Aureka Biotechnologies is a premier biotech startup committed to democratizing the pharmaceutical industry to defeat disease. It is developing a best-in-class therapeutic discovery platform that uniquely integrates high-throughput, single-cell-based functional screening, synthetic biology-based autonomous discovery, and generative AI-based therapeutic design and multi-objective optimization. Empowered by large-scale, multi-metric data generated at an unprecedented scale and rapid reinforcement learning, Aureka’s AI solutions can uncover therapeutic design principles and exponentially accelerate the discovery of a wide range of macromolecule and immunotherapeutic modalities including bispecific antibodies, ADCs, TCR-T, polypeptides, enzymes, as well as new therapeutics for previously challenging targets and mechanisms such as GPCR. Visit them at: www.aurekabio.com.
Dr. Weian Zhao is the CEO of Aureka Biotechnologies and was previously a tenured full professor at UC Irvine. Throughout his career, Dr. Zhao has been pursuing disruptive innovations that have the potential to enhance human health. At Aureka, Dr. Zhao is leading a group of passionate entrepreneurs and innovators who dare to transform the unsustainable pharmaceutical industry by digitalizing and democratizing therapeutic discovery and development. Dr. Zhao co-authored approx. 100 articles in respected journals, including Science Translational Medicine, Nature Biomedical Engineering, Nature Communications, and PNAS. Dr. Zhao has received numerous awards, including MIT’s Technology Review TR35 Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, World Economic Forum Young Scientist, and UCI Innovator of the Year. Dr. Zhao was trained as a bioengineer and pharmaceutical scientist at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MIT, McMaster University, and Shandong University.
EXUMA Biotech is a venture-backed, clinical-stage biotechnology company founded in 2015 with a goal to expand and improve patient access to cell and gene therapies. Through innovative gene vector engineering, EXUMA is advancing autologous, cell therapy products from its rPOC platform enabled by its novel, CD3-directed lentivector and proprietary FITNESS DRIVER technologies, which in tandem allow for rapid CAR-T cell administration (~7 days) without lymphodepletion. Additionally, EXUMA has developed a library of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that are conditionally active only within the tumor microenvironment. These tumor microenvironment restricted (TMR) CARs represent a significant advance in extending CAR-T cell therapy to solid tumor indications by reducing the potential for on-target, off-tumor toxicity and expanding the number of antigen targets available for CAR-T therapy. Visit them at: www.exumabio.com.
Gregory Frost, Ph.D. has served as Chairman and CEO of EXUMA Biotech since 2015. Dr. Frost has over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, over a decade of which leading public biotechnology companies, where he helped create over $6B worth of shareholder value during his tenure. Dr. Frost was CEO at Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ:HALO), a San Diego-based, S&P 400 company that he co-founded in 1999 to enable subcutaneous delivery of biologics. He served in various operational roles over 15 years through multiple internal and partnered product approvals that are marketed in over 100 countries today. Dr. Frost earned his B.A. in biochemistry and molecular biology from UCSC, his Ph.D. in the Department of Pathology at UCSF, and performed postdoctoral research at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. He sits on the Board of Governors at BioCom and is managing director of F1 BioVentures, LLC
HanchorBio Inc. was established by Dr. Liu Scott, Chairman and Founder, in Taipei in October 2020. It is a clinical-stage global pharma, focused on the research and development of novel biologics in Immuno-Oncology. Its mission is to transcend immunooncology therapies by developing cutting-edge designer biologics with novel modalities. The pharma’s core technology and platform, named “Fc-based Design of Biologics (FBDB™),” represents a unique design of biologics targeting multiple cancers or tumors. The biologics from the platform have the capability to simultaneously activate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system to eliminate tumor growth. Through breakthroughs in multifunctional innovative molecular configurations during the research and development process, as well as the optimization of chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) during process development, HanchorBio aims to address unmet medical needs with its innovative biologics and core technology, the FBDB™. Currently, there are more than eight biologics based on the FBDB platform in HanchorBio pipeline. Except for the first leading biologic in clinical trials at US and Taiwan hospitals, other candidates are also planned to enter clinical stages soon. Visit them at: www.hanchorbio.com.
Scott Liu, Ph.D. is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of HanchorBio Inc., a global biotechnology company pioneering the development of next-generation immunotherapies. As a life-science entrepreneur and successful biotech company-builder, Scott was one of the global partners of Fosun International Limited and the Co-founder, President and CEO of Shanghai Henlius Biotech Inc., a commercial-stage global biopharmaceutical company with the focus on highquality, affordable, and innovative biologic medicines, listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (2696.HK) with a market value of over US$ 1.1 Billion. During his tenure with the Henlius, Scott has led multiple product development initiatives (over 30 biosimilars, novel monoclonal antibodies and bispecific antibodies) and successfully launched 5 commercial monoclonal antibody products in China and Europe.
