Emerging Company Showcase

Emerging Company Showcase

Starting, Sustaining, and Succeeding in Today’s Economy


"The bull market has ended, and the biotech model we all came to know has ended with it.

 There will be a Darwinian winnowing and only the fittest will survive."



Starting Up Strong During a Tough Time: The Aragon Story

Dr. Richard Heyman, President and Head of Research and Development, Aragon Pharmaceuticals


Prospering in Today’s Economic Climate: The Amira Story

Dr. Peppi Prasit, Chief Scientific Officer, Amira Pharmaceuticals


One of the "Most Successful US Startups 2008": The Trius Story

Dr. Jeffrey Stein, President & Chief Executive Officer, Trius Therapeutics



DATE:                   Thursday, August 27, 2009


TIME:                        5:30 PM   Social Hour, Light Dinner


PLACE:                     Pfizer Inc.

                                 10646 Science Center Dr., San Diego, CA 92121

                                 (Wave Café, Building CB4)

                                 Free to members and friends


About the Speakers:


Dr. Richard Heyman, President and Head of Research and Development, Aragon Pharmaceuticals. Rich Heyman has over 15 years of drug discovery experience in the biotech sector and most recently co-founded Aragon Pharmaceuticals, located in San Diego, CA, where he is President.  Aragon is focused on the discovery and development of compounds to treat hormone resistant cancers.  Previously, Rich was Chief Scientific Officer at Kalypsys Inc. where he conducted drug discovery in therapeutic areas including metabolic diseases, pain and inflammation.  In 1999, he co-founded and was Chief Scientific Officer of X-Ceptor Therapeutics, a company that developed compounds that targeted nuclear receptors for the treatment of metabolic diseases. The drug discovery activities at X-Ceptor led to the advancement of compounds for the treatment of atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia and hypertension.  Prior to joining X-Ceptor, he held the position of Vice President of Nuclear Receptor Discovery at Ligand Pharmaceuticals and was responsible for multiple discovery programs including the successful identification and development of Panretin® and Targretin®, retinoids approved for the treatment of cancer.  He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut, a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Minnesota and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow and Staff Scientist with Dr. Ronald M. Evans at The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA.


Dr. Peppi Prasit, Chief Scientific Officer, Amira Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Prasit has more than 20 years of experience in  pharmaceutical research and management serving in various positions with Merck Frosst Canada and more recently at Merck San Diego. During this time, he played a pivotal role in the discovery of multiple marketed drugs. In 2005, he co-founded Amira Pharmaceuticals, located in San Diego. Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small-molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new drugs to treat inflammatory diseases. The Amira team is building on unparalleled insights into bioactive lipid pathways, a complex signaling process controlling many conditions including asthma, COPD, IPF and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Prasit received his B.Sc. from UCL, London University, and his Ph.D. from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University.


Dr. Jeffrey Stein, President and Chief Executive Officer, Trius Therapeutics. Dr. Stein has held executive management positions in the biopharmaceutical industry for the past 20 years. He is currently a Venture Partner with Sofinnova Ventures in San Francisco where he was a Kauffman Fellow from 2005 to 2007. Prior to joining Sofinnova, Jeff was Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and a Director of Quorex Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego based anti-infectives company he founded in 1999. Prior to forming Quorex, Jeff was an early employee and Principal Scientist with Diversa Corporation and, before that, Principal Scientist with the Agouron Institute in La Jolla. He also recently served as Director of Venture Development at UC San Diego. Jeff conducted his postdoctoral studies as an Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech and his graduate work as a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Fellow at UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography.


Name Sales End Price
Emerging Company Showcase Ended Free
Emerging Company Showcase - round 2 Ended Free

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