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Bioscience conference Delaware DNA returns in May

Katie Tabeling
Delaware DNA BioScience Conference

In 2023, Bernstein hedge fund representatives were among the many panelists that spoke at the inaugural “Delaware’s DNA” conference.  | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

NEWARK — The top life science conference “Delaware’s DNA” will be back this May, and in its second year it will focus on how deep the roots of Delaware’s bioscience industry goes.

The conference is organized by the industry’s trade group, the Delaware BioScience Association, and it will be held on May 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Clayton Hall at the University of Delaware.

Last year, the event drew 350 people to the First State to hear about the successes in the state’s biopharmaceutical industry – as well as short-term challenges. But this year, the conference includes industry key leaders to talk about issues and opportunities the industry faces.

“Delaware’s DNA” conference will start with an in-depth industry assessment from McKinsey Senior Partner Olivier Leclerc. Other highlights include talks highlighting research from the University of Delaware’s Institute for Engineering Driven Health, ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute, Nemours and more.

Other panel discussions will focus on building a thriving life science ecosystem, politics shaping innovation, and efforts to lift a regional precision medicine tech hub. 

Presenters will include IQVIA Chief Digital and Marketing Officer Andrew Ploszay, Aisling Capital Founder Dennis Purcell, National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) Director Kelvin Lee, Institute for Engineering Driven Health Director Jill Higginson, Maryland Tech Council CEO Kelly Schulz and Kathy Wu of the University of Delaware’s Data Science Institute.

“It’s really an all-star line-up on the main stage where our speakers will discuss topics ranging from exciting new technologies and scientific breakthroughs that transform the development of new products and technologies that will benefit patients and will drive the economy,” said Michael Fleming, president of the Delaware BioScience Association.

In the exhibition hall, organizations will have tables to encourage attendees to hear about their work and their expertise in supporting the industry.

This year, Delaware Bio is partnering with the Innovation Space to feature an innovation and investor showcase that will include presentations from rising companies like Prelude Therapeutics, Nikang Therapeutics, Uvax Bio and more. This space will also include reverse pitches, where top life science investors will discuss what they focus on when it comes to funding early stage companies.

“By inviting investors, it’s a great way to get exposure to what’s happening here, from a new company, from a startup standpoint,” Fleming added. 

For Fleming, one of the most exciting components is bringing technologists, founders of fresh startups, investors and representatives from nonprofits and academic institutions in northern Delaware to spotlight the area’s growing might in the life sciences sector.

“Making those connections between those fields is extremely important when it comes to finding potential talent as well as leadership, mentors, workforce and investment,” he said. “The fact that we’re able to bring our key decision makers and industry leads together is a huge asset for us when it comes to economic development —  and something we can do more effectively than our competition.”

For more information, visit www.delawarebio.org/page/delawares-dna-2024

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