CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwire - April 12, 2010) -  On April 14, the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge will present a keynote address by world-renowned life sciences leader G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, a San Francisco-based venture capital and private equity firm, merchant bank, and media conglomerate. Burrill has been involved in the growth of the biotech industry for over four decades and has played a significant role in some of the industry's pioneering companies. He will share his vision for the future of biotech and healthcare.

Following Burrill's presentation, Alexis Borisy, the entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, will moderate a panel of thought leaders in the new wave of epigenetics. Epigenetics involves activating and deactivating genes in cells without changing the structure of DNA. Emerging companies in the field could pioneer powerful new drugs for cancer and other diseases. The discussion will focus on key issues for successful value creation and drug development, and will include Joanna Horobin, the president and CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals; Kevin Lee, a vice president of drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline; Anna Protopapas, senior vice president of corporate development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals; and Kazumi Shiosaki, the president and CEO of Epizyme and managing director of MPM Capital.

Keynote Speaker
G. Steven Burrill currently serves as chairman of the boards of Pharmasset, Abunda Corporation and BioImagene, and is a member of the boards of directors of Catalyst Biosciences, DepoMed, Ikano Therapeutics, NewBridge, Proteogenix, Proventys, Targacept and XDx. Prior to founding Burrill & Company in 1994, Burrill spent 28 years with Ernst & Young. In 2002, Burrill was recognized as a biotech investment visionary by Scientific American, and in 2008, he received the BayBio Pantheon 2008 DiNA lifetime achievement award. Burrill is a founder and currently serves as the chairman of the board of the Foundation for the National Medals of Science and Technology. He also serves as chairman of the San Francisco Mayor's Biotech Advisory Committee.

Joanna Horobin, M.D., is the president and CEO of Syndax Pharmaceuticals. Formerly vice president of oncology at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and CEO of CombinatoRx, Inc., Joanna has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience in multiple therapeutic areas, focusing on oncology with a particular interest in the development of combination strategies. Joanna spent a year as entrepreneur-in-residence with the venture capital firm MPM Capital.

Kevin Lee, Ph.D., is a vice president of drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline. In addition to leading EpiNova, the immuno-epigenetics drug discovery performance unit within the Immuno-Inflammation CEDD, he has led the CEDD's externalization activities that have seen more than 50 percent of its research activities become partnered. Prior to joining GSK, Kevin founded Cambridge Biotechnology (acquired by Biovitrum) and Neurosolutions (now Neurodiscovery).

Anna Protopapas is senior vice president of corporate development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, the Takeda Oncology Company, where she leads the strategic planning process and drives strategic transactions. In her more than ten years at Millennium, she has led the planning and execution of over 20 strategic alliances that have brought two billion dollars in funding, downstream capabilities and assets to the company. Previously, Anna worked in process engineering for a pharmaceutical company.

Kazumi Shiosaki was the founding CEO of Epizyme and is a member of Epizyme's board of directors. She also serves as a managing director at MPM Capital. At MPM, she has worked closely with a number of the firm's portfolio companies to advance their small molecule development programs including Hypnion, Aryx and Oxagen. She also started Primera Diagnostics in 2004, a molecular diagnostics company focused on infectious disease and oncology products.

Alexis Borisy is a successful biotechnology entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience building and operating innovative science-based organizations. Prior to joining Third Rock Ventures, Borisy founded CombinatoRx, serving as its CEO. He has raised $750 million in financing and business development deals, and has authored numerous scientific papers and patents. Borisy was a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellow at Harvard University and was honored as the MIT Technology Review Innovator of the Year. He was also chosen as the New England Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences and was honored as a Presidential Scholar. Borisy serves on the board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, is an overseer at the Boston Museum of Science and is the chairman of Forma Therapeutics.

 When:    Wednesday, April 14, 2010
     5:30 p.m.: Networking mixer and sandwiches
     6:15-8:00 p.m.: Program
     8:00-9:00 p.m.: Networking reception

Where: MIT Stata Center (Building 32), Kirsch Auditorium, 32 Vassar St., Cambridge, Mass.

Registration and information:

Pricing: Forum members: $25, Non-members: $40. Students from all universities are free with college ID. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Contact Information:

Trish Fleming
MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge