Seattle’s Gilliland, Nelsen, Hood, Franklin & More to Gather May 6

Xconomy Seattle — 

Last May, real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle’s report on Seattle’s life science economy had mixed news. The number of businesses was up, but jobs were down. Lake Union, Seattle’s “life sciences epicenter,” was getting more crowded and rents were quickly on the rise.

It’s been quite a year since then. Biotech has had an amazing bull run, perhaps more than any other U.S. economic sector. In Seattle, the biotech revival includes the ascendance of Juno Therapeutics (which is looking for new local headquarters); the burgeoning pipeline of Seattle Genetics; the first leg of a marathon health study, led by genetics pioneer Lee Hood, that could play a key part in President Obama’s precision medicine initiative; and Celgene’s plans for a local immuno-oncology R&D center.

There were lows, too, such as Dendreon’s bankruptcy and sale, and Amgen’s decision to leave town, but the momentum feels like it’s in Seattle’s favor.

On May 6, we’re gathering for a half-day of conversation and debate about Seattle biotech in 2015 and beyond. It will all start with a keynote from the new guy in town, Gary Gilliland, who became the president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on January 1. He’ll tell us about his vision for the Hutch, a key local source of biomedical research that companies like Juno are turning into therapies for patients.

There’s so much more planned. We’ll interview Hood about his Institute for Systems Biology’s 100K Wellness Project and the move toward huge population health studies. A panel of CEOs will talk about building companies local and long-term. Biotech VC Bob Nelsen will debate his tech counterpart Matt McIlwain about the local friction between the two sectors—and how they’re also working together. A group of nonprofit leaders will discuss the importance of their research to the region’s for-profit sector.

What will be Seattle’s next great “anchor” company? Can the city become the world’s center of cancer immunotherapy? Will Amgen’s Helix campus, built only 10 years ago for decades of biotech use, fall into high-tech hands?
Most important, how should Seattle biotech seize the momentum?

Join us at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to take part in the discussion.


Gary Gilliland, President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Lee Hood, President, The Institute for Systems Biology

Charlotte Hubbert, Program Investment Officer, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Chad Robins, President and CEO, Adaptive Biotechnologies

Bob Nelsen, Co-founder and Managing Director, Arch Venture Partners

Matt Mcllwain, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group

Vikram Jandhyala, Vice President for Innovation, UW Center for Commercialization

Hans Bishop, CEO, Juno Therapeutics

Heather Franklin, CEO, Blaze Bioscience

Randy Schatzman, CEO, Alder Biopharmaceuticals

Mike Gallatin, Senior Advisor, Fraizier Healthcare