BioTech Atelier 2.0

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The main purpose of the BioTech Atelier event is to give a strong push to the Bulgarian biotech ecosystem. Our strong belief is that the biotech ecosystem in Bulgaria can grow and develop and will do our best to speed up this process. Тhus, we intend to make the Atelier an annual event and grow it as much as possible. We are convinced that the key for successful development of the biotech environment is in international collaboration and cooperation between science and industry.

Biotech Atelier 2.0 topics will include advanced therapies, AI in medicine, biobanking, 3D printing, personalized medicine, patient involvement, access to funding, and many more.

Registration

Registration is closed. See you next year.

Agenda

Focus in this-year’s programme is on: ATMPs, Artificial Intelligence in medicine, the MEGA Project, RWE, Biobanking, Personalized Medicine, Biomarkers, Patient Advocacy, Clinical Trials, Access to Funding and many more.

08:00 - 09:00

 

Registration and Networking Coffee

Good chance to talk with a lecturer, organizer or participant in case of early arrival

09:00 – 09:15

 

Welcome and Opening of the BioTech Atelier

This is the second edition of Biotech Atelier after the great success of the event in 2018. We want to report the progress and look forward for 2020.

Dr. Borislav Borissov PhD, Managing Director, Prescriptia
Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Chairman of the Administrative board, Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED)
Pеter Statev, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Sofia Tech Park

09:15 – 10:15

 

Advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs)

ATMPs are the new hope and challenge for diagnosis, therapy, registration, pharmacovigilance. Pricing and reimbursement are big issues as well. The distinguished panelists will elaborate topics related to ATMPs in the EU and Bulgaria and stimulate the guests for a fruitful discussion.

Keynote lecturer
Prof. Dr. Mondher Thoumi, President and Founder, Creativ-Ceutical

Magda Chlebus, Executive Director, Science Policy and Regulatory Affairs, EFPIA
Dr. Borislav Borissov, Managing Director, Prescriptia
Prof. Dr. Steffen Thirstrup, Director, NDA Regulatory Advisory Board, NDA Advisory Services Ltd.
Peter Kapitein, President and Patient Advocate, Inspire2Live
Liliya Evtimova-Tichev, QA Validation Engineer, Lonza

10:15 – 10:30

Presentation

Where does EPFIA plan to invest efforts in the new term of the EU parliament?

EFPIA has a slogan “Illness never sleeps, so neither can we” and we hope to hear and understand this better

Magda Chlebus, Executive Director, Science Policy and Regulatory Affairs, EFPIA

10:30 – 11:30

AI in Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence / AI/ is a hot topic in life sciences and healthcare. Could and would AI replace human intellect in diagnostic process and offer better treatment? Could we rely on AI for better analysis of the drug efficacy and safety? Has the AI already become a better tool for the registration process of drugs? The panel has the answers.

Keynote lecturer
Timm Pauli, Senior Director, Esubmission Services, Head of Regulatory Operations, PharmaLex

Bruce Magill, Director of Business Development, Personalised Medicine & Connected Health EMEA, SAP
Dr. Mads Dalsgaard, Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine & Clinical Development, Lundbeck
Angela Velkova, Director of Communities and Strategic Relations, EMEA HIMSS Europe GmbH
Andrew Fried, Business Development Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences Europe, IBM

11:30-11:45

Presentation

Developments in modern genetic testing – how far and how deep could we go?

Paul Jones, Director, Population Genomics, Illumina

11:45 – 12:45

The MEGA Project

The MEGA project has been started with a lot of enthusiasm and great expectations, but seems to be under prioritized now. Is this true or not? Where is Bulgaria in the MEGA project? The experts have answers and suggestions

Keynote lecturer
Bogi Eliasen, Associated Partner, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies

Paul Jones, Director, Population Genomics, Illumina
Erik Steinfelder, Director General, BBMRI-ERIC
Dr. Kate Witkowska, Commercial Partnerships Manager, Genomics England
Prof. Radka Kaneva, Executive Manager Molecular Medicine Center, Medical University of Sofia
Dr. Antonio Andreu, Scientific Director, EATRIS

12.45 – 13.15

Interview

Dr. Dimitar Georgiev, Founder and CEO Paralax Life Sciences with a distinguished guest of the Biotech Atelier

13:15 – 14:00

Networking Lunch

Small Ateliers

14:00 – 15:00

Small Atelier 1A

Access to Funding

Funding in Life sciences for both start-ups and mature companies is pretty difficult in Bulgaria? Why and how can this be improved?

Keynote lecturer
Jivko Ivanov, Managing Partner, Simbula

Paul Gill, Managing Partner – Asia, Iota Omega Ventures Pte Ltd.
Gary Ashford, Partner, Harbottle and Lewis LLP
Milen Ivanov, CEO Angels Club
Peter Kapitein, President and Patient Advocate, Inspire2Live
Vladimir Danailov, CEO InvestSofia
Valentina Milanova, Founder and CEO, Daye

15:00 – 16:00

Small Atelier 1B

EATRIS – BAPEMED partnership

Can this cooperation change the landscape?

Dr. Antonio Andreu, Scientific Director, EATRIS
Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Chairman of the Administrative Board, BAPEMED
Gergana Kyosovska-Peshtenska, BAPEMED

14:00 – 15:00

Small Atelier 2A

Real World Evidence (RWE)

Can RWE change definitely the pricing model? How IT technologies are involved in RWE

Keynote lecturer
Prof. Dr. Steffen Thirstrup, Director, NDA Regulatory Advisory Board, NDA Advisory Services Ltd.

Bruce Magill, Director of Business Development, Personalised Medicine & Connected Health EMEA, SAP
Magda Chlebus, Executive Director, Science Policy and Regulatory Affairs, EFPIA
Andrew Fried, Business Development Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences Europe, IBM
Jordan Clark, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaceutics

15:00 – 16:00

Small Atelier 2B

Clinical trials

Bulgaria is one of the best performers in clinical trials in Europe and even worldwide. Why and how to perform better?

Keynote lecturer
Dr. Borislav Borissov, Managing Director, Prescriptia

Dr. Sergii Myronenko, Chairman, Kiev Clinical Research Forum
Dr. Kamen Doxev, PSI Pharma Support

14:00 – 15:00

Small Atelier 3A

Personalized medicine in non-oncological disciplines – NM Genomix

Personalized medicine was long time related only to oncology and chemotherapy. Not anymore, for sure.

Keynote lecturer
Prof. Dr. Ron HN van Schaik, President European Society for Pharmacogenomics & Personalised Therapy (ESPT)

Prof. Dr. Radka Argirova, Virologist, ACC Tokuda Hospital
Prof. Radka Kaneva, Executive Manager Molecular Medicine Center, Medical University of Sofia
Marc Fackler, Business Development Manager, LifeCodexx
Valentin Nikolov, SGP Biodynamics

15:00 – 16:00

Small Atelier 3B

Biomarkers & Biobanking

Biomarkers are of paramount importance for personalized medicine. Biobanking might be the key for better biomarker development. Is this true?

Keynote lecturer
Jordan Clark, Chief Commercial Officer, Diaceutics

Prof. Radka Kaneva, Executive Manager Molecular Medicine Center, Medical University of Sofia
Dr. Alexander Lezhava, Group leader – Translational Research 1, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Program Director, POLARIS
Dr. Kate Witkowska, Commercial Partnerships Manager, Genomics England
Prof. Michael Rossbach, Head of Technology Scouting, Eppendorf Group
Marc Fackler, Business Development Manager, Life Codexx

14:00 – 15:00

Small Atelier 4A

Regional Partnerships

Regional partnerships are of paramount importance for business and science. However, Bulgaria is far behind other EU countries. We need to change this.

Keynote lecturer
Prof. Michael Rossbach, Head of Technology Scouting, Eppendorf Group

Charalampos-Philip Iosifidis, Managing Partner – Europe, Iota Omega Ventures Pte. Ltd.
Dr. Alexander Lezhava, Group leader – Translational Research 1, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Program Director, POLARIS
Prof. Osman Ugur Sezerman, Head of Biostatistics and medical informatics Department, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar Üniversitesi
Dr. Sergii Myronenko, Chairman, Kiev Clinical Research Forum

15:00 – 16:00

Small Atelier 4B

How to keep young professionals in Bulgaria – PharmaLex

Brain drain is a big problem for Bulgaria. This is a consequence of several reasons and there will be panelists pro and con remaining in Bulgaria. A real HR expert will be the arbiter.

