Genentech CMO Hal Barron Joins ‘Building Biotechs to Last’ Dec. 9

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Hal Barron, when he was a young physician, joined Genentech as a clinical scientist back in 1996. It was the year of Genentech’s 20th anniversary.

It sounds hard to believe today, but that was at a time before names like Rituxan, Herceptin, and Avastin meant anything in the world of cancer care.

Point being, if there’s such a thing as “overnight success” in biotech, the folks at South San Francisco-based Genentech can tell you how long it took them—about 25 years. There were many bumps along the way, and ambiguous situations that needed to be navigated. That’s why I’m psyched to announce that Barron, one of the leaders at the company for the last decade, has agreed to join our lineup of speakers at the next big Xconomy event in San Francisco—“Building Biotechs to Last.

Barron is now the chief medical officer and head of global product development at Genentech/Roche, the world’s most prolific developer and maker of cancer drugs. I’m sure he has some stories to tell about internal anxieties around the 2009 acquisition by Roche. But I’m looking forward to hearing him tell a lesser-known story about how Genentech handled a more common dilemma—that is, how it managed to stick with its long-term company building strategy, even when it may have posed a serious risk to the company and upset investors in the short term.

Hal Barron

Hal Barron

Barron joins an already outstanding lineup of speakers who have agreed to share their stories about building biotechs to last. As a reminder, the event will take place the afternoon of Dec. 9 at Genentech Hall on the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

Here’s the full lineup of people you can expect to hear from:

Bonnie Anderson, President and CEO, Veracyte
Hal Barron, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development, Genentech/Roche
Dan Bradbury, Director, Illumina
Stanley Crooke, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Isis Pharmaceuticals
Ashley Dombkowski, Managing Director, Bay City Capital
Chris Garabedian, CEO, Sarepta Therapeutics
Paul Hastings, CEO, OncoMed Pharmaceuticals
Nina Kjellson, Managing Director, Interwest Partners
Daniel Levine, Principal, Levine Media Group
Ellen Licking, Freelance Writer
Bob More, Senior Advisor, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Adelene Perkins, CEO, Infinity Pharmaceuticals
Kim Popovits, Chairman and CEO, Genomic Health
Bryan Roberts, Partner, Venrock Associates

I’ll have more to say about the program in the coming days. But now’s the time to get your tickets, especially while the discount saver rate is valid through Nov. 19. I look forward to a lively event full of great storytelling and networking. See you there at UCSF Mission Bay on Dec. 9.