Wednesday Thursday Friday
 

Agenda subject to update before Conference Dates

For the most current version of the Conference Agenda, please refer to the Conference App.

6:00 - 8:30 pm Welcome Cocktail Reception
 
7:30 - 9:00 am BREAKFAST
9:00 - 9:10 am Welcome | Day One Introductions and Announcements
  2024 Conference Co-Chairs Jon Freve, Chief Financial Officer, Galecto, Inc.
Maryellen Garrett,
Head, Global Accounting & Finance Operations, Amylyx Pharmaceuticals
9:10 - 10:00 am KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Joe Quinlan, Managing Director & Chief Market Strategist, Merrill Wealth Management, Bank of America, "Economic Overview"
  Joe’s presentation will highlight key drivers of growth, critical secular trends, and the potential risks to growth and earnings in the medium-term. Key global trends affecting the US economy and capital markets will also be examined.
10:00 - 11:00 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS, Day One: Select One
  1. Compensation/D&O Trends
    Join us to gain insights and stay abreast of emerging trends as we explore compensation and total rewards strategies to navigate the unique landscape of the life sciences industry—including executive pay, equity strategy, short-term incentives, private to public transitions, and more.

We will also touch upon the evolving risk environment, with a focal point on Management Liability (Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance).

James Walters, Managing Director, US Life Sciences Leader, AON
Ed Speidel, Partner, Human Capital Solutions, AON

  2. Public Company Readiness
   

Early planning and preparation are key for CFOs considering an IPO or other path to becoming a public company.  This session will focus on essential steps for company preparation for the IPO process and first year as a public company.  Join experienced CFOs and other industry experts to hear their perspectives on how to best position your team for a public company transition.

Jennifer Porter, Partner, Goodwin Proctor LLP
Meaghan Miller,
Vice President, Global Capital Markets, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
Gregg Beloff, Co-founder and Managing Director, Danforth Advisors
Dave Garrett, CFO, iECURE

  3. "From Chaos to Clarity: Demystifying Clinical Trials Financial Management" formerly CRO Management Best Practices
    Clinical trial finances affect your company’s runway, audit risk, strategic planning, and investor relations. And yet, getting it right is difficult, time-consuming, and prone to error. This is especially true when dealing with CROs. Join a panel with perspectives from audit, finance, accounting, and clinical operations, as they share war stories and best practices for how to navigate the complexity of accounting and forecasting for outsourced R&D activities.

Jennifer Kyle, Founder and CEO, Condor Software
Brendan McCorry, Life Science and Technology Assurance Partner, Office Managing Parter, Providence, RI, Ernst & Young LLP
Erin Montgomery, Senior Director, Accounting Policy and SOX Compliance, Intra-Cellular Therapies
Shaan Gandhi, Vice President, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Pfizer Ignite
Jennifer Goldman,
Clinical Business Operations Consultant, Day One Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  4. Cross-functional/P2P Best Practices
    Now more than ever, the need for spend visibility, cost control, and adaptability is paramount for any life sciences organization. Join this session to hear from finance leaders at Tectonic Therapeutic and Kelonia Therapeutics on how they’ve mastered the art of working cross-functionally to drive efficiency, avoid disruptions, and remain focused on their mission statement.

Rohit Anand, Executive Director, Finance and Controller, Tectonic Therapeutics
Jason Crawford, Vice President - West, Coupa Software
Ryan Lynch, VP of Finance, Kelonia Therapeutics

11:00 - 11:10 am Break
11:10 - 12:10 pm ROLE ROUNDTABLES - Select One
  These role-level roundtables will be facilitated by individuals experienced at the relevant level with the aim of stimulating a forum for thoughtful discussion of the issues relevant to each role. Please check your conference app for the location of each roundtable.
CFO  
   

Marc Belsky, CFO, Kezar Life Sciences
Herb Cross,
CFO, Jasper Therapeutics

  Controller's Function  
   

Alex Azoy, CAO, Arcus Biosciences
Jessica Robison, Controller, Arcutis Inc.

