Posts Tagged The Angel’s Forum

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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Bio-IT to Biotech: BioImagene & CellWorks Success Stories at EPPIC event


The fusion of Biology and IT is likely to continue to revolutionize and optimize healthcare.  EPPIC, a premier organization started in 1998, from its inception, leveraged and blended existing Silicon Valley resource, in terms of pharmaceutical, biotech and IT professionals.  In the upcoming event, EPPIC will feature two of its prominent members who benefited greatly from the networking and mentoring opportunities available through EPPIC and have achieved great success with their Bio-IT companies.  EPPIC promotes networking, entrepreneurship, and mentoring for life science professionals, in additional to helping create US-India life science synergy.  The two success stories that will be featured in the upcoming event, not only received guidance and mentoring, but also found the funding.  They both were funded by Artiman Ventures.  Artiman has been affiliated with EPPIC and has strongly supported EPPIC, from inception.  Artiman Ventures invests typically in “white space” technology and are looking for technologies that integrate multiple disciplines and offer brand new revolutionary approaches to touch problems.

When Mohan Uttarwar first conceived of his idea for BioImagene, he discussed his idea with Nagesh Mhatre, one of the founders and board member at EPPIC and Partner at The Angel’s Forum, Halo Fund.  Mhatre did not see merit in the idea, but Uttarwar did not quit.  With constructive feedback and mentoring, Uttarwar refined and polished his idea and the rest is history – as you can see below.  Similarly, Pradeep Fernandes, President and co-founder of CellWorks Group Inc. credits his success largely to the mentoring and networking opportunities he received, through EPPIC.  Fernandes spent most of his career in the semiconductor and software algorithms domain and was a relative novice to the life science industry.  However, valuable mentoring, along with his insightful application of his software expertise to solve life science industry challenges, led to the success he has achieved today.  Go to www.eppicglobal to register for the event below.


Recently Roche forked over $100 million to acquire BioImagene, Inc., a privately held company, in the emerging field of digital pathology.  What is digital pathology and why it is poised for growth?  The new technologies in the realm of digital pathology enable capture, information, analysis, sharing, and storing of information, including patients’ tissue samples, with greater efficiency and lower cost.  Moreover, unlike the analog age of glass slides, where pathologists frequently did the analysis and sent the information over to the physicians in charge of patient care, the pathologists today are increasingly involved in treatment decisions.  New and sophisticated tools greatly enable better and more accurate diagnosis.  BioImagene offered digital pathology application software iScan, a family of automated digital scanners, along with unique image viewing input device called the iSlide.  Additionally, the hardware and software came with a rich menu of Companion Algorithms, to help arrive at better decisions.  Mohan Uttarwar, founder and CEO of BioImagene will be speaking at EPPIC event on Monday August, 5.

Uttarwar is a serial entrepreneur, with 25+ years of experience in high-tech and bio-tech area.  He was co-founder and CEO of Roamware Inc., a leading wireless roaming software company; was founder and CEO of SoftPlus, a leading provider of eCRM software for telecom carriers around the world; and had co-founded and served as CEO of Digital Tools Inc., a leader in enterprise project and resource management software.  SoftPlus was acquired by US interactive for $360 million, in March, 2000.  Uttarwar is now founder and CEO of  OncoMDx/Core Diagnostics  Lab that focuses on Cancer Diagnostics both in US and India. It does translational research to come up with Lab Developed tests for patients stratification using novel bio-markers (personalized medicine) and early detection of Cancer, with a goal to connect any patient from any part of India, for second opinion, from any expert in USA. It has been funded by Artiman Venture (who also funded BioImagene).

View Mohan_photo.jpg in slide show     Mohan Uttarwar

CellWorks                                                                 Pradeep Fernandes

CellWorks Inc., founded by experts in software and semiconductors, recently received $10+million series B round at the end of 2012, with Sequoia Capital leading the round.  They had closed a $7.5 million in Series A, funded by Artiman, in 2009.  Pradeep Fernandes, President and Co-founder of Cellworks, spent most of his career prior to Cellworks in semiconductor world.  He was VP and GM of Synthesis Solutions at Cadence Design Systems, which acquired Get2Chip in 2003 and under Fernandes’s leadership, Get2Chip became one of the most externally recognized and fastest growing product in Cadence’s product lineup.  Prior to Cadence, Fernandes served on executive teams at TriQuest Design Automation and CyberX.

CellWorks is designing novel therapies, using proprietary dynamic and responsive disease models.  Scientists at CellWorks mine vast repositories of known information about drugs, protein interactions and genetics to predict the outcomes in humans.  Thus integrating biology and computing, the focus is to dramatically reduce spending for developing new therapies.  Each year, an estimated $100B is spent worldwide, for pharmaceutical R&D.  The cost for development of each new drug?  A staggering $1 to $4 billion!  Don’t miss the chance of to hear how CellWorks has created a pipeline of validated therapies for RA and Oncology in record time of 6 months, from computer to validations, using their proprietary platform.

The event is on Monday August, 5th from 6 to 9 pm at The Westin, San FranciscoAirport in Milbrae.  Go to for more information and to register for the event and to sign up to become a member.

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