Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM EST
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9900 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850




Chris Frew 
BioBuzz Workforce Foundation, Inc. 

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Join us for a final event of the year where several of the region’s experienced entrepreneurs will share the lessons they have learned along their journeys in building their current and past companies.

Hear from an amazing panel of entreprenurs who have collectively been founders and CxO's of 12 companies, raised hundreds of millions of dollars and negotiated more than a half dozen acquisitions and exits.

The discussion will explore their thoughts and strategies across several important topics ranging from fundraising, collaborations, product strategy, regulatory and workforce. This is a great event for any current or aspiring entrepreneur, or those working for any of the many emerging biotechs in the BioHealth Capital Region.


  • Murat Kalayoglu, CEO at Cartesian Therapeutics (Car-T w/ 3 clinical programs)

  • Greg MerrilCEO at Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (Treating patients with antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections through emergency FDA allowance and moving into the clinic next year)
  • Matt Mulvey, BeneVir CEO at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

  • Katherine Sacksteder, BeneVir COO at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson




4:30 - Arival & Networking

5:00 pm - 6:00 pm - CEO Panel

6:00 - 7:00 pm - Networking & refreshments

Guests are invited to stay after the discussion to continue the conversation with our panelists and other guests in true BioBuzz style, over refreshments. 

Guest Invitations:

BioBuzz does not charge membership fees and rarely charges for our events.  The CEO Talks series however will be by invitation only.

Meet our Panelists:

Murat Kalayoglu, MD, PhD - Co-Founder and CEO,
Cartesian Therapeutics 

Dr. Kalayoglu is co-founder and CEO of Cartesian Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cell and gene therapy company headquartered in Gaithersburg.  Prior to Cartesian, Dr. Kalayoglu was co-founder and CEO of Topokine, which he led from concept to late-stage clinical trials, followed by a successful sale to Allergan (NYSE:AGN). Dr. Kalayoglu was also co-founder and COO of HealthHonors Corporation, which he led from concept to commercialization, followed by a successful sale to Healthways (NASDAQ:HWAY). Dr. Kalayoglu is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed his residency and research Fellowship at Harvard, MD/PhD in immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and MBA from the MIT Sloa n School of Management.

Greg Merril - Co-Founder and CEO,
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

Greg Merril is a serial entrepreneur who has led more than 20 financing transactions that have raised more than $100M. He has been the founding CEO of three VC-backed health and medical product companies: Brain Sentry, Inc.; Interaction Laboratories; and Immersion Medical, Inc. While with HT Medical Systems he led the company through a $42M merger with Immersion Corp. Merril was named a Regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. 

In 2016, Merril and his father Dr. Carl Merril, a retired NIH researcher and foremost expert on phage technology, co-founded Adaptive Phage Therapeutics (APT) in a collaboration with the U.S. Navy after the now-famed account of Tom Patterson, the first patient in the U.S. to be treated with injected phage therapy.  Patterson was at the brink of life after being infected by one of the most deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but beat the deadly infection using the technology that has now become the foundation of APT’s portfolio. 

Matthew Mulvey, PhD - Co-Founder and CEO,
BeneVir, a Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company

Matthew Mulvey holds a PhD in Virology from Ian Mohr’s lab at NYU Langone Medical Center. Mohr and Mulvey discovered, patented, and characterized the first oncolytic virus capable of resisting the anti-viral effects of innate immunity. This intellectual property was licensed to create talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec), which is the only FDA approved oncolytic virus. Dr Mulvey is currently a founder and CEO of BeneVir and an inventor on all BeneVir patents protecting T-StealthTM, the first oncolytic virus platform to resist both innate and adaptive immunity. BeneVir was recently acquired by Janssen. Prior to BeneVir, Dr Mulvey spent 8 years at Sequella, Inc, a clinical stage anti-infectives company. At Sequella, he patented and developed a molecular diagnostic and licensed it to a major clinical diagnostics company. In addition, he designed and executed clinical trials and was involved in the development of Sequella’s antibiotic pipeline from preclinical to clinical.


Katherine Sacksteder, PhD - Co-Founder and COO,
BeneVir, a Janssen Pharmaceuticals Company

Katherine Sacksteder co-founded BeneVir in 2011 with her husband, current BeneVir CEO Matt Mulvey. In May 2018, the company Sacksteder and Mulvey launched while raising two young children was acquired for $1B by Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Sacksteder launched BeneVir to develop a herpes-based oncolytic virus (OV) platform technology that they licensed out New York University.

Today, Sacksteder is the Chief Operating Officer at BeneVir, now part of Janssen, where the company continues to deploy its T-Stealth™ Technology to develop viruses that can be engineered to avoid immune system detection. These undetectable viruses are then deployed to destroy cancer cells and catalyze the immune system to eliminate solid tumor cells. 



Rich Bendis, President and CEO

BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI)

Mr. Bendis is the Founder, President and CEO of BioHealth Innovation, Inc. He is a successful entrepreneur, corporate executive, angel investor, investment banker, innovation and technology-based economic development leader, international speaker and consultant in the technology and healthcare industries. He also serves as the founding President and CEO of Innovation America, a national public-private partnership focused on accelerating the growth of innovation economy in America. He was also the founding Chairman of The Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation and Founder and CEO of Innovation Philadelphia. He was recently asked to serve as the Co-Chairman of the AURP BioHealth Caucus.

As one of the most recognized experts in the eld of the innovation economy, Mr. Bendis has served on numerous distinguished boards and task forces including the White House U.S. Innovation Partnership Advisory Task Force, the Small Business Innovation Research Committee, the National Association of State Venture Funds Board; State Science and Technology Institute and the Ernst and Young Entrepreneurial Institute as a National/Regional Judge and Entrepreneur of the Year winner.

Mr. Bendis has provided global consulting services to over 16 countries and 22 states, several cities and regions, along with international organizations including the United Nations, NATO, UK Trade and Industry, European Commission, French Embassy, the German Marshall Fund, The Canadian Consulate, METI, AKEA, the International Science Parks and Innovation Expert Group and other global entities. Mr. Bendis serves on Governor Hogan's Life Science Advisory Board. He was voted one of the Top 5 Speakers on innovation and creativity, voted 4th best Innovation Blogger, a 2017 most influential Marylander award and a 2017 Maryland innovator of the year award. Mr. Bendis is also the host of the BioTalk podcast series.

Please contact BioBuzz or a representative from one of our Sponsors for information on attendance.

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