Scott has over 30 years of experience in managing corporate development, strategic portfolio, equity, cGMP quality operation, and CMC regulatory affairs. He has been instrumental on the development of the Technical Guidelines for the Research, Development and Evaluation of Biosimilars to promote globalization of the biopharmaceutical industry in China. Additionally, he has participated in development of multiple biological medicines, including Orencia® (for rheumatoid arthritis), Vectibix® (for colorectal cancer), Hanlikang® (rituximab biosimilar), Hanquyou®/Zercepac® (trastuzumab biosimilar), Handayuan® (adalimumab biosimilar), Hanbeitai® (bevacizumab biosimilar) and Hansizhuang® (serplulimab, novel anti-PD1).
Prior to founding HanchorBio and Henlius, Scott has previously served in several executive positions such Vice President of Scientific Affairs at United Biomedical Inc., the Founding
Director of the Biologics Quality Control Department at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Syracuse, USA), and the Director of Quality Analytical Laboratories at Amgen (Fremont, USA). Scott has authored or co-authored multiple scientific papers and has been an invited speakers in conferences with topics ranging from Biologics Process Development, Biomanufacturing, Oncology Biologics and Immuno-Oncology. He received his Ph.D. in biology at Purdue University and he completed his post-doctoral training at Stanford University.
Mekanistic is a preclinical company advancing a well-tolerated and highly selective, first-in-class small molecule inhibitor of PI3K and EGFR targeting a host of Squamous Cell Carcinomas including Head and Neck, Colorectal, Esophageal, and Breast cancer.
Dr. Leopold is Research Professor of Radiology and Co-Leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Rogel Cancer Center. She is an internationally recognized expert in cancer drug discovery. Dr. Leopold’s research interests are focused on the discovery and development of rationally designed kinase inhibitors to target adaptive resistance mechanisms in cancer cells. Before joining Michigan Medicine in 2009, she had a distinguished career at Parke-Davis/Pfizer R & D, where she led multiple research teams focused on discovery of first-in-class drug candidates. She pioneered the MEK inhibitor field, advancing the field’s first MEK inhibitor into the clinic. Her laboratory at Michigan Medicine continues to focus on first-in-class drug opportunities designed to offer combination therapy to a broad range of cancer patients treated.
Myrobalan Therapeutics (Medford, MA) is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing oral neurorestorative therapies aimed at reversing key pathologies underlying brain dysfunctions and CNS conditions. Myrobalan is developing a portfolio of orally available, CNS-penetrant compounds, including an antagonist to G-protein coupled receptor 17 (GPR17), a central target to promote remyelination; an inhibitor to colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF1R), which is involved in both demyelination and neuroinflammation; and an allosteric tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2) inhibitor, to reduce neuroinflammation in the CNS. By pursuing these targets, Myrobalan plans to address a broad range of neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and several rare neurological conditions. Visit them at: myrotx.com.
Dr. Jing Wang (Co-Founder CEO, Myrobalan Therapeutics) brings a wealth of expertise with 18 years of industry experience spanning the entire spectrum of drug development, from discovery to commercialization. With a distinguished career that includes leadership roles at Curis, TESARO (acquired by GSK), and Constellation (acquired by MorphoSys), Dr. Wang has played a pivotal role in advancing multiple clinically successful therapeutics. Dr. Wang holds a PhD from Harvard Medical School, where her thesis research focused on neurodegeneration. Her relevant academic background and extensive industry experience led her to co-found Myrobalan Therapeutics in 2021 along side Professor Guoping Feng (MIT/Broad), and Professor Zhigang He (Harvard Medical School).
Novadip was founded in 2013 as a spin-off company from Université Catholique de Louvain and St. Luc University Hospital, based on the scientific discoveries of professor and founder, Dr. Denis Dufrane. The basis of Dr. Dufrane’s research surrounded the creation of a unique 3M3 tissue regeneration platform, leveraging adipose-derived stem cells within a three-dimensional extracellular matrix. This technology aids in our mission to provide innovative solutions for patients with limited to no effective treatment options. Novadip’s growing team of 45 experts has published 9 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, created 15 procedures for bone reconstruction and generated 7 implantations for skin regeneration using early versions of the 3M3 technology. The creation of Novadip was supported by the Louvain Technology Transfer Office (LTTO), Sopartec and VIVES II. Visit them at: novadip.com.
