GALIEN FORUM 2015
October 27, 2015
Alexandria Life Sciences Center - New York City.
Bioscience for Human Progress:
Next Wave Treatments for Unmet Medical Needs
Medical science is finally revealing the promise from decades of quiet, persistent efforts to improve our understanding of the biological origins of disease. Successful sequencing of the human genome combined with exponential growth in the power of information processing has allowed scientists to study diseases at the molecular level, where the origins of illness - and immunity - can be detected and translated into new treatments and cures.
The annual Galien Forum provides participants with a truly unique perspective combining a rigorous, substantive dialogue around discovery science including pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Medical Devices Industries with a broader public policy dimension designed to ensure that science is successfully transformed into medicines that save lives. By addressing the state of medicines innovation, we improve the state of care for patients worldwide.
The more than 500 attendees each year include a diverse mix of researchers from academia, major teaching hospitals, professional and patient organizations and private industry, the latter spanning the disciplines of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical devices and including the global pharma majors as well as small biotech. Government, the regulatory community and international organizations are represented in force. What results from this mix is an unparalleled opportunity to network - the Forum is the meeting place for the collaborations that drive commerce in the life sciences.
Our program ( to be completed)
This year’s Forum, to be held on October 27 at New York’s Alexandria Center for Life Sciences, will convene a distinguished group of scientists and industry researchers to review the most significant challenges in the global burden of disease and highlight the latest research and clinical pathways toward diagnosis, treatment and cure. The Forum’s Advisory Committee, whose 10 members include four Nobel Prize laureates, has selected a keynote luncheon speaker and eight expert panels to advance this year’s Forum theme of “Next Wave Treatments for Unmet Medical Needs,” as follows:
Leading off as the 2015 Forum Keynote speaker will be Doctor Jeff Gordon, Robert Glaser University Professor and Director of the Center for Genome Sciences and Systems Biology at Washington University in St. Louis. A leading biologist, Gordon will outline progress of the Center’s research in novel microbiologic applications in the identification and treatment of major diseases. His current research focus is how manipulation of the human microbiome - which, through his work has been tagged as equal, if not more important, to the cell in maintaining human health - can lead to cures for a wide variety of disabling and life threatening conditions.
US Health Reform: Partnering, Pricing and Politics, led by Dr. Roy Vagelos, Chairman of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and former Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., to examine the impact of regulatory and legislative policies on support for private-sector medicines innovation, one of the select sectors where US-based technology leads the world. Leaders from key stakeholder groups - including Industry, Public Policy, Healthcare Systems and payers - will debate the final stages of phase-in of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the outcome of legal challenges to the law, potential impact of the 2016 presidential election, and strategies to maintain growth in the innovative drugs segment through new consensus-building approaches to patient access and pricing. The future of the promising new science outlined in our other panels may depend on it
Microbiota in Human Diseases, chaired by Dr. Laurie Glimcher, Dean of Weill-Cornell Medical College, to consider how genetic material drawn from the trillions of bacteria, viruses and other microscopic organisms inhabiting our bodies can be mobilized to attack chronic inflammatory disorders like arthritis, Crohn’s disease and type one diabetes, all of which lack effective treatments and are a leading driver of early disability and higher health care costs.
Confronting the Crisis of Heart Failure: Innovation in Pharmacology and Medical Devices, chaired by Nobelist Bengt Samuelsson of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, to examine the potential for revolutionary gains against a condition that has reached epidemic proportions - an estimated 23 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure, which under current treatment protocols is irreversible and ranks as a leading cause of the rising cost of acute care. The panel will discuss promising new drug therapies as well as innovative collaborations between academia and the medical device industry to advance artificial components to support a failing heart in lieu of full-scale transplantation.
Untangling the Web of Neurodegeneration: How Far and How Soon?, chaired by Nobelist Dr. Richard Axel of Columbia University Medical Center, will ponder the harsh dynamic between the slim thread of scientific knowledge on the CNS and the enormous need for effective treatments against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, currently incurable conditions whose incidence is soaring with the rapid aging of the global population. Panelists will pinpoint new, ambitious approaches to neurodegeneration that raise the possibility of clinically differentiated breakthroughs.
Autism - The Next Decade. The fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States, autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. This represents a 30% increase from 1 in 88 just three years ago. However, critical advances have been made in our understanding of autism spectrum disor- ders over the last ten years: advances in early detection, behavioral interventions, animal models, identification of molecular targets. Novel technologies are explaining how genetic and environmental variations influence the development of neuro-circuitry in autism and biologic therapies that will mea- surably improve the lives of people with autism are within our reach. Nevertheless, challenges do remain, including the need for stratification of biomarkers, the heterogeneity of the disorder, the lack of sensitive tools for measuring treatment response and insufficient research funding. Our panel of experts from industry, academia and non-profit will assess the challenges and the opportunities faced as we look forward to the next ten years of advances in autism.
Delivering on the Patient Promise of Gene Therapy, chaired by Professor Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President of Rockefeller University, to discuss the growing optimism around gene therapies able to address what has blocked their clinical potential to date - delivering genes that can initiate a positive therapeutic response inside a damaged human cell, for the long term, and without dangerous side-effects. The panel will also profile the link between gene therapy and the superior health outcomes projected from personalized medicine, which centers treatment according to the DNA profiles of individual patients.
Bioengineering for Better Health: What Future for Targeted Drug Delivery?, chaired by MIT Professor Robert Langer, will explore cross-disciplinary approaches to one of the biggest unresolved problems in treating disease: overcoming the complex physiological barriers that inhibit the range, potency, safety and efficacy of drugs and diagnostic devices through new targeted delivery platforms. Panel participants with expertise in medicine, bioengineering, materials science, biology, chemistry, computer science, and physics will discuss emerging innovative drug delivery technologies, including controlled release systems, 3D printing, nanoparticles, microprocessor chips, and tissue regeneration using polymeric biodegradable materials.
Progress of these platforms against key diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease will be assessed along with the identification of research, policy and medical practice reforms to advance the interface between these disciplines. The intended result is processes and products that raise the bar on treatment outcomes for patients.