May 23, 2018

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Date — May 23
3:30 pm - 7:00 pm

The Nippon Club


Pharma and Biotech M&A in Gene & Cell Therapy: What’s Next in Deal Making in the Emerging Advanced Therapeutics Space?

Novartis’ recently announced $8.7 billion acquisition of the gene therapy company AveXis for their spinal muscular atrophy therapy presently in pivotal trials for SMA Type 1 is a bold statement that after years of watching passively from the sidelines, big pharma may at last be ready to embrace advanced therapeutics.  Gene therapy is one of many platforms that make this emerging category which is perhaps best understood by what it is not, e.g.  products based on conventional concepts of small molecules or biologicals.  As such, the field stretches to encompass not only gene therapy but gene editing, cell therapies (both autologous and allogeneic) especially the emerging and increasingly crowded field of CAR-T’s as well as the RNA-based therapeutics space. Though therapeutic applications are as diverse as the underlying science and target both large heterogenic patient populations as well as extremely rare and monogenetic diseases, these approaches share common challenges with delivery platforms, manufacturing complexity, distribution and pricing especially as many, if not most, programs are aiming at cure.

Will more big pharma companies follow Novartis’ lead despite the business model challenges posed by advanced therapeutics?  This talk will look at the promise and the hurdles of the next phase of therapeutic evolution in Pharma.


Ed Saltzman, Executive Chairman, Defined Health, a Cello Health business

Ed Saltzman is President and Founder of Defined Health, a leading strategic business development advisory firm serving senior executives in pharma, biotech and investment sectors. Leveraging 25+ years of experience consulting for biopharma companies, he provides guidance to Defined Health’s senior project leadership who work with clients across multiple therapeutic areas. Ed is an in demand speaker on industry issues and has been recognized widely as an early “spotter” of key trends that go on to have significant impact within the life sciences industry, especially as these pertain to the licensing and business development field. He notably coined the term “Proof of Relevance,” to describe indisputable demonstration of clinical and economic value in drug development. He is a recent recipient of the LES Frank Barnes Mentoring Award for his contributions to education in the life sciences sector. Ed is an advisor to the Israel Biotech Fund, and a member of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) and the New York Pharma Forum. He is a graduate of New York University.

3:30-5:30 – Program

5:30-7:00 – Reception

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  • Regular Members: Up to 4 people admitted free;
    • Additional attendees are $90 per person
  • Associate Members: $130 per person