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Speakers

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Greg Merril
Co-Founder & CEO
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

Greg Merril is an experienced life-science entrepreneurial executive. He has served as founding CEO for four VC-backed fast growth health-related product companies. As founding CEO of Immersion Medical (NASDQ: IMMR) he led the creation of the world’s first commercially successful virtual reality surgical training simulators resulting in a company that was one of Maryland’s fastest growth technology firms for four consecutive years. He served as invited Guest Editor for the Proceedings of the IEEE Special Issue on Virtual and Augmented Reality in Medicine and as Principal Investigator on numerous federally funded research grants and as a referee/reviewer for government-sponsored and non-profit grants related to medical informatics. Greg has been recognized as a TEDMED Innovation Scholar for his work developing and commercializing head impact sensor technology to address the issue of sports-related traumatic brain injury.  During his career Greg’s product developed efforts have been recognized twice as Innovation of the Year by the Consumer Electronic Association (CEA)/ Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).  Other awards have included the 2015 International Sports Technology Award for Best Wearable Technology, A Wall Street Journal Startup Company of the Year (2013), BusinessWeek Product Design of the Year; Popular Science “Best of What’s New” winner.  Greg has been recognized by Ernst & Young as a regional Entrepreneur of the Year winner.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

11:15 am | Ensuring Phage is a Long-Term Viable Treatment Option

Duane Morris
VP, Operations & CMC
Armata Pharmaceuticals

Mr. Morris leads the production, quality, facilities, and clinical operations areas for Armata Pharmaceuticals, a role he also held at C3J Therapeutics since joining the company in 2012. Previously, Mr. Morris was the Chief Operating Officer at Response Biomedical in Vancouver, Canada. While at Response Biomedical, Mr. Morris directed the expansion of manufacturing facilities and scale-up of in-vitro diagnostic products.  Prior to his tenure at Response, Mr. Morris was responsible for all manufacturing and quality control activities for ID Biomedical Corporation until its acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Mr. Morris was then responsible for all North American Operations which included influenza vaccine production for GSK. Mr. Morris started his career at Syntex Corporation in Palo Alto, where he spent 21 years in increasingly responsible positions, ultimately becoming the Director of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. Mr. Morris earned his BA in Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

4:00 pm | Armata Pharmaceuticals GMP Manufacturing of Phage Drug Products

Carrie-Lynn Langlais Furr
Co-Founder & CEO
Bacteria & Drug Development Consultants

Carrie-Lynn Langlais Furr, PhD, RAC is Bacteriophage & Drug Development Consultants’ co‑founder and principle consultant, a CARB-X Scientific Advisor, and an Editor of PHAGE Therapy, Applications, and Research journal. Previously, she was Vice President of Regulatory Affairs & Program Management for AmpliPhi Biosciences (now Armata Pharmaceuticals), a public, clinical-stage phage therapy company, for nearly 3 years. Her 13 years of pharmaceutical product development experience, specializing in regulatory affairs, includes 10 years in the CRO industry. She obtained 7 FDA market approvals (1 biologic-device combination and 6 drugs), prepared and submitted several INDs enabling clinical trials to proceed, 2 international phage therapy Expanded Access programs, several formal Regulatory Authority interactions and negotiations (including phage therapies), obtained gene therapy Orphan Designation, and provided expert consultation to over 30 companies at various stages of development and for a broad range of indications. Dr. Furr’s publications cover peer-reviewed phage characterization and phage therapy clinical case studies. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University and studied under Professor Ryland Young to elucidate the antibiotic mechanism of A2, the multifunctional maturation protein of ssRNA bacteriophage Qbeta. Dr. Furr has held Regulatory Affairs Certification from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society since 2009.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

10:00 am | Economic Disincentives Are the Greatest Barrier to Phage and Phage-Derived Therapies

Ales Strancar
CEO
BIA Separations

Ales Strancar is the CEO of BIA Separations since 1998 and one of the main inventors of the CIM Convective Interaction Media® (new generation of chromatographic support). Ales Strancar is author or co-author of more than 80 scientific papers dealing with separation and purification technologies. As well he is a co-author of several book chapters dealing with novel chromatography technologies for biomolecule separation. He co-developed several industrial scale purification processes, among them for company Octapharma (FIX - human plasma protein), Vienna, for company Boehringer Ingelheim (plasmid DNA).

