Next Generation Undruggable
3rd Annual

Next Generation Undruggable

October 11th | Boston, MA

Showcasing the Next Wave of “Undruggable” Innovation

Registration Agenda

Partners

Title Partner
Title Partner

PhoreMost has developed a next-generation phenotypic screening platform called SITESEEKER® that can discern the best new targets for future therapy and crucially, how to drug them. This has the potential to significantly increase the diversity of novel therapeutics for cancer and other unmet diseases. Based on the Company’s core proprietary PROTEINi® technology, SITESEEKER systematically unmasks cryptic druggable sites across the entire human genome and directly links them to useful therapeutic functions in a live-cell context. Using this platform, PhoreMost is building a pipeline of novel drug discovery programmes addressing a range of unmet diseases.

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Knowledge Partners
Knowlege Partners

resistanceBio has built the first cancer treatment resistance system to predict how multiple cancer types will respond to approved or novel treatments. The ResCu platform aims only to advance therapies that have the potential to be superior to the standard of care and significantly extend patients’ lives. ResCu addresses the root cause of treatment failure, which is treatment resistance.

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Knowledge Partners

Nanome is a software company that is changing the way humanity understands and interacts with science. Using Virtual Reality our technology accelerates innovation and understanding in an intuitive manner. “People have been waiting for this both in academia and industry”​ – Geoff Odell Former VP of Global Operations, Novartis Our immersive tools empower people to take on the challenge of designing at the nano-scale.

Learn More: www.nanome.ai

Knowledge Partners

Our physics-based computational platform leverages a deep understanding of physics, chemistry, and predictive modeling to accelerate innovation.

Our platform enables our collaborators to discover high-quality, novel molecules more rapidly, at lower cost, and we believe with a higher likelihood of success compared to traditional methods. We’re also harnessing this platform for our internal drug discovery programs.

We are proud to be leading this digital revolution.

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Media Partners
Media Partner

Slice of Healthcare LLC is a healthcare media company that specializes in podcast production, content creation, and news coverage. The company prides itself on creating bite-sized, video and audio-focused healthcare content for the masses. Founded in 2018, the company works with a variety of digital health, life sciences, and healthcare IT organizations. Slice of Healthcare is best known for having some of the top podcasts including Titans of Healthcare, Why They Invested – Healthcare Edition, and the Slice of Healthcare Podcast.

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Key Features
ULF
Focused on Innovation

Explore cutting edge approaches with the potential to change how we view difficult-to-drug diseases. Bringing the leading experts across multiple disciplines together in one central hub, Next Generation Undruggable will explore shared challenges across all of undruggable with the aim of benefitting the whole industry.

Crucial Topics

Showcasing the next wave of undruggable innovation with exclusive content. Including protein degradation and molecular glues, transcription factors, oligonucleotide approaches and more, plus interactive sessions on AI and Machine Learning as well as the business and partnerships that make these breakthroughs possible.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

Discuss crucial topics & challenges with leading experts from pharma, biotech & academia through panels with Q&A. Get hands-on with your learning with our roundtable sessions, sharing key insights with your senior-level peers. Discover the case studies that are at the forefront of research and innovation fuelling the next wave of undruggable.

Making the once thought to be impossible, possible is critical to creating Innovative and crucial medicine for difficult to drug diseases. I’m looking forward to learning from the minds behind the scientific advancements being made to drug the once undruggable”

Josh Mandel-Brehm, President & Chief Executive Officer, CAMP4 Therapeutics

Bringing together the individuals and organizations that are striving towards this communal goal of advancing medicine in one place is a powerful prospect. I’m joining the event to learn what the future holds for these important approaches to drugging the undruggable.

Mike Crackower, Chief Scientific Officer, Ventus Therapeutics

In many ways, drugging undruggable targets represents the greatest challenge in healthcare.

 

Neil Dhawan, CEO, Totus Medicines

Expert Speaker Faculty

Gregory Verdine, PhD
Gregory Verdine, PhD
President and CEO
FogPharma/ LifeMine Therapeutics
Gregory Verdine, PhD
President and CEO
FogPharma/ LifeMine Therapeutics

Dr. Greg Verdine is a leader in the discovery, development and commercialization of new drug modalities.  A passionate and accomplished inventor of novel approaches and drug classes to engage targets widely believed intractable, Dr. Verdine coined the phrase “drugging the undruggable” to describe his life’s mission. FogPharma was born from the new modality scientific work of Dr. Verdine.  Together with co-founder WeiQing Zhou, he developed the scientific and business concept for the company and co-led its capitalization and operationalization in mid-2016. Dr. Verdine held the role of Chairman of the Board from company founding until December 2020.

