October 24th, 2013
5:15 p.m. Kaye Scholer, 425 Park Avenue
Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, RXi pharmaceuticals, “From Belgian Chocolate to RNai”
About Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh:
Dr. Cauwenbergh was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation in April of 2012. Prior to joining RXi, Dr. Cauwenbergh served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barrier Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2001 that focused on dermatology drug development. Barrier was acquired by Stiefel Laboratories, Inc. in 2008. Prior to founding Barrier, Dr. Cauwenbergh held a number of ascending senior management positions at Johnson & Johnson, where he was employed for 23 years. As Vice President, Research and Development for Johnson & Johnson’s Skin Research Center, he was responsible for the worldwide research and development of all skin care products for the Johnson & Johnson consumer companies. He is a member of the board of directors of Ablynx NV and Euroscreen S.A., both European biotechnology companies. In 2005, Dr. Cauwenbergh was inducted into the New Jersey High-Tech Hall of Fame, and, from 2009 to 2010, he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of BioNJ. He has authored more than 100 publications and has been a guest editor for a number of books in mycology and infectious diseases. Dr. Cauwenbergh received his Doctorate in Medical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven, Faculty of Medicine (Belgium), where he also completed his masters and undergraduate work.
About RXi Pharmaceuticals:
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (OTCQX: RXII) is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative therapies based on its proprietary, next-generation RNAi platform. Therapeutics that use RNA interference, or “RNAi,” have great promise because of their ability to “silence,” or down-regulate, the expression of a specific gene that may be overexpressed in a disease condition. Building on the pioneering work of scientific founder and Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig Mello, RXi’s first RNAi product candidate, RXI-109, entered into RXi’s first human clinical trial in 2012. RXI-109 targets connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), a key regulatory of fibrosis and scar formation, and is initially being developed to reduce or inhibit scar formation in the skin following surgery.
Guest Speaker: Jessica Crawford, MedTech Association
About Jessica Crawford:
Jessica Crawford is the president of MedTech, a non-profit trade association representing Upstate New York’s bioscience and medical technology industry. She joined MedTech in October 2012, bringing with her more than 10 years of experience in government relations and community engagement.
Crawford’s commitment to the community is evidenced in her key role as founding chair of 40 Below, a Syracuse-based non-profit organization of young professionals dedicated to revitalizing Upstate New York through culture, civic engagement and regional promotion. She led the efforts to coordinate and execute an inaugural summit in 2004 and introduced new programming, secured funding and cultivated strategic partnerships that ensured the organization’s success.
Just prior to joining MedTech, Crawford served as government affairs manager for SRC, a non-profit research and development company focused in the defense, environment, and intelligence industries. In 2010, the Onondaga County Legislature appointed Crawford as a member of Onondaga County’s Industrial Development Agency board, a special group committed to assisting established industries and businesses expand their operation or to help new firms locate in Onondaga County. Crawford is an active fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central New York. She is a recipient of the United Way’s Campaign Excellence Award, and a former member of the United Way Gifts Cabinet. Crawford also served on the board of Housing Visions Unlimited and the Board of Trustees for the Crouse Health Foundation. She is a graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse (Class of 2010).
Crawford earned a Master of Public Administration and Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Management and Policy from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Policy Studies at Syracuse University
About MedTech Association
MedTech is the hub of the bioscience and medical technology industry in New York State. It is an active association of pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technology companies, their suppliers and service providers, and research universities.
The four Founding Members of the organization – Welch Allyn, ConMed, Sensis and Bristol-Myers Squibb – spearheaded creation of the group in 2004, in part due to observations made in the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York (MDA) – 2004 “Essential New York” plan to transform the Central Upstate region to a knowledge-based economy.
One of the “Essential New York” recommendations was for closer collaboration among medical products and services firms. Then New York Senator Hillary Clinton also put this idea forward during a visit to Welch Allyn in the summer of 2003 for a Central New York Healthcare Summit.
MedTech strives to form an organized and nationally recognized Bio/Med region where companies and professionals seek to do business.
Their mission is to develop the relationships, tools, and programs that enable New York State companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace
Guest Speaker: Eric Vieira, NYCEDC
About Eric Vieira:
Dr. Vieira is no stranger to NYC’s vibrant science community and technology commercialization. He received his PhD in Developmental Genetics from NYU in 2003 and went on to launch the New York Academy of Science’s Science Alliance program. Under his direction, he organized numerous career development seminars and workshops, including NYC’s first course on science entrepreneurship. In 2005, Eric moved from NYAS to the finance world where he began a successful career as a biotechnology equity analyst. It was during this time that Eric began to appreciate the operational challenges facing the technology industry as it tried to keep pass with the ever increasing complexity of science and innovation, and the industry’s need for a highly-skilled workforce. Dr. Vieira moved back to Academia in 2008 to rejoin the front line of scientific discovery and innovation and to assist in the development of those technologies for the advancement of society. Eric was an Assistant Director in the Office of Technology & Business Development of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine until joining the City University of New York in 2013.
Currently, Dr. Vieira is the Director of Special Research Programs for the City University of New York and oversees the Professional Science Masters (PSM) initiative at CUNY, the Postdoctoral Development program system-wide, and manages the CUNY Designs for UNICEF Challenge. In addition, Eric is the Director in Manhattan for the Fundamentals of the Bioscience Industry Course, a program of the Center for Biotechnology at Stony Brook University (SUNY), and lectures on the business side of science and innovation. More recently, Dr. Vieira became the Bioscience Practice Leader of the Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, an initiative of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, which supports the growth and development of life science start-ups in NYC.
About Elab NYC
Bio & Health Tech Entrepreneurship Lab NYC, an initiative of the NYCEDC and the Bloomberg Administration, is a competitive-entry, 6-month training and mentorship program for aspiring entrepreneurs in New York City’s life sciences and healthcare technology community. The Lab provides extensive support to graduate students, post-docs, early-career researchers and engineers interested in forming new biotech and health tech ventures. The second year of this program will begin in January 2014. Interested participants should apply online at: www.elabnyc.com. Applications are due: November 1st.
Erick Berglund, Allovate LLC
About Erick Berglund
Dr. Berglund completed graduate studies in biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine and at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. During his PhD work, he gained concurrent industrial R&D experience as a research scientist at Sanofi‐Aventis in Frankfurt. Following his graduate work, he returned to the US to draft and manage IP for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies as a USPTO registered patent agent at Lahive & Cockfield, LLP in Boston. He then served as a Senior Analyst at Trillium Medical Ventures in NYC, providing strategic recommendations to large pharmaceutical clients. Dr. Berglund also gained extensive experience with the Japanese pharmaceutical industry while working as a Senior Analyst for strategy and business development at the headquarters of Kyorin Pharmaceuticals Ltd. in Tokyo. While in Tokyo, Dr. Berglund also served as CEO of Vaxiva Biosciences KK, an emerging vaccine company that partnered its adjuvant technology with Japan’s established influenza vaccine manufacturers. Prior to launching Allovate, Dr. Berglund was a Medical Strategy Director at H4B Chelsea, a global healthcare communications consultancy in NYC.
About Allovate, LLC
Allovate is a private biopharmaceutical company developing products to address unmet medical needs in clinical management of atopic and allergy-related disorders. The key program of the company is its oral mucosal immunotherapy product platform, AllerDent™, an improved and patient-friendly mode of antigen-specific immunotherapy.