Biotech is in a period of uncertain times. Following record growth and profits, the sector is now in “Biotech Winter,” with share values down and venture capital funds scarce, even for formerly white-hot categories like Oncology drugs. As a result, biotech companies are retrenching, prioritizing their portfolios, rethinking clinical development programs, and conserving funds.

This new reality may not necessarily require a rewrite of a company’s overall strategy, but it does require a good hard look in the mirror to answer important questions:

  • What is the Pharma buyer or investor looking for?
  • Is my program sufficiently differentiated?
  • How do I create a compelling story, especially for early-stage and developing assets?
  • How do I balance value creation with risk reduction?

“Biotech Decision-Making During Uncertain Times” brings together a cast of experienced biotech, pharma, and investment pros for a spirited dialogue around these and other issues, including life after the Biotech Winter. For those currently immersed in a pharma development program, initiating a novel Immuno-Oncology program, or conjuring a new twist on a known precision Oncology treatment, this webinar offers insights, direction, and inspiration. Watch now.

WEBINAR replay 

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Company team

Linda Pullan, PhD

BD Consultant, Pullan Consulting

Linda and her team at Pullan Consulting offer biotech and pharmaceutical companies consulting in all aspects of partnering. Linda has a PhD in Biochemistry, a BS in Chemistry, and over twenty years of drug industry experience, including work on more than 75 deals. Learn more.

Company team

Jeffrey M. Bockman, PhD

EVP, BioConsulting and Head of Oncology Practice, Lumanity

Jeff leads the Oncology and Virology Practices at Lumanity. Jeff has extensive commercial and strategic perspective on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. He has directed hundreds of in-depth licensing opportunity and valuation assessments during his tenure at Cello Health BioConsulting, now Lumanity. He often speaks at conferences on scientific and commercial issues in cancer, especially immuno-oncology. Learn more.


Company team

Rachael Lester

SVP, BD and Corporate Strategy, Harpoon Therapeutics

Rachael Lester joined Harpoon Therapeutics in September 2017 as Vice President of Corporate Development, and is responsible for spearheading the company’s corporate strategy and business development activities. She brings nearly 20 years of experience in corporate and commercial strategy, business development and commercial operations. Most recently, as VP of Product & Marketing for Bruin Biometrics, she led the commercialization of SEM Scanner® and drove ongoing R&D collaborations and partnerships. From 2010 through the approvals of Kyprolis™ and Stivarga™ and its acquisition by Amgen in October 2013, Ms. Lester served as Global Head of Strategic Asset Management at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for portfolio management, strategic finance, sell-side corporate development, and strategy & innovation initiatives. At Deloitte Consulting, she held a leading role in the Life Sciences Strategy & Operations practice, as a thought leader and advisor to biotech clients on growth strategy, M&A, and new product planning & commercialization. Learn more.

Company team

Asthika Goonewardene

Managing Director, Truist Securities

Asthika Goonewardene is a Managing Director covering biotechnology companies with a focus on cell therapy, immuno-oncology, and antibody technology. Prior to joining the firm's Biotech research team in 2019, Asthika was a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, leading coverage of the global biotech sector. Before joining Bloomberg in 2011, Asthika worked as a senior management consultant at Datamonitor. He started his career as an analyst at OSI Pharmaceuticals in 2005, and first joined the sell-side in 2007, with the biotech team at Piper Jaffray in London. Learn more.

Company team

Sharon Benzeno, PhD

Chief Commercial Officer, Immune Medicine, Adaptive Biotech

Dr. Sharon Benzeno is the Chief Commercial Officer, Immune Medicine and leads the Drug Discovery group of Adaptive Biotechnologies, a commercial-stage biotech company that aims to translate the genetics of the adaptive immune system into clinical products to diagnose and treat disease. Before joining Adaptive in 2014, Sharon was Senior Director at Elsevier Inc., a healthcare informatics company. Prior to Elsevier, Sharon co-led the oncology business unit at Capgemini SE, a consulting and technology services company. Sharon came to Elsevier from Capgemini, where she served in a variety of management roles at AstraZeneca plc. Learn more.

Company team

Dr. Peter Sandor

SVP, Astellas Pharma

Peter has 25 years of progressive leadership experience. After successfully leading as the Vice President, Marketing Strategy at Astellas. He is currently serving as the Senior Vice President, Primary Focus Lead Oncology. In this role, Peter provides leadership for early immune-oncology pipeline research and development and plays an integral role in the expansion of Astellas’ presence in oncology.

Prior to Astellas, he was Head of Global Marketing Oncology at Amgen responsible for the successful realization of the commercial potential for Amgen’s oncology assets. In addition, he has held different positions at Bayer Healthcare, including Head of Strategy and Portfolio Management Specialty Medicine, Commercial Development and Life Cycle Management Global Oncology. He also worked for Berlex Laboratories as the lead of the global launch team for a key oncology compound, and held multiple marketing roles with Schering AG in Germany and Hungary. Learn more.

Company team

Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD

President and CEO, IO Biotech

Dr. Zocca is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of IO Biotech since January 2015. Dr. Zocca was also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of OncoNOx ApS, a pharmaceutical company, from July 2011 until May 2019. Prior to founding the company, she was the Chief Executive Officer at LevOss ApS, a biotechnology company, from January 2012 until January 2017. Dr. Zocca also led DanDrit Biotech A/S, a biotechnology company, as its Chief Executive Officer from July 2007 until December 2010. Dr. Zocca currently serves on the board of directors for Dansk Biotek, a Danish biotechnology trade organization, and Valo Therapeutics Ltd., a biotechnology company. Learn more.