Impacting Public Health: How Can My Idea Be A Part of the Solution?

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Date(s) - 6 May 2020
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS (PRNewsFoto/Johnson & Johnson Innovation, LL)

Impacting Public Health:

How Can My Idea Be A Part of the Solution?

May 6, 2020

1:00 pm–2:00 pm EDT  | 10:00 am -11 am PDT/AZ


JLABS Program Overview

When a pandemic hits, as a start-up company you may find that your technology can be aligned to help. However, now your timeline is expedited with a global health emergency and you need to get your technology into the market. How do you start to connect with the right players to get your technology into the U.S. market to make an impact on public health safety and security?

Join our discussion as we bring together experts from federal agencies to discuss their views on strategies for getting your product through the right agencies for approval and funding opportunities, as well as insight from industry leaders who have already navigated this course.

This program is a product of a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS (JLABS) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a component of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


James (Jim) R. Appleman, Ph.D.

Sr. Vice-President, R&D and Chief Scientific Officer of Primmune Therapeutics

James (Jim) R. Appleman, Ph.D. is Sr. Vice-President, R&D and Chief Scientific Officer of Primmune Therapeutics, a private pharmaceutical company which he co-founded and where he is a member of the Board of Directors.

One continuous thread in Dr. Appleman’s career is his focus on treating serious diseases, with particular emphasis on respiratory and hepatic viral infections and cancer. Dr. Appleman’s first serious foray into immunotherapy was at Anadys Pharmaceuticals where he personally led the ANA773 team from project conception through realization (characterization of target-mediated biology, selection of medicinal chemistry starting points, lead optimization, candidate selection, preclinical development, culminating in clinical proof of concept). ANA773 is a novel TLR7 (toll-like receptor 7) agonist originally intended for the treatment of cancer and hepatic viral diseases. His experience with diverse TLR7 agonists and other activators of innate immunity in these two distinct therapeutic areas provided the foundation for the creation of Primmune and its current mission – to discovery and develop novel immunotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and serious viral diseases like COVID-19.

He received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oklahoma State University and completed his postdoctoral training at Dartmouth Medical School.

Christopher P. Locher, Ph.D.

Co-founder and CEO of Versatope Therapeutics

Christopher Locher, PhD is a co-founder and CEO of Versatope Therapeutics, a Lowell-based company focused on vaccine and therapeutic delivery. He was previously a Senior Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for establishing external R&D programs.

Prior to that, he was the VP of Preclinical Development at Opsona Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland and helped build the team and pipeline with new products (biologics and new chemical entities). He has delivered on many projects by coordinating the internal activities discovery teams with external development teams, key opinion leaders and biotechnology alliances.

Carla Cartwright

Senior Director, Global Digital and Regulatory Policy, Johnson & Johnson

Carla is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Government Affairs & Policy (GA&P) policy team where she manages a variety of global regulatory policy issues across the pharmaceutical, consumer and medical device sectors including importation, harmonization, and biosimilars. Regularly convening and leading cross functional team on key issues, Carla works regularly with partners in legal, privacy, regulatory affairs, and supply chain. She leads on global policy issues related to digital and emerging technology for GA&P and is the co-lead of the Digital and Emerging Technology Platform Team.

Carla was previously a part of the Federal Affairs team where she led on FDA matters and supported the oncology and immunology portfolios and worked for Janssen’s Global Regulatory Policy and Intelligence team where she was the US policy lead on topics including clinical trial innovation, patient engagement, expedited approval pathways, disease interception, and combination products. Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Carla was an attorney and team leader in FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel where she advised the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on legal and policy issues, working closely with the Offices of Policy and Legislation.

Carla is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and has a JD from Yale Law School and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jonathan Seals, Ph.D.

Director, Strategic Science and Technology at Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA)

Dr. Seals is currently a Scientific Project Manager at BARDA in the Influenza and Emerging Diseases Division. Dr. Seals earned his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Washington University (MO) in 1979.

Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Brown University in the Department of Physiological Chemistry, he spent 7 years in Academia on the faculty in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, 20 years in Industry with several Boston-area Biopharmaceutical companies, and the past 13 years at BARDA.

He has filled in a number of roles at BARDA, including serving as part of BARDA’s leadership team from 2008-16, standing up and heading its Strategic Science and Technology Division, and formulating and executing strategy for Influenza and EID preparedness through award and management of multiple product development contracts. As one of BARDA’s longest-serving members, he has thorough knowledge of its mission, history, and operations.

Dani Peters

President, Magnet Strategy Group

Dani Peters is President of Magnet Strategy Group, a consulting firm that manages public affairs strategies in the United States and Canada.

For over 15 years, Dani has supported organizations in developing successful federal funding and advocacy strategies with a variety of agencies that include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, among others.

Dani is a also the Co-Founder of Cross-Border Health, a non-profit organization that fosters dialogue between Canada and the United States around common health priorities. In addition to operating Magnet Strategy Group, Dani serves on the Industry Advisory Board for Bloom Burton & Co., a healthcare investment advisory firm in Toronto. She is also a Health Leader-in-Residence for the World Health Innovation Network (WIN), within the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business.

Dani earned her undergraduate degree from McGill University and a Master of Arts in International Trade Policy from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey.

Ilana Goldberg, Ph.D.

Program Director, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIH

Dr. Ilana Goldberg joined NIBIB in 2019 as a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. She currently has oversight of discovery and research grants with an emphasis on biophotonics. Dr. Goldberg earned her B.S. degree from Brandeis University in chemistry and biochemistry, where she gained expertise in protein crystallography. She earned her Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University in solid state and analytical chemistry where she focused on the crystal growth of secondary explosives. In 2005, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study crystal engineering, polymorphism, and co-crystallization of small molecules at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva, Israel.

Prior to her current position, she was a project manager in Global Medical Excellence for AstraZeneca. Dr. Goldberg spent five years as senior scientist and project manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where she managed multidisciplinary research projects for the Department of Homeland Security. Before that, she was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Transportation Security Laboratory in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she focused on the development of thermal analysis methods for energetic materials as well as the advancement of explosive detection technologies.

Dr. Goldberg is committed to supporting the development of technologies that engineer the interactions between biological molecules and light to enhance the landscape of bioengineered technologies.


1:00 pm – Introductions

1:05 pm – Panel Presentations

1:30 pm – Moderated Q&A

1:45 pm – Audience Q&A

2:00pm – Webinar Ends