 

Dr. Verdine is highly regarded for having moved seamlessly between roles as an academic scientist, biotech entrepreneur, investor, and company executive. As Erving Professor at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School, he invented stapled peptides, including the precursor to the Phase II molecule ALRN 6924, and also made seminal contributions to understanding fundamental mechanisms of DNA repair and epigenetic DNA methylation. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Verdine has founded multiple, public biotech companies including Variagenics, Enanta, Eleven Bio, Tokai, Wave Life Sciences, and Aileron, and a private company, Gloucester Pharmaceuticals, that was acquired by Celgene. These companies have succeeded in achieving FDA approval for three marketed drugs.

 

Dr. Verdine has served on the board of directors of Enanta Pharmaceuticals, Wave Life Sciences, Warp Drive Bio, and LifeMine Therapeutics. Having led the formation and financing of Wave Life Sciences, Warp Drive Bio and LifeMine, Dr. Verdine took a role in managing these companies as their president, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer.

 

Dr. Verdine earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University and served as an NIH postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology at MIT and Harvard Medical School.

Maria van Dongen, PhD
Maria van Dongen, PhD
Head of External Innovation, Therapeutics Discovery
The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
Maria van Dongen, PhD
Head of External Innovation, Therapeutics Discovery
The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

Maria has held the position of Head of External Innovation, Therapeutics Discovery in Janssen Research & Development since 2016, leading a global team that is responsible for identifying, shaping, onboarding, and nurturing external partnerships that support Janssen’s innovation strategy. The EI team is operating at the cutting edge of drug discovery technology, enabling productive interactions between external and internal scientists at various levels in the organization.

 

Before her current role, she served as a member of the Jansen Prevention Management Team, Head of Preventive Interventions and led global teams working to deliver preclinical proof of concept for innovative preventive products, focusing on small molecule drugs and B-cell vaccines. During her tenure, she brought distinguished small molecule discovery expertise to the specific needs related to preventive interventions and played a pivotal role in research that resulted in innovative antibody-guided drug discovery.

 

Prior to joining Janssen, Maria held scientific positions in pharmaceutical research organizations, including Abbott, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Biovitrum, Pharmacia Corporation and Pharmacia & Upjohn. She holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Stephen Fawell, PhD
Stephen Fawell, PhD
Vice President, Head Oncology Discovery
AstraZeneca
Stephen Fawell, PhD
Vice President, Head Oncology Discovery
AstraZeneca

Steve is an oncology drug discovery expert with experience in both small molecule and biologics discovery and development. He has a deep knowledge of both targeted therapies and immuno-oncology agents, with more than two dozen drugs taken into the clinic and supported the approval of Avonex, Angiomax, Farydak, Keytruda, Tagrisso and Lynparza. Steve joined AZ in 2013 as Head of Oncology Drug Discovery with responsibility for target selection, drug discovery and optimization and overseeing biology, pharmacology, DMPK and chemistry resources, a team of 300 staff. He is also the Site head of the AstraZeneca R&D Boston Biohub based in Waltham, MA. Prior to AZ, Steve was Vice President and Discovery Head for Oncology at Merck. During his tenure at Merck, the group advanced 3 novel drugs into the clinic including the anti-PD1 antibody Pembrolizumab (Keytruda). Before that, Steve spent 5 years as Drug Discovery Head for Novartis Oncology in Cambridge, MA, and in this role, he led efforts that resulted in four INDs and supported the HDAC inhibitor Panobinostat (now Farydak) and 15 years at Biogen, forming and leading the Oncology research group there. Steve obtained his PhD at the University of Leeds, UK and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Rutgers Medical School NJ and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CR-UK) in London.

