Session Abstract – PMWC 2018 Silicon Valley
Session Synopsis: Building robust databases via which to analyze genomic data and making meaningful associations between genes and diseases will ultimately lead to new drug targets and the ability to help guide the development of new therapeutics. The different presenters in this session will illustrate various ways of new drug design that are based on recent technological advancements and genetic insights.
Session Chair Profile
Dr. Baras serves as Vice President, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Head of the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), one of the largest human genetics programs in the world, spanning large-scale sequencing, informatics, and translational sciences using human genetics to advance and guide the development of Regeneron’s pipeline of important new medicines. He has established and leads several foundational genomics collaborations, such as with the Geisinger Health System to sequence at least 250,000 participants and with the UK Biobank to sequence 500,000 participants. The RGC has produced many high impact discoveries identifying new drug targets (such as HSD17B13 in chronic liver diseases), validating existing development programs (Regeneron’s evinacumab program targeting ANGPTL3, REGN3500 targeting IL33, and many more), and contributing important new gene discoveries and precision medicine strategies. The RGC has sequenced more than 300,000 individuals to date, collaborating with more than 60 institutions around the world, and plans to sequence the genomes of millions of participants across its studies. Previously, Dr. Baras held roles and responsibilities at Regeneron across R&D and business development. Prior to Regeneron, Dr. Baras contributed to other biotechnology ventures and conducted research spanning antibody based therapeutics, cancer research, and nanotechnology applications in drug development. Dr. Baras received his Bachelor’s of Science, M.D., and M.B.A., all from Duke University.
M.D., Dr.Med., CEO of deCODE Genetics
Kári Stefánsson, M.D., Dr. Med. founded deCODE in 1996. Dr. Stefánsson was a professor of Neurology, Neuropathology and Neuroscience at Harvard University and Director of Neuropathology at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts from 1993-1997. From 1983 to 1993, he held faculty positions in Neurology, Neuropathology and Neurosciences at the University of Chicago. Dr. Stefánsson received his M.D. and Dr. Med. from the University of Iceland and is board-certified in neurology and neuropathology in the United States. Dr. Stefansson is recognized as a leading figure in human genetics and the man who began an approach to population genetics that is being adopted all over the world. He has shaped deCODE’s scientific approach and been actively engaged in leading its work on human genetics. Dr. Stefánsson has received numerous awards for his work, including the Sackler Lecture at MIT (2009), the European Society of Human Genetics Award (2009), the Anders Jahre Award (2009), the American Alzheimer’s Association’s Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award (2014), and the Federation of European Biomedical Societies’ Sir Hans Krebs Medal (2016) and The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) has named Dr. Stefánsson the 2017 recipient of the annual William Allan Award. He has published more than 500 scientific papers.
M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and President of Regeneron Laboratories
Dr. Yancopoulos joined Regeneron in 1989 as its Scientific Founder. In the 1990s, Dr. Yancopoulos was the 11th most highly cited scientist in the world, and in 2004 he was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Sciences. Dr. Yancopoulos, together with key members of his team, is a principal inventor and developer of Regeneron’s four FDA-approved drugs – PRALUENT® (alirocumab) Injection, EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection, ZALTRAP® (ziv-aflibercept) Injection for Intravenous Infusion, and ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection – as well as of Regeneron’s foundational technologies for target and drug development, such as its proprietary TRAP technology, VelociGene® and VelocImmune®. These technologies have produced Regeneron’s robust pipeline of fully human antibodies targeting eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, asthma, pain, cancer and infectious diseases. In 2014, Dr. Yancopoulos and his team launched the Regeneron Genetics Center, a major new initiative in human genetic research that has already sequenced exomes from over 100,000 people.
Ph.D., Chief Science Officer & Head of Therapeutics, 23andMe
Dr. Scheller serves as chief science officer and head of the newly formed therapeutics group at 23andMe. In his role, Dr. Scheller built a dedicated research and development team that will use human genetic data as the starting point for identifying new therapies for both common and rare diseases. Previously, Dr. Scheller served as executive vice president of research and early development at Genentech. Dr. Scheller also served on the faculty of Stanford University as a professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Physiology and was an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of Stanford University Medical Center. In 2013, Dr. Scheller received the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries concerning the molecular machinery and regulatory mechanism that underlie the rapid release of neurotransmitters. Dr. Scheller holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University.