Watch plenary lectures of CHDR's anniversary symposium

CHDR’s Dino meetings, which are held every five years, began in 2002 when CHDR celebrated its 15th anniversary. At Naturalis — the National Museum of Natural History in Leiden, the Netherlands — several experts in the field of drug development, including Dr Paul Janssen and Nobel laureate Jim Black, discussed the future of the pharmaceutical industry under the towering gaze of dinosaur skeletons. 

In May 2017 CHDR celebrated its 30th anniversary, this time under the watchful eye of a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex, who serves as a vivid reminder that even the largest creatures — and organisations — must adapt in our ever-changing world in order to thrive.

Jean-Jacques Garaud received his medical degree from the University of Paris in 1981 and has extensive experience in the Research and Development field within the pharmaceutical industry. Dr Garaud was the Head of Pharma Research and Early Development at Roche from 2010 to 2012; prior to this, he was the Head of Development and the Chief Medical Officer at Roche from 2007 to 2010. Dr Garaud was a senior executive at Schering-Plough in the US from 1991 to 2001, and at Novartis (in both the US and Switzerland) from 2001 to 2007. Dr Garaud is world-renowned for his leading role in the development of Interferon alpha, ribavirin, and PEG-interferon for treating hepatitis C, and for his contributions toward creating the new Roche R&D programme and implementing Personalised Health Care at Roche. Over the past few years, Dr Garaud has helped establish four biotech companies in France and provides knowledge management to help early projects mature into industrial propositions. He is currently a venture partner at Sofinnova Partners in Paris and serves as a board member at Circassia (in the UK), Polyphor (in Switzerland), and Enyo (in France).

Sander van Deventer received his medical degree and PhD from the University of Amsterdam and is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Prof Van Deventer is a founder and managing partner at Forbion Capital Partners and serves on the boards of several companies, including Argos Therapeutics Inc., Staten Biotechnology BV, Hookipa Biotech, uniQure NV, and enGene Inc. He is also a professor in the Translational Gastroenterology department at Leiden University Medical Centre and is well-published in the fields of therapeutic signal transduction inhibition, gene therapy, and genetically engineered probiotics. From 2001 to 2004, he was the chair of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam. In 1998, he co-founded Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (now uniQure BV), which develops AAV-based gene therapy products and is now traded on the Nasdaq Exchange; Prof Van Deventer has served as their Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, and Chief Executive Officer. He was the first to administer a novel anti-TNF monoclonal antibody (later registered as Remicade®) to patients with Crohn’s disease, and he was the first to infuse apolipoprotein A1 in humans. Prof Van Deventer has also played a critical role in developing other therapeutic interventions, including targeting cytokines, cytokine receptors, T cells, and signal transduction pathways using small molecules, antibodies, peptides, proteins, and antisense DNA strategies. Prof Van Deventer also supervised the development of Glybera, the first gene therapy product to be approved in Europe, as well as several other gene therapy products.

Sir Rory Collins studied medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in London University and is an epidemiologist and clinical research with a particular interest in cardiovascular disease. During the 1980s and early 1990s, he coordinated the landmark ISIS (International Studies of Infarct Survival) ‘mega-trials’ and was involved in large-scale randomised trials to study the effects of modifying cholesterol levels. These trials revolutionised medical practice by demonstrating that clot-dissolving and clot-preventing treatments can halve the risk of mortality during an acute myocardial infarction and by showing that statins can safely reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in a wide range of patient populations. In addition to conducting large randomised trials, Sir Collins was involved in analysing large-scale data obtained from observational studies of classic risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, showing that these risk factors have been under-estimated. Since 2005, Sir Collins has served as the principal investigator of the UK Biobank study, which has collected information and biological samples from 500,000 middle-aged individuals from across the UK and has linked these data to their medical records. UK Biobank is the largest comprehensive prospective epidemiological cohort in the world, and the data and samples are available for use in all types of health-related research serving the general public’s interests.

 Visit the picture gallery