FP&A and IR  
   

Allison Richards, Executive Director, FP&A, Eikon Therapeutics
Robert Flath,
Head of FP&A, Longboard Pharmaceuticals

12:10 - 1:00 pm LUNCH
1:00 - 2:00 pm KEYNOTE PRESENTATION - Tedy Bruschi, Three time Super Bowl winning NFL Linebacker, New England Patriots, "Never Give Up"
 

Moderated with Solomon Wilcots, NFL Broadcaster and Football Analyst, Team Leader, Sports Health Alliance

Three-time Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi joined ESPN as a NFL analyst in August 2009, one week after announcing his retirement from pro football. The former New England Patriots linebacker provides analysis on Sunday NFL Countdown, Get Up, First Take, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio, and he contributes to ESPN’s annual coverage of Super Bowl week and the NFL Draft. Bruschi played in five of the Patriots’ Super Bowl appearances and in 189 career regular season games (and 22 playoff games) during his 13-year career (1996-2008), all with the Patriots. New England selected him in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft.

A defensive team captain for seven seasons, Bruschi helped lead the Patriots to nine playoffs, eight division championships, five conference titles and three Super Bowl crowns (XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX). He also helped guide the Patriots to the first undefeated 16-0 regular season record in NFL history in 2007. In addition to his relentless work ethic and intensity,

Bruschi was equally well known for his determination and professionalism off the field. After suffering his first stroke in February 2005 (he has since recovered from a second stroke, known as a TIA, in July 2019), he endured months of rehabilitation before being medically cleared to play football and returning to the lineup in October. Bruschi was named the 2005 NFL Comeback Player of the Year and the recipient of both the Ed Block Courage Award and the Maxwell Football Club’s Spirit Award.

2:00- 2:50 pm PANEL PRESENTATION: CFO Best Practices, "The Rollercoaster Ride of Being a Biotech CFO"
 

The Rollercoaster Ride of being a CFO" – where leading biotech CFO’s Brandi Roberts (Longboard Pharmaceuticals), Jim Frates (Amylyx) & Justin Renz (Ardelyx) will talk about how to handle adversity, planning for the ups and downs and many other exciting topics.

   

Justin Renz, CFO and Chief Operation Officer, Ardelyx
Jim Frates, CFO, Amylyx
Brandi Roberts, Executive VP, CFO, Longboard Pharmaceuticals

2:50 - 3:00 am Break
3:00 - 4:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS, Day One: Select One
  1. Compensation/D&O Trends
    Join us to gain insights and stay abreast of emerging trends as we explore compensation and total rewards strategies to navigate the unique landscape of the life sciences industry—including executive pay, equity strategy, short-term incentives, private to public transitions, and more.

We will also touch upon the evolving risk environment, with a focal point on Management Liability (Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance).

James Walters, Managing Director, US Life Sciences Leader, AON
Ed Speidel, Partner, Human Capital Solutions, AON

  2. Public Company Readiness
   

Early planning and preparation are key for CFOs considering an IPO or other path to becoming a public company.  This session will focus on essential steps for company preparation for the IPO process and first year as a public company.  Join experienced CFOs and other industry experts to hear their perspectives on how to best position your team for a public company transition.

Jennifer Porter, Partner, Goodwin Proctor LLP
Meaghan Miller,
Vice President, Global Capital Markets, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
Gregg Beloff, Co-founder and Managing Director, Danforth Advisors
Dave Garrett, CFO, iECURE

  3. "From Chaos to Clarity: Demystifying Clinical Trials Financial Management" formerly CRO Management Best Practices
    Clinical trial finances affect your company’s runway, audit risk, strategic planning, and investor relations. And yet, getting it right is difficult, time-consuming, and prone to error. This is especially true when dealing with CROs. Join a panel with perspectives from audit, finance, accounting, and clinical operations, as they share war stories and best practices for how to navigate the complexity of accounting and forecasting for outsourced R&D activities.

