibilities assigned to this role and equips physicians and scientists with tools and a support network to drive clinical development and CRO management while continuing to meet the needs of investors.”

    Program leadership includes co-chair Dr Jim Roach, CMO at Pulmatrix; Asthika Goonewardene, Senior Biotech Analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence; Dr Elizabeth Stoner, Managing Director, MPM Capital; Dr Keith Gottesdiener, CEO at Rhythm Pharmaceuticals; Dr Azmi Nabulsi, Deputy Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Head of R&D Strategic & Professional Affairs at Takeda; Dr Mark Currie, SVP, CSO and President of R&D at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals; Ken Getz, Director of Sponsored Research Programs at Tufts CSDD; and Vikas Goyal, Senior Associate at SR One.

    Mr Goonewardene, a veteran in research analysis, opens the program with a landscape presentation on the Future of the Biotech Industry. Mr Goonewardene’s experience with Bloomberg Intelligence offers valuable insights into the trends of the industry as a whole and how CMOs are informing the discussions of the future.

    The keynote fireside guest for 2018 is Dr Elizabeth Stoner, who is credited with providing the idea and inspiration for the CMO Summit over 6 years ago. Dr Stoner contributes her vast experience in clinical, regulatory, and advisory oversight of several biotech companies, including Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Potenza, Clinical Ink, and TriNetX.

    Dr Gottesdiener and Dr Nabulsi will be joined by Dr Manu Chakravarthy of Axcella Health, Inc to discuss transitioning from leadership roles in large pharma companies to small biotech companies. They will share how their backgrounds from Merck, Takeda, and Eli Lilly, respectively, have taught them how to handle the false assumptions of the insecurities associated with small biotech companies, the opportunities allowed to them by the structure of large pharma, and how to deal with the potential lack of resources when making that transition.

    Dr Currie will share his experience in preparing for the challenges of late stage trials. His journey with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals from discovery all the way to market provides meaningful insights into the biotech life cycle and a company that lived to tell the tale.

    Returning to the program by popular demand, Mr Getz will present his annual keynote on the Changing Clinical Trial Landscape: Anticipating the Migration of Clinical Research Into Clinical Care and the Impact on Biotech.

    For the first time, the CMO Summit will feature Therapeutic Area Specific Roundtables, providing the opportunity for attendees to exchange creative solutions, lessons learned, and new pathways in their therapeutic areas. These collaborative sessions will address some of the most pressing fields in the biotech industry, including CNS Disorders, Rare Disease, Oncology, and Gene Therapy.

    About the Chief Medical Officer Summit

    The CMO Summit is dedicated to accomplishing two goals:

    • To bring together CMO and R&D leadership from emerging biotechs to address the unique challenges in directing all R&D functions with limited resources, while raising capital and strategizing for appropriate exits.
    • To create a network of CMOs and R&D Leadership from small to mid-size life science companies to benchmark, share ideas, solutions and support. Learn more about the Chief Medical Officer Summit.

    About the Conference Forum

    The Conference Forum is a life science industry research firm and develops events for professionals in the life science industry. The company currently offers conferences for R&D leaders, clinical development professionals, biotech executives, VCs, drug delivery specialists, patient advocates and non-profit/government healthcare groups. The Conference Forum’s mission is to create the best content, facilitate the exchange of ideas and provide quality networking to help move therapeutics to patients faster.