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Out of concern for the health of the entire MassBio community, MassBio’s State of Possible Conference has been postponed to August 26-27, 2020.

This year’s State of Possible Conference, MassBio's Annual Meeting, will celebrate what’s possible in our industry and for patients today that wasn’t five or 10 years ago. The two-day event will draw over 600 industry leaders from Massachusetts and beyond to debate the most pressing challenges facing the life sciences to ensure we can continue this incredible success. Attendees will hear from the brightest minds through keynotes, panel discussions and 15-minute Possible Talks, inspiring and engaging content in the style of a TED Talk.

"It's the Woodstock of Life Sciences, with all-star performers playing their greatest hits all on one stage.” – 2019 State of Possible Conference attendee
Included in your registration is access to the State of Possible Celebration at the Museum of Science, where we'll have great food and drinks, a DJ, and access to the exhibits. Join us as we celebrate the State of Possible!

If you haven’t attended our State of Possible Conference before, it is the premier east coast life sciences conference and this year’s event promises to be better than ever. We have some of the brightest names in biotech talking about the issues impacting our industry.

See sponsorship opportunities here. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Laura Rudberg.

Session Title Start Time End Time
8/26/2020 10:00 AM 8/26/2020 10:30 AM
Opening Keynote
Billy Starr, Founder & Executive Director, Pan Mass Challenge, “Closer by the Mile: How One Man Shaped the Athletic Fundraising Industry with the Power of a Bike”
8/26/2020 10:30 AM 8/26/2020 11:15 AM
Shifting the Drug Industry’s Public Narrative Through Stories of Success
Doctors have among the highest favorability ratings of any profession. Life sciences employees are your next-door neighbors who are developing the next breakthrough therapy. Can their first-hand stories and experiences shift and shape the public debate about prescription drug prices that has so far only painted a picture of corporate greed over miracle cures? At its heart, the public debate lacks any understanding about the true value the biopharma industry brings to patients and the healthcare system. This panel will address the critical need to reshape the public debate about drugs, innovation, and the industry and how first-hand experience of patients, employees, and physicians could be a critical piece of reframing the debate.
8/26/2020 11:15 AM 8/26/2020 12:00 PM
8/26/2020 12:00 PM 8/26/2020 1:00 PM
Possible Talk: Dr. Steven Arnold, Interdisciplinary Brain Center, MGH
8/26/2020 1:00 PM 8/26/2020 1:15 PM
Lessons from Abroad: What, When, and How to Ensure Access and Reimbursement
As more next-generation and highly personalized therapies reach the market, often approved by regulators on accelerated approval pathways, payers in the U.S. are becoming more selective and conservative with their coverage and reimbursement decisions. Yet, this environment is not new outside of the U.S. where there is prevalent usage of health technology assessments and comparative effectiveness calculations by government run payers to make access and pricing determinations. This panel will discuss their experience gaining coverage and pricing determinations in ex-U.S. markets and how lessons learned can help any company better develop a case for value for their product as they seek approvals and coverage in the U.S. and abroad.
8/26/2020 1:15 PM 8/26/2020 2:00 PM
Possible Talk: Morgan Stanley, Investment Trends in Biotech
8/26/2020 2:00 PM 8/26/2020 2:15 PM
Building a Digital Health Community in Massachusetts
The biopharma industry is increasingly utilizing digital technologies and digital health tools that promise to modernize drug discovery and development, along with patient care and measurement of patient outcomes. There has been continued focus on supporting this convergence in Massachusetts, both within the leading academic institutions and government, but there’s still much more than can be done to build a sustainable community here. This panel will draw insights from other clusters on how to support better connectivity and collaboration between digital health and the life sciences.
8/26/2020 2:15 PM 8/26/2020 3:00 PM
Possible Talk: “ONE.” Lisa Tremayne, President, Advocate, Survivor. The Bloom Foundation
8/26/2020 3:00 PM 8/26/2020 3:15 PM
Networking Break
8/26/2020 3:15 PM 8/26/2020 3:30 PM
From Seed to Series A: Creative Ways to Fund Your Startup
The platform-based, venture-created, $100M+ Series A startup is now a fixture in Massachusetts biotech. However, most first-time founders come straight from academia and struggle to secure funding to demonstrate meaningful in-vivo efficacy of their product candidate. Since therapeutics' risk, time and scale of capital doesn't match the needs of angel investors, who will fund the next generation of great ideas and leaders? This panel will explore alternate forms of funding along with the critical role of mentors, advisory boards, and other support systems in navigating this landscape.
8/26/2020 3:30 PM 8/26/2020 4:15 PM
The Dark Side of the Genome – What We Know About the Unknown
Up to 98% of humans' 3.2 billion base-pairs of DNA has no known function. Some is the long history of viruses and other genetic parasites we carry forward; however, there is also incredible potential to tap into this dark DNA. Future drug targets are becoming increasingly accessible through tools like gene editing and gene therapy that may open massive uncharted opportunity for the dark side of the genome.
8/26/2020 3:30 PM 8/26/2020 4:15 PM
Attracting & Engaging the Next Generation of Talent