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

4:30 pm | Platforms for Fast Purification of Food and Clinical Grade Bacteriophages and Their In-Process Analytics

Chandrabali Ghose
CEO
Bioharmony Therapeutics

Chandra Ghose is the founder and CEO of Bioharmony Therapeutics, an early-stage biotech startup specializing in the development of bacteriophage lysins to combat drug-resistant bacterial infections. Chandra spent 8 years at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, an affiliate of Rockefeller University. Prior to that, Chandra was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Infectious Diseases at MGH.  Chandra earned her PhD from New York University School of Medicine and her bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University, splitting her time between the Madrid and St. Louis campuses. Originally from India, Chandra is passionate about infectious diseases.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

11:45 am | Development of Lysins for the Treatment of Multidrug Resistant Bacterial Infections

Sailaja Puttagunta
CMO
BiomX

Dr. Sailaja Puttagunta, M.D., was most recently Vice President, Development at Iterum Therapeutics, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing antibiotics against multi-drug resistant pathogens. Prior to Iterum, Dr. Puttagunta served as VP, Medical Affairs for Anti-infectives at Allergan from early 2015 and was the VP of Development and Medical Affairs at Durata Therapeutics, Inc. prior to its acquisition by Actavis plc. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Puttagunta led teams within clinical development and medical affairs on various antibiotic compounds at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Puttagunta has 20 years of clinical, academic and research experience in medicine and in the sub-specialty of infectious diseases. She graduated from Gandhi Medical College in Hyderabad, India and completed her residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Yale University School of Medicine. She also holds an MS in Biochemistry from the New York University School of Medicine.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

9:30 am | Phage Therapy Treatment of Acne and Other Chronic Diseases

Steven Theriault
CEO & CSO
Cytophage Technologies

Dr. Steven Theriault is a synthetic biologist with 20 years research and entrepreneurial experience in generating biological solutions for biological problems.  Early in his career, he was a member of the team that created the reverse genetic systems critical to the development of the Canadian Ebola vaccine as well as many novel and innovative diagnostic tools to aid in the fight against Ebola.  As Chief of the Applied Research Program at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health, Dr. Theriault worked extensively at the global level on issues related to the efficacy of microbicides in outbreak zones and containment laboratories. Recently, Dr. Theriault research interests have turned to combating antimicrobial resistance with synthetic bacteriophages. Dr. Theriault’s company, Cytophage Technologies Inc., unlocks the potential of nature’s elegant and harmless antibacterial solution – phages.  Cytophage’s template technology replaces the lengthy discover-in-nature process and bacterial resistance common to natural phages with tailor-made, highly effective, synthetic phages.  Cytophage has been recognised internationally as an innovative and potentially disruptive technology. Dr. Theriault’s goal is to enable phages to become mainstream in treating human and animal bacteria-related infections and contaminations, thereby reducing needless suffering and averting the WHO-predicted crisis from antibiotic resistant infections.

Xavier Duportet
Co-Founder & CEO
Eligo Bioscience

Dr. Duportet is a genome architect and science entrepreneur. He cofounded Eligo Bioscience in 2014 during the last year of his Ph.D. in synthetic biology, a joint program between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the French research institute Inria. He has raised $26 million since then from international investors to develop a new generation of ultraprecise biotherapeutics based on the delivery of CRISPR/Cas gene-editing systems to the microbiome. Eligo was recently selected as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum (WEF), while Dr. Duportet has won a number of international awards and recognitions, including French Innovator of the Year from the MIT Technology Review (MIT TR), the MIT TR35 award, the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Young Global Leader from the WEF, and France Biotech’s Rising Star award. He is also the founder and president of Hello Tomorrow, a global nonprofit that identifies and supports promising early-stage entrepreneurs who are transforming disruptive scientific technologies into products or services to solve societal and industrial challenges. Since 2014, the 25 finalists of its yearly startup competition have already raised more than €350 million. Dr. Duportet also launched Deeptech Founders in 2019, a European-wide training program for entrepreneur–scientists to help them to refine their spinoff startup concepts. In less than a year, 10 startups have already been created and have raised more than €12 million.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

