CABS 2022 BioPacific Conference RECAP and HIGHLIGHTS

Date: November 12, 2022 @ 12:00 am –
Location: San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport, 1770 South Amphlett Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402

CABS 2022 BioPacific Conference

Resilience and Ingenuity -- Embracing Opportunities in a New Normal

CABS 2022 BioPac Conference programBook

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CABS is pleased to host its 23rd annual conference.

Date/Time: 8:00AM - 8:00PM PT on Saturday, Nov 12, 2022. 

Location: San Mateo Marriott SFO, 1770 S Amphlett Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94402

The 2022 Biopacific Conference, also known as the 23rd Chinese American BioPharmaceutical Society (CABS) Annual Conference, was held on November 12th, 2022 at San Mateo Marriott San Francisco Airport, California. As our first in-person conference since the COVID-19 pandemic, it had 42 distinguished speakers/panelists/moderators, 51 sponsors, and attracted more than 600 attendees. The amazing success would have not been possible without the contributions and participation of all the speakers, sponsors, attendees, organizing committee members and volunteers.

The theme of the Conference was “Resilience and Ingenuity, Embracing Opportunities in a New Normal.” The conference included 3 keynote talks, 1 K. Fong Award speech,1 fireside chat, 4 scientific speeches, 5 panel discussions, and 9 breakout room presentations, all by industry and academic leaders. These exciting talks and panels were grouped into 2 morning sessions, 2 noon sessions, 2 afternoon sessions, and the inaugural China Night session.

To commence the Conference, Dr. Kate You, President-Elect of CABS and Organizing Committee Chair of the Conference, gave warm welcome remarks and an overview of the agenda. Dr. Carrie Wang, President of CABS, then gave the State of the Society speech, highlighting the activities, growth, and achievements of CABS in the past year.

Morning Session 1 (Chair: Dr. Hesong Sun)

Dr. Dan Sutherlin, Senior Vice President of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech, presented the first keynote speech and first discussed the challenges in drug discovery, using Crohn's disease as an example. He went on with three vignettes to delineate some of Genentech's approaches to tackle the challenges: using variations of protein degradation technology to expand druggable space; using Cryo-EM to uncover structures to guide the optimization of drug candidates; and using AI to accelerate the pace of drug discovery process. Dr. Yibin Kang, professor at Princeton University, described a new class of cancer fitness genes that are critical for cancer metastasis but not for normal tissues. Thus, inhibiting these genes resulted in highly selective toxicity against cancer cells. Dr. Kang’s lab discovered metadherin as a poor-prognosis marker in a high throughput screening study, and validated the importance of this protein in tumor growth and metastasis in animal models.

Following the two exciting talks, Dr. Kenneth Fong presented the 2022 CABS K. Fong Award to Dr. Scott Liu, founder and CEO of HanchorBio Inc, Co-Founder and former CEO of Henlius.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Scott Liu pointed out that most monovalent and bivalent biologic drug candidates failed in clinical trials as they cannot block the interactions between the target protein and multiple ligands all at once. HanchoBio achieved the goal of simultaneous targeting with its novel Fc-Based Designer Biologics (FBDB™) platform. HanchorBio has also overcome the manufacturing challenges associated with producing such novel large molecules and can produce the designer molecules at mg/L concentrations. Multiple FBDB™ in HanchorBio’s pipeline showed promising in vitro and in vivo efficacy against lymphoma and solid tumors such as lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

Morning Session 2 (Chair: Dr. Guanghui Han)

The Fireside Chat within the session was moderated by Dr. Kenneth Fong with two outstanding entrepreneurs, Drs. J. Jean Cui and Yishan (Peter) Li, the Co-Founders of Turning Point Therapeutics. They talked about how the company got started, the key ingredients for its success, and shared their experiences with the audience. Dr. Kenneth Fong’s moderation was full of humor, and the entire Fireside Chat was joyous.

The following panel discussion of the session, with Dr. Ella Li as moderator, and Drs. Orrin Ailloni-Charas, Cheni Kwok, and Mr. Neil Littman as panelists, discussed the healthcare innovations from the perspective of investors and strategists, including their own decision-making process in healthcare investment and corporate strategy, the challenge and hurdle they’ve ever had, their thoughts on the most promising healthcare trend in next 10 years, and fun discussion about the most overhyped and underhyped technologies in the healthcare industry.

Noon Sessions (Chairs: Drs. Yanan Wang and Vivian Liu)

The two parallel noon sessions consisted of 9 lectures that showcased better tools and approaches - from manufacturing to patients' ends - for drug discovery. Dr. YangZhou Wang, CEO of Porton Advanced Solutions, emphasized the importance of a reliable CDMO with both manufacturing capabilities and sufficient capacity to the success of gene and cell therapy (GCT) products. Dr. Connie Sun, SVP and Global Head of BD, Small Molecules at Pharmaron, described her company’s integrated drug discovery services team that leads small molecule projects from hit identification to candidate selection. Mr. Charles Li, VP of BD at Pharmaron, introduced Pharmaron’s integrated platform of global clinical services that provide a one-stop shop for its sponsors in both US and China. Tracy Zhao, Sr. Scientist at ACROBiosystems, described how the selection of raw materials can have a huge impact on the success of GCT products. Dr. Xiaoxi Wei, co-founder and CEO of X-Therma Inc, introduced the application of convergent biomimetic nanoscience to solve the limitation of off-the-shelf products for advanced regenerative medicine. Min Park, Chief Business Officer at Aton Biotech – A Henlius Company, shared how to deploy smart platform strategies to accelerate molecules to markets. Dr. Michael Zhao, Q Bay Boston Partner, emphasized the importance of drug safety and discussed the role of investors in maintaining efficient systems for drug safety and good pharmacovigilance practice. Linda Zhou and Thomas Anderton, Partners of K&L Gates, introduced their career pathways and shared previous successful cases in the pharmaceutical field. Ilean Chai, Associate Director of BD at Biortus, shared a few examples of gene-to-lead generation pipeline in the context of fragment screening and SAR for drug discovery.