The specialized skills and deep experience required to successfully bring a new therapy to market are in short supply. Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find the right candidates, retain them, and keep them focused and engaged across the broad arc of technical, clinical, and financial risks inherent to our industry. This panel will address how we can better align with academia to build our future workforce, how to attract diverse talent from outside traditional networks, and how to better engage and promote current workers within.
8/26/2020 4:15 PM 8/26/2020 5:00 PM
Is Aging a Disease and What Are the Implications of Treating it as Such?
Along the route of better understanding the cellular and molecular underpinnings of cancer, immuno-oncology and neurological diseases, science has shed light on the mechanisms of aging. In addition to the diseases of old age, is aging itself a disease and what would it mean to treat or 'snooze' our biological clocks?
8/26/2020 4:15 PM 8/26/2020 5:00 PM
Resilience, Grit, Freedom to Fail and Pivot
Biotech is not for the risk averse. Most successful entrepreneurs and investors have experienced multiple failures on their way to commercialization, and many have had to scrap what they were working on and start over. Beyond the statistics of scientific and clinical results missing desired endpoints, hear the personal stories of those who have lived the ups and downs of the long journey from intriguing science to patient bedside.
8/26/2020 5:00 PM 8/26/2020 5:45 PM
Realities of Precision Medicine – How Small is Too Small?
The world of precision medicine has evolved dramatically over the years, with targeted treatment for specific patients dating back 2,500 years to Hippocrates. Although genetic and biomarker testing to guide treatment is possible, and in theory should improve care while lowering costs, barriers to widespread adoption remain. Hear from expert panelists as they offer competing views on the shifting paradigm, from biohackers and ultra-rare disease, to more mainstream targeting. How small is too small?
8/26/2020 5:00 PM 8/26/2020 5:45 PM
Evening Reception at Museum of Science & Presentation of The State of Possible Award
8/26/2020 6:00 PM 8/26/2020 9:00 PM
8/27/2020 8:45 AM 8/27/2020 9:30 AM
Possible Talk, Safi Bahcall, Author, "Loonshots"
8/27/2020 9:30 AM 8/27/2020 9:45 AM
What the Coronavirus Can Teach Us About How to Approach the Next Pandemic
The Coronavirus continues to dominate headlines around the world, creating widespread panic and fast action by industry, governments, and NGOs. How do we continue this push for solutions long after the latest pandemic has subsided? Panelists will review the current state of infectious diseases and share insights on how to better prevent and treat infectious disease through new vaccines, antimicrobials, and antivirals.
8/27/2020 9:45 AM 8/27/2020 10:30 AM
Possible Talk: Affordable, Privacy-Preserving Personal Genomics
8/27/2020 10:30 AM 8/27/2020 10:45 AM
Supporting Regional Growth of the Life Sciences Beyond Cambridge
One of the greatest strengths of Kendall Square is the sheer density of biopharmas, research institutions, academic institutions, and proximity to the best academic medical centers in the world. Yet, the success of this mini cluster within Massachusetts is also its greatest weakness. Companies struggle to afford the real estate and employees are increasingly frustrated with their commutes and housing costs – leading more companies to move outside of Cambridge. This panel will address why this is a good thing, how to support the continued growth of the industry across Massachusetts, and what kinds of infrastructure investments must be made to ensure success.
8/27/2020 11:00 AM 8/27/2020 11:45 AM
AI and Drug Discovery: Marrying Data Science with Core Biology
Machine learning and model-based drug discovery is rapidly becoming the norm. Computational biology is now integrating 'wet' in vitro/in vivo and 'dry' insilico biology accelerating and saving time and resources, at least in the early stages of drug discovery. This panel will explore the new world of digital biology as a way to model potential drug effects more accurately and quickly.
8/27/2020 11:00 AM 8/27/2020 11:45 AM
Finding a Needle in a Haystack: Early Disease Detection
As medicine moves away from chronic management of disease toward one-time cures, early detection of pre-symptomatic cancers and other serious diseases is more important than ever. The problem? Nobody wants to pay for diagnostics and genomic testing, especially for something rare or for a disease with no current treatment options. Hear ideas on how to efficiently process and pay for testing a “haystack” of healthy patients in order to find the one “needle” to predict future disease.
8/27/2020 11:45 AM 8/27/2020 12:30 PM
Lifting the Curtain on R&D to Advance New Drug Targets Faster
Science is driven by reproducible experimental evidence under peer-review toward global consensus, and it’s full of trial-and-error. There has been a push by some to make that research – successes and failures – more transparent to prevent others from making the same mistakes or going after the wrong targets. What can our innovation ecosystem do to share findings widely, challenge engrained beliefs, and follow new avenues, all while preserving a competitive advantage that academic and industry research require?
8/27/2020 11:45 AM 8/27/2020 12:30 PM
Innovative Leadership Award Presentation & Lunch
MassBio’s Innovative Leadership Award honors Dr. Abbie Celniker who has contributed significantly to the growth and success of the life sciences in Massachusetts, is a leader in her communities, and a leader for employees by creating a positive work environment.
8/27/2020 12:30 PM 8/27/2020 1:30 PM
Leading in 21st Century Technologies: Our Products and Our People
8/27/2020 1:30 PM 8/27/2020 2:30 PM
Closing Networking Dessert Reception
8/27/2020 2:30 PM 8/27/2020 3:00 PM

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