2:00 pm | Delivery of Therapeutic DNA Payloads via Phage-Derived Vectors

Eric Pelfrene
Scientific Officer
EMA

I am employed at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), with responsibilities mainly focused on regulatory guidance pertaining new antibacterial products and medicines for use against WHO target infections, such as malaria.  At EMA we are looking at the lifecycle of each product, through registration and post-authorisation phase, ensuring safe and effective medicines with certified quality to be available for patients throughout the European Union.  The Agency also plays a role in supporting research and innovation in the pharmaceutical sector and promotes innovation and development of new medicines by European micro- small- and medium-sized-enterprises.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

1:00 pm | Panel Discussion

12:30 pm | EU Considerations on Bacteriophage Therapy

Rebecca Reindel
Medical Officer
FDA

Dr. Rebecca Reindel is a Medical Officer in the Division of Vaccines and Related Products Applications in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review at the Food and Drug Administration. Rebecca received a BA in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from University of Colorado-Boulder and an MD from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and her fellowship training in pediatric infectious diseases at the Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital). Rebecca is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

1:00 pm | Panel Discussion

12:00 pm | Early Phase Clinical Development of Bacteriophage

Scott Stibitz
Chief, Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens & Cellular Immunology
FDA

Scott Stibitz obtained his Ph.D. in 1983 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison working in the laboratories of Julian Davies and William Reznikoff on antibiotic resistance transposons. He next pursued post-doctoral studies under Stanley Falkow at Stanford University. It was there that he began studying the molecular genetics of virulence gene regulation in Bordetella pertussis. Since joining the FDA in 1987, in addition to B. pertussis, he has initiated research projects on the genetic analysis of Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus, improved testing of live biotherapeutic products, and bacteriophage therapy. He is currently chief of the Laboratory of Mucosal Pathogens and Cellular Immunology (LMPCI/DBPAP/OVRR/CBER) and oversees its regulatory activities. The regulatory portfolio of LMPCI includes vaccines against bacterial infectious diseases and malaria, as well as live biotherapeutic products, fecal microbiota for transplantation, and bacteriophage therapy.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

1:00 pm | Panel Discussion

11:30 am | FDA Perspectives on Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control for Bacteriophage Therapy Products

Shawna McCallin
Clinical Researcher
Hopitaux Universitaires de Genève

Dr Shawna McCallin is an experienced phage researcher who has been involved in two past phage clinical trials, studied phage resistance mechanisms of S. aureus, and analyzed metagenomes of commercially-available phage cocktails. She is currently working within the Infectious Disease Service at the University Hospital of Geneva to work on setting up access to phage therapy locally and she is also the co-founder of Phages4all, a startup company using artificial intelligence and computer vision to support & develop modern phage diagnostics and R&D activities.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

9:00 am | Moving Clinical Trials for Phage Therapy Forward: Maximizing the Likelihood for Informative and Significant Trials

Daniel Stahm
VP, Global Microbiology Services & CSO
International Health Management Associates

Dan has over 30 years of academic and industry experience focused on antimicrobial sciences and support of anti-infective research and product development. His experience spans the technical, clinical, regulatory, and business aspects required for all phases of product development. Dan has provided extensive expertise and has managed a wide array of laboratory services that have supported both small and large biopharmaceutical companies’ development of a wide variety of anti-infective products and strategies. Dan received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center and was a Postdoctoral Resident in Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Subsequently he held faculty and microbiology laboratory director positions at the University of Chicago and Washington University Medical Centers. Most recently Dan was the Chief Scientific Officer for Eurofins Global Central Laboratory. Over his career Dan has presented and published over 500 scientific communications, and has provided editorial and other societal services for the American Society for Microbiology.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

10:00 am | Microbiology Support for Phage Therapy Trials: The Devils in the Details

Tuval Ben-Yehezkel
CEO
Loop Genomics

Tuval Ben-Yehezkel, PhD is a scientist-entrepreneur focused on applied genomics and synthetic biology. He has authored key patents, publications and book chapters in synthetic biology and genomics. Tuval has also founded and secured $15.3M in funding for two biotech start-up companies (Loop Genomics & SynVaccine Ltd).

