Drugs: Investments

Investors Working in & Seeking Therapeutic Opportunities

Moderator: Ronjon Nag, PhD, Founder & Managing Director, R42 Group
Kan Chen, PhD, Principal, Qiming Venture Partners
Shaan Gandhi, MD, DPhil, Principal, Northpond Ventures
Miles Gerson, JD, MBA, Partner, Takeda Ventures
Weiyong Sun, MD, PhD, MBA, Senior Director, Searching and Evaluation, Global Business Development, Daiichi Sankyo Group

This panel will cover topics including how investors source and vet novel therapeutic assets, as well as the technology advancing new therapeutics to commercialization and into the hands of patients who need them.

Panelist Bios

Kan Chen, PhD, Principal, Qiming Venture Partners
Dr. Kan Chen is a Principal of Qiming Venture Partners, focusing on healthcare investment. Before joining Qiming Venture Partners, Kan was a senior scientist at Johnson&Johnson discovering innovative cancer medicine. Prior to that, Kan was a group leader at Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine, developing new cancer immunotherapies. Kan earned his PhD degree in Cell Biology from Case Western Reserve University in the US and finished his postdoctoral training in Immunology at Harvard Medical School. He got his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Fudan University.

Shaan Gandhi, MD, DPhil, Principal, Northpond Ventures
Shaan is a Principal at Northpond Ventures and leads Northpond’s Cambridge office. Prior to joining Northpond Ventures, he was a Principal at the Longwood Fund, where he created and invested in life sciences companies, including Pyxis Oncology, a cancer immunotherapy company focused on novel modulators of the tumor microenvironment, which he co-founded and served as President. Previously, he was an attending hospitalist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he also did his residency in internal medicine. He holds an MD from Harvard Medical School, an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, a DPhil in medical oncology from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a BS with honors in biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University. He is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Suffolk District Medical Society, the professional medical society of Boston, and a trustee of the Boston Medical Library.

Miles Gerson, JD, MBA, Partner, Takeda Ventures
Miles Gerson joined Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI) in April 2020, as a Partner, and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He brings more than 15 years of experience in life science venture investing, business development, licensing, technology transfer, and corporate engagement for innovation. He has specialized in company formation and investment diligence for both US and European-based venture firms and has served as strategic advisor to startup executives and board members. He has held multiple operational roles spanning founding management, head of finance, business development, and legal for venture-backed and publicly traded companies, and previously served as UCLA’s Managing Officer of Business Development, focusing on expanding commercialization of UCLA’s novel technologies, licensing, and engaging industry for external innovation, spin-outs, and collaborations. Miles holds both a Bachelor and Master Degree’s in Neuroscience from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and a JD/MBA in Strategic Management in Life & Engineering Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Ronjon Nag, PhD, Founder & Managing Director, R42 Group (Moderator)
Dr. Ronjon Nag is an inventor, entrepreneur and a Stanford Distinguished Careers Institute Interdisciplinary Fellow based at the Stanford Center for Language and Information (CSLI). He is founder of the R42 Institute which invents, informs and invests. He is a founder and advisor/board member of multiple start-ups. His companies have been sold to Apple, BlackBerry, and Motorola. He has been awarded the Mountbatten Medal in the Royal Institution by the Institution of Engineering and Technology for contributions to mobile phones, and for his company, Bounce Imaging, was winner of the $1m Verizon Powerful Answers Award. Ronjon Nag has invented and deployed artificial intelligence systems for over three decades. He received a PhD in engineering from Cambridge (Wolfson ’84), an MS from MIT, a BSc from Birmingham and was a Harkness Fellow at Stanford. He has been a pioneer of smartphones and the ‘app stores’ they depend on. He has worked on neural networks, touch screens, mobile search, voice recognition, text prediction and handwriting recognition.

Weiyong Sun, MD, PhD, MBA, Senior Director, Searching and Evaluation, Global Business Development Daiichi Sankyo Group
Dr. Weiyong Sun is currently Senior Director, Searching and Evaluation, Global Business Development at Daiichi Sankyo Group. He joined Daiichi Sankyo Japan in April 2002. He was involved in a broad range of R&D activities from target discovery to clinical development of a number of anti-diabetes drugs. In October 2007, Dr. Sun was elected to be assigned to work for Daiichi Sankyo Research Institute in the U.S. He was responsible for identifying and evaluating in-licensing, partnering and research collaboration opportunities. His current focus is in Immunology, Cardio-Renal, Ophthalmology and Rare Disease. He also manages the relationship with venture capital firms where Daiichi Sankyo invested as a limited partner. Dr. Sun received an MD from Beijing Medical University (now Peking University Medical School), a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Blood Research Institute, Medical College of Wisconsin.