Jennifer Kyle, Founder and CEO, Condor Software
Brendan McCorry, Life Science and Technology Assurance Partner, Office Managing Parter, Providence, RI, Ernst & Young LLP
Erin Montgomery, Senior Director, Accounting Policy and SOX Compliance, Intra-Cellular Therapies
Shaan Gandhi, Vice President, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Pfizer Ignite
Jennifer Goldman,
Clinical Business Operations Consultant, Day One Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  4. Cross-functional/P2P Best Practices
    Now more than ever, the need for spend visibility, cost control, and adaptability is paramount for any life sciences organization. Join this session to hear from finance leaders at Tectonic Therapeutic and Kelonia Therapeutics on how they’ve mastered the art of working cross-functionally to drive efficiency, avoid disruptions, and remain focused on their mission statement.

Rohit Anand, Executive. Director, Finance and Controller, Tectonic Therapeutics
Jason Crawford, Vice President - West, Coupa Software
Ryan Lynch, VP of Finance, Kelonia Therapeutics

4:00 - 4:50 pm PANEL PRESENTATION: Compliance/Forensic/Cyber Discussion
    James Gatta and Jeff Sallet will join us in a panel discussion to share war stories and best practices. Hear what other life science organizations are doing today to prepare for potential forensic and cyber threats and how to ensure your compliance functions are best equipped for today’s landscape.

James Gatta, Partner, Goodwin, Government Investigations and Enforcement and White Collar Defense Practices, Co Chair, Goodwin's Healthcare Practice
Formerly, the Chief of the Criminal Division at the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York
Jeff Sallet, Forensic & Integrity Services Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
Formerly, the Associate Deputy Director of the FBI, third in command.
Brendan McCorry, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

4:50 - 5:00 pm Closing Remarks
 

 

6:30 pm - 11:30 pm Evening Social Event

7:30 - 9:00 am BREAKFAST
ABFO Regional Coordinators' Meeting
9:00 - 9:10 am Welcome | Day Two Introductions and Announcements
9:10 - 10:00 am KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: CFO Fireside Chat
   

Barry Greene, CEO of Sage Therapeutics, will share his thoughts on topics including: how perseverance has shaped his career; the potential of the biotech industry; staying focused and delivering value amidst unprecedented tides in the biotech industry; and leadership principles during unforeseen challenges - how to support your teams and foster a positive company culture during times of ambiguity and change. Moderated by Jim Frates, CFO, Amylyx

10:00 - 11:00 am BREAKOUT SESSIONS, Day Two: Select One
  1. Financing Alternatives
   

How should you think about financing alternatives in an uncertain equity market? One commonality amongst all life sciences companies is a substantial capital requirement. Equity remains the foundation of these companies’ capital structure, however financing alternatives, including venture/structured debt, royalty finance, convertible debt, BD activities, amongst others can be helpful supplemental financing options. This panel of experts will address what to consider when exploring financing alternatives.

Discussion Topics

  • Current market conditions
  • What are typical financing alternatives to equity and when should you use them
  • Market/investor reaction to a company utilizing financing alternatives
  • Key considerations when selecting a financing alternative and the related provider/partner
  • Considerations when negotiating

Dave Hickman, Managing Director, Oxford Finance
John Crowley, CFO, Fusion Pharmaceuticals
Justin Renz, CFO and Chief Operating Officer, Ardelyx

  2. ESG/IRA Considerations  
   

ESG Data and the New Sustainability Landscape: Join DFIN and AON for a comprehensive discussion on preparedness for enhancing your ESG program.  Speakers will discuss what the new requirements mean for practitioners while providing practical advice on how members of your accounting, finance, and legal teams can leverage existing ESG taxonomies and interoperability in standards to deliver a successful regulatory compliance program

Jeff Barbieri,
Director, AON Board and Advisory Team, AON
Frank Kelley, Director, Head of ESG, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)

  3. Hostile Defense Tactics
   

Blake Liggio (Partner in Goodwin’s M&A Practice) will join us in a breakout discussion to share war stories and best practices regarding M&A transaction and preparedness. Hear what other life science companies are doing today to prepare for M&A approaches in an active dealmaking market, including arising from unsolicited takeover offers and existing collaboration relationships. Topics will include financial forecast planning, operational considerations, legal, structuring and regulatory process and more,

Blake Liggio, Partner, Goodwin M&A Practice

  4. Treasury Best Practices
   

Balance sheet cash is the lifeblood of every Bioscience company regardless of their growth stage and protecting cash has become increasingly challenging. Over the last two decades market events have occurred that may not have resulted in loss of principal, but that did cause significant disruption of liquidity, sometimes with devastating results.  This panel discussion will draw on the experience of finance practitioners and subject matter experts to discuss the risks present in cash management today and how to construct processes and strategies to mitigate those risks.  The discussion will also focus on investment policy development, evaluating cash investment options, banking considerations, and other audit committee concerns. 