Keynote lecturer
Georgi Kolev, Human Capital Director, Simbula

Dr. Thomas Dobmeyer, CEO and Managing Partner, PharmaLex
Miglena Manova, Regulatory Affairs Manager, PharmaLex
Prof. Dr. Victoria Sarafian, Professor of Immunology, Department of Medical Biology, Medical University of Plovdiv
Valentina Milanova, Founder and CEO, Daye
Liliya Evtimova-Tichev, QA Validation Engineer, Lonza
Anna-Marie Vilamovska, Executive Director, Working Ideas

16:00 – 16:30

Networking Coffee

16:30 – 17:30

Small Atelier 1C

How to establish scientific consortia and apply for EU funding

This is a hot topic in front of Horizon Europe. Bulgaria is criticized to be extremely passive, is this true?

Keynote lecturer
Prof. Dr. Victoria Sarafian, Professor of Immunology, Department of Medical Biology, Medical University of Plovdiv

Prof. Osman Ugur Sezermann, Head of Biostatistics and medical informatics Department, Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar Üniversitesi
Prof. Michael Rossbach, Head of Technology Scouting, Eppendorf Group

16:30 – 17:30

Small Atelier 2C

IT and Life Sciences

A lot of experts see the future of both ecosystem beyond a marriage. Is this the truth or is too early to dream?

Keynote lecturer
Dr. Mads Dalsgaard, Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine & Clinical Development, Lundbeck

Rob Williams, Sr. Director, Regulatory Informatics and Digital Technologies, PharmaLex
Andrew Fried, Business Development Director, Healthcare and Life Sciences Europe, IBM
Bruce Magill, Director of Business Development, Personalised Medicine & Connected Health EMEA, SAP

16:30 – 17:30

Small Atelier 3C

Is Genomics Bulgaria/ Genomics Southeastern Europe possible?

Genomic England achieved sensational results. Is this possible in other European regions?

Keynote lecturer
Bogi Eliasen, Associated Partner, Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies

Paul Jones, Director, Population Genomics, Illumina
Dr. Kate Witkowska, Commercial Partnerships Manager, Genomics England
Prof. Radka Kaneva, Executive Manager Molecular Medicine Center, Medical University of Sofia

16:30 – 17:30

Small Atelier 4C

Patient advocacy groups in Life Sciences

Yes, they are important, but is their importance taken into account? What is the state of art in the EU and in Bulgaria?

Keynote lecturer
Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev, Chairperson of Bulgarian National Patients’ Organization

Piarella Peralta, Patient Advocate, Inspire2Live
Dr. Petja Stratieva, Chairperson of the Board, Retina Bulgaria, Development Executive Central & Eastern Europe, Retina International
Aneta Piperkova, COO, ProDuCt – PDC, Member of BAPEMED
Natalia Maeva, President, BSPPH – TBC

17:30 – 18:30

Could Life Sciences make 10% of the GDP in Bulgaria?

This is the key question, which we are seeking to answer

Dr. Dimitar Georgiev, Founder and CEO Paralax Life Sciences
Evgeni Ivanov, General Manager, Euroconsultants Bulgaria S.A. AD
Kaloyan Staykov, Institute for Market Economics

18:30

Closing of Biotech Atelier 2.0 & Networking Cocktail

Among many others, the list of speakers includes:

Among many others, the list of speakers includes:

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Prof. Mondher Toumi, MD, PhD

President and Founder of Creativ-Ceutical
Prof. Mondher Toumi, MD, PhD

Prof. Mondher Toumi is M.D. by training, M.Sc. in Biological Sciences and Ph.D. in Economic Sciences. He is President and Founder of Creativ-Ceutical. Founder and Director of the European Market Access University Diploma, pioneer educational programme in market access held at the University of Aix-Marseille.

Prof. Mondher is member of the research unit 3279 in Public Health at Aix-Marseille University.

He worked from 1995 in the pharmaceutical industry for 13 years. Prof. Mondher was appointed Global Vice President at Lundbeck A/S in charge of health economics, outcome research, pricing, market access, epidemiology, risk management, governmental affairs and competitive intelligence. In 2008, he founded Creativ-Ceutical, an international consulting firm dedicated to support life science industries and authorities in strategic decision-making.

Prof. Mondher Toumi is also visiting Professor at two famous Chinese universities: Shenyang Pharmaceutical University and Beijing University (Third Hospital). In addition to contributing as a reviewer on several journals, he is Chief Editor at the online Journal of Market Access and Health Policy. He did two mandates as Co-Chair of the Research Review Committee ISPOR in 2012 and 2013.

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Bruce Magill

Director of Business Development, Personalised Medicine & Connected Health, EMEA at SAP
Bruce Magill

Mr. Magill is Director of Business Development, Personalised Medicine & Connected Health at SAP, UK.

He has demonstrated history of working in the health tech and computer software industries. From 2009 to 2016 he was Head of Business Development at NorthWest EHealth, UK. He worked also as Informatics Project Manager at NHS.

Mr. Magill holds BA in Business, Management, Innovation, Data and Information Management.

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Prof. Steffen Thirstrup, MD, PhD

Professor in Pharmacotherapy at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Prof. Steffen Thirstrup, MD, PhD

Prof. Thirstrup is a medical doctor and board certified specialist in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. He holds a PhD in pharmacology and has a long background in clinical internal medicine. Since 2012, he is an adjunct professor in pharmacotherapy at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

From 2004-2009 prof. Thirstrup worked at the Danish Medicines Agency (DKMA) first as the Danish member of CHMP at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for five years including 10 months as joint CHMP- and CAT-member, followed by a short period as head of Danish Institute for Rational Pharmacotherapy dealing with HTA and best practice guidelines for primary care.
In March 2013 he joined the pharmaceutical consultancy company NDA Group as a full-time medical advisor on NDA’s regulatory advisory board. In April 2014 prof. Thirstrup was appointed as Director for the Regulatory Advisory Board at NDA Regulatory Services Ltd.

Prof. Thirstrup is author of more than 30 scientific papers, guidelines and text-book chapters.

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Prof. Osman Uğur Sezerman, PhD

Head of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics Department at Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar Üniversitesi
Prof. Osman Uğur Sezerman, PhD

Prof. Sezerman graduated from Bogaziçi University, Istanbul, (B. Sc. Electrical. Eng. Dept., M.Sc. Biomedical Eng. Dept) and received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, MA, USA.

Currently, prof. Sezerman is Head of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics Department in Acıbadem Mehmet Ali Aydınlar Üniversitesi, Istanbul, Turkey. Previously he has worked at Boston University and Bogazici University as a researcher and an instructor. From 1999 to 2015 he worked at Sabanci University, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering Program, where he established the Computational Biology and Protein Engineering Laboratory.

His current research interests are in the field of Personalized and Precision Medicine, Protein Engineering, Drug and Vaccine Design, Functional Genomics, Metagenomics, Systems Biology and Bioinformatics.

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Peter Kapitein, Dr. H.C

President and Patient Advocate at Inspire2Live
Peter Kapitein, Dr. H.C

Peter Kapitein is President and Patient Advocate of Inspire2Live.

Inspire2Live has been created to empower people to convert the sense of powerlessness, caused by cancer, into one of strength. Inspire2Live is founded on the absolute belief that one can attain the greatest possible satisfaction by putting their heart and soul into helping others. Its motto is “Never, ever quit!”.

Peter connects patients, researchers and clinicians to further research, treatments and care; in the Netherlands as well as internationally. He organizes congresses, lobbies the matrix of public authorities, health care organizations, insurance companies and health research institutes. Peter also gives lectures and talks to help patients and society to fight cancer where possible and live with cancer with a good quality of life. He is a writer of blogs, articles and books that also contributes to these topics.

