CNS Therapeutics
(a virtual meeting)


Titles and Bullets
8:30am – 9:00am

Opening Address & Keynote:

9:05am – 10:05am

Strengthening and building more reliable biomarkers 
  • The challenges of CNS biomarkers for supporting drug development for brain diseases: imaging and molecular markers
  • New opportunities for imaging biomarkers: MRI, PET, OCT
  • New technologies for developing molecular biomarkers for brain diseases: extracellular vesicles (exosomes) in blood and CSF

Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Pablo Villoslada is the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Bionure. He is a neurologist with more than 20 years of experience in translational medicine on biomarkers, and new therapeutics for neurological diseases (academic, biotech and big pharma). 

He has worked at Genentech as Senior Medical Director, designing and monitoring Phase II and III trials in neuroscience and immunology. He has significant experience in drug development, diagnostics and medical devices, digital health, biomarkers and AI applied to health. Pablo is a serial entrepreneur: founder and advisor of several biotechs and medical devices start-ups in the field of CNS and Ophthalmology (Bionure, Health Engineering, QMenta, SpiralTx, Attune). 

He has held several academic positions including Adjunct Professor of Neurology at University of California, San Francisco where he also obtained his scientific training; Professor in Neurobiology at University of Barcelona, Spain and Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Navarra, Spain.

Pablo has a PhD in Neuroscience from University Autonomous of Barcelona and an M.D. from the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Portrait picture of Pablo Villoslada
10:10am – 10:40am

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

10:45am – 11:45am

AI driven biomarker and imaging analysis 
  • What are the current best CNS therapeutics biomarkers, and how many degrees of separation is there between readout and known clinical manifestation? Can we learn from the success stories? 
  • How can we as a field collect data to support direct links between biomarkers and outcome?
  • What technologies are currently believable in accelerating CNS therapeutics?

Director, Scientific Strategy & Business Development

Thomas received his PhD in cancer biology, focusing one cell cycle and transcription regulation, from the University of Helsinki Medical School in Finland. He completed a post-doctoral EMBO fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, researching the genomics of breast and prostate cancer. Tom joined Aiforia to advance the new potential of cancer biology, pathology, big data, and artificial intelligence. At Aiforia Tom works with advanced Pharma and Clinical Projects Customers to bring the newest tools and solutions to the forefront of diagnosis, and therapeutics research and Development.  

Portrait picture of Thomas Westerling-Bui
11:50am – 12:20pm

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

12:20pm – 1:00pm

Lunch Break

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Working with increasingly sophisticated digital biomarkers
  • Understanding how big data sets can be used for better biomarker data 
  • Exploring the use of voice and facial data 
  • Discussing the regulatory pathways for digital biomarkers 

Chief Medical Officer 
BlackThorn Therapeutics

Jane Tiller has extensive clinical psychiatry and drug development experience. Prior to joining BlackThorn, she held several leadership positions at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), most recently as Head of European Markets Australia and Canada, where she oversaw all medical functions. She also served as VP Global Medical for Neuroscience, Virology & Immunoscience and as full development team lead for the Alzheimer’s program. Prior to joining BMS, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Cephalon. Prior to joining industry Jane was responsible for clinical services across several London teaching hospitals and served as a Consultant Psychiatrist (Attending) and Hon. Senior Lecturer. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. Jane obtained her medical degree from Glasgow University, an executive MBA from Drexel University and a MPhil in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She trained at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London and spent two years as visiting Faculty at Duke University.

Portrait picture of Jane Tiller
2:05pm – 2:35pm

1-2-1 Meetings
2:35pm – 3:05pm

1-2-1 Meetings
3:10pm – 4:10pm

Exploring new biomarkers for neurodegeneration, particularly NfL
  • Challenge of biomarker development for neuro – lack of availability human tissue to assess 
  • Imaging, CSF sampling challenges
  • Sensitivity of blood sampling generally lacking, correlation to CNS difficult to evaluate
  • Example of success across indications – Neurofilament light chain shows promise as potential prognostic and predictive marker – more widespread study dependent of sensitive techniques to measure in circulation

Senior Director, Translational Medicine
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Sarah Harris currently leads TM activities at Science Park, SD site for BMS, in immunology and neurology disease areas. She has been the translational medicine and bioanalytical (PK/ADA) lead for numerous compounds in oncology, vaccines, immunology and neurology therapeutic areas. She has supported compounds from IND through post-marketing including Prevnar 13 (Wyeth/Pfizer), and Rituxan, Zevalin, Tysabri (Idec/Biogen Idec), Zeposia (BMS). Sarah has led the US pharma division at a small CRO (Intertek) for 2 years supporting PK, ADA, and biomarker assay development, validation and sample testing for pharma companies in GLP environment. She has served as scientific advisor for multiple non-profit family foundations with focus on genetic neurodegenerative disorders in children (cln1 and cln6 Batten’s Disease, PTHS).

Sarah has a Ph.D. in Immunology from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY.  

Portrait picture of Sarah Harris

4:15pm – 4:45pm

Closing Keynote & Address:


CNS Therapeutics e-Xchange | West Coast 2020