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Bio Connections Australia

Optimising Clinical Trials | Commercialising Great Science | Partnering for Growth

16 November 2020 | Virtual Event
Sydney AEDT/UTC+11

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Bio Connections Australia explores drug development, early phase clinical trials, translational research and expediting Australia’s great science into commercialization. It comes at a critical time for Australia’s medical research sector.

The focus of the agenda this year will be on translation and commercialization of homegrown Australian research, improving drug development and clinical trials in Australia as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the landscape.

The Federal Health Minister asserts that Australia has an opportunity to become a world leader in future medical research. Other experts have echoed the sentiment that we have a golden opportunity to attract new medical research, technology and clinical trials to Australia and added that there is also an opportunity to grow pandemic-related research and other areas. If this is true, how can we capture this opportunity? What needs to change?

Bio Connections Australia provides an important platform for further discussion and debate on what the challenges, opportunities and realities may be for drug development, clinical trials and medical research in Australia.


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Agenda timing is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:50 am

Welcome Remarks from the Chair

Associate Professor Tam C. Nguyen, Deputy Director of Research, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

10:00 am

  • Current investment trends globally and within Australia
  • Models that have worked in the US, UK and Europe which can be applied to Australia
  • How can Australia leverage some of these global models for investment?
  • AbbVie’s approach to investing. What do we look for? Tips and strategies to prepare for capital raise

10:20 am

  • What can be done to attract seed investment to Australia?
  • Where are Australia’s strengths in biotech?
  • How can we do better to spin out startups and scaleups in Australia?
  • How do you accelerate drug discovery through seed investments?

10:50 am

  • Australia has great infrastructure – but do we have the success rates? If not, why not?
  • Facilitating the translation of biology into homegrown IP
  • What platforms are out there to translate?
  • Government funding
  • The hype and the realities around drug re-purposing
  • Understanding the different options in terms of translating ideas into a company
    – how, why and what projects that have come through BioCurate
    – why were they selected and where are they going?

11:35 am

Virtual Networking Coffee & Stretch Break

11:55 am

  • Product development is a global activity, but how does this work when transport is disrupted and nationalism rises?
  • The rigorous evaluation is equally important in a pandemic when urgency can lead to a loss of coordination. Desperate times call for more rather than less coordination and adherence to the principles
  • This will be a discussion of these issues in the context of delivering medicines and vaccines for the pandemic and other health needs.

12:25 pm

  • Why do partnerships fail?
  • How can we accelerate the speed at which drug development and discovery happens? Is data driven decision making the answer?
  • Building partnerships of complimentary components – examples of success and key learnings
  • Is the industry moving towards external innovation? What are the pro’s and cons of external, strategic partnerships?
  • Partnering across borders

1:10 pm

Lunch Break & Virtual Networking

2:00 pm

  • Developing the “molecular clamp” vaccine platform
  • Funding and escalating partnerships in response to COVID-19
  • Clinical Trials in Australia
  • How we have been able to accelerate planning and development at such speed
  • What lessons can be drawn from this on accelerating drug and vaccine development and what is sustainable for the future?

2:30 pm

  • Overcoming challenges to access global health data access in a privacy crazed world, through decentralised data protection and incentives.
  • Creating families in IVF using Life Whisperer AI to inform embryo selection

3:00 pm

JOINT PRESENTATION | Disaster Response & Management - How to Leverage Data Driven Processes & Technology for Trials Through the Pandemic & Beyond

Rosa Gonzalez, Sr Vice President Clinical Development, Immunology and Inflammation, Syneos Health

3:30 pm

  • What are the innovations emerging to improve efficiency, patient centricity and probability of success in trials within Australia in response to the disrupting force of COVID-19?
  • What does the teletrials landscape look like in Australia today and what have been the experiences and learnings to date?
  • What are the key considerations for embracing emerging digital tools? e.g. having the right data and ensuring the integrity of trial data is maintained
  • What are the advantages, disadvantages or roadblocks to accessing technologies such as telehealth and teletrials to support clinical trials locally and across jurisdictions?
  • What are the other supporting tools that can be used in parallel with the telemedicine/telehealth methodology moving forward in clinical trials?
  • Refreshing standard clinical trial research agreements
  • eConsent – have the barriers to adoption melted away since the changes and disruption due to COVID?
  • How can we ensure the most effective innovations necessary for today endure beyond COVID-19 and into the future?

4:15 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

4:20 pm

Virtual Networking


Packages Price
Virtual Pass$795+GST
Organisation Rate$3995+GST
Packages Price
Virtual Pass$450+GST

Limited Time Virtual Price Expires 21st September 2020

Organisation rate is now available.
For the cost of less than $400 per user, up to 10 people from the same university, company or government department can enjoy the virtual experience of this year’s Bio Connections Australia.

