Fred Eshelman Joins Speaker Lineup of 14 World-Renowned Industry Leaders

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) has announced that Fred Eshelman will be presented with the Life Science Leadership Award at the 25th annual CED Life Science Conference (March 1-2, 2016 in Raleigh, NC). Eshelman will appear along with fourteen other confirmed speakers including global leaders in research, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical device, and capital formation. Industry visionaries will converge with emerging entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and professional service firms at the CED Life Science Conference, one of the leading life science gatherings in the nation that attracts over 1,000 participants each year.


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As founder, CEO and Executive Chairman of PPD as well as founding Chairman of Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Fred Eshelman has played a pivotal role in the development of the North Carolina life science community. Eshelman has served on the executive committee of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, was on the Board of Trustees for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and was appointed by the NC General Assembly in 2011 to serve on the Board of Governors for the state’s multi-campus university system as well as the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. He also chairs the board of visitors for the School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. One of the top pharmacy programs in the United States, the school was named the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in May 2008 in recognition of his many contributions to the school and the profession. Additionally, Eshelman has demonstrated an incredible commitment to growing and sustaining this community as a generous donor and investor with Eshelman Ventures.

“I am honored to receive the 2016 Life Science Leadership Award at this celebrated annual gathering,” said Eshelman. "I appreciate CED's work with many of the breakthrough companies in North Carolina and I am personally committed to the continued vibrancy of this region as a top life science cluster."

“Fred Eshelman’s leadership in our life science community offers great inspiration to emerging innovators, especially as he continues his commitment to invest back into the entrepreneurial ecosystem of North Carolina. We are proud to spotlight his significant impact by presenting this award in front of over 1,000 industry professionals who will share in the celebration of this honor at the CED Life Science Conference,” said Joan Siefert Rose, President & CEO of CED.

Presented annually at the CED Life Science Conference, the CED Life Science Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact on the life science community here in North Carolina. Past recipients of the award have included Bob Ingram (general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, former CEO of Glaxo/Wellcome), Dennis Gillings (founder of Quintiles, co-founder of GHO Capital), and Ralph Snyderman (James B. Duke Professor of Medicine, Chancellor Emeritus of Duke University). Ernest Mario (Chairman of Chimerix., venture partner at Pappas Ventures), the 2015 recipient of the award, will introduce Eshelman at the conference and present him with the award.

Fred Eshelman will also speak at the conference, along with some of the most celebrated industry leaders:

Troy A. Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health
Carrie Cox, Chairman and CEO of Humacyte, Inc.
Bob Hugin, Chairman and CEO of Celgene Corporation
Richard E. Kuntz, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific, Clinical, and Regulatory Officer of Medtronic, Inc.
Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry, Duke University Medical Center
The CED Life Science Conference 2016 will focus on how entrepreneurs are “Breaking Through” and transforming the life science landscape. As part of this theme, a discussion on “Innovative Funding and Partnership Models in Biotech” will take place on the main stage featuring several notable names in life science:

Karen Akinsanya, Head of Early Scientific Assessment at Merck
James Rosen, Venture Capital Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Barbara Sosnowski, Vice President and Global Head, External R&D Innovation Pharmatherapeutics & WRD External Partnerships at Pfizer
Karen Akinsanya said, “Merck is delighted to be participating in the CED Life Science Conference and we look forward to meeting with innovators and investors working on ideas that have the potential to change patients’ lives.”

Additionally, a panel titled “Leading Perspectives on Genomics” will include:

Charles Gersbach, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University
Jeffrey Pollard, M.D., Director of Medical Affairs at 23andMe

As the conference aims to showcase emerging companies, the agenda will feature a panel of investors, titled “Investing in the Next Big Thing”:

Bobby Franklin, President & CEO of the National Venture Capital Association
Jim Healy, General Partner at Sofinnova Ventures
Ross Jaffe, Managing Director of Versant Ventures
Kris Jenner, Managing Director of Rock Springs Capital

“From an investor’s perspective, attending the CED Life Science Conference is the most valuable event to interact with North Carolina’s best emerging life science innovators,” said Jimmy Rosen of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This conference provides an exceptional opportunity to connect entrepreneurs to capital: from venture capital to angel to strategic investors.”

The CED Life Science Conference 2016 will spotlight the most disruptive, innovative North Carolina life science companies in biotechnology, medical devices, digital health, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, drug delivery, and AgBio. As emerging companies are breaking through barriers and scaling for success, this conference aims to empower entrepreneurs and our life science community with up-to-date learning and new perspectives. The conference provides a stimulating environment that encourages collaboration and fosters key connections that will help propel these breakthrough companies and inspire future discovery. The conference is presented in partnership with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina Biosciences Organization.