Peter has been the co-founder of Alpe d’HuZes, the foundation that is most famous for the annual cycling event on Mount Alpe d’Huez. They raised over 100 million euro for the fight against cancer. Peter works at the Central Bank of the Netherlands as a program manager and advisor for complex and politically difficult problems. His employer facilitates him in his patient advocacy. Peter was honoured with a doctorate in October 2012 at the Free University in Amsterdam for connecting patients, researchers and clinicians all over the world and make them contribute to the quality of life of patients and their loved ones.

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Bogi Eliasen

Associated Partner at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies
Bogi Eliasen

Bogi Eliasen is an associated partner at the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies (CIFS). He comes from the Faroe Islands and is educated in Political Science from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. He has been employed in the Faroe Business Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as a consultant over the last ten years for politicians, the public sector and private companies.

Bogi is one of the initiators of the ambitious genome project FarGen which aims to sequence the genomes of the whole population of the Faroe Islands. As CIFS health expert Bogi sets the future stage of genomics and health framed with the holistic vision of making genomics usable.

He calls himself a knowledge broker whose expertise lies in combining various fields of knowledge.

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Alexander Lezhava, PhD

Group leader - Translational Research 1, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Program Director, POLARIS
Alexander Lezhava, PhD

Dr. Alexander Lezhava is leading the Translational Research Group at Genome Institute of Singapore. He is also a program director of POLARIS (Personalised OMIC Lattice for Advanced Research and Improving Stratification). The Translational Research Group mainly focus on molecular diagnostics to promote newly discovered bio-markers into tools for personalized patient care and is in line with POLARIS’ vision to translate local bio-marker discoveries into clinically-validated and implementable assays.

Before joining GIS, he worked in Singapore based company Dx assays as Research Director.

Alexander graduated from Tbilisi State University and obtained his PhD in Japan at Hiroshima University. After obtaining of Doctors degree, Alexander Lezhava joined the Ohio State University as a post- doctoral fellow. Later he moved to Japan where he worked more than 10 years as a unit leader at Omics Science Center, RIKEN Yokohama Institute.

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Magda Chlebus

Executive Director, Science Policy & Regulatory Affairs, EFPIA
Magda Chlebus

Magda Chlebus is Executive Director Science Policy & Regulatory Affairs at the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), representing the R&D-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

Ms. Chlebus and her team are in charge of following policy and legislative developments that influence the research and regulatory environments for the healthcare industry in Europe. This includes public private collaborations (inter alia the Innovative Medicines Initiative), enabling sensitive technologies and the interface between new science and technology and regulation.

After a Master Degree in Applied Linguistics at University of Warsaw in 1992 and a carrier as translator and teacher, in 1995 she joined EFPIA, the representative voice of R&D-based pharmaceutical industry in Europe.

Her experience covers public and government affairs, including designing and implementing advocacy campaigns on EU legislation as well as implementation of the pharmaceutical legislation in new Member States.

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Prof. Dr. Ron HN van Schaik, PhD, FACB, EuSpLM

Professor of Pharmacogenetics, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam and President European Society for Pharmacogenomics & Personalised Therapy (ESPT)
Prof. Dr. Ron HN van Schaik, PhD, FACB, EuSpLM

Prof. Dr. Ron van Schaik studied Chemistry at Utrecht University: specialisations Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Clinical Chemistry. He did his PhD on Molecular cloning and Immunological localization of PLA2 at the Dept. Biochemistry of the Center of Biomembranes and Lipid Research (CBML) at Utrecht University, receiving his PhD.

A 4 year post-doc at the Dept. Endocrinology, Erasmus MC Rotterdam on Activin/Inhibin as biomarkers for solid tumors (1992-1996), was followed by a 1 year post-doc at the Daniel den Hoed Cancer Center on K-ras detection in stool as a marker for early detection of colon cancer. In 1998, he joined the Dept. Clinical Chemistry at Erasmus MC on a project on Pharmacogenetics, where he was resident Clinical Chemistry at that department, receiving his Dutch and European registration (EuSpML) in April 2003. Prof. van Schaik continued to work at the Dept. Clinical Chemistry, becoming an Associate Professor in 2008 and a Full Professor Pharmacogenetics in 2013.

He is now Director of the Dutch Expertcenter and International (IFCC) Reference Center for Pharmacogenetics, Dept. Clinical Chemistry Erasmus MC Rotterdam, leading the Unit Research & Development and is responsible for laboratory testing in Emergency Medicine and Cardiology.

His work focusses on clinical implementation of Pharmacogenetics, with research on Immunosuppression, Oncology, Pain, and Psychiatry. Additional research areas: Prostate Cancer Biomarkers and Cardiac Markers. In 2001, he received the Ortho Clinical Diagnostics Award for Outstanding Research, in 2009 the AACC Outstanding Speaker Award, and in 2010 the AACC/Mol Pathology Award for Outstanding Scientific Research.

Prof. van Schaik participates in National and International committees on Pharmacogenetics (IFCC, AACC, ESPT, EFLM, IATDMCT, NVKC, KNMP, EMA).

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Mads Dalsgaard, MD, DMSc, MBA

Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine & Clinical Development, Lundbeck
Mads Dalsgaard, MD, DMSc, MBA

Dr. Dalsgaard is Senior Vice President, Head of Experimental Medicine & Clinical Development at Lundbeck, Denmark. He is a medical doctor, Surgery/Internal Medicine and Neurology.

He graduated as Medical Doctor at the University of Copenhagen and holds a Doctor of Medicinal Science Degree (DMSc., dr. med) with a Thesis on human brain metabolism. Dr. Dalsgaard also has an Executive MBA Degree from IMD Business School.

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Rob Williams

Sr. Director, Regulatory Informatics and Digital Technologies at PharmaLex
Rob Williams

Rob is a digital technology professional with two decades of experience in the development of enterprise web-based solutions for global organisations. Rob combines his deep technical experience with business understanding and a client focused approach to deliver maximum benefit to users and stakeholders alike. At PharmaLex he is responsible for driving the strategy and success of their digital program to use innovative technologies to improve the quality and efficiency of their services.

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Timm Pauli

Senior Director, eSubmission Services, Head of Regulatory Operations at Pharmalex
Timm Pauli

Timm has 15+ years of experience within Pharma R&D and 10+ years of experience within Regulatory Affairs. Previously he headed the Dossier & Submission Management department at Merck Serono and worked at Baxter, where he held several global positions in Biostatistics, Pharmacovigilance and R&D IT. He is a notable speaker and session chair on international conferences and seminars.

In the past Timm was also the Merck Serono representative in the EFPIA Regulatory Information and Technology Strategy Committee, in the EFPIA eCTD Focus Group as well as the EMA “Article 57 Implementation Working Group”. Timm studied Pharmacy and Medical Informatics at the Universities of Frankfurt and Heidelberg (Germany).

Timm Pauli joined PharmaLex in 2014 as Head of Regulatory Operations, where he was responsible for all world-wide electronic submission activities, regulatory information management and related topics. He is also leading and supporting process optimization projects within Regulatory Affairs as well as providing consultancy for Regulatory Information Management, IDMP-related topics and eCTD publishing systems.

Currently Timm is leading the global Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiative at PharmaLex where he is focusing on the advancements within AI technologies and a strategy that embraces these cutting-edge solutions in the Regulatory environment resulting in synergies that support the everyday life of the regulatory expert

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Thomas Dobmeyer, MD, PhD

CEO, Pharmalex
Thomas Dobmeyer, MD, PhD

Dr. Thomas Dobmeyer studied medicine in Mainz (Germany) and Montpellier (France). He received his PhD in University of Mainz, Germany. He was the resident doctor and head of research group at University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany for over 3 years. He worked as researcher at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, Germany’s competent authority for Vaccines and Biomedicines. He is author of several publications in peer-review scientific journals. At the moment, he is visiting lecturer at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, member of several professional societies.