Important • Virtual Pass bookings
For virtual pass bookings, please read below before proceeding:

  • All delegate registrations must use their own email address to ensure each delegate receives a unique password to join the digital event. You cannot use one email for multiple profiles.
  • If your company is not based in Australia, check the GST box on the next page as you are not required to pay GST.


Mark Sullivan

2019 VIC Australian of the Year and Managing Director, Medicines Development for Global Health

Adam Houghton

VP and Head, AbbVie Ventures, Boston/Chicago

Dr Michelle Perugini

Co-Founder and CEO, Presagen and Life Whisperer

Glenn Begley

Chief Executive Officer, BioCurate Pty Ltd

Dr Anand Gautam

Executive Director & Emerging Science Lead, Emerging Science & Innovation, Asia & APAC (Australia & New Zealand), Pfizer Worldwide R&D

Mark Ashton

Executive Director, IP Commercialisation, UniQuest

Professor Sabe Sabesan

Director of Medical Oncology, Townsville Cancer Centre, Co-Chair, Australian Teletrial Consortium, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia

Associate Professor Tam C. Nguyen

Deputy Director of Research, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Kathy Harrison

CEO, HAVAH Therapeutics

Professor Paul Young

Professor of Virology and Head of School, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland

Dr Katharine Giles

CEO & Managing Director, OncoRes Medical

Anne Woollett

Clinical Trials Director, TrialHub, Alfred Health

Associate Professor Kate Burbury

Haematologist and Disease Group Lead: Myeloproliferative Disorders/Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Laura Issa

Business Development, Search & Evaluation Lead, ANZ, AbbVie Pty Ltd

Kelly Constable

Venture Partner, One Ventures

Michael Molinari

MD Australia, IP Group

Kathy Nielsen

Director, Commercialisation (Life Sciences), Monash University

Dr Tina Soulis

Chief Executive Officer, Neuroscience Trials Australia

Rosa Gonzalez Galindo

Sr Vice President Clinical Development, Immunology and Inflammation, Syneos Health

Leanne Weekes

Program Director, CT:IQ

Bio Connections Australia Goes Virtual

The health and safety of our delegates, speakers and staff is our top priority. That is why Bio Connections will now run as a virtual event. We are delighted to present an innovative and creative format for the event which allows for greater participation from delegates both across Australia and around the world as their participation is no longer inhibited by the cost and time required for travel to Australia.

This virtual event will be hosted on a sophisticated, fully interactive platform that encourages communication through instant chat and video meetings. This event has a longer life span, having access to the excellent networking capabilities for one month after, but also access to the quality content after the event.

The content will be world class with a selection of local and international industry leaders and experts and the ability to directly ask questions and engage virtually from the safety and comfort of your own home or workplace anywhere in the world. The networking will be more productive and the business development opportunities will be measurable and impactful with a streamlined platform to promote your solution and connect with the right people.


Gain access to live content of the conference along with quality matchmaking and Q&A opportunities! Hear from leading industry experts live and schedule your sessions with a virtual agenda, completely customizable to opt into any panels offered across the event.


With intent based and AI powered virtual matchmaking, you will meet quality leads over 1:1 meetings to make meaningful connections.


View and interact with other participants and speakers during the sessions with live Q&A, chats and polls.


A virtual showcase of players in the industry for you to view product demos, network and take your business to the next level.

See below a quick 3-minute video that showcases how the virtual platform works:

Bio Box Australia

Bio Box Australia is a video-on-demand service providing a deeper dive on key topics, themes and questions relating to Bio Connections Australia. Bio Box will explore a wide range of topic areas including drug discovery and development, clinical trials, translating research, commercialization, going global strategies, capital raising and much more! It offers a range of perspectives from Australia and abroad.

Each Bio Box Australia episode be different with a mix of fireside chats, panels, presentations, bespoke digital theatre recordings and much more! Each month we release a new episode on a different topic.

The best part? This content is available in the lead-up to, during and after the Bio Connections Australia event each year so you can keep coming back!

View Episode Schedule here

COVID-19 Diagnostics, Treatments & Vaccines | Navigating Global Regulatory Pathways to Enable Early Access
Nicoletta Muner, Managing Director, Canary Regulatory Affairs
Adriana Stefancic, Managing Director & Principal Consultant, Adriaus Consulting

Find more details here

Bio Box Speakers

Nicoletta Muner, Managing Director, Canary Regulatory Affairs

Adriana Stefancic, Managing Director & Principal Consultant, Adriaus Consulting

when & where

16 Nov 2020

Virtual event


Still have a question?

Frankie Brewer
Conference Manager
+61 2 9080 4015

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
+61 (2) 9080 4432

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