Singapore QuickFire Challenge – Metabolic Disease Innovation
By Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS in collaboration with A*STAR’s ETPL and SMART
Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (JLABS) in collaboration with A*STAR’s Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) and Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have launched the first-ever Asia proper QuickFire Challenge. The Singapore QuickFire Challenge – Metabolic Disease Innovation aims to attract entrepreneurs from around the world that have the potential of making a major difference for the millions of people in Asia Pacific and globally who suffer from metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity It also aims to strengthen the Singapore entrepreneurial ecosystem and support Singapore as the Asia Pacific hub for metabolic disease innovation. This competition will award the person or team who submits the best solutions for diabetes and other metabolic diseases in the areas of Therapeutics, Health technologies, Consumer healthcare, Medical device and Diagnostics. Winner(s) will be awarded prizes including a grant of SGD100,000, access to world-class lab space at DxD Hub or A*START Central and one year mentorship and coaching from Johnson & Johnson Innovation, SMART and ETPL.
JLABS QuickFire Challenges are competitions designed to attract game-changing, early-stage innovation in the pharmaceutical, consumer product, health technology and medical device sectors. Winners are awarded a variety of prizes that may include grant funds, lab facilities, , mentorship and access to a global network of industry experts and programming.
Challenges & Opportunities in the Commercialisation of Academic Science
By Dr. Juan Carlos López
For the past few years, there has been a strong drive to commercialise the discoveries that emerge from academic institutions. In a relatively short time, investors and Pharma companies have explored a large number of models looking for the best way to interact with academia. At the same time, governments have become more active in this space, promoting the creation of biotech ecosystems as engines of economic development, but many challenges remain.
In this talk, I review the current state of play in this field, the obstacles that prevent progress, and possible ways in which the relationship between academia and investors can be optimised.
Dr. Andrew Marshall
Dr. Andrew Marshall has been Chief Editor of Nature Biotechnology since 2000. Since that time, the journal’s impact factor has increased from 11.0 to 43.1. It is currently among the top 10 primary research journals in the world. As well as frequently speaking on biotechnology issues at international meetings, he also regularly heads and organises conferences and symposia for the journal. He has over 24 years of experience in scientific publishing, and was previously Editor of Current Opinion in Biotechnology from 1992 to 1996. He has written over 150 articles and editorials on science and technology for the popular media, including The Economist and Popular Science, and for trade publications. In 2003, he launched Bioentrepreneur (www.nature.com/bioent), a free web portal that provides didactic information and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to start biotech companies. He also runs a series of networking events (SciCafes) in Boston, New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, London and Singapore to promote pioneering translational work by junior faculty. He is currently a Voluntary Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Miami. He obtained his PhD and postdoctoral experience in molecular biology and microbiology at King’s College London and is the recipient of the Helen White Prize.
Dr Benjamin Seet
Dr Benjamin Seet joined A*STAR in 2011 and assumed the position of Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council a year later. He currently oversees the council’s 10 research institutes which engage in scientific and translational research & development that span the pharmaceutical, medical technology, food & nutrition, and consumer care industries.
Prior to joining A*STAR, Dr Seet served in the Singapore Armed Forces for over 20 years before retiring as the Chief of the SAF Medical Corps as a Brigadier General. Dr Seet also served as Chief Medical Officer of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York, where he oversaw medical support for UN personnel in 16 post-conflict countries.
Dr Seet has served on various boards and advisory committees, including for the Ministry of Health, National Medical Research Council, Health Promotion Board, Agri-food and Veterinary Authority, Nanyang Technological University, and Singapore Technologies Engineering.
Dr Seet graduated with a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery, and Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology from the National University of Singapore. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Dong Wu
Mr. Dong Wu is the Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Asia Pacific. Dong joined the Innovation team from Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer business where he was Vice President of R&D, responsible for the Global Engineering Organization and leading the transformation of the emerging markets R&D groups. Dong joined Johnson & Johnson as the Head of Emerging Markets R&D where he focused on developing personal care products for emerging markets. Dong facilitated programs aimed at developing high value products and driving a culture of innovation. Dong has a Bachelor of Science degree from Fudan University and a MBA from China Europe International Business School.