He is the Managing Partner and CEO of PharmaLex Group. Thomas is a member of the founding team and serving PharmaLex in various roles with increasing responsibility. As the group’s leader, he is responsible for developing, executing, and controlling PharmaLex Group international business strategies. With his leadership and vision, PharmaLex Group has been expanding rapidly across the globe, bringing its specific global knowledge and expertise to growing regions such as Eastern Europe and enriching the ecosystem there.
PharmaLex is one of the largest specialized providers of Development Consulting, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Management & Compliance and Pharmacovigilance, Epidemiology & Risk Management.

Paul Gill headshot

Paul Gill

Managing Partner – Asia, Iota Omega Ventures
Paul Singh Gill

Paul Gill is the Co-founder of Iota Omega Ventures – an outfit that conducts operational due diligence for Funds, HNWs, Family Offices and Corporates in Asia Pacific, Europe and Africa. He is an investor in early-stage Green/CleanTech companies and acts as a mentor to Start-up accelerators and incubators. His corporate experience includes positions as Operational Excellence Engagement Leader at the The Dow Chemical Company, Vice President & Director of Facilitation at AIG and Standard, Senior Change Management Leader Chartered Bank, six companies started to date, with four successful exits and many more.

Paul is an educator, teaching Knowledge Management, Problem Solving & Decision Making, Strategic Business Planning, Business Ethics, Leadership & Influence, Critical Thinking, Lean and Six Sigma courses.

His experience also includes education gained in the State University of NY (BA); Colorado School of Mines and The French Petroleum Institute (MSc); The University of Chicago Booth (MBA).

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Borislav Borissov, MD, PhD, MBA, DSci

Managing Director of Prescriptia Ltd.
Dr. Borislav Borissov PHD, MBA, DSci

Dr. Borissov is an expert in drug policy and pharmaco-economics. He holds a PhD in Medicine from the Medical University in Sofia and MSc in Business administration and health management. He has specialized in university centres in Marseille and Cambridge and has worked in La Beaulieu-Salpetrière, Paris.

From 1998 to 2004 he was the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Drug Agency. After leaving the BDA, he founded Prescriptia, a specialized consulting company in the field of drug regulation. In 2010 he founded a Bulgarian subsidiary of Sinexus Clinical Research, UK and in 2015 opened the first specialized medical centre for clinical trials.

Dr. Borissov is a Member of the Management Board of the Bulgarian Association of Clinical Research. He is a member of the French Society of Pharmacoeconomics and ISPOR.

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Stanimir Hasurdjiev, MD

Chairperson of Bulgarian National Patients’ Organization
Stanimir Hasurdjiev, MD

Dr. Stanimir Hasurdjiev is one of the founders and the chairperson of the National Patients’ Organization (NPO) – the biggest union of patients’ organizations in Bulgaria, recognized as a national representative organization for protection of the rights of patients in Bulgaria. NPO comprises more than 80 organizations from the whole country, representing patients with different socially important and rare diseases.

In 2005, Dr. Hasurdjiev initiated the establishment of the National Association for Fighting Hepatitis “Hepasist” and since then until November 2009, he took the post of secretary, after which he was chosen as a chairperson of the organization, the position that he currently holds. In 2011, 2015 and 2016, he represented the Bulgarian patients as a member of the Oversight Council of the National Health Care Fund and since then he has participated in multiple working groups, sessions and forums, focused on health care.

Since 2012, he has been actively involved in the topic concerning the inequalities in the health care of the member states in the EU. As a result, in December 2014, the partnership on European level for access to high quality health care – Patient Access Partnership – was set up by the National Patients’ Organization and the European Patients’ Forum, in which Dr. Hasurdjiev took the position Secretary General of the Partnership.

Dr. Hasurdjiev is also the Chairperson of the Bulgarian Association of Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED).

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Paul Jones

EMEA Lead for Population Genomics at Illumina
Paul Jones

Paul Jones is the EMEA lead for Population Genomics at Illumina, based in the UK. In this role Paul is responsible for nurturing large-scale Population Genomics programmes that look to combine translational research with clinical care, often in the context of a national health system.

Paul brings three decades of experience in life sciences from a range of different organizations where he has driven innovative new approaches at the interface between pharma and healthcare. His particular interest is in the new business models that are being stimulated by genomics.

Paul was the founding CEO of Genomics Enterprises, the commercial arm of Genomics England (GeL), where he led all aspects of the commercial agenda for the 100,000 Genomes Project. As part of this role, he set up and ran the GENE Consortium, involving a dozen companies working together to steer industry engagement with the program. He was also responsible for identifying and enabling other commercial partnerships of relevance to the GeL agenda.

Prior to this, Paul led the Global Life Sciences business at Cisco where he advised pharma and biotech companies on the use of technology to drive commercial innovation. He has also held senior positions at IMS Health, Novartis and PwC Consulting.

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Erik Steinfelder

Director General BBMRI-ERIC
Erik Steinfelder

Erik Steinfelder earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Analytical Chemistry from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Netherlands, and subsequently completed a degree in Foundations of Management at Nyenrode Business University in Breukelen, Netherlands.

In 2008, he joined Thermo Fisher Scientific, a multinational biotechnology product development company based in the US. In his position as first Biobank Commercial Leader EMEA, he went on to head the complete biobank portfolio and range of activities and, most recently, became Corporate Accounts Executive. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, he was also President-elect, President and past President of ESBB, the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking.

Since August 2017 Erik Steinfelder is General Director of BBMRI-ERIC. His vision for the coming years is to “build and strengthen value-added sustainable biobanking for all stakeholders”.

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Milen Ivanov

CEO of CEO Angel Club
Milen Ivanov

Mr. Ivanov is a serial entrepreneur who has founded variety of start-ups. In January 2017, Milen founded the largest angels group in Bulgaria – CEO Angels Club, currently including 30+ members encompassing top executives and entrepreneurs from the local ecosystem. He is also Director of Founders Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Mr. Ivanov has extensive experience in incubating, mentoring, event organization, and networking in the start-up ecosystem.

Milen Ivanov has a MBA degree from City University, Seattle and Washington, USA and has received various awards for entrepreneurship, innovation, and business.

He is a Member of the Advisory Board of “For Our Children Foundation”.

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Prof. Michael Rossbach, PhD

Head of Technology Scouting, Eppendorf Group
Prof. Michael Rossbach, PhD

Prof. Dr. Michael Rossbach is a seasoned life and health sciences professional, with expertise in diagnostics, cell-based therapeutics, neuroscience and genomics.

Michael holds academic appointments at the National University of Singapore (NUS), at the German Institute of Science and Technology (TUM Asia) in Singapore (Biochemistry, Cell biology, and Bioorganic Chemistry), at INSEAD Management School (Entrepreneur-in- Residence) and he is Prof. and a member of the Faculty of the Witten School of Management (Germany).

Currently, prof. Rossbach is Head of Technology Scouting, Eppendorf Group.

Since 2016, Michael is the VP Global Pharma Partnering of Vela Diagnostics and focuses on the development of companion diagnostics (NGS and qPCR-based) to advance precision medicine.

Prior to joining Vela Diagnostics, Michael served as the Director for Strategic Alliances & Scientific Program Management of the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) for five years. Prior to the GIS appointment, he was a group leader at the Institute of Reconstructive Neurobiology, University of Bonn (Germany), and the Business Development Manager of LIFE&BRAIN.

Michael is the Director of Roßbach & Company (Advisors in Health and Life Sciences), Associate of the Biotech Developpement Conseils in Paris, and Partner of Ryan-Kay Sarl in Switzerland and serves on the Advisory Board and Board of several biotech companies.

Michael studied biochemistry (PhD in immunology) at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), at the University of Witten/Herdecke (Witten, Germany) and at Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA).

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Piarella Peralta

inspire2live, Patient Advocate
Piarella Peralta

Mrs. Piarella Peralta is a social psychologist and has been involved with inspire2live since 2010, after her family experienced firsthand the tragedy of cancer. She began to work with inspire2live and its Costa Rican fundraiser Poás 8 (Pocho) with the idea that everyone can make a contribution in the fight against cancer.

Mrs. Peralta works at the Instituut voor Interventiekunde in Amsterdam. In her profession, she specializes on appreciative inquiry. Much like current cancer research emphasizes the study of healthy cells to understand how to combat neoplastic cells, she focuses on the positive aspects of life to promote improvement.

