Drug Discovery 101

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479 Jessie St

San Francisco, CA 94103

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Event description
Learn how veteran drug hunters discover novel medicines.

About this Event

If you are a young biotech founder, partnering with an experienced drug hunter will likely be an important early priority for your company. Bringing a drug to market is a complex, highly regulated and multi-disciplinary endeavor, and navigating this process requires expertise that only comes from years of experience.

In this Biotech Startup School event, three scientists with decades of experience discovering and developing drugs will share their lessons and advice.

We will kick off with a high-level overview of the drug discovery process, and then hear two real-world case studies of drug discovery programs.

Our speakers have extensive and diverse experience across small molecules, biologics, antibody-drug conjugates, and bispecific proteins. They’ve developed drugs that are being studied in clinical trials and have received FDA approval across a variety of indications.

Whether you are looking for a job at a big pharma company or are a startup founder looking for an experienced CSO, this event is for you.

About the speakers

Arash Rassoulpour, Executive Director, Charles River Laboratories

Dr. Arash Rassoulpour joined Charles River in 2017, through the acquisition of Brains On-Line. Arash led the US operations of Brains On-Line for 8 years where he expanded the suite of offerings of the company to a comprehensive in vivo pharmacology organization.

Prior to joining Brains On-Line, Arash held a position of Senior Scientist in the Neuroscience group at Amgen. During his time there he led a neuropharmacology group that supported multiple programs, and served as team leader on a program that he carried from lead ops to the clinic.

Arash holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland. His research focused on the behavioral and neurochemical disturbances in schizophrenia. Arash has co-authored over 25 peer reviewed articles, and been an invited speaker at several international conferences.

Holger Wesche, Chief Scientific Officer, Harpoon Therapeutics

Dr. Wesche is Chief Scientific Officer at Harpoon Therapeutics. He joined Harpoon in 2015 with 20 years of biotech experience focused on target validation, drug discovery and drug development in the fields of oncology and inflammation.

His previous role was as scientific director at Amgen where he was responsible for leading the next generation T cell engagement (BiTE) efforts. He also led many drug discovery projects through pre-clinical development.

Dr. Wesche is co-author of numerous publications and several US patents. Dr. Wesche received his PhD, summa cum laude, in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Hannover, Germany.

John Flygare, Senior Principal Scientist, Merck

John has over 25 years of experience in the biotech industry in South San Francisco. He spent 5 years at Tularik prior to its acquisition by Amgen and 17 years at Genentech before going to Merck in 2016 at the inception of their SSF presence.

John is an accomplished leader of project teams with responsibilities for chemistry, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and biology for the program. These projects include antibody-drug conjugates, neurodegeneration, and multiple targets in apoptosis for the treatment of cancer including Bcl-2 family proteins (Bcl-2, BclxL, and Mcl-1) and Inhibitor of Apoptosis (IAP) proteins. Seven compounds from these programs have entered into development, three of which are currently in human clinical trials, and one is approved (Venclexta, 2016).

John has also designed and taught 39 organic and medicinal chemistry courses at Stanford University with a combined total enrollment of over 5,000 students. He is an author or co-inventor of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and patents.

About the organizers

Biotech Startup School

Biotech Startup School is a free 10 week course on how to start a biotech company, with speakers who have built and funded successful biotech companies. Learn more about Biotech Startup School here:

Discovery from Charles River

Discovery from Charles River is industry-proven in the successful development of novel therapies, with over 370 patents and 80 preclinical drug candidates delivered to our sponsors. Backed by more than 650 scientists, our comprehensive, integrated portfolio employs the latest technology and platforms to provide chemistry, biology, and pharmacology services that support clients from the earliest stages of target discovery through to IND. Our client-focused, collaborative approach creates true partnerships that anticipate challenges, overcome obstacles, and move us forward together on the journey of getting new drugs to market.

Event Logistics

Location: IndieBio, 479 Jessie, San Francisco, CA 94103

IndieBio is next to the Powell BART / Muni station. There is a parking lot directly across from IndieBio on Jessie St, and another lot on Mission St between 4th and 5th (part of the Westfield Mall).

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479 Jessie St

San Francisco, CA 94103

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