How to Improve R&D Productivity: New Approaches for A New Era

September’s program was held at the Nippon Club. To download the event summary, click here.

“Innovation is increasing the diversity of opportunities to address pharma industry’s productivity challenge, and R&D models and resources need to be adapted to take advantage of the diversity,” says Pasha Sarraf, Partner at McKinsey & Company. While pharmaceutical R&D productivity has been declining for decades, positive trends are seen for the industry such as an improved pharma ecosystem and increasing funding as well as breakthroughs in biology, novel approaches to the efficacy problem, and acceleration of technology advances. Fundamental shifts in society are also contributing to shape demand for better treatments and driving innovation.

At this program, we will revisit the pharmaceutical industry’s biggest challenge, improving R&D productivity, and examine it from multiple angles in today’s changing environment. When the traditional development funnel is no longer viable in a new era of medicine, what approaches and decision qualities do pharma companies need?

**Click name for speaker Bio

Pasha Sarraf, MD, PhD, Partner, McKinsey & Company

pasha sarrafPasha Sarraf is a Partner in McKinsey & Company’s New York Office, where he serves Biotech, Biopharmaceutical, Medical Device and Medical Products companies.  His work focuses primarily on R&D, business development, and technology innovation.  Pasha has served clients on innovation and business unit strategies across multiple therapeutics areas, built R&D productivity transformation programs to identify novel product concepts, and conducted multiple due diligences of pharmaceutical assets and biotechs for healthcare companies.

He delivered the keynote presentation at the 2015 Pharmaceutical Strategy Conference and has published in leading scientific journals including Nature Reviews Drug Discovery on topics including pharmaceutical forecasting.

Prior to McKinsey, Pasha was a practicing rheumatologist at the NIH and Massachusetts General Hospital focusing on rare and complex autoimmune disorders with particular emphasis on vasculitis, scleroderma, lupus and periodic fever syndromes. He was a HHMI Research Scholar at the NCI and earned a PhD in cell biology from the Speigelman lab. Pasha holds a MDPhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University Medical School, and earned his BSE in biomedical engineering from Duke University.

Peter R. Bergethon, MD, VP & Head of Quantitative Medicine and Neuroscience Research, Pfizer Inc.

Peter R. Bergethon was interim Chief Scientific Officer and head of the Quantitative Medicine line in the Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit within WRD.

Following graduation from Williams College with a degree with honors in biology for research in neurocybernetics he then earned an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College. Residency training at the Boston City Hospital leads to dual board certification in internal medicine and neurology. He received NIH Physician-Scientist training in biophysical chemistry at Boston University School of Medicine and completed fellowship training in EEG and neurophysiology at Lahey Clinic-Hitchcock Medical Center. In 1995 he won the Founder’s Award from the American Academy of Neurology for his work showing the arrest and reversal of neuropathy in familial amyloidotic neuropathy following liver transplantation.

Before joining Pfizer, he was an active academic physician-scientist reaching the rank of Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine and adjunct postings in the departments of Neurology and in Bioengineering at Tufts University. He has been on the professional scientific and clinical neurology staff at Boston City Hospital; Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA and Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He has written or contributed to over one hundred research papers and books including the SymmetryScience K-8 science education program – a science literacy program teaching science as “way of looking at the world” and is the single author of “The Physical Basis of Biochemistry: The Foundations of Molecular Biophysics, 2nd Ed., (New York:Springer-Verlag, 2010).

His Quantitative Medicine team at Pfizer continues to focus on computational modeling of the underlying structural organization and biophysical mechanisms in the nervous system. A neurophysics research paradigm is used to convert complex observed behaviors (molecular, system and organism levels) into modeling equations that can be parameterized via a variety of measurements including fMRI, near infrared spectroscopy and electroencephalography in humans and animals.  At Pfizer these research approaches and experience provide the organizational principles for the QHN group that acts as a keystone link between the pre-clinical science and clinical development in the NPRU.

Lee Schalop, MD, Chief Business Officer, Oncoceutics Inc.

Lee-Headshot-130x180Lee Schalop is a co-founder of Oncoceutics. He has held the position of Chief Business Officer since soon after graduating with a doctor of medicine degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2008.

Prior to attending medical school, Dr. Schalop spent more than 19 years in the financial industry at a number of major Wall Street firms, including Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse and Banc of America Securities. From 1985 to 1993, he was an investment banker and his fund raising activities included more than 10 initial public offerings, the largest of which raised over $700 million. From 1993 to 2004, he served as a research analyst and authored more than 1,000 reports covering more than 50 different publicly traded companies, earning a reputation for groundbreaking research.

Lee is also a director of ImmunoGenes AG, a life sciences company focused on the development of novel antibodies using genetically-modified animals; and sits on the advisory boards of the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management at the University of Pennsylvania, and the New York Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to finding a cure for diabetes and its complications.

He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned dual degrees from the University’s Wharton School and College of Arts and Sciences.