Dr. Dufrane co-founded Novadip in 2013 and joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer in 2015. Prior to joining Novadip on a full-time basis, Dr. Dufrane was head of both the Musculoskeletal Tissue Bank and the Tissue/Cells Therapy Centre at St. Luc University Hospital. Previously, he was head of the Endocrine Cell Therapy Unit at St. Luc University Hospital. Dr. Dufrane has been a member of the Belgium Superior Health Council since 2014. Dr. Dufrane has published more than 46 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, presented at 40 lectures, and has more than 120 communications with more than 1,300 citations. He is a reviewer and member of the editorial boards of scientific and medical peer-reviewed journals and has received numerous scientific awards. Dr. Dufrane received his medical degree and his doctorate in biomedical sciences (orientation: cell therapy) from Université Catholique de Louvain.
ONL Therapeutics (ONL) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to protecting and improving the vision of patients with retinal disease. By advancing a breakthrough technology designed to protect key retinal cells from Fas-mediated cell death, ONL is pioneering a new approach to preserving vision. ONL is developing a platform of products for use in a wide range of blinding diseases, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, AMD and IRD. Visit them at onltherapeutics.com.
David is an experienced healthcare executive who has built and scaled multiple companies that resulted in successful exits to strategic buyers. He is currently the CEO of ONL Therapeutics based in Ann Arbor, MI. He is the former CEO of Armune BioScience. The Company successfully launched the only non-PSA blood test to improve the detection of prostate cancer. Armune BioScience was sold to Exact Sciences (EXAS) in 2017. David was President of Phadia US Inc. (allergy and autoimmune diagnostics) and played a pivotal role in the sale of the business to Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) in 2011. David began his career as a sales representative with Merck & Co. Inc. and rose through the ranks of sales, marketing and commercial strategy for the US Division. David is a combat veteran, led an infantry platoon with the 101st Airborne Division through several combat operations, and was recognized with a Bronze Star for combat action in Iraq in 1991. David earned his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his MBA from Syracuse University.
T-MAXIMUM is dedicated to the development of universal cell therapies, exploring treatments for “untreatable” diseases. Our core technology platform, gene-edited allogeneic immuno-cellular therapy, utilizes a fully proprietary 3.0 version, enabling universal allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy. This approach resolves the risks of graft-versus-host disease and rejection, with resulting allogeneic CAR-T cells being able to persist within the patient’s body for an extended period, thereby achieving optimal therapeutic effects at an internationally-leading level. T-MAXIMUM is currently focusing on advanced-stage malignancies, with our first pipeline product for recurrent high-grade glioma (rHGG) demonstrating breakthrough efficacy and manageable safety in initial clinical studies and obtained Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Visit them at: www.t-maximum.com.
Xiaoyun Shang, M.D., Ph.D. is the Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of T-Maximum. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the PLA Institute of Immunology. He is the Life Member of Chinese Society of Immunology, and Director of Immunology Committee of Hubei Oncology Society.
He has more than 20 national invention patents applied for and/or obtained. He has presided over several national projects and national major new drug projects including more than three First-in-class drug projects.
Shanghai WD Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (WDP) is a pioneering biotech firm specializing in innovative drug delivery systems to meet critical medical needs. The company has developed two unique platforms: UGi-Pump®, for controlled release in the upper GI tract, and AcuSiS®, designed for rapid absorption, serving pediatric and geriatric needs. WDP’s diverse product portfolio, with a focus on Parkinson’s disease, ranges from early to late-stage treatments, including device-drug combination product for managing day-time symptoms, preventing morning stiffness, and treating intermittent “OFF” episodes. Key products include WD-1804, WD-1603, WD-1905, and WD-2010, each employing proprietary technologies. WDP has filed 59 patents, with 32 granted, showcasing its commitment to innovation and effective treatments in the field of Parkinson’s disease. Visit them at: www.wpdpharmaceuticals.com.
Dr. Xiaoxiong (Jim) Wei is the founder and Chief Medical Officer of Shanghai WD Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. With a rich background in clinical pharmacology, Dr. Wei’s expertise was honed over nearly a decade at the US FDA’s Office of Clinical Pharmacology/CDER, where he served as a senior new drug reviewer. Further enhancing his credentials, he dedicated nearly ten years to Medpace, a U.S. clinical CRO company, overseeing early phase clinical development of new drugs, gaining significant experience in the field of clinical trials and drug development. Dr. Wei graduated from Zhejiang University School of Medicine for his medical degree and completed his internal medicine/cardiology training there, followed by a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Boise VA Medical Center/University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Wei earned his Ph.D. from Idaho State University in 1995. His postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health further solidified his expertise.