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

11:00 am | Single-Molecule Long-Read Sequencing of Phage Mutational Landscape

Danish Malik
Senior Lecturer
Loughborough University

Danish Malik’s research focus is on the application of Chemical Engineering Science principles to address the global health challenge of antibiotic resistance. His research group is working on the development of scalable manufacturing platforms for next-generation antibiotic biotherapeutics including bacteriophages, bacteriocins, endolysins and virus like particles (VLPs), their production and purification, micro- and nanoencapsulation and targeted delivery to treat bacterial infections including intracellular infections across a range of clinical areas.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

3:00 pm | Scalable Manufacturing, Formulation and Encapsulation of Bacteriophages for Targeted Delivery and Controlled Release

Kevin Yehl
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kevin is a postdoctoral research associate in the Lu Lab at MIT. His main focus in the Lu lab is to leverage synthetic biology and nanotechnology for developing therapies to treat antibiotic resistance. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Emory University. His research interests include gene therapy, phage therapy, genetic circuits, and biological machines. Kevin strives to engineer nanomaterials to manipulate biological systems.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

12:15 pm | Engineering Phages to Widen Their Host Range To Overcome Bacterial Resistance Through Tail Fiber Mutagenesis

Conrad Lichtenstein
CSO
Nemesis Bioscience

In 2014, Professor Conrad Lichtenstein, CSO, co-founded Nemesis Bioscience to use RNA-guided endonucleases for AMR inactivation. Previously, as CSO for Population Genetics Technologies, he developed bar-coding for simultaneous analysis of candidate genes in multiple genomes and the identification of rare variants in mixed DNA samples. After a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, and a post-doctoral position at the University of Washington, Seattle, he held a faculty position at Imperial College London, and was then Professor of Molecular Biology at Queen Mary, University of London. His research has included gene targeting by homologous recombination, RNAi engineering and transposition by DNA elements spreading antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

2:30 pm | Bacterial Cybergenetics: Resurrecting Sensitivity to Antibiotics in Anti-Microbial Resistant Bacteria

Liesl Jeffers-Francis
Assistant Professor
North Carolina A&T State University

Liesl K Jeffers-Francis, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at North Carolina A&T State University. With 10+ years of experience of translational scientific research, Jeffers-Francis specialises in Virology, Infectious Diseases, Oncology and Oral Diseases. Now, Jeffers-Francis is working on developing a phage library for Escherichia coli through research being undertaken at North Carolina A&T State University.

Nancy Tawil
VP, Human Health Research
Phagelux

Dr. Nancy Tawil, M. Eng, PhD, is the Vice President of Research, Human Health Division at Phagelux Inc, a platform company specializing in the use of bacteriophages and endolysins as a way of combating bacterial and multi-drug resistant infections. With over 15 years of research experience in the areas of bacterial infections, anti-infectives, bacteriophages, and the application of biodegradable polymers in the treatment of multi-drug resistant infections, Dr Tawil’s main focus is on the development of novel drug delivery systems. She has recently been granted patent rights to novel microencapsulation systems and is named inventor on multiple patent pending technologies.  In addition to her role as Vice President of Research, Human Health Division at Phagelux Inc., Dr. Tawil currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at École Polytechnique de Montréal. She holds a BSc. Physiology (McGill University), a M.Eng in Chemical Engineering and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering  (École Polytechnique de Montréal). As an industry expert, Dr. Tawil, is committed to bridging the gap between science and technology to find innovative solutions to the growing challenges of a drug resistant world.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

3:00 pm | Delivery of Phage-Based Drugs, and Their Incorporation in Medical Devices

Lorenzo Corsini
Co-Founder & CEO
PhagoMed

Lorenzo Corsini is a biotech and consulting professional, at PhagoMed as Co-Founder, CEO, Research & Development since it was founded in November 2017. Lorenzo was involved in successfully raising €4m from private and governmental investors to develop PhagoMed’s assets. At PhagoMed, Lorenzo designed the R&D program and leads, motivates, develops, and coaches a team of 4 in PhagoMed’s internal lab and manages 4 research contracts with academic and CRO partners. As a Principal at BCG until 2017, Lorenzo lead multiple teams on projects in pharma manufacturing, R&D, pharmacovigilance and other areas. Lorenzo brings in the analytical and structured thinking of a biochemist, and the communication and interpersonal skills developed while working across levels (board members to shopfloor workers) and functions at multiple leading Pharma and Generics companies.