Niels Emmerich PhD
Niels Emmerich PhD
Vice President, Global Head Search & Evaluation
AbbVie
Niels Emmerich PhD
Vice President, Global Head Search & Evaluation
AbbVie

After joining Abbott in 2011, Niels has held several positions with Abbott and, since its
inception in 2013, AbbVie, currently serving in the Corporate Strategy Office as Vice
President, Global Head of Search & Evaluation. Transactions that his group and Niels
were involved in include acquisitions (Pharmacyclics, Stemcentrx, Allergan), numerous
R&D collaborations, structured acquisitions, option- and licensing agreements, as well as
equity investments made by AbbVie Ventures. Recent (2022) transactions include
partnerships with Syndesi, Gedeon-Richter, Scripps, and Dragonfly.
Prior to joining AbbVie Niels was CEO of BioPheresis, co-founder and COO of immatics
biotechnologies (IMTX), and a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
Niels received his Ph.D. from University of Tuebingen.

Pascal Fortin, PhD
Pascal Fortin, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Early Research
Relay Therapeutics
Pascal Fortin, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Early Research
Relay Therapeutics

As CSO of Early Research, Pascal Fortin oversees research activities that span the early target portfolio and experimental drug discovery platform. Prior to Relay Therapeutics, Pascal served as the head of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry in oncology at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. There, he led a group working at the interface of biochemistry, biophysics and cellular biology, investing significant efforts towards the development of allosteric molecules modulating the function of hard-to-drug cancer targets.

Before joining Novartis, Pascal completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, where he studied the biosynthetic logic behind natural product biosynthesis. His postdoctoral work led to the discovery of a transglutaminase homologue as a condensation catalyst in antibiotic assembly lines. It also led to a great appreciation of the many ways natural small molecules modulate protein function.

Pascal holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Laval University and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, where he studied the enzymology underlying aromatic compounds catabolism.

Nicola Wilsher
Nicola Wilsher
Vice President of DMPK and Preclinical Development
Astex Pharmaceuticals
Nicola Wilsher
Vice President of DMPK and Preclinical Development
Astex Pharmaceuticals

Nicola Wilsher is the Vice President of DMPK and Preclinical Development and joined Astex in 2010. Nicola is highly experienced in the pharmaceutical industry, having held roles in large pharma, academia, biotechs and CROs.  Nicola is a leader of translational science through LO, preclinical development and on into Phase I clinical trials focusing on biomarkers, PK/PD relationships, safety and human dose prediction.  Nicola has a particular interest in the oncology and neurodegeneration disease areas.  Nicola contributed to the development of Abiraterone whilst at the Institute of Cancer Research, UK, and has delivered multiple candidates into clinical development. Nicola studied Biopharmacy at King’s College London and gained her PhD at Leicester School of Pharmacy.

Adrian Gill, PhD
Adrian Gill, PhD
Senior Vice President Discovery Chemistry
Revolution Medicines
Adrian Gill, PhD
Senior Vice President Discovery Chemistry
Revolution Medicines

Adrian aspires to not only be a great medicinal chemistry leader, but a leader of great medicinal chemists. Adrian has over 23 years of drug discovery and development experience in senior roles across a diverse range of disease areas in both large pharma and biotech environments, having worked previously for Roche, Astex Therapeutics and AstraZeneca, where he was the head of medicinal chemistry for the CVMD iMed in Molndal, Sweden.

 

During his career to date, Adrian has been heavily involved in the identification of multiple clinical candidates across a variety of disease areas including RMC-4630, Revolution Medicines first development candidate selectively targeting SHP2 and more recently RMC-5552 which selectively targets mTORC1. Adrian was also a core member of the cell cycle kinase alliance between Astex and Novartis that ultimately led to the discovery of a dual kinase inhibitor approved by the FDA in combination treatment of HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer. In addition, Adrian has authored over 20 publications in peer-reviewed journals, is a named inventor on over 40 issued and pending small molecule patent applications and has given multiple invited presentations at national and international conferences. Adrian received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Sussex, U.K., where he focused on synthetic methodology towards the total synthesis of rapamycin, and has a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry from the University of Salford, U.K.  Adrian is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Chemical Society and an invited member of the AACR Chemistry in Cancer Research (CICR) Steering Committee.

