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BioNJ’s CEO Summit Took it Over the Top

The Third Annual BioNJ CEO Summit that took place last week, October 9 at the Bridgewater Marriott, brought together some of the most influential leaders in the life sciences industry to discuss the major opportunities and challenges facing the future of the sector as it works to discover and develop innovative medicines to address unmet medical needs. Topics included FDA and regulatory reform, FDA priorities, the increasing importance of CROs in the biotechnology industry, the impact of new funding policies on the rare disease space and the strategy behind using M&A to expand a company’s pipeline. Additionally, company presentations were made by Agile Therapeutics and Soligenix.

“‘Because Patients Can’t Wait,’ bringing new treatments and drugs to the Patients who need them was at the heart of our program,” said BioNJ President and CEO Debbie Hart. “From the stellar roster of speakers to our diverse group of participants, that included C-suite executives from long-established organizations, emerging companies and new start-ups, the CEO Summit was the perfect platform to share experiences and gain valuable insight on how to look to the next horizon and beyond. We thank our speakers, sponsors and all who attended for making this event such a success.”

“Today’s event was very well done,” said Mary Backstrom, Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Insights, PARAXEL. “The speakers and topics were not only informational they were also inspirational.”

One of the many highlights of the program included a luncheon fireside chat with FDA Acting Commissioner, Dr. Stephen Ostroff, led by Dr. William Hait, Global Head of Research and Development at Janssen, the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson & Johnson. During this insightful and candid conversation, entitled “Expediting Therapies and Cures to the Patients Who Need Them: The Evolving Role of the FDA,” Dr. Ostroff discussed ways that the agency is streamlining the path for drug approvals, as well as what the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act could mean.

The CEO Summit kicked off on the evening of October 8 with a fireside chat with Dr. James Wilson, Director of the Gene Therapy Program and Orphan Disease Center at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. A groundbreaking researcher, Dr. Wilson shared his thought-provoking perspective on the promising future of this important scientific area.

“This year’s CEO Summit has been terrific,” said Daniel Brettler, Managing Director, Sr. Vice President of Life Sciences Practice Leader, Conner Strong Companies. “To have so many leaders from the life sciences industry here sharing their perspectives on current topics is a huge value. I really recommend attending the Summit next year.”

During the CEO Summit, BioNJ announced that registration is now open for its inaugural Inspiring Women in STEM Conference, scheduled for December 4, 2015 at Sanofi in Bridgewater, NJ. Expected to attract more than 200 attendees, the Conference will feature forward-thinking presentations, informative panel discussions, audience-participation exercises and fun networking activities.

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