HBA Philadelphia Presents: From Molecule to Market: Accelerating the Transformation of Healthcare 

Philadelphia’s Pennovation Center, a business incubator and lab for research, innovation and entrepreneurship was host to HBA Philadelphia's 12 February event - From Molecule to Market: Accelerating the Transformation of Healthcare. With a rich history of industry and invention, the Pennovation Center was the ideal setting for a discussion on how collaborative partnerships and ground-breaking approaches to advancements are driving the future of medicine and bringing new innovative therapies to market. Local healthcare leaders on the panel included Beverly Hoffman, MBA, global marketing director, respiratory biologics, Astra Zeneca, Christine K. Ward, PhD, executive director, late stage oncology translational medicine program lead- Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dora Mitchell, PhD, vice president operations, Carisma Therapeutics, Heather Steinman, PhD, MBA, vice president for business development and executive director, Technology Transfer, The Wistar Institute and was moderated by Susan Spitz, PhD, senior director translational sciences, Incyte.

From discovery to utilization, each panelist shared career insights from their experiences across the drug’s development cycle. 

  • Translational moments are built on hypotheses, revealed in clinical data and clinical trials are hard work-it may be years before you see the success (or in many cases, the failures) of the results. One goal of the “bench to bedside” approach is to increase the speed at which new treatments reach patients. This is achieved through the collaboration of cross-functional partnerships and multi-disciplinary teams. For business units (i.e. science and commercial) that may not speak the same language, it’s important for each party to remember that they are both working towards the same end goal. 
  • Being able to wear more than one hat and recognize that one person can’t do the work alone are important to consider.  
  • Whether you are seeking start-up funding or alignment through a Target Product Profile for the treatment of severe asthma, open dialogue and building solid relationships are fundamental.  
  • As science continues to evolve at lightning speed, technology and new data analysis tools need to continuously advance as well. 

Innovation is about thinking ahead and having a bigger vision of where you want to go and understanding how that can be done. Panelists acknowledged the growing list of new and groundbreaking Philly biotech start-ups, as well as the wealth of resources dedicated to supporting the life sciences community, including The Wistar Institute’s Philadelphia Research Consortium. 

Wrapping up the evening, the panel shared some advice for career growth: 

“When something bums you out at work, will it matter in six months? A year? 99% of the time, the answer is no.”
“Don’t let people define you”
“Manage your energy, not your time” 

The HBA Philadelphia would like to thank all of the panelists and The Wistar Institute and Pennovation Center for sponsoring this great event.