Afternoon Session 1 (Chair: Dr. Zhiyong Yang)

This session consisted of two talks and one panel discussion. Dr. Yifan Cheng, a member of National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an HHMI investigator, and a professor at UCSF, opened the session with his keynote speech titled “Structural Biology in the Era of Single Particle Cryo-EM.” Dr. Cheng first gave a historical overview of the development of the Cryo-EM technology, then shared vignettes in using the technology to solve structures of protein complexes, identify novel conformations of the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2 with the assistance of different specific antibodies. Next, Dr. Jennifer Allen, Executive Director of Research at Amgen, gave a talk titled “A Day in the Life of a Medicinal Chemist – Discovery of Sotorasib.” In Dr. Allen’s eyes, every atom matters. She showed us how her team repeatedly applied the Structure-Activity-Relationships paradigm to optimize pharmacological properties of drug candidates that ultimately led to the discovery of Sotorasib, an FDA-approved KRAS G12C inhibitor.

This session ended with a panel discussion with Dr. Yan Wang as moderator, and Drs. James Jin, Ray Chen, and Mr. Yifu Liu as panelists. The panel gave an in-depth discussion on the role of incubator/CRO in the drug discovery process. First, the panelists shared their opinions on how to select the right incubator/CRO among a few hundred candidates in the market. Then they explained their annual budgeting for investing in new technology, reagents, and platforms to support drug discovery. Finally, they discussed how they tried to balance the investment in research and the need to achieve their revenue goal.

Afternoon Session 2 (Chair: Dr. Xi Fang)

Starting this session, Dr. Anjali Shukla, Lead of FDA Emerging Technology Team (ETT), introduced the FDA Emerging Technology Program. In this program, pharmaceutical companies can, prior to the regulatory submission, submit questions and proposals about the use of specific emerging technology to the FDA ETT group, which includes relevant representation from all FDA pharmaceutical quality functions. The ETT works in partnership with relevant pharmaceutical quality offices and assumes a (co-)leadership role for cross-functional quality assessment (including review and on-site facility evaluation or inspection) for submissions involving emerging technology. Dr. Amit Mehta, Vice President and the Head of BD at Genentech, provided an overview of Genentech’s approach to evaluate external innovation, strategic focus areas, and recent partnerships. Dr. Mehta also highlighted case studies for Asian-Pacific partnership and execution strategies.

The panel discussion “AI in Pharma and Life Science” of this session was joined with 3 global experts, Drs. Yang Shao, Abraham Heifets, Michelle Chen, that led the effort of applying AI to innovations in pharma and life sciences. Three critical topics were discussed in depth: the myths and challenges people may face when we try to introduce more and more AI applications to our industry; the added values AI would bring to our industry; and the latest FDA regulation regarding AI applications in our industry and its current and future impact on the industry.

The day program ended with closing remarks by Dr. Jessica Sun, Vice Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 2022 Biopacific Conference. Her remark “Today we are all volunteers!” resonated with the audience with a big round of applause.

China Night

This program is special at least in twofold: first, it was the first night session in the history of the Conference; second, it was the first time the Conference has trans-Pacific parallel sessions connected by internet. The program was the result of the close partnership among CABS, Fosun Pharma USA, BayHelix, and Hanhai BioLabs. China Night included one keynote speech and one panel discussion in Shanghai, and another panel discussion in San Mateo. The night program began with the welcome remarks by Mr. Deyong Wen, CEO of Fosun Pharmaceutical; and Dr. Carrie Wang, President of CABS.

During the keynote talk, Mr. Yuanyuan Qi, COO of Fosun Kite, shared the history of his company, from the company buildup, technology development, clinical registration, to the final commercialization of its first license-in. a CAR-T product. Mr. Qi elaborated how Fosun Kite’s successful business strategy and strong communications with the regulatory agency managed to make the first commercialization of a cell therapy product in China.

The first panel discussion (in Shanghai), with Dr. Wei Wu as moderator, and Drs. Guoliang Yu, Jinfu Yang, Dajun Yang, and Jun Zhu as panelists, had an insightful sharing on accelerating globalization by expanding the Chinese Biopharma Innovative Ecosystem. They advised decision makers to design up-to-date and long-term strategies and adjusting them continually during the implementation process. The second panel (in San Mateo), moderated by Dr. Alex Zhang and joined by panelists Drs. David Shen, George Wu, Dandan Dong, and Janice Zang, had an insightful discussion on the innovations of US-based biotechs and new developments in therapeutics. They shared entrepreneurial experience in the field of peptide technology, drug delivery, and target therapy. Innovative mechanisms and investment strategies in the US were also discussed in great depth.

To conclude, we would like to express our humble gratitude again to all speakers, sponsors, attendees, organizing committee and volunteers. It was your unwavering support and unquenchable passion for CABS and the biopharmaceutical community that rendered great success to the Conference. We look forward to seeing you in future events.

Thanks to our 2022 BioPacific Sponsors!

Thinking about becoming a sponsor of the BioPacific Conference? Please contact . Thank you very much!



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