Sam Waksal, Pfizer Venture Investments, and More: Moderator Looks Forward to All-Star Chat at New York Life Sciences 2031

9/6/11Follow @arleneweintraub

Les Funtleyder, manager of the Miller Tabak Health Care Transformation Fund (MTHFX), recently told Xconomy that in a few years, investors are going to look back and wish they had invested more in healthcare today. That forward-thinking attitude prompted Xconomy to invite Funtleyder to moderate our first public New York event, Life Sciences 2031, a panel discussion that will take place October 13 at the Alexandria Center for Life Science.

Funtleyder, who is also author of the book Health Care Investing (McGraw Hill 2009), spends his days contemplating what the future will hold for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and health care—and searching for the companies that are best poised to capitalize on those trends. So he’s excited by the prospect of polling the event’s four panelists on current trends in those industries and what they portend for the next 20 years. “The level of expertise on this panel will give the current era some context,” Funtleyder says.

The panelists bring a wide range of experience to bear on what’s sure to be a lively discussion. Sam Waksal was the founder and CEO of ImClone Systems and now serves as CEO of Kadmon, a New York-based biotech startup working on drugs to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. Barbara Dalton is a scientist-turned-investor—a Ph.D. trained in virology and immunology who is now VP of venture capital for Pfizer. Sam Isaly, founder of OrbiMed Advisors, manages the popular Eaton Vance Worldwide Health Sciences Fund. And Eric Schadt is a genomics expert who serves as the chief scientific officer of Pacific Biosciences, as well as the director of the New York-based Mount Sinai Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology.

Funtleyder expects all the panelists to weigh in on one of the top questions on everyone’s mind: What are the next areas of growth in research? “The fact that they’ve all been around a while will allow them to bring to the table some ideas about how we can increase R&D productivity in the industry,” Funtleyder says.

For his part, Funtleyder believes R&D has reached an inflection point. “We had Genomics Part 1—the sequencing of the human genome,” he says. “Now there’s Genomics Part 2. The cost of sequencing a genome has come down … Next Page »

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