2017 CureSearch Catapult Summit

Hosted by CureSearch and Healthspottr
Feb 26-27 2017

Menlo Park, CA
Quadrus Conference Center

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Join us for the second annual CureSearch Catapult Summit, an invitational gathering for leading researchers, investors, advocates, and pharma-life science executives who are committed to accelerating the development of pediatric cancer treatments.

Our uniquely curated agenda will combine stimulating keynote presentations with panel debates and interactive workshops in order to facilitate open discussions, idea sharing, and relationship building between our guests. We invite active participation from all attendees. Through the Summit, we also hope to discover new opportunities to collaborate with one another and advance these bold CureSearch initiatives:

$100M Catapult Impact Fund: We seek to advance the strategy behind our new evergreen fund, which will seed and accelerate clinic-ready projects into approval and launch

Catapult Initiative: We seek to develop a 12-month strategic roadmap for operationalizing CureSearch Catapult, which will propel promising new therapies and potential treatments from the lab into the clinic by leveraging new business models, innovative commercial partnerships, and strategic cross-sector collaborations




View the attendee list here

View attendee bios and headshots in the 2017 CureSearch Catapult Summit BioBook here



  • 1:00pm-5:00pm PRIVATE: What We Have, What We Need | A Closed Retreat for CureSearch Scientific and Industry Advisory Councils keyboard_arrow_down

    Members of the CureSearch Scientific and Industry Advisory Councils convene for a day of closed meetings to review available drug development assets and to establish a project prioritization framework for 2017. Guest speakers and select consortia to participate by invitation.

    Quadrus Conference Center
  • 6:00pm-7:00pm All Participant Welcome Reception keyboard_arrow_down
  • 7:00pm-9:00pm All Participant Welcome Dinner keyboard_arrow_down

    Main Hall
  • 7:30pm-7:45pm Opening Remarks | Laura Thrall, CureSearch CEO with Stuart Siegel, MD, CureSearch Board Chair keyboard_arrow_down
    Main Hall
  • 7:45pm-9:00pm Town Hall | A Conversation with Greg Simon and Jeffrey Bluestone keyboard_arrow_down

    Join these thought leaders for a candid discussion of the future of cancer care, including a review of the progress made by the White House Cancer Moonshot, as well as the power of innovations like immunotherapy and funding initiatives like Catapult to accelerate delivery of new and better treatments into the clinic. Facilitated by Carleen Hawn, Healthspottr CEO and CureSearch Board Director. Includes a Q&A session from the floor.


    Greg Simon, Founding Executive Director, White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force
    Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD, President and CEO, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
    Main Hall
  • 7:00am-8:00am Buffet Breakfast and Informal Networking keyboard_arrow_down
  • 8:00am-8:10am Welcome and Rules of Engagement | Carleen Hawn, Healthspottr CEO and Summit Facilitator keyboard_arrow_down
    Main Hall
  • 8:10am-8:30am A CureSearch Special Announcement | CureSearch CEO Laura Thrall with Love Your Melon keyboard_arrow_down
    Main Hall
  • 8:30am-9:30am Catapult Initiative Overview | CureSearch CEO Laura Thrall keyboard_arrow_down

    Update on CureSearch Catapult progress to date, objectives, and setting the stage for a productive and results-oriented Summit program.

    Main Hall
  • 9:30am-10:30am What We Have, What We Need | A Report from Sunday's Asset Review & Prioritization Retreat keyboard_arrow_down

    A report of key findings from Sunday’s closed Asset Review and Project Prioritization Retreat.


    Richard J. O’Reilly, MD, Chair, CureSearch Scientific Advisory Council
    Raphaël Rousseau, MD, PhD, Chair, CureSearch Industry Advisory Council
    Eric Bubbers, PhD, Consultant, Independent
    Asif Dhar, MD, Chief Health Informatics Officer, Deloitte Consulting
    Andrew Ryscavage, Manager, Deloitte Consulting
    Main Hall
  • 10:30am-11:00am Networking & Business Break keyboard_arrow_down
    Foyer, Patio and Veranda
  • 11:00am-12:00pm Panel Discussion | Creating Sustainable Revenue - an Evergreen Model keyboard_arrow_down

    How can we innovate around the Intellectual Property norms that may challenge tech transfer in pediatric cancer drug development? What potential obstacles do we need to be aware of and what are potential solutions in addressing these challenges?


