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Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (SAPA) Successfully Held the 7th Healthcare Investment Forum and Roadshow

Updated: Jun 28

2024 SAPA HIFNR meeting Report

SAPA communication team, June 22, 2024

On June 22, 2024, the 7th SAPA Healthcare Investment Forum and Roadshow was successfully held at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick in New Jersey. This prestigious event, sponsored by BeiGene, PROTON, and United Healthcare, attracted over 170 attendees from academia, major pharmaceutical companies, investment sectors, financial institutions, and startup enterprises.

Opening Remarks

Dr. Wei Ding, Senior Director at Alexion AstraZeneca and Chair of the event committee, along with SAPA President-Elect Dr. David Cragin, Senior Director at Teva Pharmaceuticals, inaugurated the event with warm welcome speeches. Dr. Ding emphasized the forum's mission to foster innovation, investment, and deep cooperation within the healthcare industry, identifying it as a pivotal driver of future economic growth. Dr. Cragin highlighted SAPA’s steadfast commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and cross-sector collaboration in biopharmaceuticals, expressing gratitude to attendees, speakers, companies, and the organizing committee.

Morning Sessions in the Main Venue

The morning session featured two insightful keynote addresses. Dr. Eric J. Dimise, Sector Lead for Healthcare & Life Sciences at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), delivered the first keynote titled “Latest Trends in Capital Markets and IPOs”. Dr. Dimise provided a comprehensive analysis of global investment trends in healthcare, summarizing recent IPOs in the life sciences sector. He noted the NYSE’s robust IPO aftermarket performance and a promising pipeline for new listings in the latter half of 2024, signaling sustained momentum amidst upcoming US election uncertainties.

Dr. Zhi Hong, Executive Director, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Brii Biosciences, delivered the second keynote on “Generations of Scientific Breakthroughs in Prevention, Treatment, and Cure of Chronic Hepatitis B”. Dr. Hong highlighted biotechnological advancements, particularly breakthroughs in Hepatitis B and D diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, and explored avenues for commercialization of these technologies.

Panel Discussion Sessions

Following the keynotes, two panel discussions were held, moderated by Dr. Xiaodong Chen, one of the event’s founding members, Senior Director of CMC at Roivant Sciences and SAPA President, Senior Director of BD Search & Evaluation at Takeda Oncology, Dr. Jack Wu.

The first panel, themed “Biotech Startups and Venture Capital: A Symbiotic Relationship”, featured insights from Dr. Wenseng (Wendy) Pan, Partner at Goodwin Procter LLP; Yaniv Sneor, Founder of Mid Atlantic Bio Angels; Sally Wang, JD, Partner at Highlight Capital; Dr. Lin Yu, Managing Director at CBC Group; and Dr. Bing Yuan, CEO of OnCusp Therapeutics. Panelists shared cross-border investment experiences, discussed strategies for evaluating biotech startups, and offered guidance on selecting appropriate investment firms for different entrepreneurial stages.

The second panel, titled “Accelerating Innovation through Business Development”, included perspectives from Dr. Jeffrey Lin, Executive Director of BD at Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd.; Dr. Patrick Moriarty, Executive Director of Business Development at Merck; Dr. Pan Pan, Senior Director and Head of Business Development at OncoC4 Inc.; Dr. Alfred Rumondor, Director of Portfolio Strategy & Integration at Bristol Myers Squibb; and Dr. Wei Shao, Associate Director of BD & Strategy at Alexion AstraZeneca Rare Disease. Panelists shared insights into business development strategies within the biopharmaceutical sector, discussing multinational companies’ approaches to licensing external innovations, building strategic partnerships, and identifying key success factors in deal-making.

Afternoon Sessions in Parallel Sub-Venues

The afternoon featured three parallel sub-venues, each hosting engaging agendas and interactive sessions.

Parallel Session I: Project Roadshow was moderated by Dr. Jianming Kang, Senior Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. David Zhang, Engagement Manager at AWS, and Dr. Han Zhang, researcher at the University of Pittsburgh. Before the event today, there was an online roadshow held on June 14 where 10 projects out of 40 applications were selected to showcase their innovative technologies and entrepreneurial models. The in-person session on Jun 22nd featured another 10 participating companies presenting advancements ranging from small molecules and novel RNA therapies to AI biotech software and drug pipelines, demonstrating significant potential in the competitive global market. IVIEW Therapeutics secured first place for their work on Ocular diseases, followed by Sirrona Therapeutics and Clickmab Biotech in second and third place, respectively.

1st place winner IVIEW Therapeutics

2nd place winner Sirrona Therapeutics

3rd place winner Clickmab Biotech

Participating project teams, judges and organizers

Parallel Session II: Executives Ins and Outs, moderated by Dr. Pan Pan, Senior Director and Head of Business Development at OncoC4 Inc., delved into various aspects of executive roles in biotech. Speakers, including Dr. Bob Ai, Managing Partner at Goby Global; Dr. Zhenggui (Kevin) Li, Special Counsel at McCarter & English LLP; Ms. Tina Sun, Partner at Taurus Financial; Ms. Annie Shen, Senior Partner at PageExecutive; and Dr. Lihua Zheng, Co-Founder & CEO of Z-Star Therapeutics Inc., discussed strategies for establishing successful enterprise strategies, navigating legal considerations, managing finance, and building capable executive teams. The ensuing panel discussion provided valuable career insights and highlighted key attributes of successful executives.

Speakers and host

Parallel Session III: One-on-One Collaboration was hosted by Mr. Yuhan Wei, Scientist II at Ingenus Pharmaceuticals. This session facilitated close discussions between biotech entrepreneurs and investors on collaboration opportunities and growth strategies. Attendees gained valuable advice on navigating entrepreneurship challenges and fostering long-term collaborations with industry leaders.

Welcome Reception and Networking

During the reception, stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical industry continued discussions on industry trends and innovations. Feedback from speakers and attendees underscored the event’s success in fostering meaningful connections and dialogue, reinforcing SAPA's commitment to enhancing industry collaboration and societal impact through future initiatives.

About SAPA

Established in 1993 and headquartered in New Jersey, the heart of the pharmaceutical industry in the Eastern United States, SAPA has grown rapidly over the years. With seven branches and over 6,000 members in the United States and China, SAPA stands as one of the most active Chinese professional associations nationally. Its membership comprises professionals from large and medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, covering all aspects of R&D and production in the pharmaceutical industry. As a non-profit organization registered in the United States, SAPA has received generous sponsorship and support from American and multinational corporations. SAPA continues to provide a robust platform for scientific seminars, career development, knowledge training, business cooperation, and entrepreneurial investment in the pharmaceutical industry.

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