Announcing 2017 CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences

Date: June 24, 2017 @ 12:00 am –
Location: online

Announcing 2017 CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences

Chinese American Biopharmaceutical Society (CABS) K. Fong Award Committee is very pleased to announce that Dr. Yinxiang Wang and Dr. Edgar Engleman are the winners of its CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences for their extraordinary achievements in research, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We will honor Dr. Wang and Dr. Engleman in the award ceremony at the 2017 BioPacific Conference (19th Annual Meeting of CABS) on June 24th, 2017 at the San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport, 1770 South Amplett Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94402.

Dr. Yinxiang Wang is the CEO and Chief Scientist of Zhejiang Beta Pharma, Inc. He is a member of the Chinese Program of Global Experts (also known as the “1000 Plan”). In his current position, Dr. Wang, is instrumental in the research and development of a great number of new drugs for oncology and diabetes.

As the Chief Scientist and one of the main innovators at Zhejiang Beta Pharma, Dr. Wang headed the research team which developed and commercialized Icotinib Hydrochloride (Conmana®), a National Category 1 Novel Drug that is the first small molecule oncology drug specifically targeting cancer cells that is completely developed in China. Zhejiang Beta Pharma successfully obtained approval on Icotinib Hydrochloride from Center for Drug Evaluation at SFDA at the end of 2010 and started marketing Conmana® in 2011.

Dr. Wang is also one of the founders of Zhejiang Beta Pharma New Drug Research Center in Beijing, established in 2003. Currently, he is leading the scientists at the center in researching and developing pipeline drugs that include eight Category 1 drugs and several Category 3 drugs, out of which five generic products have already been approved and commercialized.

Dr. Edgar Engleman received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his M.D. from Columbia University. After completing training in internal medicine (UCSF), biochemistry (NIH), immunology, rheumatology and transfusion medicine (Stanford), he joined the faculty of Stanford Medical School where he is Professor of Pathology and Medicine. At Stanford, he supervises a large research laboratory in immunology, teaches the main tumor immunology course, directs the Stanford Blood Center which he founded in 1980, and co-directs the Tumor Immunology Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute.  He is a managing partner of Vivo Capital, a firm that he co-founded in 1996 that invests in biomedical companies worldwide and has offices in Palo Alto, Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei.

At Stanford, Dr. Engleman spends much of his time teaching students about the immune system and overseeing the immunology research of his students. He has supervised more than 100 research trainees, authored more than 300 scientific articles and has been an editor of multiple scientific journals. The goal of his research is to discover new ways to direct the immune system against cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Twenty-five years ago he began testing the concept at Stanford that patients with cancer could be immunized against their own tumors through the use of powerful immune-stimulating cells known as dendritic cells.  In 1992 he co-founded Dendreon where his technology provided the basis for the Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) prostate cancer vaccine, the first active immunotherapy for cancer to be approved by the FDA. This vaccine opened the way to a new era in which immunotherapies are increasingly becoming a standard component of cancer treatment. Recently, Dr. Engleman’s lab discovered a promising new immunotherapy that activates dendritic cells in tumors without requiring their prior removal and activation in vitro. This treatment strategy was shown to eradicate a wide range of tumors in mouse models (Nature 521:99-104, 2015) and the findings led to the formation of Bolt Biotherapeutics in 2016. His group has also developed a powerful new method that uses mass cytometry to analyze immune cells in multiple tissues throughout the body (Science 349:1259425, 2015), and by applying this new method, his group successfully identified critical parameters required for effective cancer immunotherapy (Cell 168:487-502, 2017).

About CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences

CABS K. Fong Award in Life Sciences is presented annually to recognize those individuals who make significant contributions in life sciences and biopharmaceutical industry including outstanding scientific findings, recognized efforts in promoting life science education and initiatives in improving life science community, and those who bring therapeutic breakthroughs to the market and improve healthcare and quality of life.

Candidates must be nominated by an active member of CABS. Selection criteria will be based on candidate’s accomplishments in life sciences and contribution to the life science community, including one or all of the following:

·         Proven achievements in therapeutic breakthroughs (including discovery, process or clinical development), diagnostics or the research reagent/equipment markets.

·         Significant contribution to the promotion of academic and industrial R&D in biomedical sciences and applications.

·         Significant contribution to the CABS community and to promoting international collaboration in life sciences.

About Dr. Kenneth Fong

Dr. Kenneth Fong is a successful entrepreneur, an investor and mentor to many biotech founders, a community leader supporting higher education and a philanthropist. Currently Dr. Fong is the Chairman of Kenson Ventures, LLC, a venture capital firm that specializes in venture financing and strategic consulting to biotech companies. He is the founder and former CEO of Clontech, which developed and marketed Molecular Biology products to academic and pharmaceutical laboratories in the US and thirty other countries. He sits on the Boards of numerous biotech companies and serves on the advisory board of biotech-related entities in the US, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Dr. Fong is active with both philanthropic and community activities. For example, he and his wife were major contributors in establishing the Fong Optometry and Medical Library at UC Berkeley, the Fong Scholarship Programs / Annual Scientific Symposia at San Francisco State University, the Annual Fong-Clontech Seminar series at Indiana University. His Community services included Chairman of the San Jose Chinese Performing Arts Center (2000-02), lead supporter to the Chinese Historical Society of America (SF, 2000) and the pioneering Biotech Program at the San Jose Tech Museum (1999). Recently, he has become more supportive of the educational programs for children in under-served and impoverished regions of China. He is a member of Committee 100 and a former member of the Board of 80-20 Initiative.

Currently Ken spends a good amount of time cultivating and advising a number of entrepreneurs (40-55 years old group) to grow their biotech companies.

Past recipients of CABS K. Fong Awards

2016: Dr. Gerald Chen, co-founder of Morningside, for his extraordinary vision and leadership in cultivating a generation of successful entrepreneurs and life sciences companies.

2015: Dr. Irving Weissman, of Stanford University, for his pioneering research in stem cell research.

2014: Dr. Ge Li, Founder and CEO of Wuxi Apptec, for creating and shaping the CRO business model in China and Dr. Hing L. Sham, formerly of Abbott for his leading role in the discovery of life- saving HIV protease inhibitors, ritonavir and Iopinavir.

2013: Dr. Peter Hirth, Plexxikon & Sugen for his pivotal role in advancing 4 successful drugs to the market and Dr. Jean Cui, formerly of Pfizer for her role as the lead designer and investigator of crizotinib, a successful kinase inhibiting drug used in personalized medicine.