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WIB-San Francisco Presents: "Partnering Devices and Diagnostics with Pharma"
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When: Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST
Where: Amgen Building 3 (ASF3 Café)
1150 Veterans Blvd
South San Francisco, CA  94080
United States
Contact: WIB-San Francisco Bay Area

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Partnerships between pharma and diagnostic device companies are becoming increasingly important as pharma companies seek ways to differentiate their products, and precision medicine demands the need for companion diagnostics. Commercial market access, value, and regulatory needs require close coordination between pharma and diagnostic device partners. As both entities have distinct business models, investment paradigms, and tolerance for business risk, partnering and deal term negotiations can be challenging. Join us for a panel discussion about the creative solutions that can bridge these gaps and lead to win-win successful long term partnering relationships.


Our panel includes moderator, Peggy Hawkins, J.D. (Licensing Director, Business Development at Amgen) and the following experts, who will touch upon various aspects of partnerships between pharma and diagnostic device companies:


Speaker Biographies

  • Donna Flesher: Donna Flesher received her Ph.D. at Stanford University in the Program in Immunology. Flesher is currently a Principal Scientist and Solid Tumor Therapeutic Area Lead in the Clinical Biomarkers & Diagnostics group at Amgen where she is responsible for the development and alignment of biomarker strategy across early and late stage clinical development programs as well as marketed products. In 2012, Flesher received an award for Amgen Excellence in Volunteering. She has over 10 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, where she has led cross-functional teams in both discovery research and translational sciences.
  • Suzanne Cheng: Suzanne Cheng is a Project Leader at Roche Molecular Systems, leading cross-functional teams responsible for co-developing companion diagnostic assays with pharma partners in both oncology and non-oncology therapeutic areas. In her previous role as a Director in Research, she was the diagnostic liaison for the co-development partnership that led to the 2011 joint FDA approval of the cobas® 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test to identify metastatic melanoma patients eligible for treatment with Zelboraf®. Suzanne has over 20 years of experience with PCR-based assay development for translational research. Suzanne received her PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Laura Parmer-Lohan: Laura founded this consulting firm that is dedicated to helping clients across the globe launch great products. Ruckus Partners works with diagnostic, digital health, medical device, and biotech companies to support product portfolio strategy development, product launch, revenue generating product lifecycle marketing and more. Ruckus Partners is data driven and strives to uncover key customer insights and connect these with a product marketing strategy that motivates the customer to action. Laura has led or participated in the launch of more than 24 products and services from cardiovascular therapeutic devices, type 2 diabetes first-in-class biopharmaceutical to specialty oncology reference lab services and digital health apps. Laura is an advisor for LaunchPad Digital Health, FAST program mentor for California Life Sciences Association, guest instructor for UCSF/UCB MTM Program and Haas School of Business MBA/MPH Program and is the former events co-lead for MedtechWomen. Her former roles include marketing leadership at diaDexus, Sequenta, Genoptix, Amylin (now AstraZeneca), and Guidant (now Abbott Vascular). She received her MBA from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and her Bachelor of Arts from UC Santa Cruz. Laura resides in San Carlos with her family and is currently running for San Carlos City Council
  • Peggy Hawkins: Peggy’s career in healthcare has spanned both pharmaceutical as well as in vitro diagnostic R&D and Business Development. Her interest in precision medicine began at Parke-Davis where as a Clinical Scientist in Clinical Pharmacology she designed and managed Phase 1 and 2 programs studying PK/PD relationships with the goal of improving early program development decisions. She has managed global cross functional drug development teams and been involved in in vitro diagnostic and pharma partnering arrangements. Having worked in both industries, she has a unique perspective of some of the challenges that partnering between diverse industries with different business models brings. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan, an executive M.B.A., and a J.D. from the University of Washington.


Walk-Ins Accepted?


* - Walk-ins will be accepted at the door until event capacity is reached.



5:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.         Check-in and networking

6:15 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.         Panel discussion

7:15 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.         Networking


Pricing Information

Members: $15

Non-Members: $45


Special Pricing for Guests

When registering, members can register guests at member price


Parking Information

  • Guests can park close to the building at the surface lot for free.
  • The official address for Amgen (if searching on maps) is 1120 Veterans Blvd. South SF, CA 94080.
  • This address is for the main building 2 (ASF2), and we plan to have signs to direct guests to building 3 (ASF3) where the event will take place.


Maximum Capacity



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