What Will San Diego’s Biotech Hub Look Like in 20 Years? Xconomy Event Takes Long View

2/16/10Follow @xconomy

San Diego has grown up into the world’s third-leading hub of life sciences over the past three decades. But what will the local life sciences landscape look like another two decades from now? Will the region have gained basic research prowess, attracted more venture financing, and stimulated more entrepreneurial activity?

I’m excited to announce that Xconomy has assembled a panel of industry visionaries from San Diego to wrestle with these questions. This event will feature a highly interactive panel discussion with Paul Schimmel of The Scripps Research Institute, Dan Bradbury of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and Fred “Rusty” Gage of the Salk Institute. John Mendlein, the chairman of Fate Therapeutics, will moderate.

What kind of perspective do these people bring? Schimmel may not be a household name, but he is one of the most accomplished scientific founders in biotech history, having co-founded Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Alkermes, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, and Cubist Pharmaceuticals among others. Bradbury is the CEO of San Diego’s biggest local drug developer, which invented the first diabetes therapy that can be injected once a week. Gage has applied his groundbreaking insights into how adult brains generate new neurons to San Diego-based BrainCells, a company he co-founded, which has an intriguing new depression drug in clinical trials. Mendlein guides one of the leading stem cell companies in the country, and before that, was CEO of Adnexus Therapeutics, which sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb for more than $430 million in 2007.

After the panel, we will hear brief 3-minute “burst” presentations from executives at some of the most exciting biotech startups in San Diego. The lineup includes Ambrx, Helixis, Receptos, VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, and Biogen Idec New Ventures. Then it’s all about networking, which we’ve found is one of the highlights when we’ve done similar events in Boston and Seattle.

So if you’d like to listen in on, and even join, the conversation, mark your calendars for the evening of March 31. Registration starts at 5:15 pm, and the program will run from 6 pm to 7:30 pm, followed by an hour of networking. The event will be held at Biogen Idec’s offices in San Diego. You can see all the details on how to register by clicking here.

As those of you who attended our successful San Diego biotech event in December already know, one of the hallmarks of our events is that we believe in stimulating, highly interactive conversations between speakers and the audience. That means I’m personally going to run around with a microphone to help you pose your best inquiries to this distinguished panel. So put on your thinking caps. I look forward to seeing you there on March 31.

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