Jim MacKrell
Jim MacKrell
Vice President and Head East Coast Venture Science – Lilly New Ventures
Eli Lilly & Company
Jim MacKrell
Vice President and Head East Coast Venture Science – Lilly New Ventures
Eli Lilly & Company

Dr. Jim MacKrell is Vice President and Head of East Coast Venture Science within Lilly New Ventures at
Eli Lilly and Company. He is responsible for leading the strategy and implementation of Lilly’s early
phase Search & Evaluation activities in addition to leading scientific fund interactions.
Since joining Lilly in 2013, Dr. MacKrell has served roles in early discovery, strategy, external innovation,
and as a leader of Lilly’s early trailblazer teams, championing innovative ways to bring Lilly science to
patients with speed. He has led multiple programs through the portfolio, delivering several NMEs into
clinical testing in the metabolic disease space. He is passionate about identifying emergent scientific
assets, technologies, platforms and portfolio opportunities across the early biotechnology landscape.
With goal to deliver novel science and innovation into Lilly’s portfolio, he strives to create opportunities
for partnership.
Dr. MacKrell holds a degree in biology and biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and
a doctorate in Molecule Physiology from the University of Michigan Medical School.

Gwenn Hansen, PhD
Gwenn Hansen, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Nurix Therapeutics
Gwenn Hansen, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Nurix Therapeutics

Gwenn M. Hansen, Ph.D. currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer of Nurix Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing protein modulation therapies for the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. Since joining Nurix in January of 2016, Gwenn has focused on developing a robust pipeline for early stage discovery by developing a platform based on DNA encoded chemistry technology and leveraging it across a range of target classes, particularly E3 ubiquitin ligases. Prior to joining Nurix, Gwenn was an Associate Professor in the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor College of Medicine and prior to that she served as Senior Director of Drug Discovery Technologies at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Hansen obtained a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Tennessee/Oak Ridge National Laboratory and completed post-doctoral study at Baylor College of Medicine and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Caleb Moore
Caleb Moore
Senior Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Business Operations
CAMP4 Therapeutics
Caleb Moore
Senior Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Business Operations
CAMP4 Therapeutics

Caleb Moore is Senior Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Business Operations at CAMP4
Therapeutics. He is responsible for guiding CAMP4’s disease selection and program
strategy based on biological rationale and downstream development and commercial
considerations. He also oversees CAMP4’s operational activities, including laboratory
operations, IT, and space planning.
Prior to joining CAMP4, Caleb was Senior Director of Corporate Development at Acceleron
Pharma, where he helped translate the company’s expertise in TGFβ biology into a focused
therapeutic area strategy. He was instrumental in establishing Pulmonary as a pillar of
Acceleron’s strategy based on the disease-modifying potential of its lead program in
pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Prior to Acceleron, Caleb worked in Global New
Product Planning at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, defining early commercial strategy for internal
programs and external opportunities. He also held positions in Business Development &
Strategy at Genzyme, steering multiple transactions that contributed to the growth of the
rare disease and cardio-metabolic/renal businesses. Caleb began his life sciences career at
a boutique consulting and market research firm.
Caleb earned a BA in Genetics, Cell & Developmental Biology from Dartmouth College and
holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Randy Teel, PhD
Randy Teel, PhD
Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development
Arvinas
Randy Teel, PhD
Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development
Arvinas

Dr. Randy Teel is Senior Vice President, Corporate and Business Development at Arvinas, Inc., and is responsible for corporate strategy, business development, commercial, and communications.

 

Previously, Dr. Teel was VP and Head of Strategy at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for long-range planning, partnering with the R&D and Commercial organizations as they developed inline and lifecycle management strategies. 

 

Prior to Alexion, Dr. Teel was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, where he advised biopharmaceutical clients on issues in commercial, medical, and clinical development. He also served numerous other clients in the healthcare industry, including device manufacturers, insurers, and pharmaceutical distributors.

 

Dr. Teel received a Ph.D in Immunobiology from Yale University and a B.S. in Biology from Gonzaga University.

Neil Dhawan, PhD
Neil Dhawan, PhD
CEO
Totus Medicines
Neil Dhawan, PhD
CEO
Totus Medicines

Neil Dhawan is the Co-founder and CEO of Totus Medicines, where he focuses on combining small molecule design, structural biology, genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology to design new classes of drugs to target untreatable diseases.

 

Prior to founding Totus Medicines, Neil co-founded Dual Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotechnol­ogy company developing the first phosphatase agonists for cancer patients. Neil co-invented and helped develop the lead drug program, small molecule agonists of PP2A, which led to a collaboration deal with Bristol Myers Squibb valued at up to $225 million.

