NEW YORK – The East Mediterranean Business Culture Alliance (EMBCA) presented a panel discussion on “The Evolution of the Pharma and Biotech Industry in the 21st Century,” on November 21 at the 3 West Club in Midtown Manhattan. The event included welcoming remarks from EMBCA Founder and President Lou Katsos and featured moderator Sotirios G. Stergiopoulos MD, FACP President & CEO at A2A Pharmaceuticals, and panelists Dr. Eleni Andreopoulou, Medical Oncologist; Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos, Chairman of Biogen and Exelixis Pharma Companies; and Francois Lafleur, Dracen Pharmaceuticals Vice President of Clinical Operations and External Collaborations. Lafleur stepped in since scheduled panelist Dr. Tania Small, GSK Head of Oncology Franchise, could not attend.
The development of the pharmaceutical industry and the emergence of the biotechnology industries have provided major changes in society and the way patients are treated for a variety of diseases and ailments. The distinguished panelists shared their insights into the positive and negative aspects of the collaboration between industry and academia in trying to find effective treatments and drug therapies for many illnesses and conditions.
The pharmaceutical industry has grown significantly in recent years. While this is a huge success for patients and companies and their shareholders as well, the challenges are increasing. The industry relies on innovation, which is driven by science, and the lack of proper funding has become the major hurdle for most advancement in the sciences. The development of new and innovative therapies is in constant demand but with hurdles including the FDA approval process, the, at times, challenging relationships with academia and society’s perceptions play a major role in the shaping and evolution of the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Stergiopoulos is a Physician Executive with leading expertise in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology especially in oncology. He holds appointment of President and Chief Executive Officer of A2A Pharmaceuticals and maintains a seat on the Board of Directors. He has held the position as Founder and Chairman of the Board since 2016. Dr. Stergiopoulos is a Director on the Board of Directors of Ricovr Healthcare. As moderator, he led the discussion with questions for each panelist and offered his own insights into the topic.
Dr. Eleni Andreopoulou is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of Breast Cancer Clinical Research at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital where she specializes in the personalized multidisciplinary care and treatment of patients with breast cancer. Dr. Stelios Papadopoulos is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Biogen, Inc., Exelixis, Inc., and Regulus Therapeutics, Inc. He is a co-founder of Exelixis, Inc. as well as co-founder and former Chairman of Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Hoffman – La Roche in 2011) and Cellzome, Inc. (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012). In the not-for-profit sector, Dr. Papadopoulos is co-founder and Chairman of Fondation Sante (www.fondationsante.org), a member of the Board of Visitors of Duke Health, and a member of the Global Advisory Board of the Duke Institute for Health Innovation.
All the panelists noted the importance of collaboration between industry and academia to help the development of treatments and drug therapies. They also pointed out that the FDA has been improving in recent years with its review and approval process.
A Q&A session followed the panel discussion. Among in attendance at the event were Aris Christodoulou, Dimitrios Drivas, and EMBCA Executive Vice President Marina Belessis Casoria.
More information about upcoming EMBCA events is available online: embca.com.