Session Abstract – PMWC 2020 Silicon Valley


This panel will discuss the status quo on VC investment in Cardiovascular Disease. Panelists will explore how new preclinical discovery paradigms, the use of personalized medicine approaches (i.e. biomarkers for patient stratification and trial acceleration) and novel therapeutic modalities could change the trajectory of VC investment in the Cardiovascular Space.

 Session Chair Profile

Ph.D., Vice President, Translational Programs, UPMC Enterprises

Biography
Matthias is Vice President, Translational Programs and co-leads the investment team at UPMC Enterprises, the investment arm of UPMC, one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery and finance systems in the United States. Matthias and his team are focused on investing and incubating transformative scientific discoveries by partnering with entrepreneurs to identify the right target markets, exploring optimal business models, and helping teams find a clear development path for their innovative technologies. Prior to joining UPMC Enterprises Matthias was a Principal in L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Life Science Practice, supporting life sciences clients in the U.S., Europe, and Japan on market definition, business and portfolio planning and commercial strategy. Matthias completed a Ph.D. in cardiovascular and clinical pharmacology at the University of Cambridge (UK) and holds a doctorate in clinical veterinary medicine from Justus Liebig University in Giessen (GER).


 Speaker Profile

Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Life Sciences

Biography
Mr. Simon has over 30 years of operating and investment experience in the healthcare sector, and has led investments in biotechnology, pharmaceutical company partnerships, and medical technology. Prior to Clarus, Mr. Simon was a General Partner at MPM Capital, a healthcare venture capital firm. Prior to MPM Capital he was with Genentech from 1989 to 2000 where he was Vice President of Business and Corporate Development. Mr. Simon is currrently serving on the Board of Directors of Gritstone Oncology (NASDAQ: GRTS), Lycera, Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. and Sientra (NASDAQ:SIEN). Mr. Simon is a Trustee at The J David Gladstone Institutes, a private not-for-profit research institute affiliated with the University of California, San Francisco.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Partner, Illumina Ventures

Biography
Alexis Ji joined Illumina Ventures as a partner in 2016. She brings 15 years of experience in research and venture investment in the genomics and biopharmaceutical industries. Alexis focuses on investing in early-stage life science and technology platforms and applications in tools, therapeutics, and diagnostics. Alexis has served on the boards of Illumina Ventures portfolio companies, NanoCellect Biomedical, SQZ Biotechnologies, and Twist Bioscience (TWST). Prior to Illumina Ventures, Alexis was a principal at WuXi Healthcare Ventures, where she focused on investments in therapeutics and medtech companies. Alexis was instrumental in the investment in companies such as Twist Bioscience, 23andme, Juno Therapeutics, Unity Biotechnology, Vivace Therapeutics, Medeor Therapeutics, and Ideaya Therapeutics, among others. Before joining WuXi, Alexis was an investment consultant at ARCH Venture Partners, where she evaluated early-stage life science and physical science opportunities and was involved in the founding of Twist Bioscience and the investment in Nextcode Health, and provided operating assistance to portfolio companies. Previously, Alexis held senior scientist positions at Merck in early drug discovery, at Roche in virology translational research and clinical trial development, and at Life Technologies in molecular diagnostics and next-generation sequencing. Alexis earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Washington University School of Medicine and an MBA from University.


 Speaker Profile

Vice President, Samsara BioCapital

Biography
Abe is a Vice President at Samsara BioCapital, a Life Sciences fund focused on investing in and building long-term relationships with entrepreneurs and management teams advancing novel medicines. The fund manages approximately $410M in assets. Before joining Samsara, Abe was Director of Program Biology at Revolution Medicines, where he co-led some of the company’s preclinical oncology and infectious disease programs. Abe was also Director of Program Development at bluebird bio, where he worked on the company’s genetic disease programs focused on hemoglobin disorders and neurodegeneration. Before that, as an Associate at Third Rock Ventures, he was involved in the creation of Blueprint Medicines.