The Leadership Meeting is designed to open minds and explore new trends that will translate into more effective governance and success throughout the life science industry. It’s an exclusive, invite-only, off the record meeting for life science board members to discuss key issues and solve problems in an interactive and productive setting.





Sponsors gain access in an intimate and private setting with life science industry top leaders and decision makers.

For additional information, please contact Susan Grayson at susan@crushlifesicences.com or sponsor@crushlifesciences.com.


8:00 - 8:45 am
Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:45 - 9:00 am
Opening Remarks

9:00 - 9:45 am
Building the Right Board
Cheryl Blanchard
, President & CEO, Keratin Biosciences; Jeff Jonker, Special Advisor, NGM Bio; Gail Maderis, President & CEO, Antiva Biosciences
Moderator: Rachael Bushey, Partner & Chair of Life Sciences, Pepper Hamilton LLP

9:45 - 10:30 am
Fireside Chat: Corporate Responsibility
David Beier
, Managing Director, Bay City Capital and Julie Gerberding, Executive Vice President, Communications, Global Policy and Population Health and Chief Patient Officer, Merck
Moderator: Chris Earl, President, Innotrove and Senior Advisor, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

10:30 - 10:45 am
Networking Break

10:45 - 11:30 am
Forcing Diversity on the Board – Point-Counter Point
Laura Brege
, former CEO, Nodality and former COO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals; Nina Kjellson, Partner, Canaan Partners; Catherine Sohn, former SVP, GlaxoSmithKline and Board Director, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
Moderator: Laurie Halloran, President & CEO, Halloran Consulting Group

11:30 - 12:15 pm
View from the Board: Responding to an Acquisition Offer
Stephen Sands
, Vice Chairman Investment Banking and Chairman Global Healthcare Group, Lazard and Clifford Stocks, CEO, OncoResponse
Moderator: Geoff Meyerson, Managing Partner, Locust Walk


12:15 - 1:15 pm
Networking Lunch

1:15 - 2:15 pm
KEYNOTE PART 1 – Marilyn Nagel, Partner, Boardwise
2-hour session including interactive discussions, lively conversation and best practice sharing
#Never Me, #Never Here
– Board’s responsibilities for ensuring corporate leaders protect employees, vendors and contractors in this era of heightened awareness around sexual harassment in the workplace. How can directors address it? Too often, attention to this doesn’t become clear until after “bad things” happen.

2:15 - 2:30 pm
Networking Break

2:30 - 3:30 pm
KEYNOTE PART 2 – Marilyn Nagel, Partner, Boardwise

3:30 - 4:15 pm
Proactively Managing Board Dynamics and Transitions
Christine Bunt
, Chairman & CEO, Verseau Therapeutics and Scott Morrison, former Partner, Ernst & Young and Board Director, Corvus Pharmaceuticals
Moderator: Doug MacDougall, Managing Partner, MacDougall Biomedical Communications

4:15 - 4:30 pm
Networking Break

4:30 - 6:00 pm
Premier Napa Wine Tasting Event




Marilyn Nagel

Marilyn has an unusual background including over 30 years of experience in the corporate world as a C-Suite executive, entrepreneur and executive coach. In addition to being Chief Learning Officer of SAMI, a game-based leadership development company Marilyn has her own consulting firm Ready-Aim-Aspire and is a partner consultant with Boardwise. Her consulting work is widely recognized in the field of executive and board development, diversity and inclusion, as well as leadership and networking.

Prior to starting Ready-Aim Aspire, Marilyn was CEO of Watermark leading strategic initiatives designed to help women enhance their personal and professional impact.  Before joining Watermark, Marilyn served as Chief Diversity Officer at Cisco. She was recognized as a thought leader in creating inclusive environments, and co-chair of the Conference Board Global Diversity Group as well as senior advisor to the Center for Talent and Innovation.

Marilyn holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and two master’s degrees. She is also ABD on a Doctorate in Public Administration.

Marilyn serves on the Board of Directors of Ceres Community Project and has served on the Board of Directors of Watermark, Professional Business Women of California, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc. (NACME), UPWARD, and Family and Children Services. Marilyn also currently serves on the Advisory Boards of YOL, The Everest Project, as well as the Advisory Council of Courageous Leadership.

Marilyn consults with pre and post IPO companies, fortune 500 and multinational companies on developing and implementing diversity strategies. She is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as Inclusive Leadership, Building Intentional Connections, Inclusive Hiring, Creating Influence, as well as Board Accountability and Women’s Leadership.  She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and frequently contributes to numerous publications.



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Stephen Sands

Stephen Sands, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Chairman of the Global Healthcare Group at Lazard, has built a 25-year career providing strategic and financial advice to senior executives and boards of directors at leading healthcare and life sciences companies globally. Prior to joining Lazard, a financial advisory and asset management firm, Stephen was a Partner in the health care practice of McKinsey & Company. During his career, he has co-founded two life sciences companies: Enzytech (acquired by Alkermes) and Opta Food Ingredients (acquired by Stake Technology). Stephen has also served as director on the boards of several life sciences companies, including National Imaging Associates, Inc. (Acquired by Magellan Health Services company) and Isogen LLC (acquired by Monsanto). He currently is a director on the board of Cognition Therapeutics (Alzheimer’s disease).

Stephen is a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on trends in the biopharmaceutical and health care sectors at prominent industry events. He is a member of the Rockefeller University Counsel; Washington University (St. Louis) School of Engineering & Applied Science National Counsel, National Campaign Committee and New York Regional Cabinet; Columbia University Science Advisory Committee; Rand Corporation Health Board of Advisors; and a trustee and co-chair of the nominating and governance committee of the New York Hall of Science. In 2008, he received the New York Biotechnology Association’s inaugural The Cures Start Here Business Leader of the Year Award, and in 2014, he was recognized with a Washington University (St. Louis) Alumni Achievement Award.

