For BioNJ it’s going to be a busy week, with two back-to-back events featuring high-powered talent from across the world of biotech.

On Thursday and Friday, May 10 and 11, BioNJ, the trade group dedicated to advancing biotech and biotech-related industries in New Jersey, will hold one of its largest events of the year — the International BioPartnering Conference at the Westin in Princeton Forrestal Village.

On Thursday, registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the conference begins at 8:45 a.m. The proceedings open at 8:15 a.m. on Friday. Cost: $875. Call 609-890-3185 or go to for more information.

Then on Monday, May 14, BioNJ is hosting a brand new event — a Life Sciences HR Conference at the Hilton, in East Brunswick from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cost: $349. For the complete agenda, speaker bios, and to register, go to

The annual BioPartnering conference, — the only such event in the state — was first held in 2010. According to BioNJ president Debbie Hart, the conference was designed to foster a level of networking normally unavailable to biotechs on a daily basis. Hart has said it made sense to do a partnering conference in New Jersey given the concentration of pharma and biotechs in the state.

The conference is expected to attract senior life science executives from global biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the funding community, and entrepreneurs both nationally and internationally.

Instead of connecting with one or two companies at a time and from afar, companies attending the conference can meet face-to-face with dozens of companies looking to buy, sell, or cooperate. Partnering conferences have been likened to “speed dating,” where participants can schedule a company every half hour, meeting 10 to 15 different companies in a day.

“Establishing collaborations, partnerships, and other close business relationships have become an important aspect of the biotech industry, and New Jersey has been witness to an increasing number of successful partnerships and deals between biotech companies and with pharmaceutical and other life science companies over the past five years,” says Hart.

Keynote speakers at the event will be Marc Bonnefoi of Sanofi; Peter Kellogg of Merck; and Walter Moos of SRI International. All of the keynotes take place on the conference’s first day.

Bonnefoi will give the keynote dinner on the subject of “The Transformation of Sanofi as a Global Healthcare Leader.” A doctor in veterinary medicine who also has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Toulouse in France, Bonnefoi heads Sanofi’s Scientific Core Platform Disposition, Safety and Animal Research (DSAR).

He is also head of the North America R&D Hub, which includes the R&D activities of Genzyme, Merial, Pharma, and Sanofi-Pasteur in the region.

Kellogg will present a luncheon talk titled “Combining our Strengths: New Pathways to Life Science Innovation.”

Kellogg is the executive vice president and CFO of Merck, with responsibility for Merck’s global accounting and controls, business planning, treasury, tax, investor relations, and business development areas, as well as for coordination of Merck’s Internal Audit organization. Prior to joining Merck in 2007, Kellogg served for seven years as the executive vice president and CFO of Biogen Idec, and the former Biogen. He oversaw the merger of Biogen and the Idec Company in 2003.

Moos, vice president of the Biosciences Division at SRI International, will speak at the afternoon session on Thursday on “Pharmaceutical Innovation, Dollars, and ‘Sense,’ Research Saves Lives.”

Moos joined the nonprofit SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) in 2005 as vice president of the Biosciences Division, an organization of more than 250 people with the resources necessary to take projects from idea, to investigational new drug filing, and beyond. Prior to SRI he was chairman and chief executive officer of MitoKor, a vice president of R&D at Chiron (Novartis), and Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis (Pfizer).

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference also features networking events, partnering sessions, company presentations, and panel discussions on topics such as unlocking the potential of tech transfer, and an international panel focused on opportunities with Japan.

Hart, who will be hosting both events, received a bachelor’s in communications from the College of New Jersey in 1981 and a master’s in public relations from the Newhouse School at Syracuse. Her father was an undercover detective for the Mercer County Sheriff’s office, and her mother was purchasing manager with the state Office of Administrative Law. Early on Hart worked in public affairs, but otherwise she has worked entirely with associations.

On MAy 14, Hart will open the Life Sciences HR Conference with a roundtable discussion, “What Does it Take to Create a Culture of Compliance and Innovation?”

The event’s two general sessions will feature experts who will focus on creating a culture of compliance and innovation, and also New Jersey employer incentives.

Speakers include Peter K. Kim, Pfizer; Mahmoud Mahmoudian, Alborz BioVentures USA; Elizabeth Posillico, Elusys Therapeutics; Lisa Uthgenannt, Covance; and Mary Ellen Clark, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Breakout sessions held throughout the day include:

• Risk and Rewards: Social Media at Work;

• An Innovative Approach to Wellness Programs;

• The Art for Hiring for Culture Fit; Industry Compensation Trends;

• Tools to Maximize your Recruiting Dollars; and

• In Good Times and Bad: Employees and Engagement in Times of Change.

“By providing an opportunity for industry HR professionals and other thought leaders to come together in one program, participants will have the opportunity to hear about industry trends and learn what’s really working, directly from local human resource leaders and expert practitioners,” says Hart.

“BioNJ has always been on the forefront of creating terrific opportunities for key leaders in the industry to come together, and a conference focused on key topics in Human Resources is a natural, next step for the organization,” she says.

Facebook Comments