Digital Events

Visionaries Speak

Virtual Roundtable Series

Join us for a virtual fireside chat with visionaries in your field! We’re bringing together biopharma KOLs recognized for their contributions to innovative human disease research and translational safety to share their thoughts on technologies that are transforming drug discovery.  Our roundtable panelists will explore thought-provoking topics, such as:

  • Animal-free drug safety testing
  • Does physiological complexity kill scalability
  • Is immunotherapy research the key to curing type 1 diabetes
  • How new screening technologies are revolutionizing drug discovery

This will be a live roundtable discussion and it will not be made available on-demand.  Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to listen in on and participate in the conversation!

January 26, 2021
7 AM PST | 10 AM EST | 4 PM CET

Animal-Free Drug Safety Testing:
Challenges and Opportunities


Drug safety testing is an essential part of drug R&D. New drug candidates must be tested in animals before they can enter first-in-human trials. The current animal testing paradigm has proven advantages as well as significant weaknesses.  Alternative methods are increasingly being used to compensate for these weaknesses. In this roundtable, our panelists will discuss challenges and opportunities for applying in vitro and in silico models in drug development to improve translation to patients. They will address key questions, such as:

  • Do animals predict human drug safety correctly? What are the general limitations?
  • How can we increase predictivity of drug safety for patients?
  • What are the challenges for evaluating new therapeutic modalities?
  • What are the most promising new animal-free technologies and testing strategies for risk assessment?
  • What will drug safety risk assessment look like in 2030?

Our Panelists

Pharmaceutical Industry Perspective
Dr. Stefan Platz, Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Pharmacology and Safety Services, R&D, AstraZeneca
Stefan is a senior R&D leader and passionate scientist at AstraZeneca globally leading clinical pharmacology, pharmacometrics, as well as toxicology and pathology. Creating ground-breaking medicines and being led by innovative science is in the center of his work. Stefan is a board-certified toxicologist in addition to earlier qualifying as a certified veterinary pathologist at the University of Munich. He has over 25 years of experience working across global pharmaceutical companies including Roche and AstraZeneca.

Academic Perspective
Prof. Thomas Hartung, Professor, Johns Hopkins University  Bloomberg School of Public Health
Thomas is a Professor of Evidence-based Toxicology and Director of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Konstanz. He is a passionate advocate for replacing animal testing with more ethical and predictive in vitro models and is investigating new applications for big data and artificial intelligence in toxicity testing.

Biotech Perspective

Prof. Armin Wolf, Chief Scientific Officer, InSphero
An accomplished pharma R&D executive and board-certified toxicologist with more than 30 years cumulative experience at Novartis and Janssen, Armin is a leading expert in mechanistic and investigative safety and discovery, dedicated to the development of physiologically relevant models for industry applications. Armin joined InSphero as CSO in 2019.  He maintains a dual appointment as a Professor of Toxicology at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany.

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Where Innovators Meet

2021 Online Symposium

Our 2021 symposium will feature an  impressive line-up of speakers who will share their visions for how we can bring the bench closer to the bedside with emerging 3D cell technologies and examples of how they are applying 3D cell technologies in their work today.  representing a broad range of body-and organ-on-a-chip approaches, 3D cell technologies, and 3D tissue and disease models will be available for viewing throughout the day.  We will be posting more details in the coming months.  If you would like to share your innovative 3D cell-based research with the group, check back for details about how to submit your abstract.
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