Stephen earned a B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College, a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and a M.B.A. in Finance from New York University


Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch Ph.D, J.D is Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer of Ipsen, overseeing search and evaluation, business development, and strategic alliance management. Prior to joining Ipsen, Ivana was Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at Axcella Health Inc. Prior to joining Axcella, Ivana was Senior Vice President and Head of Global Business Development at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, where she led and executed multiple business development transactions ranging from licensing to acquisition of drug candidates, commercial products and companies for the global specialty drug business. She previously worked at Dyax Corp in management roles of increasing scope and responsibility, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ivana began her biopharma career at Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc., where she was Director of Intellectual Property and Patent Counsel.

Ivana serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), Alivio Therapeutics and Aeglea BioTherapeutics. Ivana is Trustee of Suffolk University, and an overseer of the Boston Ballet, Boston Museum of Science and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Ivana holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University and received her J.D. in High Technology law from Suffolk University Law School. She graduated from Wheaton College with a B.A. in Biology and Chemistry. In 2008, Ivana was the winner of the Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology Leadership Award.


Christopher D. Earl, PhD

Christopher D. Earl, PhD is an entrepreneur, investor and non-profit leader with broad experience in science, venture capital, and driving growth of biotechnology companies and not-for-profit organizations. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. He previously served for seven years as Senior Advisor to the corporate venture funds of Merck & Co., where he generated new opportunities in therapeutics and precision medicine, negotiated investments, and served as a director on portfolio company boards.

Previously, Dr. Earl was the first President and CEO of BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), a not-for- profit organization supported by industry and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose mission was to harness biotech R&D in developing cures for neglected tropical diseases. At BVGH, Dr. Earl worked with governments and multilaterals to develop financial incentives for tropical disease R&D, developed and promoted strategies for attracting biopharma companies to create new treatments for sub-Saharan Africa, and forged collaborations between leading companies and nonprofits.

Dr. Earl joined Perseus Capital in 1997 to build its investment portfolio in biotechnology. The success of those investments led to the founding in 2000 of the Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, now known as Aisling Capital. There, he led investments in companies developing therapeutics for oncology and infectious diseases and joined portfolio company boards. Several of these companies achieved FDA approval for innovative drugs that today sell over $1 billion. Earlier in his career, Dr. Earl was President and CEO of Avitech Diagnostics, Inc., and a General Partner of Plant Resources Venture Funds.

Dr. Earl serves on the Board of Directors of Asuragen, Inc. and is a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy of Maryland/DC. Dr. Earl received a BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.


David Beier, JD

David Beier, JD is a Managing Director of Bay City Capital and has been with the firm since 2013. He is a globally recognized leader in health care policy, pricing, intellectual property, government affairs, regulatory affairs, health care economics, and product commercialization. In addition, having spent two decades as part of the senior management teams for Amgen and Genentech, the two largest biotechnology companies in the world, he contributes invaluable perspective regarding strategy for entrepreneurial biotechs, the needs of potential acquirers, and the global health care industry in general.

Mr. Beier served in the White House as the Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton Administration. He has served as an appointee of President Clinton, on the Institute of Medicine panel on the Future of Health and Human Services, and as an advisor to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Mr. Beier was also formerly a partner in international law firm Hogan and Hartson (now Hogan Lovell’s) and was formerly Counsel to the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. In addition, he previously served on the study committee of the National Academy of Sciences on genome editing. 

He has testified before Congress and the Federal Trade Commission, has written numerous law review articles and technical legal works, is regularly invited to author expert OpEds on health care, and has contributed to books on topics ranging from intellectual property, trade, privacy and justice issues.

Mr. Beier is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Life Science Association, and the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospitals. He currently serves as an appointee of Governor Brown on the California State Government Organization and Economy Commission. He is also an advisor to the Parker Institute on Cancer Immunotherapy. In addition, Mr. Beier is a Senior Fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and serves on the Board of Directors at Arcus Biosciences and Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

He received his JD from Albany Law School at Union University and his undergraduate degree at Colgate University. He is admitted to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia.


Dr. Cheryl R. Blanchard

Dr. Cheryl R. Blanchard is President and CEO of Keratin Biosciences, Inc., a developer of skin, regenerative medicine and drug delivery products. Dr. Blanchard also serves on a number of public, private equity and venture backed company boards including Anika Therapeutics and Ceramtec. Prior to that, she was the Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and General Manager of Biologics at Zimmer, Inc. in Warsaw, IN, responsible for Global R and D, Quality, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, Health Economics and the Regenerative Medicine Business. Previous to Zimmer, Blanchard built and led the medical device practice at Southwest Research Institute while also serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, both in San Antonio, TX. She holds a B.S in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

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Gail Maderis

Gail Maderis is President & CEO of Antiva Biosciences, Inc. a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company pioneering antiviral therapies against HPV. From 2009 to 2015, Ms. Maderis led BayBio, the industry organization representing and supporting Northern California’s life science community. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Maderis served as President and CEO of Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., a protein discovery and development company focused on immuno-oncology. Prior to FivePrime, Ms. Maderis held senior executive positions at Genzyme Corporation, including founder and president of Genzyme Molecular Oncology (GZMO). Ms. Maderis also practiced management and strategy consulting with Bain & Co. She currently serves on the board of NovaBay Pharmaceuticals (NBY), a publicly-traded ophthalmology company and on the Board of Trustees of the U.C. Berkeley Foundation.  In 2018, Ms. Maderis was named one of the Most Admired CEOs by the SF Business Times. She received a BS in business from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard Business School.