See Clay Siegall, Kim Popovits, Mitch Gold This Afternoon

Xconomy Seattle — 

We’re getting ready to head over to Northeastern University’s new South Lake Union office later this afternoon for our big spring life sciences event, “Biotech in the Belt-Tightening Era.”

Registration starts at 1 pm, and while more than 170 people are signed up, there is still some room to get tickets at the door. There will be time for networking at the beginning, middle, and end, but the thing to remember is that the program starts at 2 pm.

For those of you who may have missed the earlier announcements, we have a superb lineup of speakers who are focusing on one of the thorniest issues facing biotech today. This is about how biotech companies are adapting to a healthcare market that’s finally being forced to cut costs after decades of runaway spending.

Scott Ramsey, the director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research in Seattle, will get things started with a presentation about how the healthcare market is changing. It doesn’t sound like great news for the folks hoping to sell new cancer drugs at $150,000 a patient.

“I have some pretty compelling data that shows the political untenability of continuing expansion in Medicare costs, and the projected increase in people with cancer (and costs) as the population ages,” Ramsey says.

After that talk, we’ll dive in to a series of 1-on-1 interviews with some of Seattle biotech’s leading entrepreneurs, who have been thinking about how to make money when customers won’t be paying unlimited prices. Mitch Gold, the former CEO of Dendreon, will make his first public appearance to talk about his new startup Alpine Biosciences, and how its strategy is based on making cancer drugs in a cost-constrained environment. Clay Siegall, the CEO of Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ: SGEN), and Mark Litton, the chief business officer of Alder Biopharmaceuticals, will also offer their views on how they plan to market targeted antibody drugs for cancer.

We also have a terrific group of diagnostics executives who can talk about their challenges. Kim Popovits, the CEO of Redwood City, CA-based Genomic Health (NASDAQ: GHDX), Al Luderer, the CEO of Seattle-based Integrated Diagnostics, and Chad Robins, the CEO of Seattle’s Adaptive Biotechnologies round out the diagnostics speaker crew. Finally, we’ll wrap up with some perspective from the world of venture capital, featuring Robert Nelsen of Arch Venture Partners and Risa Stack, the general manager of GE’s healthymagination initiative. Stack is still pretty new to this job, but it’s part of an ambitious $6 billion GE plan to invest in ways to increase access to healthcare and lower costs.

As always at Xconomy events, we have put together a program with stimulating content and some of the best professional networking you’ll find. See you there at Northeastern University.