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Prof. Dr. Victoria Sarafian, MD, PhD, DMSc

Head of the Department of Medical Biology and of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Medical University of Plovdiv
Prof. Dr. Victoria Sarafian, MD, PhD, DMSc

Prof. Victoria Sarafian, MD, PhD, DMSc is head of the Department of Medical Biology and of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Medical University – Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Currently she holds the position of Vice Rector of Research. She acts as an expert in Immunology and Medical Biology, as well as in Science Management at different national and international institutions.

Prof. Sarafian is a member of Editorial Boards and a reviewer for a number of scientific journals. Her research interests are in the field of Molecular Oncology and Immunology.

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Dimitar Georgiev, MD, PhD

CEO at Paralax Life Sciences and Bulgarian Biotech Entrepreneur
Dimitar Georgiev, MD, PhD

Dr. Georgiev is founder and CEO at Paralax Life Sciences and Bulgarian Biotech Entrepreneur. He is also Director of Medical centre ASCENDENT.

He is a Member of the Management Committee of Cost Action CA15210, European Network for Collaboration on Kidney Exchange Programmes (ENCKEP).

He holds a PhD in Medicine from the Medical University in Sofia (Medical Specialty Obstetrics and Gynaecology) and a Master degree in Healthcare Management form the UNWE in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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Kaloyan Staykov

Senior Economist at the Institute for Market Economics
Kaloyan Staykov

Mr. Kaloyan Staykov is a Senior Economist at the Institute for Market Economics where he is working on analysis in the fields of public finances, energy, and healthcare. Prior to joining the IME team, he worked as an economist at the Center for Economic

He is a part of the author’s team, which prepared the book Anatomy of the Crisis, published in 2015, with a focus on the development of the public finances during and after the economic crisis. In 2017, he was a part of the team that prepared the book Flat Tax in Bulgaria: Background, Introduction and Results, with a focus on the policy in the field of corporate taxation. In recent years he has been involved in the preparation and presentation of IME’s annual “Alternative State Budget”. He is a member, and the vise-chair of the board, of the Bulgarian Macroeconomic Association.

Mr. Staykov holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Management in Energy, Infrastructure and Utilities and holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Economics and Business with Finance Specialization from Amsterdam University, the Netherlands.

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Jivko Ivanov

Managing Partner of Simbula
Jivko Ivanov

Jivko Ivanov is manager and entrepreneur with extensive experience in finance, accounting, tax advisory and venture capital and Co-founder of TIDIT, Clarion Ventures, and Bulgarian Business Angels Network.

Prior to establishing Simbula, he has gained experience in the financial management of a number of companies in the healthcare, financial services and IT sectors. Among others, he has been Head of Finance and Accounting Department of Tokushukai-Sofia, Member of the Board of Directors of Tokuda Hospital Service, Procurator of Tokuda Hospice, CFO of ProDuCt – Project Development Consulting, and Member of the Supervisory Board of Cooperative Clinical Drug Research and Development (CCDRD), based in Berlin, Germany, etc.

Mr. Ivanov has two Master Degrees – in Financial Management and in Bank Management and have participated in a number of post-graduate trainings in Corporate Finance, Financial Analysis, Strategic Management, Project Management, Financial Planning and Modelling in Bulgaria, Japan and Germany.

Aneta Piperkova headshot

Aneta Piperkova

Operational Director of ProDuct - Project Development Consulting and a member of BAPEMED
Aneta Piperkova

Aneta Piperkova has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, progressing through retail and wholesale, drug manufacturing, international trade and logistics. Almost 10 years since her employment, she has worked as the head of a regional multinational distribution center for the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which provides medicinal supplies to Bulgaria and other countries in Southeast Europe and Asia.

She is currently the Operational Director of ProDuct – Project Development Consulting AD, Managing Director of IMR – Institute for Medical Research and a member of the Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED). And

Aneta Piperkova has acquired qualifications in the field of healthcare project management, quality management systems and good practices applicable to the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology.

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Antonio L. Andreu, MD, PhD

Scientific Director, EATRIS
Antonio L. Andreu, MD, PhD

Toni is an M.D. Ph.D specialized in genetics and genomics of rare diseases. He has been working in the field of neuromuscular disorders from the translational perspective of the pipeline, from basic science to the development of cell and animal models and clinical research.

After working in Columbia University in New York on mitochondrial disorders from 1998 to 2001, he moved to Barcelona to create the Neuromuscular Lab at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute where he became Director of the Neurosciences Research Program.

He has also been extremely active in the field of policy-making, and held positions as the Director of the Spanish National Institute of Health Carlos III, as well as the Director General for Research and Innovation at the Catalan Ministry of Health.

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Gary Ashford

Partner in Harbottle & Lewis LLP
Gary Ashford

Gary Ashford is an International Tax Partner (non-lawyer) in the law firm, Harbottle & Lewis LLP, a prestigious London firm well respected in the private client, media, tech and entertainment industry. He advises high-net- worth individuals, trusts and corporate clients on a range of complex and contentious tax matters.

Gary entered the tax profession in 1984 spending 17 years with HM Revenue and Customs where he was a Corporate Tax Inspector running a team of corporate and employment tax investigators. In 1999 he was recruited by Ernst & Young, within their London tax risk and investigations team and later within their Financial Services Banking team. Gary joined Grant Thornton in 2002 and became the Head of Tax Investigation for Central England. Gary joined RSM Tenon in 2009 where he was a Partner, National Head of Tax Investigations for four years before joining Kinetic Partners as a Tax Partner, a boutique firm working in the alternative investment management industry assisting hedge funds and private equity clients. Gary joined Harbottle & Lewis in 2014.

Gary is past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CIOT) Management of Taxes Technical Sub-Committee and sits on CIOT’s governing Council. He leads CIOT’s relationship with HMRC on matters such as offshore tax and transparency matters. Gary is author of Bloomsbury’s Serious Tax Investigations and Offshore Enquiries and is a professional tax speaker for MBL seminars on International Tax matters. Gary is Vice Chairman of CFE (Tax Advisers Europe). Gary leads on the development in taxation in the digital economy for his firm and CFE, particularly relevant given the significance of Harbottle & Lewis in the media and tech/fintech space.

Gary is an expert in contentious tax matters including international transparency, serious tax fraud and international tax avoidance matters. Over the years he has handled many high profile investigations and disputes in various locations involving criminal investigations, Codes of Practice 9 and 8 and various tax scheme assignments involving Special Investigations and the Anti Avoidance Group (AAG).

Today he works closely with high profile clients coming to, living in, or leaving the UK and assisting international clients investing in the UK, either setting up business or acquiring assets such as UK real estate.

His areas of specialism are International Tax, Non-domicile tax planning, Corporate tax structuring and re-structuring, HMRC enquiries and voluntary tax disclosures, Developments in global transparency, Various FATCA, inter-governmental agreements, Code of Practice 8 and 9 (COP8 and COP9) and criminal investigations, Employment taxes, Transfer Pricing.

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Andrew Fried

IBM Global Life Sciences Industry Leader
Andrew Fried

Since April 2018 Andrew has been IBM’s Global Life Sciences Industry Leader.

Andrew helps clients address industry imperatives and save lives through the power of cognitive insights. He works with clients to advance the next generation of discovery and development, acting on insights to drive value, enhance relationships across the ecosystem and empowering people to make better decisions.

Andrew was IBM’s Life Sciences Industry Leader for Europe between 2015-2108. Prior to transferring to Europe in July 2015, Andrew was IBM Life Sciences Industry Leader for China for 5 years. While in China Andrew worked with many leading multi-national companies and several Chinese Life Sciences companies who were leaders in their respective segment.

Before joining IBM in 2000, Andrew had a successful 14-year career with a leading strategy consulting company. He graduated from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Arts, and Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) with a Bachelor of Business. Andrew has a Master of Business Administration from the International University of Japan and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. He was a three-term board member on a government enterprise with assets of over $350M. He was a founding director of a successful dot.com start-up in the early 2000s.

