Xconomy Xchange: New York’s Life Science Disruptors

It’s no secret that the life sciences ecosystem in New York is undergoing a radical transformation. A new environment of collaboration has created a wellspring of initiatives aimed at taking advantage of the city’s research might and turning scientific ideas to commercial reality. The groundwork has been laid for the formation of a vibrant startup culture. And New York has become home to some of the most innovative, successful organizations in life sciences–and several of the industry’s most high-flying up-and-comers. But how have the architects of this transformation pulled it off? What was their vision, where are they heading next, and what lessons have they learned that can help a new generation of entrepreneurs succeed without leaving the big city?

Join Xconomy at the Alexandria Center for Life Science. This unique, interactive evening will feature stories from top innovators who are forging a new identity for the New York’s life science industry and showing, without a doubt, that you can make it here.


Samuel Waksal, Chairman and Founder of Kadmon CorporationSamuel D. Waksal, Ph.D. is Chairman, Founder, and Chief of Innovation, Science and Strategy of Kadmon Corporation. Dr. Waksal is Co-Founder and former President and CEO of ImClone Systems (sold to Eli Lilly & Co. in 2008 for $6.5 billion), developer of Erbitux® (cetuximab), one of the top-selling cancer drugs in the world. Dr. Waksal spent the first half of his career in academic medicine, serving as a professor of pathology and the director of the Division of Immunotherapy at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and as a visiting investigator at the National Cancer Institute.


George Yancopoulos, Scientific Founder and Chief Science Officer of RegeneronGeorge D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., joined Regeneron in 1989 as its Scientific Founder and is currently the Chief Scientific Officer and President of Regeneron Laboratories. He is a principal inventor and developer of Regeneron’s three FDA-approved drugs – EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection, ZALTRAP® (ziv-aflibercept) Injection for Intravenous Infusion, and ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection – and foundational technologies for target and drug development. In 2014, Dr. Yancopoulos helped launched the Regeneron Genetics Center, a major new initiative in human genetic research.


Meg Tirrell (moderator) joined CNBC in April 2014 as a general assignment reporter focusing on biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. She appears on CNBC’s Business Day programming, contributes to CNBC.com and is based at the network’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prior to joining CNBC, she led coverage of the biotechnology industry for Bloomberg News. She broke news on the proxy fights at Forest Labs and Vivus, the return of Ariad’s cancer drug to market and the merger & acquisition story of Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Genzyme.


Misti Ushio, Managing Director of Harris & Harris GroupMisti Ushio, Ph.D., joined Harris & Harris Group in 2007 and became a Managing Director there in 2011. Ms. Ushio serves on the board of Accelerator-NYC, TARA Biosystems, AgBiome, Senova Systems, SynGlyco, ProMuc, OpGen, and FastForward Accelerator at Johns Hopkins University, and is the founding CEO of TARA Biosystems. She is on the Executive Oversight Committee for the Columbia University Coulter Foundation Grant and the Executive Committee for the American Heart Association’s Health Sciences Innovation Investment Forum.

Thong Le, CEO of AcceleratorThong Q. Le serves as Chief Executive Officer of Accelerator Corporation, a venture-backed vehicle for capital-efficient investment in and management of emerging biotechnology opportunities. Prior to becoming CEO at Accelerator, Mr. Le served as a Managing Director at WRF Capital where he played a significant role in the early sourcing, financing, and development of numerous start-up companies. Mr. Le completed post-graduate studies at Templeton College, Oxford University and his undergraduate degree at Harvard University.


Robert B. Darnell, President, CEO, and Scientific Director of New York Genome CenterRobert B. Darnell, M.D., Ph.D., is President, CEO, and Scientific Director of the New York Genome Center, a nonprofit organization with the mission of saving lives by creating an unprecedented collaboration of technology, science and medicine. He is The Rockefeller University Heilbrunn Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, as well as a Senior Physician at the Rockefeller University Hospital and Adjunct Attending Neuro-Oncologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC).

Ron Cohen, President, CEO, and Founder of Acorda TherapeuticsRon Cohen (moderator) is president, CEO and founder of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a public biotechnology company developing therapies for spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and other disorders of the nervous system. Dr. Cohen previously was a principal in the startup and an officer of Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Health Section of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and serves on the Board of Directors of Dyax Corp and VLB Therapeutics.

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Full Agenda
Registration and Networking: 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Program: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Networking Reception: 7:30 – 8:30 pm

Registration Information:

Regular Registration: $135
Startup Special: $85
Student Special: $40
Walk-in Registration: $175

Alexandria Real Estate, Event Host and Sponsor
EisnerAmper, Event Sponsor
Halloran 243x40
Kenyon, Event Sponsor