Benedict Cross, PhD
Benedict Cross, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
PhoreMost Ltd
Benedict Cross, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
PhoreMost Ltd

Ben joined PhoreMost in 2019 to direct the evolution and development of the SITESEEKER® screening platform. He is a geneticist and biotechnologist, with over ten years of professional research and management experience.

 

Before joining PhoreMost, Ben founded Horizon Discovery’s functional genomic screening platform. Using both pooled and arrayed approaches and both RNAi and CRISPR, Ben led the platform’s growth from inception to an internationally acclaimed and multi-million-pound revenue-generating group, executing hundreds of screens per year.

 

Ben completed his PhD at the University of Manchester with postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge exploring the mechanisms of control in the unfolded protein response using reverse chemical genetic screening.

Darrin Stuart, PhD
Darrin Stuart, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Scorpion Therapeutics
Darrin Stuart, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Scorpion Therapeutics

Dr. Stuart has served as Scorpion Therapeutics’ Chief Scientific Officer since April 2020. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Stuart was Executive Director of Cancer Biology and Drug Discovery at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (“Novartis”) between 2019 and 2020 and served in various other leadership roles at Novartis between 2006 and 2019.

Christian Dillon, PhD
Christian Dillon, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
PhoreMost Ltd
Christian Dillon, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
PhoreMost Ltd

Christian joined PhoreMost in June 2021 as Vice President of Biology and was subsequently promoted to Chief Scientific Officer at the end of 2021. Prior to this he served as Associate Director at Cancer Research UK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories where he acted as programme director for a number of drug discovery alliances with pharmaceutical partners. As part of the senior leadership team at CRUK he oversaw the progression of its portfolio of small molecule and therapeutic antibody, three of which have recently progressed to clinical development. Additionally, Christian has led scientific negotiations with commercial partners resulting in several high value partnerships for CRUK.

 

Christian is a biologist by training with over 16 years of experience working at the interface between academia and industry. He has sat on a number of oncology target funding and review panels and is currently a member of Deep Science Ventures’ Scientific Advisory Board. Christian obtained his first degree in Biology from Imperial College, received his PhD from University College London, before pursuing postdoctoral research at the Medical Research Council Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology.

Horst Hemmerle, PhD
Horst Hemmerle, PhD
Executive Director, Global Discovery Chemistry
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
Horst Hemmerle, PhD
Executive Director, Global Discovery Chemistry
Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Horst has worked since 2013 at NIBR, as Executive Director and is responsible for Global Hit Generation Sciences. He leads  global teams of medicinal chemists and molecular biologists  with the mission to explore novel chemical space with  innovative technologies like (DEL, In vitro expression of peptides and biosynthetic pathways in heterologous microbial hosts).  

 

 Horst is by training bioorganic and synthetic organic chemist. He received his P.h.D. at the University in Freiburg.  He started his professional career at  Hoechst AG in Germany and collected extensive experience in Medicinal Chemistry and technologies.  He continued his career at Eli Lilly in  Indianapolis where he led key initiatives developing novel screening strategies and chemistry automation.   As Senior Director of the Quantitative Biology group he worked with a talented team of biologists on in vitro screening strategies for major target families.

Natalia Ulyanova, PhD
Natalia Ulyanova, PhD
Business Development Director, Oncology
Astellas Pharma
Natalia Ulyanova, PhD
Business Development Director, Oncology
Astellas Pharma

Natalia Ulyanova leads Astellas’ Oncology Business Development Search and Evaluation since June 2018.  Prior to Astellas she worked in business development roles at Boston’s based corporate strategic advisory firm Extera Partners, molecular diagnostics company Metamark Genetics and Health IT-based biospecimen provider Novaseek Research. Natalia received her PhD degree in Biochemistry at Tufts University in 2006 and Diploma in Chemistry from Novosibirsk State University in 1999.

