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The big platform plays have been in vogue. But for how long?

Moderna offers the kind of big upside even the largest institutional investors dream of. And now, you can already hear execs discussing who the next Moderna will be, and whether they can catch that wave themselves. We’ll analyze the numbers on venture capital and IPOs, looking at how platforms are performing compared to smaller groups of drug assets. And how will that influence financing trends for years to come?

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Chris Garabedian

Chris Garabedian

Chairman and CEO, Xontogeny

Chris Garabedian founded Xontogeny in June of 2016 to support multiple promising technologies from early development through clinical proof of concept. In 2017, Chris joined Perceptive Advisors to develop their Venture Fund strategy and is Portfolio Manager of the Perceptive Xontogeny Ventures Fund which supports early stage companies with Series A investments across biotech, medtech and healthtech.

Chris has a broad base of experience and a track record of success over his decades long experience in the biopharma industry. Chris served as the President and CEO of Sarepta Therapeutics from 2011 to 2015, overseeing the turnaround of a company that is now a commercial stage leader in the genetic technology space after leading the development of the company’s Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy program. Prior to Sarepta, Chris led Corporate Strategy for Celgene from 2007 to 2010. Prior to Celgene, Chris served in a number of global commercial and corporate development leadership roles at Gilead from 1997 to 2005.

Chris serves on a number of Boards of life sciences companies and speaks at industry conferences on a wide range of important issues. Chris is also on the Board of Directors of MassBio, serves as a Senior Advisor for the Boston Consulting Group and is a member of the Corporate Relations Board for the Keck Graduate Institute.

Jenny Rooke

Jenny Rooke

Founder & Managing Director, Genoa Ventures

Dr. Jenny Rooke founded SF-based Genoa Ventures to invest in startups innovating at the convergence of biology and technology.

Avak Kahvejian

Avak Kahvejian

General Partner, Flagship Pioneering

Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D. is a life sciences inventor, entrepreneur, and CEO. Since 2011, he has been a partner at Flagship Pioneering, where he leads a team to invent and launch new therapeutic platforms. His work has led to the creation of multiple high-value public and private companies including Cygnal Therapeutics (pioneering new drugs that target neuronal pathways for the treatment of cancer, and autoimmune/inflammation disorders); Codiak BioSciences (developing engineered exosome therapeutics as cancer treatments); Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY); developing Red Cell Therapeutics, engineered red blood cells capable of providing potent and prolonged therapy for rare diseases, cancer, and autoimmunity; and Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB); the first microbiome therapy platform.

At Cygnal, Avak served as founding president and CEO from 2017 until the end of 2018, and currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer, leading the establishment and application of a neuronal biology platform for target and drug discovery in the fields of oncology and immunology. At Rubius, Avak served as founding President and CEO from 2013 to 2017, and then as CIO until the end of 2018. There he established the Rubius Erythrocyte Design (RED)™ platform and conceived and developed dozens of Red Cell Therapeutics (RCTs)™ spanning a range of therapeutic modalities including enzyme therapies, immuno-oncology and oncology therapies, and tolerogenic drugs. Avak also serves as a board member at Laronde, Codiak, and as CEO of multiple FlagshipLabs companies including Cellarity, Ring, FL50, and FL56. Prior to Flagship, Avak was VP of Business Development at Helicos BioSciences, which developed and commercialized the world’s first single molecule DNA sequencer.

Avak serves on the board of the International Institute of New England, an institution which creates opportunities for refugees and immigrants to succeed through resettlement, education, career advancement and pathways to citizenship. He is also on the board of the Canadian Entrepreneurs of New England, an organization dedicated to assisting Canadian entrepreneurs build ties with the Boston life sciences and technology ecosystems.

Avak earned his Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Francesco De Rubertis

Francesco De Rubertis

Co-founder and Partner, Medicxi

Francesco is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi. Prior to Medicxi, Francesco was a Partner at Index Ventures for 19 years, having joined the firm in 1997 to launch its life sciences practice. Under his leadership, the asset-centric approach to life sciences investing was conceived and adopted. Francesco currently serves on the boards of a number of portfolio companies, including Rivus Pharmaceuticals and is Chairman of Centessa Pharmaceuticals.

Francesco received a B.A. in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia (Italy) and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) after which he became a postdoctoral scientist at the Whitehead Institute at M.I.T. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and serves on the main board of the University of Geneva (Switzerland).

In November 2017 Francesco was named in the first "Bloomberg 50” as one of the Top 50 entrepreneurs and innovators who helped to define Global Business in 2017.

Brian Siefkes
presenting sponsor

Brian Siefkes

Director, Professional Services Marketing, Sage Intacct

Brian has spent 15 years working with professional services organizations as they face the complexities of growth and expansion within their industry. His focus has been on the intersection of finance and project management to help teams deliver their projects on budget, increase profit, and drive operational efficiency for back-office tasks such as invoicing and reporting.

Kyle Blankenship

Kyle Blankenship

Senior Editor, Endpoints News

A native of Austin, Kyle previously worked as an associate editor at another leading biopharma publication and has held editor roles at two daily newspapers in Texas. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University, Kyle holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of North Texas in Denton. At Endpoints, Kyle leads the company’s manufacturing coverage as well as running point on virtual events, editing and content strategy. An avid cook and history nerd, you can find Kyle hovering over the stove—spatula in one hand and a World War II tome in the other.