    Ken Schaner, Owner, Schaner Law
    Kevin Grimes, MD, Director, Stanford SPARK
    Steve Kuemmerle, PhD, Director, Technology Commercialization and Licensing, Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    David C. Hoffman, PhD, Executive Director, Intellectual Property, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
    Stephanie Liva, PhD, Senior Director, Intellectual Property, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
    Main Hall
  • 12:00pm-1:30pm Luncheon Program | Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts: Could an evergreen fund strategy make pediatric cancer drug development financially sustainable? keyboard_arrow_down

    A conversation with leading health investors on the opportunity for, and feasibility of, an evergreen fund strategy to support innovations in pediatric cancer therapies. Facilitated by Carleen Hawn, Healthspottr CEO. Includes Q&A from the floor.


    Eric Langshur, Co-Founder and Partner, Abundant Venture Partners
    Neil Kumar, PhD, CEO and Founder, BridgeBio
    Main Hall
  • 1:30pm-2:15pm Panel Discussion | How do we source and vet projects that are most likely to succeed? keyboard_arrow_down

    Identifying the right project priorities is an important first step in our march to accelerate the development of children’s cancer treatments. Once our priorities are established, how do we build an effective framework for vetting the projects that are most likely to succeed? How do we identify and solicit the highest potential projects? From there, we need to galvanize support for our priority projects at every stage of the drug development continuum; can we create a process for catalyzing support across our industry and clinical stakeholders that is repeatable? How can you help CureSearch build a “pipeline” for supporting our priority projects from end to end?


    Samuel C. Blackman, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development, Silverback Therapeutics, Inc.
    Eric Bubbers, PhD, Consultant, Independent
    Lara Sullivan, MD, Vice President, PfizerCURES
    David Pardoe, PhD, Head of Growth Projects, MRC Technology
    Main Hall
  • 2:15pm-2:45pm A Conversation with Gregory Reaman of the FDA keyboard_arrow_down

    Advancing promising pediatric oncology treatments through the FDA’s IND and NDA/ BLA approval process is critical to getting new treatments to children in the clinic. What are the challenges and opportunities investigators and industry face in navigating the FDA? How can Industry and investigators work with FDA to leverage existing regulatory authority and how best can the Orphan Drug Act be used to advance the development of new drugs for childhood cancer? What new policies and processes will impact our work?

    Main Hall
  • 2:45pm-4:30pm Workshop Breakout Sessions | Dive deeper into a hot issue in pediatric cancer drug development keyboard_arrow_down

    Workshop A | Regulatory Levers: How to use legislative tools, including vouchers, to accelerate development of pediatric therapies.


    Nancy Goodman, Founder & Executive Director, Kids V Cancer
    Patricia Blanc, Founder and President, Imagine for Margo-Children Without Cancer
    Gregory Reaman, MD, Associate Director for Oncology Sciences at Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA
    Daniel O’Connor, President, CEO and Director, Advaxis
    Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine

    Workshop B | The Recruiting Challenge: Can tools like genomic sequencing or cross-border collaborations help us resolve the vexing challenges with recruiting adequate and successful cohorts into pediatric drug trials?


    Raphaël Rousseau, MD, PhD, Global Franchise Head, Pediatrics, Genentech
    Gilles Vassal, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology, Institut Gustave Roussy
    Brenda J. Weigel, MD, Chair, Developmental Therapeutics, Children’s Oncology Group
    Deborah Morosini, MD, MSW, VP, Clinical Affairs and Patient Engagement, Loxo Oncology, Inc.

    15 minute break at 3:30PM

    Seminar Rooms
  • 4:30pm-4:45pm Workshop Reports and Wrap Up | CureSearch CEO Laura Thrall and Healthspottr CEO Carleen Hawn keyboard_arrow_down
    Main Hall
  • 4:45pm-6:00pm Closing Cocktail Reception | Thank you and farewell from CureSearch CEO Laura Thrall keyboard_arrow_down