Life Science Startups: Challenges & Opportunities – Panel and EPPIC event Preview

EPPIC Global ( is celebrating its 15 year journey in the Life Science arena.  EPPIC is a volunteer driven organization that was found by a group of Silicon Valley Life Science professionals to provide networking, mentoring, and learning opportunities to life science professionals.  During EPPIC Global’s 15th Annual Celebration, on October 26, 11am to 4:30pm, one of the panels moderated by Mahendra Shah, Partner, Vivo Ventures and Shalabh Gupta, Founder & CEO, BioCycive, will discuss “The intricacies of starting a life science company”.”

Starting a life science company has become more complex and more challenging.  There are different funding approaches that may be appropriate for different business models and core technologies, different regulations are in place that must be followed.  The illustrious panelists will discuss all issues pertinent to starting life science companies and navigating through the challenges.

One of the panelists, Daria Mochly-Rosen, is Senior Associate Dean & George D. Smith Professor of Translational Medicine, and SPARK Director at StanfordUniversity, School of Medicine.  Concurrently, she is also Professor at Department of Chemical and Systems Biology.  At her multi-disciplinary research lab, some of the research focus included, understanding how protein-protein interactions govern cell signaling.  Kai Pharmaceuticals found by Dr. Leon Chen and Dr. Mochly-Rosen was acquired by Amgen.  The lab’s current research efforts focus on identifying small molecules that correct genetic defects in other critical enzymes, through the use of high throughput screening, in silicon design and synthetic organic chemistry.

Panelist Kenneth A. Clark, is Partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  He was recognized by Chambers and Partners in its 2005-2013 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as one of the country’s top biotechnology lawyers.  He currently serves as a director of Pharmacyclics Inc.

Panelist Farah Champsi is Managing Director at Alta.  Farah led Alta’s investments in various young pharmaceutical companies.  She also serves on the board of directors of Allakos, Chimerix, Kite Pharma, Portola Pharmaceuticals and Trevena. Prior to Alta, Farah was an investment banker at Robertson Stephens & Company and helped build one of the most successful life sciences investment banking franchises on Wall Street.

Syed Askari, Co-founder and CTO of Medicus Biosciences, is a serial entrepreneur of 3 different startups that focused on key polymer technologies for FDA approved biomaterials.  One of the startups was acquired for about $1 billion and another startup has acquired a major market share.

Other panels and keynotes are just as interesting and include a panel on intra and entrepreneurship in the life sciences, a panel on women entrepreneurs and much awaited keynote address by Nagesh Mhatre, EPPIC Founding Member and Partner at The Angels’ Forum, Halo Fund.  Mhatre’s 35 year long illustrious career includes tremendous achievements, in addition to his major contributions as a mentor for several of Silicon Valley life science startups.   Registration is only $10 and $20 for students and non-members respectively.  Register for the event before it is sold out at

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