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

4:00 pm | Precision Biofilm Disruption and Vaginome Editing with Phage-Based Drug Candidates

James Cass
R&D Manager
Phico Therapeutics

Dr. James Cass is a microbiologist with over 10 years’ experience in the biotech and anti-infectives industry; including working at Biocontrol Ltd (Ampliphi Bioscienes). James has spent 7 years at Phico Therapeutics, firstly as a Microbiology Manager and now in his role as the R&D Manager. James undertook his undergraduate degree at the University of Plymouth before doing his PhD in Environmental Science/Microbiology at Imperial College London. Between his time at Biocontrol Ltd and Phico Therapeutics, James was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Western Cape.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

9:30 am | The Implications of Fundamental Phage Biology on the Product Development Pipeline

Jaroslaw Dastych
CEO
Proteon Pharmaceuticals

Professor Jarosław Dastych is the Founder, CEO and President of the Board of Proteon Pharmaceuticals S.A., an innovative biotechnology company developing alternatives to antibiotics in animal, plant and human health. Prof. Dastych received his PhD in Medical Biology from the Medical University of Łódź in 1991 and started his scientific career at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Lodz, Poland. For several years he worked at the US National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA. In 2000 Prof. Dastych established the first research laboratory at the newly created International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw. In 2005 Prof. Dastych established Proteon Pharmaceuticals. The company has developed a unique bacteriophage platform technology for development of effective alternatives to solving and preventing bacterial disease in animal farming and aquaculture as well as egg production and poultry farming. Its research platform and products have won international recognition and numerous innovation awards. Prof. Dastych research interests range from immunology, toxicology and molecular biology to the development of novel diagnostic tools and bacteriophage-based or related treatment of disease. He has coordinated twelve European R&D projects. He is the author of over 40 publications in international scientific journals and has co-authored 4 biotechnology-related patents.

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

2:30 pm | The Role of Bacteriophages as a Microbiome Modulator

Vincent Fischetti
Professor
Rockefeller University

Dr. Fischetti has over 40 years experience in the anti-infectives field. He is Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at the Rockefeller University, in NY. Over those years his laboratory has been involved in understanding the earliest events in gram-positive bacterial infection, so that strategies may be devised to prevent infection. His laboratory was the first to identify lytic enzymes as novel therapeutics to decolonize human mucous membranes of bacterial pathogens and treat systemic infections caused by these organisms. The first lysin against serious Staphylococcal infections has successfully completed phase 1 and is currently in phase 2 testing in hospitals. His laboratory also identified the mechanism by which gram-positive bacteria attach their surface proteins in the cell, which is now being used as a target for antibiotic development. Dr. Fischetti is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the National Academy of Inventors, and was the recipient of two NIH MERIT awards. He has been editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Infection and Immunity for 10 years, and serves as advisory editor for the Journal of Experimental Medicine and Trends in Microbiology among others. Dr. Fischetti serves on the scientific advisory board of ContraFect, Bioharmony, and the Trudeau institute and is also a trustee of the Trudeau Institute. He has published over 240 primary research articles, over 70 textbook chapters and is a co-editor of two major books on gram-positive pathogens. He is an inventor of over 40 issued patents dealing with the control of infectious diseases. Dr. Fischetti received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from New York University.  

Day One

Wednesday 25th March 2020

9:00 am | Phage Lysins are Effective Antibiotic Alternatives

Paul Turner
Professor
Yale University

Dr. Paul Turner is the Elihu Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and Microbiology faculty member at Yale School of Medicine. His research concerns the evolutionary genetics and applied uses of microbes, particularly phages specific to bacterial pathogens. He chaired the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Division on Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology and served on the NSF Biological Sciences Advisory Committee, ASM Committee on Minority Education, and multiple National Research Council advisory committees. Dr. Turner was elected American Genetic Association Councilor, Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Biology, and Chair of the CNRS Jacques Monod Conference on Viral Emergence. He chaired the Watkins Graduate Research Fellowship award committee for ASM, and received the E.E. Just Endowed Research Fellowship and William Townsend Porter Award from Marine Biological Laboratory, and fellowships from Woodrow Wilson Foundation, NSF, NIH and HHMI. He is author of nearly 100 scholarly journal articles, reviews and book chapters on microbiology and the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. Dr. Turner served as Departmental Chair and Director of Graduate Studies, and most recently as Dean of Science at Yale University.  

Day Two

Thursday 26th March 2020

4:30 pm | How Can Genome Sequencing Be Used to Identify Functionally Useful Bacteriophage Characteristics to Select Phages for Appropriate Production?