Emiliano Clo
Emiliano Clo
Scientific Advisor
Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub
Emiliano Clo
Scientific Advisor
Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub

Emiliano Clo is a Scientific Advisor at the Novo Nordisk Bio Innovation Hub based in Cambridge, MA. He
provides his strong expertise at the chemistry-biology interface to drive the evaluation and implementation
of emerging technology platforms to fulfil the Hub’s mission: to populate an externally anchored pre-
clinical pipeline through co-creative efforts with partners.
Prior joining the Hub in 2020, he was a Senior Research Scientist at Novo Nordisk research facilities in
Denmark for 8 years. There he worked at a wide range of projects spanning from the chemoenzymatic
modification of coagulation factors to fully synthetic peptide programs. He also spearheaded the early
explorations with oligonucleotide-based therapeutics. Through the years, he has been involved as
chemical expert in several internal due diligence processes, among which the one that led to the
partnership with Dicerna.
Emiliano received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the lab of Prof. Gothelf at Aarhus University in DNA
nanotechnology and conducted postdoctoral studies at the University of Copenhagen first under Prof
Knud Jensen then with Prof Henrik Clausen developing glycan and glycopeptide microarray platforms for
seromic profiling and biomarker discovery.

Chris De Savi, PhD
Chris De Savi, PhD
Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery
Kymera Therapeutics
Chris De Savi, PhD
Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery
Kymera Therapeutics

As Senior Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery at Kymera Therapeutics, Chris is responsible for medicinal and computational chemistry, lead discovery (biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology), pre-clinical development (DMPK and Toxicology) and proteomics. His team contributes to all drug discovery phases at Kymera from project inception through to clinical candidate discovery and beyond. Prior to joining Kymera, Chris was head of chemistry at Blueprint Medicines, a precision medicine company specialized in kinase drug discovery and development. Chris has deep experience in leading discovery research groups and project teams in both global pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He has directly contributed to the invention of 9 clinical candidate drugs for oncology and inflammation disease – most recently BLU-945, a EGFR T790M/C797S triple mutant inhibitor for the treatment of lung cancer, AZD4573, a selective CDK9 inhibitor for the treatment of haematological malignancies and AZD9496, an oral, selective estrogen receptor degrader for the treatment of ER+ breast cancer. He co-discovered Barasertib (AZD1152), a selective Inhibitor of Aurora B kinase for the treatment of AML. He is an author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and patents in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery and a PhD qualified chemist who has previously held academic positions at Queens’ College Cambridge and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Michael Crackower, PhD
Michael Crackower, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Ventus Therapeutics
Michael Crackower, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Ventus Therapeutics

Dr. Crackower is the Chief Scientific Officer of Ventus Therapeutics. He brings to Ventus more than 20 years of drug discovery leadership experience, which includes deep expertise in the fields of respiratory, immunology and fibrotic disease drug discovery.

 

Prior to Ventus, Michael was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Versant Ventures where he played an instrumental role in the formation of Ventus. Prior to joining Versant, Michael held the position of Executive Director and head of late immunology drug discovery and fibrosis research at Celgene where he led preclinical drug discovery in Immunology and Inflammation. Prior to Celgene, Michael was Director of research for tissue injury and fibrosis at Biogen. Michael spent much of his early career working at Merck & Co as a Director in the respiratory and immunology department.

 

Michael has a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in molecular and medical genetics from the University of Toronto, working in the lab of Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui and the Hospital for Sick Children. Michael conducted his postdoctoral studies at the Amgen Institute (PMH), where he made seminal discoveries in cardiovascular and reproductive biology.

Jesse Chen
Jesse Chen
Chief Technology Officer
Triana Biomedicines
Jesse Chen
Chief Technology Officer
Triana Biomedicines

Jesse Chen is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Triana Biomedicines. He has more than a decade of discovery research and management experience, from early discovery through preclinical development. Jesse joined RA Capital Management in 2019 as an entrepreneur-in-residence and co-founded TRIANA Biomedicines and Avilar Therapeutics. Prior to joining RA Capital, Jesse was Senior Director of Discovery at Kymera Therapeutics, responsible for building the company’s industry-leading targeted protein degradation platform and pipeline. Jesse also held various roles at Moderna Therapeutics and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for developing novel platforms and leading discovery programs. Jesse received his Ph.D. from MIT and was a Harvard Origins Research Fellow.

Sayan Mondal
Sayan Mondal
Senior Director
Schrödinger Therapeutics Group
Sayan Mondal
Senior Director
Schrödinger Therapeutics Group

Sayan Mondal has been working at Schrödinger for over 8 years, after completing his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics at Cornell University. Sayan has led the modeling in several drug discovery projects, helping advance computational methods and deliver multiple active Development Candidates — the most advanced of which is a selective allosteric inhibitor of Tyk2 currently in Phase 2b clinical trials.