Stefan Spazek, Executive VP - Capital Advisors Group
Gregg Beloff,
Co-founder and Managing Director, Danforth Advisors
John Hunt, General Counsel, Capital Advisors Group
Betsy Gelfand, CAO, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc.

 
11:00 - 11:10 am Break
11:10 - 12:10 pm PANEL PRESENTATION - "Show Me the Money - A View from the Public Markets Front Lines"
   

The public markets for bioscience companies are on their way back. After a two-year downturn, biotech stocks and financings were up in the first quarter – the best quarter for raising capital since early 2021. In this session, you will hear what’s happening today on the front lines from different perspectives and what is expected for the remainder of 2024.

David Schull, President, Russo Partners, LLC
Aaron Schwimmer,
Managing Director, Healthcare, Bank of America
Harold Tamayo,
Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations, Axogen, Inc.
Brad Prosek, Operating Partner, EcoR1 Capital

12:10 - 1:00 pm LUNCH
1:00 - 2:00 pm COMPANY ROUNDTABLES - Select One
 

These company roundtables will be facilitated by experienced individuals from each of the company stages/types with the aim of providing a forum for thoughtful discussion of the issues relevant to each. Please check your conference app for the location of each roundtable.

  Clinical-Stage Biotech Companies
   

Moderator: Hector Casab, Vice President, Finance & Business Development, Lyell Immunopharma

  Commercial-stage Biotech Companies
   

Moderators:
Nicole Labrosse,
Senior Vice President, CFO, Halozyme
Betsy Gelfand, CAO, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc.

  Medical Devices and MedTechs
   

Moderator: Erik Keener, VP of Finance, MediView

2:00 - 2:50 pm ERNST & YOUNG LLP Technical Update
   

Update on the latest accounting developments that are expected to impact bioscience companies. EY will share their insights on how the matters are being interpreted, what bioscience companies should be focused on, and how the various regulatory bodies view these areas.

Matthew Cioffari, Managing Director, Tax Practice, Ernst & Young, LLP
Briana Roy,
Audit Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP
Jonathan Manning,
Senior Manager, Ernst & Young, LLP

2:50 - 3:00 pm Break/Transition
3:00 - 4:00 pm KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Team Simon - Stephen Shedletzky, "The Infinite Game"
   

Stephen Shedletzky—or “Shed” to his friends—helps leaders listen and nurture the voice of others. He supports humble leaders that put their people and purpose first, all while knowing they are both a part of the problems they experience and part of the solutions they seek to create. A sought-after speaker, coach, and advisor, Shed has led hundreds of keynote presentations, workshops, and leadership development programs around the world. As a thought-leader on psychological safety in the workplace, he works with leaders in all industries where human beings work. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step up (Page Two, 2023).

After years on a corporate track, Shed was introduced to Simon Sinek and inspired by his work. Soon after their meeting, Shed joined Simon’s team. For more than a decade, Shed has contributed to Simon Sinek, Inc., where as Chief of Staff, Head of Brand Experience, and Head of Training & Development, he has led a global team of speakers and facilitators. Shed continues to speak and facilitate with Simon Sinek, Inc., helping to create a more inspired, safe, and fulfilled world.

Understand how we all operate in both finite and infinite games, in our work and lives, and be able to distinguish between the two. We will explore new ways of adopting an Infinite Mindset so we can choose to live more meaningful, inspiring, and impactful lives.

