virtualThursday, November 12, 2020

Academic and Industry Partnering Panel

Biopharma organizations are increasingly seeing an opportunity to collaborate more closely with academic institutions – both as a lower risk and cost-effective way to building their innovation pipelines, and as a way to capture some of the value historically retained by VCs (when they spin out new companies from academic institutions).  Similarly, academic institutions are increasingly looking to biopharma to support and collaborate on leading research.  As the nature of these relationships has evolved, both industry and academia have been re-assessing how they (re-)structure their partnering capabilities to best enable more integrated and impactful ways of working together.

As part of this discussion, panelists will share their unique experiences having worked on both sides of industry and academic collaborations, and discuss the differences and commonalities between the two environments and what helped them to be effective in working across them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2020
3:00-4:00pm EST


Joseph Havrilla serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Pittsburgh, with overall responsibility for the Office of Economic Partnerships. Joe has over 35-years of experience in the healthcare industry, formerly serving as Sr. Vice President and Global Head of Business Development and Licensing for Bayer Pharmaceuticals (retired Nov 2019) and as CTO of a medical device company. He is an expert in research collaborations, commercial partnerships, product development, and IP execution and strategy.

He received an MBA from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and was a member of Point Park University’s Board of Trustees for 10 years. Joe holds over 30 U.S. and foreign patents in the medical device sector.


Dr. Wendi Yajnik is the Global Head of Academic Partnerships and External Innovation at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), the innovation and research engine of Novartis. At NIBR, Dr. Yajnik leads a team focused on accessing innovative, breakthrough therapies through scientific partnerships, collaborations and strategic initiatives with global academic partners. Dr. Yajnik also leads several educational training programs and oversees all NIBR donations, grants and sponsorships.

Dr. Yajnik joined NIBR from Sanofi where she was the Head of R&D Transactions in the Global Business Development and Licensing group. In that role she led a team responsible for negotiating early discovery research and licensing agreements with academic institutions and biotechnology partners. Prior to Sanofi, Dr. Yajnik was the Executive Director of Innovation for Partners Healthcare, and before that, an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pathology at New York University School of Medicine focusing on HIV-1 research.


Tari Suprapto, Ph.D., RTTP is a seasoned technology commercialization professional in the life sciences.  She is currently a Senior Advisor for External Innovation with Elanco, a Top 5 global animal health company, and spent over 15 years in the non-profit sector promoting and commercializing innovative opportunities from world-class research institutions such as the Salk Institute, The Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Tari has extensive experience in licensing, building and managing strategic alliances with industry and other academic institutions, and a well-rounded technical background in a variety of therapeutic areas resulting from her Ph.D. in Molecular & Cellular Biology from The Rockefeller University and an Honors B.A. from Swarthmore College.


Mai-Tal Kennedy is a Principal at Vantage Partners, where she helps clients to collaborate more effectively – both internally and with alliance partners. Mai-Tal has worked primarily in alliance and relationship management since graduating from Law School in 2012, and has supported organizations across a variety of industries to launch and transform their alliances, as well as build Alliance Management teams and organizational capability. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, and prior to joining Vantage Partners in early 2018 was a Senior Manager with KPMG.

Most recently, Mai-Tal has been focused on R&D alliances between academic institutions and industry, as well as alliances spanning new drug modalities.

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