Duncan Hamish Wright
Duncan Hamish Wright
Vice President, Translational Science
Schrödinger Therapeutics Group
Duncan Hamish Wright
Vice President, Translational Science
Schrödinger Therapeutics Group

Duncan Hamish Wright, Ph.D., joined Schrödinger after almost 20 years at Merck Research Laboratories in roles of increasing responsibility. At Schrödinger, Hamish leads the Translational Science group which encompassess DMPK including PK/PD Modeling & Simulation, Bioanalytical Science and Clinical Biomarkers. Hamish also has a role in Business Development at Schrödinger and works with the BD group on various partnering initiatives. Most recently at Merck, Hamish served as Executive Director, Business Development and Licensing. He was responsible for scientific diligence of licensing opportunities and was a member of the deal team for a number of Merck’s key oncology and immuno oncology transactions.  In previous clinical development and emerging markets roles at Merck, Hamish was a clinical pharmacologist and ran Phase 1 studies for compounds spanning various therapeutic areas including diabetes, obesity, HCV, HIV, heart failure and respiratory disease, to name a few. He also led numerous early clinical programs and had a role as the product development team leader for VANIPREVIR, a novel NS3/4A HCV protease inhibitor, which is now approved and marketed in Japan. Hamish received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Therapeutics from McGill University in Montréal, Canada, and holds an academic appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Physiology, at New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University.

Daniel Gruffat
Daniel Gruffat
Senior Application Scientist
Nanome
Daniel Gruffat
Senior Application Scientist
Nanome

Daniel has a background in biotechnology and bioinformatics, and holds a Master’s degree in Biology from Brooklyn College (CUNY), where he joined the structural bioinformatics laboratory and carried out computational projects related to cancer research. Daniel joined Columbia University’s Center for Cancer Systems Therapeutics (CaST) on a research scholarship. Prior to his graduate degree, Daniel has worked for technological companies such as Oracle and Agilent Technologies within the Global customer support department. As a Senior Application Scientist at Nanome, Daniel works to effectively interpret customers’ scientific problems, ultimately translating this understanding into workable solutions to better enable their use of the Nanome virtual reality (VR) software platform.

Jon Hu
Jon Hu
Co-Founder & CEO
Pepper Bio
Jon Hu
Co-Founder & CEO
Pepper Bio

After realizing how many patients, like his grandma, were being sent home with no treatment options, Jon Hu (MBA, HBS) co-founded Pepper Bio to treat the untreatable. As CEO, Jon has led Pepper to go after highly aggressive cancers by probing biology as it actually happens with all of its complexities intact.

Prior to starting Pepper, he was at Shire Pharma’s R&D Business Analytics department managing and prioritizing its R&D portfolio. He began his career as a consultant for Bain & Company. He then joined Guild Capital, a VC firm, as an investor and entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) for its portfolio companies. As an EIR, he served as interim-CEO of an enterprise solutions company, growing from 200 people to 300 people and expanding into 2 new service lines. He was also interim-COO of a technology conference where he expanded into 2 new markets. Jon obtained his B.S. from Northwestern in biomedical engineering and econ.

Brian Fiske
Brian Fiske
Founder & CSO
Mythic Therapeutic
Brian Fiske
Founder & CSO
Mythic Therapeutic

Brian Fiske is one of the premier young entrepreneurs in biotech.  In July 2017, he co-founded Mythic Therapeutics, a product-platform company developing a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) designed to exhibit unparalleled therapeutic index and efficacy. The company’s FateControl technology specifically enhances ADC uptake in targeted tissues by manipulating the fate of the ADC within the cell, thereby expanding the disease and patient profiles that can be treated with Mythic’s ADCs.  Prior to Mythic, Brian was a co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Ohana Biosciences and a Senior Associate at Flagship Ventures, where he co-founded Ohana and KSQ Therapeutics.  In 2016, he was nationally recognized for healthcare entrepreneurship by Forbes 30 under 30.

Prior to Flagship, Brian completed his PhD in Biology in Matt Vander Heiden’s lab at MIT where he published over 10 papers in the field of cancer metabolism.  He also worked closely with Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AGIO) on their cancer metabolism programs, which have since translated into 4 clinical programs including two approved drugs.  Before his PhD, he worked at Bain & Company with pharmaceutical, hedge fund, and industrial clients. He holds an A.B. summa cum laude in Biochemical Sciences with a secondary field in Economics from Harvard University.

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