Plenary Keynotes

TUESDAY, JUNE 18 | beginning at 4:20pm

TURNING SCIENCE INTO MEDICINE: The Science behind the 5R Framework

Mene Pangalos, PhD, Executive Vice-President, Research & Development, BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca

Improving R&D productivity is critical to the success of drug discovery, with failure rates from pre-clinical development to launch often in excess of 90 percent. In AstraZeneca, we conducted an in-depth review of our R&D activities to help us identify ‘success factors’ that could improve the probability of success for any given drug discovery program. As a result, we launched the ‘5R framework’: right target, right tissue, right safety, right patient, and right commercial, focused on the quality of our programs rather than the quantity of programs. In the five years since inception of this 5R framework our success rates have increased almost five-fold to 19% from pre-clinical investigation to completion of Phase III clinical trials.

MINING FOR TOMORROW’S CURES: A Nex-Gen Model of Drug Development

Jennifer Michaelson, PhD, Vice President, Preclinical Research & Early Development, Cullinan Oncology

Drug development in oncology and immuno-oncology is accelerating at a record pace. The multitude of drug targeting modalities and mechanisms being pursued within big pharma and biotech is astounding. Cullinan Oncology has a unique approach to leverage the array of cutting-edge opportunities and broad range of scientific approaches within the fast moving oncology drug development space. A hybrid operating structure enables Cullinan to develop a diversified oncology portfolio of single asset opportunities across a range of mechanisms and modalities within oncology and immune-oncology. The model entails a balance of externally and internally derived programs, a cost-efficient management structure, and an outsourced model to drive speed, nimbleness, risk diversification and efficiency. Case studies exemplifying the efficiency in getting to key go/no go decisions will be presented. The ultimate goal is to develop high value oncology therapeutics that have the potential to significantly improve upon standard of care for patients.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19 | beginning at 12:50pm

PLENARY PANEL DISCUSSION: Data Driven Drug Discovery and Development: Digital, AI and ML to Re-Shape R&D


Peter Henstock, PhD, AI & Machine Learning Lead, Pfizer


Litao Zhang, PhD, Vice President, Leads Discovery and Optimization, Bristol-Myers

Daniel Karlin, MD, Director of Biotech Ventures, CEAi, Inc

Christine Dingivan, PhD, Global Drug Development Head, Data and Digital, Novartis

Peter Bergethon, Vice President, Quantitative Medicine & Clinical Technologies, Biogen

This panel will ask leaders focused on drug discovery and development how they view AI/ML/Digital as an opportunity over the next 1-5 years to improve their business including:

  • In what parts of the business do they see the most opportunities and needs now?
  • How does these technologies fit within their overall strategy?
  • What is the right balance of partnering externally versus developing an internal Digital/AI team?
  • What were the challenges in kickstarting the first AI/Digital projects?

TUESDAY, JUNE 18 | beginning at 3:10pm


PANEL DISCUSSION: Partnering, Preclinical Strategies and Tools, IO Clinical Trials; Capital Invested in IO Relative to Other Oncology Areas


Leigh Zawel, PhD, CSO, Cullinan Oncology


Michael Woo, Director, Head of Immuno-Oncology Search & Evaluation, External Innovation, EMD Serono, Inc.

Sybil Williams, PhD, Director, Biology Oncology Discovery, Merck

Paul Young, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, Merck

Jernej Godec, PhD, Associate, Apple Tree Partners

Stacey J. Adam, PhD, Director, Cancer Research Partnerships, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

  • Has the IO bubble popped? Why have no other IO drugs emerged with PD1/PDL1-like efficacy?
  • What combination strategies are being explored to convert poorly PD1 responsive tumors to more responsive ones?
  • Are there new IO monotherapies or combos that appear promising?
  • Is patient stratification practical with IO therapies?
  • What partnering strategies are most effective?
  • What is a recent deal your firm signed that you’re excited about?

* The program is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen reason.

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