Dr. Juan Carlos López
Juan Carlos López is Founder of Haystack Science, a firm focused on connecting up-and-coming scientists working in novel research areas with knowledgeable investors interested in developing valuable advances in biomedicine. A native of Oaxaca, Mexico, Juan Carlos obtained his B.S. degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, majoring in neuroscience. He got his Ph.D. degree from Columbia University (New York), working in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, and carried out postdoctoral research at the Instituto Cajal (Madrid). In 2000, Juan Carlos helped launch and became Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Neuroscience in London. Four years later, he returned to New York as Chief Editor of the prestigious journal Nature Medicine. In 2014, Juan Carlos joined Hoffmann-La Roche as Global Head of Academic Relations and Collaborations, leading a team in charge of fostering scientific interactions between the company and academic institutions worldwide. Juan Carlos has served on the Boards of multiple biotechnology and non-profit organisations, most recently on the Board of Directors of Keystone Symposia.
Ms. Melinda Richter
As Global Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS, Melinda Richter fosters the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies external R&D engine and supports the innovation community by creating capital-efficient commercialisation models that give early stage companies a big company advantage. By providing infrastructure, services, educational programs and networks in global hotspots, JLABS is the best place to start a biotech company.
Prior to joining JLABS, Melinda was Founder and CEO of Prescience International, an award-winning firm dedicated to accelerating research to the patient. Melinda founded Prescience after she had a medical emergency that left her questioning the efficiency and efficacy of the healthcare system. With the tenacity and resolve of a patient looking for a better solution, she set out to create a better model, which now forms the basis for JLABS’ operational infrastructure. Prior to starting Prescience, Melinda held posts across a variety of functional areas with a global corporation, Nortel Networks, in locations such as Research Triangle Park, New York, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Beijing before arriving in San Francisco. She also initiated, raised capital and secured large corporate deals for several companies in both the life science and technology space. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and a MBA from INSEAD in France. Melinda is an active board member and Treasurer of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA).
Mr. Philip Lim
Mr. Philip Lim is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Exploit Technologies (ETPL), which manages all A*STAR intellectual properties through to commercialisation. He has led the company in performance outcomes that exceeded world benchmarks especially in licensing agreements and start-ups formed. He was also instrumental in introducing several innovation and productisation initiatives such as the Diagnostics Development Hub and the A*START Central Incubation. These brought new impact to the innovation and enterprise ecosystem on collaboration and joint programmes. These are aimed at building long term value to innovative enterprises in Singapore. Under his leadership, ETPL concluded over 1,200 license agreements mostly with local companies. A*STAR’s startup raised over $100m collectively.
Mr Philip Lim currently sits on the boards of IP Academy and CommonTown Pte Ltd.
Mr. Philip Lim spent 20 years with the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). In his last appointment as Brigadier General/Head Joint Logistics, he was the leading senior specialist on logistics and engineering matters to the Chief of Defence Force. Prior to this, he was Chief of Logistics in the Army, where he led the operations and development of Army logistics, engineering and maintenance functions.
He received his MBA from the National University of Singapore in 2008 and holds a Master of Science from Cranfield Institute of Technology in the UK. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Hons) from the National University of Singapore.
In recognition of his significant contributions to the SAF, Mr. Philip Lim was awarded the Commendation Medal (Military) in 1995 and the Public Administration Medal, Silver (Military) in 2004.
Professor Salvatore Albani
Professor Salvatore Albani, Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, Director of the SingHealth Translational Immunology & Inflammation Centre, and Senior Clinical Scientist with the Paediatrics Academic Clinical Program. Professor Albani is an internationally renowned rheumatologist and immunologist. His fundamental research interest is in understanding human immunity and contributing the knowledge to therapeutic and diagnostic advancements. He developed several innovative approaches in the area of induction and maintenance of immune tolerance in humans, being responsible for the whole translational process from idea to conclusion of Phase II clinical trial in autoimmune inflammatory diseases, which have a large impact on society and individuals. This translational research itinerary has been the original backbone of his career, as witnessed by a rich publication trail (among others Nature Medicine, Lancet, JCI, PNAS, Nature Rheumatology, A&R, ARD, etc) and by approximately 100 patents, disclosures and applications.