Life sciences innovation is moving fast these days, and Boston is right in the center of it.
Consider the past year alone: Gene therapy, once an abandoned research field fraught with safety issues, produced real human data suggesting it might be able to reverse a crippling blood disorder. Cellular immunotherapy techniques are showing real promise in certain blood cancers, triggering a wave of IPOs, startups, and Wall Street enthusiasm. Precision medicine has gone from buzzphrase to the center of a massive White House initiative to help spur the advancement of targeted therapies. The price of gene sequencing, once in the hundreds of millions, is now approaching $1,000. That doesn’t include clinical progress in microbiome treatments, the explosion in the investment of gene editing tools—or new, local startups emerging with bold, inventive ways of taking on some of the world’s most devastating disorders.
Still, a bunch of hurdles have to be cleared before these innovations become real treatment options for patients. How can we navigate through them, while avoiding the pitfalls of the past? And even if we do, how will a healthcare system starting to crack down on drug prices pay for these new treatments?
Xconomy will take on these issues and more at our latest event, “What’s Hot in Boston Biotech.” It’ll take place on April 8 at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard on Main St. in Cambridge. We’re putting together a lineup of some of the area’s top scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and executives for a series of interactive discussions on biotech’s hot button issues and innovations.
Here are some of the names you can expect to see.
Susan Lindquist: Member of the Whitehead Institute; National Medal of Science winner; Scientific Founder, Yumanity Therapeutics
James Collins: Termeer Professor of Medical Engineering & Science, MIT
Noubar Afeyan: Managing Partner and CEO, Flagship Ventures
Tony Coles: CEO, Yumanity Therapeutics; Former CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals
Olivier Danos: Senior Vice President, Gene Therapy, Biogen Idec
Chuck Wilson: CEO, Unum Therapeutics; Former Global Head of Strategic Alliances, Novartis
Michelle Dipp: Co-founder and CEO, OvaScience
Adam Koppel: Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Biogen Idec
Amir Nashat: Managing Partner, Polaris Partners
Samantha Singer: COO, The Broad Institute
Stay tuned for updates, as more speakers are on the way. But tickets are going fast—and you can save some extra dough if you take advantage of our early bird rate and register here soon. See you all at the Broad on April 8.