Andrew is an advocate of sport and fitness as a gateway to good health. He is passionate about the role of genomics in identifying both the cause of disease and personalized solutions.

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Jordan Clark, PhD

Chief Technical Officer Diaceutics
Jordan Clark, PhD

Jordan leads the client projects to ensure the Diaceutics Method® delivers maximum strategic and critical thinking and leverages the diagnostic in support of targeted therapies. He has worked on over 20 targeted therapies, optimizing diagnostics into a supportive environment for precision medicine. Jordan has academic and professional qualifications in biomedical and clinical sciences. He is a state licensed scientist in hematology and renowned for biomarker testing through his role at UK NEQAS.

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Prof. Radka Kaneva, PhD

Executive Manager of Molecular Medicine Center, Medical university of Sofia, BAPAMED member
Prof. Radka Kaneva, PhD

Professor Radka Kaneva graduated with a BSc degree in Biotechnology and an MSc degree in Genetic and Cellular Engineering from the Biological Faculty of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She specialized in molecular biology in the Biochemistry Department of Oxford University, England from 1993 until 1994 and in molecular genetics in the Human Genetics Institute, University of Bonn, Germany, with a scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Research Foundation from 2000 to 2002. She defended her doctoral degree in psychiatric genetics in 2000.

Professor Kaneva gives lectures in Biochemistry and Patobiochemistry to students in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine, and Molecular Biology and Genetics in the MSc programme Medical infomatics and Bioinformatics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.

She is the executive manager of the Molecular Medicine Centre at Medical University, Sofia since the founding of the centre in 2006. The Molecular Medicine Centre is a leading national research centre for the study of the genetic, genomic and epigenetic alterations in common socially significant and rare hereditary diseases, oncologic diseases, molecular pathology, pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine.

The main research interests of Professor Kaneva are in the field of neuropsychiatric and behavioural genetics, oncogenetics, pharmacogenetics, and genomics. She is a manager and participant in many national and international collaborative projects, related to oncogenetics, genetics and psychiatric diseases, epilepsy, deafness, eye diseases, and pharmacogenetics.

Professor Kaneva is a member of the prestigious international professional and scientific associations, such as ESHG, ISPG, EACR, and a chairperson of the National Association “Molecular Genetics in Medicine”. Co-founder and member of the Administrative Board of the Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED). Member of the editorial boards of scientific magazines, such as Frontiers in Genetics, Behavioural and Psychiatric Genetics, Biochemical Genetics, Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, South East European Journal of Human Genetics.

Recipient of the award “Golden Panacea” in the field of biomedicine from the Academic Council of Medical University, Sofia, 2008, and the award “Acad. Dr. Orahovats”, 2015, for significant contribution to research and teaching in the field of fundamental science at Medical University, Sofia. She received the Pythagoras Prize of the Ministry of Education and Science for a recognized scientist in biomedicine with a substantial contribution in the field of science for 2015.

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Petia Stratieva, MD, PhD

Retina Bulgaria, Retina International
Petia Stratieva, MD, PhD

Petya Stratieva is a medical doctor with a degree in immunology and she has a PhD in molecular biology.

Besides in the field of medical science, Petia has 20 years of international experience in the innovative healthcare industry with a focus on policies and interactions with institutions.

She has played various management roles in a leading global pharmaceutical company, including a longtime general manager for Bulgaria and policy manager for Southeast and Central Europe.

In 2016, she was honored for her overall contribution to society by Business Lady magazine under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Social Policy of Bulgaria.

Dr. Petya Stratieva is one of the founders of Retina Bulgaria, and since August 2018 she has been engaged in capacity building and development of Central and Eastern Europe for Retina International.

“I was 25-year old, at the beginning of my doctorate, when I heard I had a degenerative retinal disease. No one dared to predict how it would develop and what its impact would be on my life. At that time, researchers and clinicians knew far less than they do today. I created Retina Bulgaria, because of everything I learned and achieved by living with retinitis pigmentosa and because of what I have to share and learn from here. I believe that today, when science moves forward with astronomical rates, discoveries about genes causing blindness, when the development of new, life-changing therapies grows with unprecedented intensity, when assistive technologies provide various new possibilities for dealing with information, the perspectives of those who hear about myself or my close terrifying diagnoses may be quite different from my horizon years ago.”

Dr. Petya Stratieva is a member of the Council of European Rare Disease Federations. (EURORDIS).

Since March 2019, she has been a member of the Advisory Board of the European Reference Network dedicated to Rare Eye Diseases (ERN-EYE) on behalf of European Patient Advocacy Group (EPAG).

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Eugeniy Ivanov

General Manager of Euroconsultants Bulgaria
Eugeniy Ivanov

Mr. Eugeniy Ivanov is General Manager of Euroconsultants Bulgaria SA AD, a consulting company working in the field of social and economic development for public institutions, private companies and NGOs. Since 2012, Mr. Ivanov is Director of Technology Transfer Office “EuroTechTrans” based in Sofia and serving as an intermediary between the academia and the business.

Mr. Eugeniy Ivanov has over 20 years of experience in capacity building, institutional development, SME and FDI policies. He has specialised in the elaboration of strategic documents and evaluations at local, regional and national level in the socio-economic field. He has developed and implemented over 50 projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds and other donors since 2007 (ERDF, ESF, EAFRD, UNDP, USAID, etc.) in the following fields: regional and rural development, entrepreneurship support/pre-incubation, small and medium-sized enterprises, FDI, environment, transnational and cross-border cooperation.

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Liliya Evtimova-Tichev

Validation/Qualification Engineer for Quality Assurance at Lonza
Liliya Evtimova-Tichev

Liliya Evtimova-Tichev graduated with a BSc degree in Biotechnology with French and Biobusiness and MSc degree in Applied Molecular Biology with Industrial Placement from the School of Medical Sciences of University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She specialized in Cancer molecular biology in the Institute for Cell Biology and Immunology in Stuttgart, Germany.

Since 2017, Liliya has joined the pharmaceutical industry as a Global trainee at Novartis Technical Operations (NTO). As part of an accelerated development program (STEP) based on three international rotations across Quality and MS&T across different technology platforms, Liliya has developed experience in Solids and Mammalian and Microbial Manufacturing from a QA, QC and Operational manufacturing point of view. Liliya lived in Germany, Austria and Slovenia while working for Novartis.

Due to immense interest in ATMPs manufacturing and tech transfer, Liliya decided to join Lonza Netherlands earlier this year as a Validation Specialist for Quality Assurance.

Liliya enjoys being part of international creative and dynamic teams. Her multicultural and global experience lead her to thrive and work in challenging environments. She is passionate about innovation in the field of Medical Sciences, Diversity and Inclusion, Digitalization, Continuous Improvement, Six-Sigma and Lean Management.

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Sergii Myronenko, MD

Founder of Pharmasich, Extended Executive Board Member of EUCROF, Chairman of Kiev Clinical Research Forum
Sergii Myronenko, MD

Clinical Research Professional with strong medical background: certified anesthesiologist. Experience of work as an ICU physician and Army doctor.

Practical experience in pharmaceutical industry since 2004 including clinical research, regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance.

Founder and managing director of Pharmasich, a local Ukrainian CRO and consultancy for pharmaceutical industry.

Extended Executive Board Member of European CRO Federation (EUCROF).

Chairman of Kiev Clinical Research Forum, an international discussing platform for the clinical research industry based in Kiev, Ukraine.

Professional interests: execution of clinical trials in Central & Eastern Europe; patient enrollment and site engagement strategies; models of collaboration between niche CROs and small to mid-size sponsors; strategies of development of innovative sectors in the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Angela Velkova

Director of Communities and Strategic Relations, EMEA HIMSS
Angela Velkova

Angela Velkova is Director of Communities and Strategic Relations, EMEA at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). She is responsible for leveraging organisational, social and cognitive proximity of national and regional ecosystems in Europe, Middle East and Africa in order to enable the best use of information and technology in healthcare. In support of HIMSS global vision to realize the full health potential of every human, everywhere, Angela is entrusted the task to identify, link and unlock synergies among stakeholders, policies and practice for amplified community impact and diffusion of innovation in healthcare.

