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Dr. Robert Klitzman, Top Experts to Explore Ethics in Biotech Venture Investing

On Thursday, May 30, Dr. Robert Klitzman, M.D., Academic Director of the Master of Science in Bioethics program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, will join leading Silicon Valley investors and biotech pioneers to explore the ethical implications of today’s era of healthcare and biotech investing.

With investors eagerly finding and supporting the most cutting-edge start-ups and solutions in medicine, health care, and biotech, ethical questions are beginning to emerge in the face of controversies like the marketing of prescription opioids and the price inflation of life-saving medicines. Should Venture Capital companies and start-ups consider ethical issues and take these into account when investing, and if so, how and to what degree? What types of models exist, or could emerge to help instill higher ethical standards for health investing?

The panel discussion will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the School of Professional Studies Career Design Lab in San Francisco, where attendees will be invited to actively engage with panelists. The distinguished panel of speakers include:

  • Douglas Crawford, Ph.D., Managing Director, Mission Bay Capital; General Manager, MBC BioLabs
    As the founder of MBC BioLabs, Doug Crawford’s mission is to help entrepreneurial scientists to create successful startups by removing barriers between great ideas and successful companies.
  • Robert Kilpatrick, Ph.D., Founder, President, CEO, Health Innovation for People, Inc.
    Robert Lee Kilpatrick was a founding Partner at Technology Vision Group LLC, which connected innovators and leaders in the life science industry to form successful partnerships.
  • Barry Selick, Ph.D. Vice Chancellor, Innovation & Partnerships, UCSF
    Barry Selick is the Vice Chancellor of Business Development, Innovation and Partnerships at UCSF’s Innovation Ventures. Before joining UCSF, he served as the CEO of Threshold Pharmaceuticals.

Discussion Topics

  • How does the fiduciary responsibility to deliver ‘return on investment’ fit with ethical issues?
  • How should VC firms and start-ups address these ethical issues?
  • Should we engage large corporations in the debate, and can we compel them to be part of the solution?
  • What ‘next steps’ might be taken to bring about the most desirable outcomes?