Advancing Research to Therapies

On May 8, 2013, National Brain Tumor Society hosted the Advancing Research to Treatments (ART) for Brain Tumors conference in Washington, DC. At this inaugural event, we brought together over 100 brain tumor researchers, biotechnology and pharmaceutical executives, venture capital (VC) investors, and brain tumor patients to discuss the challenges surrounding therapeutic development and patient access. More specifically, the conference attendees and panelists gathered to better understand why a lack of brain tumor treatments exists despite tremendous gains in today’s research.

"The biggest thing you have to do is get people together, get the energy going, and get the connections started."

--Skip Irving, Health Advances

ART Photo 1ART Photo 2ART Photo 3

Panel Discussions: Overview & Participants

During the conference, three panel discussions were held to hear the distinct perspectives of the venture capital community, industry, and government – as each play a vital role in advancing brain tumor research and supporting the availability of treatments to patients. In addition, National Brain Tumor Society-funded researchers showcased their latest drug candidates in hopes of moving them to clinical trial much sooner. See the full conference program.

Panel: Venture capitalists share their perspectives on determining whether to license, invest in, or spin out a company from an academic asset or drug candidate

  • Michael Nathanson, JD, LLM: Chairman, CEO, & President, The Colony Group (moderator)
  • Louis Beardell, Jr., JD: Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Neil Exter: Partner, Third Rock
  • Brian Gallagher, PhD: Partner, SROne
  • Michael Gutch, PhD, MBA: Managing Director, MedImmune Ventures

Panel 2: Key executives from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries discuss primary criteria for determining whether to license an academic brain tumor asset or drug candidate

  • Michael Nathanson, JD, LLM: Chairman, CEO, & President, The Colony Group (moderator)
  • Lauren Abrey, MD: Global Development Team Lead, Genentech/Roche
  • Skip Irving, MBA: Partner and Managing Director, Health Advances
  • Joanne Smith-Farrell, PhD: Head of Strategic Transactions, Pfizer
  • Andrew Whitney, JD: Associate, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Panel 3: Federal government employees from the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS) outline the resources available for brain tumor researchers to obtain advice and funding for translational research

  • Rich Bendis: President & CEO, BioHealth Innovation (moderator)
  • Stephanie Fertig, MBA: Research Project Manager, NINDS
  • Jane Fountain, PhD: Program Director, Extramural Research Program, NINDS