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5 Questions for Dpharm Director, Valerie Bowling

  • July 24, 2015

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    Jessica Rothenberg & Valerie Bowling

    Jessica Rothenberg, Marketing Director at the Conference Forum, asks Valerie Bowling, Dpharm Director, five questions to give both past and future attendees an insight into DPharm 2015.

    Q: What are you most excited about for Dpharm 2015?

    A: I’m really look forward to seeing the diverse examples of innovation to advance clinical trials from so many different companies.  I am also keen to hear about the ongoing results of which technologies, processes and strategies are actually reducing the length and cost of drug development. What will be transformative and sustainable? I am pleased to welcome some terrific new speakers to the program, and I’m excited to see what impact our patient speakers will have this year. One of our patient speakers is an opera singer with a lung transplant, who has the most extraordinary story that will remind us why we are at Dpharm to begin with.

    Q: What is the process like putting the Dpharm agenda together when expectations get higher each year for the program?

    A: The process begins as soon as the previous annual event ends. Feedback pours in from passionate attendees who were at the event. We combine this with new research before meeting with the Dpharm advisory board. In addition to this long list of topics, we also get additional submissions from companies that have something new to report.

    From this point, a painful selection process takes place, as we don’t have enough stage time for every worthy talk. 90% of the sessions have never been presented before and about 10% have, but these are usually in unrelated or non-public venues.

    Each year, our audience does have higher expectations. Companies are at vastly different stages in the evolution of innovative approaches to advance clinical development, and what one company thinks is really innovative is not so innovative for another company. Determining this can be challenging and requires careful research.

    Q: What can we expect that is new at DPharm 2015?

    A: Almost everything on the agenda is new, but to name a few… For the first time, we have a large pharma HR Director talking about the future of staffing to drive and support innovation. We also have a top CEO from a renewable energy company sharing how she creates a culture to drive sustainable innovation. Dpharm Idol judges will be led by the patient voice for the first time. This is very exciting as they have some of the best insights into which technologies or services can truly impact the patient experience.

    Idol judges

    2014 Dpharm Idol Judges with presenter Helen West, MMG


    J&J unveil what’s happening with their three new research platforms. Genentech shares the learnings from three decentralized clinical trials. Scripps Clinical presents on the results of a brand new out-of-the-box study called mSToPS. Eli Lilly talks about a couple of cool new concepts, in particular one on an “Open Table” concept to patient scheduling. I am especially looking forward to seeing the big elephant in the room addressed for the first time: disrupting the CRO.

    We also welcome Google [x] and other tech companies to the stage. I am very intrigued by a new topic being featured on day two of the program on disrupting the process to accelerate cures through repurposing research. We have a special session with pediatric patients, who give us an incredible insight into how we can make clinical trials better for all patients. You can see all the new topics on the agenda on our website.

    Q: What do you want attendees to get out of Dpharm 2015?

    A: Let me start by saying that the our past attendees have told us that the networking is as valuable as the conference itself. The connections and support with like-minded individuals have provided enormous value to our attendees. We keep seeing examples in the press where companies have collaborated as a result of attending DPharm. For example, Trial Reach was recently featured in Forbes from their work with Pfizer, Novartis and Eli Lilly with a consortium created called Patients to Trials formed as a result of  meeting at Dpharm.

    The exhibitors and sponsors love meeting the most innovative thinkers and doers in the industry and they know Dpharm is the best place to meet them. The product and service companies at Dpharm are so passionate about helping pharma innovate, especially when it impacts patients.

    We purposely keep Dpharm at a reasonable size so that people have the chance to engage in more meaningful conversations. Most of all we want Dpharm attendees to leave the event well-networked, inspired and armed with something tangible to help advance and improve their clinical trials.

    Gamification speakers Dr Eddie Martucci, Akili Interactive Labs and Annik Willems, Janssen

    Dpharm: Disruptive Innovations for Clinical Trials 2014