CureSearch Catapult 2016


Feb 28 - Feb 29, 2016


Menlo Park, CA


Quadrus Conference Center


2400 Sand Hill Road

Please join CureSearch for Children’s Cancer and Healthspottr for CureSearch Catapult 2016.

This invitational gathering is a rare opportunity for innovative researchers in the field of pediatric oncology to privately engage with leaders from pharma and biotech, experts in health policy and regulation, venture and philanthropic investors, and with thought-leading entrepreneurs and business service professionals. Through insightful debates and keynotes, small workshops and curated networking in an intimate setting, our day-and-a-half program seeks to discover new opportunities for collaboration between our funded researchers and these industry stakeholders so that we may establish a new roadmap for accelerating novel treatments to children in the clinic.

This event is made possible by the financial support of our sponsors and partners:

 Hope Street Kids







Sunday – February 28, 2016


6:30-8:00 PM | DINNER PROGRAM 

WELCOME REMARKS | CureSearch President and CEO Laura S. Thrall

PANEL DISCUSSION | Why Catapult: Fording the Valley of Death

Dr. Stuart Siegel, Chair, CureSearch Board of Directors    

Dr. Richard O’Reilly, Chair, CureSearch Scientific Advisory Council   

Dr. Raphaël Rousseau, Chair, CureSearch Industry Advisory Council

in conversation with CureSearch CEO Laura S.Thrall




Monday – February 29, 2016


8:45-9:00 AM | PROGRAM OVERVIEW | Carleen Hawn, CEO, Healthspottr

Our program moderator will describe the goals for the day, desired outcomes and our rules of engagement.

9:00-9:30 AM | SUCCESS TALE #1 | Dr. L. Mary Smith, Vice President of                  Product Development, United Therapeutics

Representatives of invited companies share strategically important lessons from a previous development project. Dr. Smith will discuss the strategy evolution that helped bring Unituxin to fruition for United Therapeutics. How might this development formula inform CureSearch investigators’ work? Includes Q&A.

9:35-10:15 AM | KEYNOTE | Dr. Raphaël Rousseau, Global Development Team Leader, Pediatrics, Genentech

The Matrix: Clinical Trial Innovation in Pediatric Oncology

10:15-10:30 AM | BREAK

10:30-11:15 AM | PANEL DISCUSSION | Regulatory Landscapes in the US and EU

Dr. Martha Donoghue, Pediatric Solid Tumors Scientific Liaison, United States Food and Drug Administration 

Dr. Ralf Herold, Senior Scientific Officer, European Medicines Agency (via video conference)

Nancy Goodman, Founder and Executive Director, Kids v Cancer

Moderated by Carleen Hawn

11:15AM-12:00 PM | PANEL DISCUSSION | New Models for Utilizing Existing Assets for Pediatric Oncology

Dr. Lara Sullivan, Vice President, Pfizer CURES Funding, Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Bruce Bloom, CEO, Cures Within Reach


Entrepreneurs at the leading edge of research, genomics and targeted therapeutics debate the new models and methods for accelerating potential cures to children in the clinic. In conversation with Jonathan Hirsch, Dr. Ethan Perlstein and Dr. Kevin Grimes. Q&A moderated by Carleen Hawn.


1:30-2:00 PM | SUCCESS TALE #2 |  Kenneth Schaner, Partner, Schaner & Lubitz PLLC 

Representatives of invited companies share strategically important lessons from successful projects or companies. Kenneth Schaner, of Schaner & Lubitz PLLC, offers insights from his decades-long career facilitating successful partnerships between innovative researchers, commercial industry players and venture philanthropy investors. What can academic researchers focused on orphan diseases learn from these unique, three-pronged partnerships? In conversation with CureSearch President and CEO Laura S. Thrall. Includes Q&A.

2:00-2:45 PM | PANEL DISCUSSION | Current Challenges Facing CureSearch Grantees

Dr. William Weiss, UCSF School of Medicine

Dr. Samuel Cheshier, Stanford School of Medicine

Dr. Crystal Mackall, Stanford School of Medicine

2:45-3:00 PM | COFFEE BREAK

3:00-4:30 PM | WORKSHOPS A & B |  Solving for Grantees’ Immediate Challenges

Working in two groups, participants will identify immediate opportunities to leverage our collective resources to help grantees clear a current development hurdle.

WORKSHOP A | Accelerating a Novel LSD-1 Inhibitor to Pediatric Clinical Trials for Ewing Sarcoma 

Dr. Sunil Sharma, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah

David Arthur, Salarius Pharmaceuticals

Facilitated by Carleen Hawn

WORKSHOP B | Driving Tumor Paint towards FDA Approval for Pediatric Brain Cancer 

Dr. Jim Olson, Seattle Children’s Hospital

Heather Franklin, Blaze Bioscience

Facilitated by Dr. Eric Bubbers

4:30-5:30 PM | KEY LEARNINGINGS & RECEPTION | Carleen Hawn and Laura Thrall




Confirmed Attendees (57)