2021 SAPA Scientific Symposium

2021-05-26 | Press Releases

The Sino-American Pharmaceutical Professionals Association (SAPA) is excited to release the full program for 2021 SAPA Scientific Symposium. The SAPA Scientific Symposium is one of the SAPA flagship annual events attracting prominent biotech executives, academic and industry scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors; as well as professionals from various healthcare fields locally and internationally. The event of this year will be held virtually on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

The theme of this year’s symposium is “Science Today, Life-Saving Medicines Tomorrow“. The symposium will focus on the current trends of biomedical innovation and breakthroughs in the following areas: Covid-19 Vaccine and Therapies, New Frontier in Clinical Development, and New Technologies in Drug Discovery. This year we have invited world-renowned scientists, entrepreneurs, as well as senior executives of leading pharmaceutical companies to share their experiences and perspectives.

Please see the preliminary agenda and confirmed key speakers as below:

Program Agenda:

Plenary Session, Keynote Speakers:

    • Shaomeng Wang, Ph.D., Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine, University of Michigan

    • Presentation Title: Induced Protein Degradation: A New Paradigm in Drug Discovery

    • 9:10 AM-9:50 AM

    • Yang Liu, Ph.D., CEO, OncoC4, Inc

    • Presentation Title: Danger associated molecule pattern (DAMP) recognition and host defense to tissue injuries

    • 9:50 AM-10:30 AM

    • Heidi Zhang, Ph.D., VP, Cell Therapy Product & Analytical Development, BMS, Seattle, WA

    • Presentation Title: Delivering Transformative Treatment to Patients through Cell Therapy Innovation

    • 10:40 AM-11:20 AM


Fireside Chat: Challenges and Drug Discovery Lessons Learned from COVID-19 Pandemic:

    • Ho Cho, Ph.D., SVP, Discovery Biotherapeutics, Site-Head BMS, San Diego, CA

    • Robert Garbaccio, Ph.D., Vice President, Chemistry, Merck

    • 11:20 AM-12:00 PM

Parallel Session 1: COVID-19: From Science to Vaccines and Therapies

Session introduction

Vaccines and antiviral therapies are crucial to the fight against the global pandemic, and the development of vaccines and new therapies are the result of a basic understanding of our immune responses as well as new technologies. This session covers topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic that range from host cell responses to viral invasion, vaccine strategies targeting viral mutation, delivery technologies for mRNA vaccines, and new antiviral therapies. This session features both well-established professors and young talented scientists from academia as well as biotech and pharmaceutical industries.


Presentations and Panelists:

    • Kai Wu, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Moderna

    • Presentation Title: mRNA platform and mRNA-1273

    • 1:00 PM-1:40 PM

    • Michael Buschmann, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Bioengineering Department, George Mason University

    • Presentation Title: Designing ionizable lipids and lipid nanoparticles for mRNA vaccines

    • 1:40 PM-2:20 PM

    • William Morris, Ph.D., Director, PC-DPC, Merck

    • Presentation Title: What Happens After the Agreement: The Merck/Ridgeback Integration and the Development of Molnupiravir

    • 2:30 PM-3:10 PM

    • Dafydd Owen, Ph.D., Director of Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer

    • Presentation Title: Oral Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease for the Treatment of COVID-19

    • 3:10 PM-3:50 PM


Featured panel discussions:

    • Kai Wu, William Morris, Dafydd Owen, Yang Liu,

    • Pan Zheng, MD, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, OncoC4, Inc.

    • 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

Parallel Session 2: New Frontier in Clinical Development


Session introduction

Pharmaceutical scientist’s understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying human disease has created promising new avenues for treatment advances while ground-breaking innovative technologies have opened up exciting new research frontiers. Remarkable advances in cell therapy, gene therapy, and antibody-drug conjugate research over the last decade bring new hope for many patients facing diseases once thought incurable. The fast advancement and application of big data and artificial intelligence have huge potential to transform drug discovery and clinical research.

In this featured session, we will bring experts from pharmaceutical and biotech companies to present the latest advances in cell therapy, gene therapy, and antibody-drug conjugate research. We will also discuss how big data and artificial intelligence could help to accelerate drug discovery and clinical trials with a case study in China.


Presentations and Panelists:

    • Paul Song, Ph.D., CSO, GeneQuantum Healthcare

    • Presentation Title: Preclinical characterization of GQ1007, HER2 Ab Immune Agonist Conjugate based on AIAC platform with the best-in-class potential

    • 1:00 PM-1:40 PM

    • Breakout Session for Q&A and additional discussion

    • Jim Wang, Ph.D., Vice President, Global Head Regulatory Strategy at PTC Therapeutics, Inc.

    • Presentation Title: Regulatory Challenges and Strategies for the Development of Gene Therapy Products to Treat Rare Orphan Disease

    • Qiong Wang, MD, Ph.D, Head of US R&D, Legend Biotech

    • Presentation Title: CAR-T Cell Therapy against Multiple Myeloma

    • Ching-Yung Lin, Ph.D., CEO, Graphen, Inc.

    • Presentation Title: Artificial Intelligence Perspectives and Tools for Genome Analysis and Drug Development

    • Can Chen, Lead of R&D Digital Solution and Innovation, Life science solutions of Yidu Technology (Happy Life Technology)

    • Presentation Title: Big Data, Big Benefits: How Big Data is Transforming Clinical Trial Recruitment in China

    • 1:40 PM-2:20 PM

    • 2:30 PM-3:10 PM

    • 3:10 PM-3:50 PM

    • 4:00 PM-4:40 PM

    • 4:40 PM-5:00 PM

      Parallel Session 3: Novel Technology in Drug Discovery

      Session Introduction

      Recent advances in the development of small-molecule degraders, including molecular glues and PROTACs, have made it possible to target the undruggable proteome. Meantime, artificial intelligence and machine learning have significantly impacted the pharmaceutical industry from novel target identification, chemical synthesis optimization to late-stage drug development. The opportunities and challenges in those exciting fields will be presented and discussed in this session.


      Presentations and Panelists:

        • Breakout Session for Q&A and additional discussion

        • Connor Coley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

        • Presentation Title: Data-driven chemistry, small molecule synthesis, and design

        • Bin Chen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, MSU

        • Presentation Title: Beyond the target-based approach, a new omics-based approach to discover new therapeutics

        • Yue Xiong, Ph.D., CSO of Cullgen

        • Presentation Title: Targeted Protein Degradation (PROTAC) for Drug Discovery

        • Feng Ren, Ph.D., CSO and Head of Drug R&D, Insilico Medicine

        • Presentation Title: AI-powered Drug Discovery

        • 1:00 PM-1:40 PM

        • 1:40 PM-2:20 PM

        • 2:30 PM-3:10 PM

        • 3:10 PM-3:50 PM

        • 4:00 PM-5:00 PM

          Panel Discussions

          Room 1. COVID-19: From Science to Vaccines and Therapies* (4:00 PM-5:00 PM)

          Room 2. New Frontier in Clinical Development* (4:40 PM-5:00 PM)

          Room 3.Novel Technology in Drug Discovery* (4:00 PM-5:00 PM)

          Room 4. Business Social Hour (4:00 PM-5:00 PM)


          *Note: All panel discussion/breakout sessions start automatically after corresponding parallel sessions.