Angela’s previous work experience includes positions in the education, non-governmental, media, and private sector including a traineeship at the Communication and Information Unit and the Office of Director-General at European Commission’s DG Regional and Urban Policy in Brussels, Belgium. Angela has a Master of Science in Local Economic Development from the London School of Economics, Master of Arts in Eastern European Studies from the University of Bologna, Master Certificate of Excellence from the Schools of Excellence of Bologna and Paris. Angela is fluent in English, Italian and Serbo-Croatian language with a working knowledge of French and Russian language.

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Kate Witkowska, PhD

Commercial Partnerships Manager, Genomics England
Kate Witkowska, PhD

Kate Witkowska is the Commercial Partnerships Manager at Genomics England. She works with a multidisciplinary team to grow an industry ecosystem around the Genomics England platform. Ultimately this is to encourage the development of new therapies and diagnostics to aid the development of precision medicine.

Kate’s main research interests are in the development of genomic analyses to improve drug target discovery, and the use of Real World Evidence in clinical trials. She supports industry partners in developing early phase pre-clinical studies and in using the Genomics England dataset to genomically enable their development pipeline.

Kate obtained her PhD in molecular physiology from University of Alberta, Canada. She then trained as a postdoc at Queen Mary University of London, under Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, focusing on functional validation of blood pressure related gene targets. She transitioned to work on the pioneer 100,000 Genomes Project at Genomics England where she is working across academic, commercial, government, and educational sectors to ensure that the benefit and legacy of the Project is realised.

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Prof. Radka Argirova, MD

Virologist, Acibadem City Clinic Tokuda Hospital, Chairperson of the Bulgarian Association for Medical Virology
Prof. Dr. Radka Argirova

Prof. Dr. Radka Argirova graduated in medicine in 1969 in Medical University, Sofia. In the period between 1970 and 1973, she continued her education in the Virology Institute “Ivanovski”, Moscow, and became a specialist in medical virology. In 1994, Prof. Argirova became a doctor of medicine, defending her doctoral dissertation with a topic in HIV at the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia. In 1997, she became a professor in virology.

Prof. Argirova specialized in the Institute of tumour biology, Freiburg, Germany as a holder of a scholarship of the „Alexander von Humboldt“ Foundation in the period between 1980 and 1981. Her next specialization was in 1989, as a scholarship holder of the “Fogarty” Foundation of the Northwestern University in Chicago, USA.

Her professional activity and her long years of experience have been dedicated completely to virology, with an accent on retroviruses and mostly on HIV, on the national and on the international level. In the period between 1970 and 1973, she was a regular doctoral student at the Virology Institute “Ivanovski” – Moscow. In the period between 1974 and 1982, she was a research associate in the laboratory of “Immunology and virology”- the National Centre of Oncology, Medical University, Sofia. Her professional activity continued as a research associate in the Laboratory of the Molecular Biology of Bird Retrovirues, IOSP, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia (1982 – 1987). In the period between 1987 and 1998, after beginning research with HIV in Bulgaria, Prof. Argirova became the organizer and leader of the first Central Laboratory on HIV – for diagnostics of the infection, as a part of the National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria. In the period between 1991 and 1993, she was the chairperson of the Programme Council on HIV, Medical Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria. Prof. Argirova was a: representative of Bulgaria in the Administrative Board of the Global Programme on HIV of WHO and a member of the headquarters of the global programme on HIV at the United Nations – Geneva (1995 -1997); representative of the Global Programme on HIV/AIDS at WHO at the meeting on planning the activities on HIV of the Army of Rescue – Manila, the Philippines, financed by UNDP – New York (1994). In 1996, she was and Expert on the Assessment of the National Programme on HIV/AIDS of Congo – financed by the Frankophonic Agency, Montreal, Canada. From 1995 until 1997, Prof. Argirova was a Deputy Minister of Health Care and a Chief State Sanitary Inspector of the Republic of Bulgaria at the Ministry of Health. In the period between 1997 and 2013, Prof. Argirova worked in the National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Sofia, where she was consecutively a manager of the National HIV Reference Laboratory (1997 – 1998); manager of the Laboratory on retroviruses (1998-2011) and manager of the Laboratory of hepatic and oncogenic viruses (2011-2013). Since September 2013, Prof. Argirova was part of the team of “Acibadem City Clinic MBAL Tokuda” as a physician – virologist in the Clinical Laboratory, section “Immunology and molecular diagnostics”.

Prof. Argirova was the chairperson of the Bulgarian Medical Virology Association, a deputy chairperson of the Humoldt Association in Bulgaria, a chairperson of the National Expert Board on virology of the Union of Bulgarian Doctors. She was a member of prestigious professional and scientific associations; the Bulgarian Association of Biochemistry and Biophysics, the International Society on HIV, the European Clinical Society on AIDS. Member of the editorial boards of the magazines “Biotechnology and Biotechnological Equipment”, “Medicine and Pharmacy”, as well as a chief editor of the magazine “Child and Infectious Diseases”.

Prof. Argirova was the leader and participant in international scientific contracts with Italy, Kazakhstan, and the European project on the 7th Framework Programme.

The common number of publications of professor Argirova is 120, as well as 18 books and monography chapters, while the number of citations of her scientific works for 2016 is around 360. She participated in over 50 congresses and symposia.

Prof. Argirova is a lecturer in the specialized courses in Vaccines, HIV and AIDS, the Screening and therapy of viral infections and the Replication of viruses at the Biological Faculty of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dental Medicine, and the Pharmaceutical Faculty of Medical University, Sofia. She teaches master’s degree students (14 persons defended by 2016) and doctoral degree students with the code virology (6 students defended the dissertation; from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, The National Centre for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases and the Biological Faculty of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. She led the preparation of four specializing doctors, aspiring to receive a specialty in “Virology”.

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Anna-Marie Vilamovska, PhD

Managing Director, Working Ideas Strategy Consulting
Anna-Marie Vilamovska, PhD

Dr. Anna-Marie Vilamovska represents Bulgaria at the EC Member States Board on Digital Entrepreneurship, is an individual member of the Advisory Council on the Marie Skodlowska-Curie Innovation and Science program of the EC, and is one of the national leads in the EC eSkills and Digital Entrepreneurship Campaigns.

In 2015 the Financial Times, Visegrad Fund, Google and ResPublica listed her as one of the NewEurope100 outstanding individuals leading world-class innovation from CEE. In 2016 Anna-Marie received the Polish Republic’s Commodore’s Crest state insignia for her contribution to creating Innovative Europe, becoming one of its youngest holders.

In February 2017 she launched her applied economics company Working Ideas. In the first half of 2017 she led the development of Plovdiv’s 2017 – 2022 Education Strategy for Growth, adopted by Plovdiv’s municipal council in July 2017. During the same period, she structured and led the first phase of the 2017 – 2020 IT Talent Hub Bulgaria – a public private partnership of the Bulgarian IT Industry and the Ministry of Education – under which in Sept. 2017 the new industry-designed “applied software developer” high school degree program is launching in 23 schools nationally. Between Sept. 2018 and May 2019 Anna-Marie was also the Executive director of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, growing the association’s members base, public visibility and policy footprint. As of March 2019 Anna-Marie is also Managing partner at the Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria venture capital fund – focusing its 15.6 mln euro on high-potential early-stage Bulgarian companies.

From 2003 to 2005 Anna-Marie, A RAND economics Ph.D., designed national pension system in Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and Central Europe for IBRD and IDA in Washington, D.C. and between 2005 and 2010 led applied innovation, health and education policy and financing projects for large corporate, government, international non-profit and multilateral clients at the RAND Corporation in Los Angeles and Brussels.

Between 2012 and 2017 Anna-Marie was the Senior Advisor for Innovation Policy and Healthcare Policy to Bulgaria’s President Rossen Plevneliev. As such she reengineered and led the President’s “John Atanasoff Outstanding Young Digital Scientists and Entrepreneurs Awards”, Bulgaria’s largest philanthropic initiative “The Bulgarian Christmas”, and chaired the Presidential Council for Science, Education and Economic Development.

