World Forum Countdown

Top entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors, clinicians and scientists will gather in Boston this spring to share perspectives on the newest cancer therapies, cutting-edge diagnostics and unmet needs. Featured speakers will include CEOs of global companies including Novartis, BMS, Amgen, AbbVie, and dozens more, Harvard Medical School-appointed clinicians and investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, as well as senior investors and high-profile journalists—in total, more than 100 cancer experts will participate as speakers.

The World Medical Innovation Forum will be held April 25-27 at the Westin Copley Place Boston Hotel. Partners HealthCare initiated this annual event to solidify a shared, fundamental commitment to collaborative innovation in which industry and academia work together to improve patient lives.

“I participate in many cancer-related symposia and workshops but look forward to this unprecedented gathering with special interest. More than a year-and-a-half of active planning has gone into making this a truly exceptional event,” says Monica Bertagnolli, MD, Chief of BWH Surgical Oncology and co-chair of the Forum’s steering committee.

The Forum unites cancer community leaders from across the spectrum of discovery to patients. Last year’s inaugural event focused on neurological diseases, drawing one thousand attendees from 18 countries and from more than 300 organizations.

This year’s cancer focus will provide uniquely valuable opportunities for those in the business of innovation in what is health care’s hottest field.

“To be successful cancer investors depend on gaining insights into the newest findings, discoveries, and trends in oncology. Those understandings will become the basis for the disruptive new therapeutic and diagnostic companies of the future,” says Jean-François Formela, MD, Partner at Atlas Venture and a member of the World Forum Steering Committee.

Nineteen panels will focus on topics ranging from immunotherapy to the personal impact of innovation on patients. Panels include:

  • A War or Moonshot: Assessing the Moment
  • Arms Race in Radiation
  • Building and Managing a Disruptive Cancer Pipeline
  • Cancer Diagnostics: New Uses, New Reimbursements?
  • Combination Cancer Therapies
  • Curative Therapies: Game Changing Science and its New Economics
  • Early Detection and Prevention of Cancer
  • Epigenetics and Novel Cancer Targets
  • Funding the Next Cancer Companies
  • Global Economics of Cancer: Markets in Transition
  • Immunotherapy I: Checkpoint Activation and Cancer Vaccines
  • Immunotherapy II: Cell-Based Therapies
  • New Philanthropy: Fusing Research and Patient’s Daily Lives
  • Patients Driving Innovation
  • Study Designs to Meet the Challenges of Personalized Cancer Medicine
  • Successful Portfolio Strategy
  • Surviving Cancer: New Realities, New Needs
  • Discovery Cafe: Senior Harvard Faculty Share Their Work
  • First Look: Early Research Insights from Harvard Faculty

Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, Director of the MGH Cancer Center and Forum Steering Committee co-chair, commented on how the requirement for joint activity transcends traditional boundaries, noting “Developing new means of treating and diagnosing cancer requires an active collaboration between clinicians, scientists, companies and investors to identify and address patient needs. The outcomes of this cooperation will ultimately improve the lives of tens of thousands of patients.”

In addition to examining cutting-edge issues in the field, the Forum will feature the Disruptive Dozen—12 emerging technologies with the potential to revolutionize cancer research and development in the coming decade. The twelve technologies are selected by the leading Harvard Medical School faculty from BWH, MGH and DFCI.

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