4:00 - 5:00 pm BREAKOUT SESSIONS, Day Two: Select One
  1. Financing Alternatives
   

How should you think about financing alternatives in an uncertain equity market? One commonality amongst all life sciences companies is a substantial capital requirement. Equity remains the foundation of these companies’ capital structure, however financing alternatives, including venture/structured debt, royalty finance, convertible debt, BD activities, amongst others can be helpful supplemental financing options. This panel of experts will address what to consider when exploring financing alternatives.

Discussion Topics

  • Current market conditions
  • What are typical financing alternatives to equity and when should you use them
  • Market/investor reaction to a company utilizing financing alternatives
  • Key considerations when selecting a financing alternative and the related provider/partner
  • Considerations when negotiating

Dave Hickman, Managing Director, Oxford Finance
John Crowley, CFO, Fusion Pharmaceuticals
Justin Renz, CFO and Chief Operating Officer, Ardelyx

  2. ESG/IRA Considerations  
   

ESG Data and the New Sustainability Landscape: Join DFIN and AON for a comprehensive discussion on preparedness for enhancing your ESG program.  Speakers will discuss what the new requirements mean for practitioners while providing practical advice on how members of your accounting, finance, and legal teams can leverage existing ESG taxonomies and interoperability in standards to deliver a successful regulatory compliance program

Jeff Barbieri,
Director, AON Board and Advisory Team, AON
Frank Kelley, Director, Head of ESG, Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)

  3. Hostile Defense Tactics
   

Blake Liggio (Partner in Goodwin’s M&A Practice) will join us in a breakout discussion to share war stories and best practices regarding M&A transaction and preparedness. Hear what other life science companies are doing today to prepare for M&A approaches in an active dealmaking market, including arising from unsolicited takeover offers and existing collaboration relationships. Topics will include financial forecast planning, operational considerations, legal, structuring and regulatory process and more

Blake Liggio, Partner, Goodwin M&A Practice

  4. Treasury Best Practices
   

Balance sheet cash is the lifeblood of every Bioscience company regardless of their growth stage and protecting cash has become increasingly challenging. Over the last two decades market events have occurred that may not have resulted in loss of principal, but that did cause significant disruption of liquidity, sometimes with devastating results.  This panel discussion will draw on the experience of finance practitioners and subject matter experts to discuss the risks present in cash management today and how to construct processes and strategies to mitigate those risks.  The discussion will also focus on investment policy development, evaluating cash investment options, banking considerations, and other audit committee concerns. 

Stefan Spazek, Executive VP - Capital Advisors Group
Gregg Beloff,
Co-founder and Managing Director, Danforth Advisors
John Hunt, General Counsel, Capital Advisors Group
Betsy Gelfand, CAO, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc.

5:00 - 5:10 pm Announcements, Closing Remarks
   
  Break Before Evening Special Event
6:15 pm Evening Special Event
 
7:30 - 9:00 am BREAKFAST
9:00 - 9:10 am Welcome | Day Three Introductions and Announcements
  Introducing the 2025 ABFO Conference Chair
9:10 - 10:10 am KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: MassBio, Kendalle Burlin O'Connell
 

Kendalle will discuss the role of MassBio, her role within the organization, her vision as CEO for MassBio's future, Massachusetts' leading position in biotech, and current industry challenges/perspective on its future.

10:10 - 11:00 am PANEL PRESENTATION: "Workplace/Culture/Best Practices/Remote Impact"
   

How do organizations drive collaboration in a hybrid environment? What are ways in which companies can enhance culture and drive innovation? Hear from CFOs leading the charge in creating exceptional workplace cultures in both in-person and hybrid work environments.

This panel discussion will be moderated by Ben Shirley (Principal at Ernst & Young LLP and the East Region People Advisory Services Life Sciences Sector Lead) and facilitated by CFOs from companies leading the charge in both in-person and hybrid work environments. In today’s post-pandemic world, hear about how these CFOs have implemented best practices in order to in order lead successful workplace cultures.

Ben Shirley, Principal and Lead, East Region People Advisory Services Life Sciences Sector, Ernst & Young LLP
Bruce Jacobs, CFO, Kymera

Jon Freve, CFO, Galecto, Inc.

11:00 - 11:15 am Closing Remarks and Raffle - Conference Concludes
       
       
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