Posts Tagged Portola Pharmaceuticals

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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Outsourcing BioTech & Drug Discovery Innovation to India – Event Preview

Outsourcing work to India has been big business.  In 2005, outsourcing was a $10 billion industry in India.  It has since, more than doubled.  But can innovation be outsourced, particularly innovation in life sciences, an industry obsessed with regulatory issues, stringent patents; an industry with extremely high bar for performance?   It is one thing to get chemistry synthesis or early stage pre-clinical work done in India but does India have the systems and processes where innovation can thrive, a freewheeling environment, an open environment, yet an environment that can ensure patent protection and adherence to regulatory requirements, and does India have experience to bring out market worthy ideas and maximize the returns on ideas?  It seems that India has indeed evolved from a place to get the work done cheaply and efficiently, to a place for R&D innovation.  With extremely highly trained chemists and other professionals pouring out of top notch Indian academic institutions like IISCs and IITs and experienced biotechnology professionals from the US and Europe returning to India in sizeable numbers, although biotech R&D innovation is yet at early stages, India is emerging as a worthy partner, in innovation.

An illustrious panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges of outsourcing innovation to India at event from 6pm to 9pm, on Wednesday, September, 18th at WSGR, Palo Alto.  The event will be moderated by Shalabh Gupta, Founder and CEO of BioCycive, a California based biotech focused on bringing new drugs to the market.  An MD by training, previously Gupta worked at Genentech and is currently also serving as a member of EPPIC executive committee.

Panelists include, Ajay Bharadwaj, Founder and CEO of Anthem Biosciences, a leading Discovery Research Alliance Partner (DRAP), who had returned to India, after completing his MS on a fellowship, in the US.  Bharadwaj later joined Biocon when its annual sales were less than $50,000 and 21 years later when he left, Biocon’s annual sales had grown to $225 million and the company did business in 45 countries.  Ganesh Sambavasivam, Co-founder and CSO of Anthem Biosciences, ranked in the top 20 at all India level at the completion of his undergraduate degree in Chemistry, and after completing his Ph.D. in Chemistry, joined Syngene (Biocon group company), where he rose to VP and CSO level.  Panelist, Anjali Pandey is Vice President of Chemistry at Portola Pharmaceuticals.  She has over 30 scientific publications and 25+ patents to her name, provides scientific due diligence to various venture capital firms, and holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry.  Brian Robbins, Vice President of DavosPharma, is a partner and co-founder of various other companies including Innovative Pharma Solutions, Portsmouth Therapeutics, Sentinal Biotech, and Portsmouth Technologies.

To register for the event, go to


English: Worldwide Offshoring Business Deutsch...

English: Worldwide Offshoring Business Deutsch: Weltweites Offshoring Business (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



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