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Valentina Milanova

Founder and CEO, Daye
Valentina Milanova

After completing her Bachelors in Business, Economics and Law at the University of Buckingham, Valentina Milanova continued with a Masters in International Trade and Commercial Law. Upon graduation, she interned with The Economist, followed by a traineeship at the Institute of Economic Affairs in London and an analyst position at the Institute for International Monetary Research in Buckingham. Since then, Valentina has been a freelance journalist, working for the Bulgarian subsidiary of Forbes, as well as Capital – the largest business newspaper in Bulgaria. Valentina enjoys being part of the big economy and working on a number of different projects. Since 2014, she has been an active marketing and sales advisor to Enhancv – the award-winning online resume-builder. Since December 2016, Valentina has held the position of Business Development Manager of the Bulgarian Venture Capital Association – the first organisation to combine and study all investment activity in Bulgaria. The project she has been most passionate about is DigitalK – the largest technology conference in Southeastern Europe. Valentina was part of the organising team for 2017, which meant she developed strong skills in project management, event management, PR & communications, brand formation and content curation. Valentina previously worked with Techstars as a Business Development Associate. She is currently looking after the AI portfolio at Founders Factory – launching 200 businesses in the next five years! Before entering the startup and VC worlds, Valentina studied law and worked as a technology correspondent for large international publications.

Valentina Milanova is a founder and CEO of Daye – a “famcare” startup developing a new type of tampon that uses CBD to help tackle dysmenorrhea. Daye isn’t just focused on reducing women’s pain, it also wants to completely clean up the manufacturing process of tampons. The company has set out to build a new brand for female health products “designed with women in mind.”

Milanova says she first had the idea for a cramp-fighting tampon in November 2017 and initially used her salary from a day job and credit cards to fund product development. In September 2018, she quit her job to work on the business full-time and build a team, and to finalise clinical trials for the product.

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Marc Fackler, PhD

Business Development Manager, LifeCodexx GmbH
Marc Fackler, PhD

After completing his study in biology at University of Ulm (Germany), University of Würzburg (Germany) and Hannover Medical School (Germany), Marc Fackler obtained his PhD in in cellular and molecular biology at University of Würzburg.

From October 2014 to September 2015 he was a Sales representative at Limbach Gruppe SE. Then, Marc had a position of Account executive at Myriad Service GmbH (part of Myriad Genetics, Inc.). Since January 2018, he has been a part of Eurofins LifeCodexx GmbH (part of Eurofins Scientific SE), and currently Mark is a Business Development Manager at the company.

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Natalia Maeva

President of Bulgarian society of patients with pulmonary hypertension
Natalia Maeva

Natalia Maeva was born on 25.11.1970 in Sofia. She graduated in radio journalism at Sofia University “St. Kl. Ohridski “and holds a PhD in political science from the same university. She specialized in international relations. She has worked as a journalist and later as a media consultant.

In 2009 for the first time confronted with pulmonary hypertension. Since then, her life is marked by this disease. In 2012 a group of like-minded creates Bulgarian Society of patients with pulmonary hypertension, whose chairman is present.

In the period 2016-2017, Natalia Maeva was a member of the Management Board and vice president of the European Association for pulmonary hypertension . Since 2017, she is a member of the Board of the National Patients’ Organization . Furthermore, the founder and vice president of the Association of patients with respiratory failure and lung transplantation.

Natalia Maeva speaks fluently English, Greek and Russian languages, and spoken level knowledge of German and Croatian languages.

Photo of Charalampos-Philip Iosifidis

Charalampos-Philip Iosifidis

Managing Partner – Europe, Iota Omega Ventures Pte. Ltd.
Charalampos-Philip Iosifidis

A serial entrepreneur in life sciences and clean-tech, he holds a BSc in chemistry from the university of Thessaloniki and an MPhil from UMIST. Following an MBA at Chicago Booth and an MSc in Major Programme Management at the university of Oxford, he is actively assisting pharmaceutical customers in better managing R&D projects towards eliminating cost and time overruns. He has successfully partnered with high visibility research institutes towards delivering FP7 and Horisons 2020 EU projects.

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Miglena Manova

Manger Regulatory Affairs at PharmaLex
Miglena Manova

Miglena Manova has a Master’s degree in Pharmacy from Medical University in Sofia and 7 years of experience in the Regulatory Affairs field. Miglena gained her experience in one of the biggest generic pharmaceutical companies while it went through series of mergers and acquisitions. Focus of her expertise is regulatory activities related to Life Cycle Management of EU and non-EU markets.

Currently Miglena holds the position of Manger Regulatory Affairs in the PharmaLex Regulatory affairs department in Sofia with focus on Consumer Health.

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Vladimir Danailov

CEO, Sofia Municipal Privatization & Investment Agency
Vladimir Danailov

Mr. Vladimir Danailov holds an MBA from the American University in Bulgaria and a Master’s degree in HR Management from the Technical University in Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his Bachelor degree in Industrial Management from the same university.

His professional experience has been in the Real Estate, Manufacturing and Trading sectors, where he held the positions of Head of Sales and Country Manager in several companies with international presence.

With a strong background in entrepreneurship and business development and a deep interest in start-ups, Vladimir has already developed broad expertise in managing companies and teams with a global presence.

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Georgi Kolev

Human Capital Director, Simbula
Georgi Kolev

Georgi has in-depth expertise in strategic career planning and professional profiling. He holds strong interest in psychology (and physiology) of peak performance and long-term personal development.

Georgi has diverse Human Capital Management experience, covering:

  • All levels of recruitment in multiple major industries (Life-Science and Pharma, IT, Finance, Marketing, among others);
  • Design of high-end development initiatives within diverse functions (Sales, HR, Marketing, General management);
  • Complex personnel planning, organizational culture interventions, and team design;
  • Strategic NLP executive coaching on an individual and group level.

Georgi is a keen practitioner on a variety of sports including kickboxing (instructor), fitness and conditioning, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and long-distance running.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic HR management and is certified (John Grinder, NLP Co-founder) NLP Practitioner and Master.

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Valentin Nikolov

CEO of SGP Biodynamics
Valentin Nikolov

In 2011, Valentin obtained his master degree in Genetic and Cellular Engineering at Sofia University ”St. Kliment Ohridski” (Bulgaria). From June 2010 to May 2012 he was a Sales representative at SGP Bio Dynamics Ltd. Since May 2012, he is holding the position of CEO of SGP Bio Dynamics Ltd. He has many years of experience in the application and sales of molecular biological and diagnostics techniques. Valentin has qualification and experience in the field of human resources and project management.

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Kamen Doxev, MD, MICR

PSI Pharma Support
Kamen Doxev, MD, MICR

Medical doctor with clinical pharmacology background with large experience in the field of clinical research from both sponsor’s and investigator’s perspective.

Strong international and multicultural exposure in establishing operational structures for pharma and CRO in variety of countries and regions.

Global Project Manager in a number of multinational clinical trials in different therapeuticareas.

Member of the Institute of Clinical Research.

Former Board Member of Bulgarian Association of Clinical Research.

Academic lecturer in the Master Degree program for the Management in Clinical Trials at

Faculty of Public Health of Medical University, Sofia

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Gergana Kyosovska-Peshtenska

Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine
Gergana Kyosovska-Peshtenska

Gergana obtained her bachelor degree in Molecular Biology at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria. From 2014 to 2018 she was a consultant in design, conduction and management of patient support programmes for oncological diseases. Since 2018 she is a Head of Personalized Medicine division in Institute for Medical Research (IMI) – the first private institute for medical scientific research in Bulgaria, providing solutions for medicine, biotechnology and business, based on innovative models and technologies. Gergana has been a volunteer in Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine for the last 5 years.

Her interests are in the field of personalized medicine, clinical genetics and genomics, biomarkers and innovation therapies in oncology and onco-hematology.

A brief overview

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Serving as a bridge between the scientific and business communities, the John Atanasoff Innovation Forum is an event center that hosts a variety of events thematically related to the main focus areas of the Science and Technology Park – science, information and communication technologies, innovation, education and green energy.

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111B Tsarigradsko shose Blvd., Sofia
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