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What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Check-in time. Alphabetical order seems really easy to decipher until you actually have to find your name.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

The Broad Institute’s Samantha Singer with her event game face on.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Singer’s panel-mates were Neon Therapeutics co-founder Nir Hacohen (left) and interim CEO Cary Pfeffer (right), who seem to have found something of critical importance on Hacohen’s fleece.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Here's a packed-house view of Biogen chief medical officer Al Sandrock giving an overview of Biogen’s approach to treating neurological diseases.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Take notes for the post-event quiz, people.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Standing room only at the back of Biogen’s auditorium.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

RA Capital founder and managing director Peter Kolchinsky going through the “chess” game his firm uses to get a broad look at the landscape of disease treatments in development.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

PureTech CEO Daphne Zohar tweeting out some of the action before participating in a panel on neuroscience.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

On that panel, Zohar, Biogen’s Sandrock (left), Forum Pharmaceuticals CEO Deborah Dunsire, and SR One president Jens Eckstein (right) discussed some of the challenges developing therapies for neurological diseases, among them prevalent placebo effects and unreliable animal models.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Plenty of new connections were made amongst the crowd of 300-plus.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Like this one.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

At intermission, the gathering hordes convened around Biogen’s limitless coffee supply.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Freshly caffeinated, an attendee (right) does his best superman impression.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Nimbus Therapeutics CEO Don Nicholson (left) and Atlas Venture partner Bruce Booth (right) gave attendees an inside look at a deal that had just been announced two days earlier---Nimbus just sold an experimental drug for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis to Gilead Sciences for as much as $1.2 billion.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

And even Phil Sharp is taking notes.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Sharp then took the stage with Johnson & Johnson Innovation's Robert Urban to talk Cambridge biotech's past, present, and future---and how "convergence" will be critical going forward.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Make sure to pay attention during these sessions, you’ll have a chance to speak up.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Harvard professor and Warp Drive Bio founder Greg Verdine spoke to a key unmet need in biotech---the fact that current drugmaking methods aren’t good enough to get to a majority of important targets. That’s about to change. “In the next 10 years there will be a revolutionary rewriting of the rules of what we will consider to be a drug-like structure,” he said.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Dartmouth College professor Tillman Gerngross (right) joined with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals CEO Peter Hecht to convene a town hall-style discussion on drug pricing. Gerngross kicked it off talking about some of the advances over the past few decades that the drug industry has been responsible for, and their impact on society.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

A number of attendees chimed in on the topic, challenging the panelists.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

One, for instance, called on the drug industry to lead a discussion on solutions, rather than point fingers and play the blame game.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

After the event, Forum CEO Deborah Dunsire stuck around to meet and greet some attendees.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

As did Phil Sharp.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

And Peter Hecht (center).

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Also starring in the post-event networking fest was the cheese and fruit platter. Can’t forget that.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

Or the wine selection.

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

What’s Hot in Boston Biotech

All smiles afterwards. Thanks to everyone who came; looking forward to doing it all again next year!

Photos by Keith Spiro Photography

Xconomy Boston — 

What’s hot in Boston biotech? This year, it’s the challenges that lie ahead.

That means drilling down on drug pricing, for one. On Monday, I took a look at that and some of the other insightful nuggets to come out of our event at Biogen. Today, per usual, I’ve come back with visual evidence of the festivities.

One again, a big thanks to our speakers, attendees, event host Biogen, and our supporters: platinum sponsor Ropes & Gray; gold sponsors Fairfax County Economic Development Authority and Pfizer; and silver sponsors ALT Lab Equipment, Mintz Levin, Promega, and The Richmond Group. And thanks to Keith Spiro of Keith Spiro Photography for these photos.

See you all again next year.