Speakers

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Simon Benita
Professor & Chairman
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, BioNanoSim Ltd

Professor Simon Benita is the Former Director and Member of the Institute for Drug Research and the School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy in 1980. His research is focused on polymeric drug nano- and micro-delivery systems aimed at improving ocular, dermal penetration and drug targeting. Original nanoparticulate carriers for enhanced oral bioavailability of poorly absorbed and highly lipophilic drugs which can be subjected to massive pre-systemic metabolism and P-gp efflux pump effect are currently under investigation. Prof. Benita formed and supervises a group of 38 M.Sc., 27 Ph.D. students, and 20 post-doctoral fellows in pharmaceutical sciences. He has published 159 research articles and 20 book chapters, edited or co-edited 5 books and been issued 36 issued and pending patents. Recipient of The Hebrew University Kaye Innovation Award in 2000, 2005, 2014. He is Knight in National Order of Merit, France. He is the Founder of the Novagali Pharma in Ophthalmology acquired by Santen Co. Japan, 2012 and NanoBioSim ltd (BNS) focusing on innovative nano-carriers as the solution of choice for enhanced oral, ocular and topical delivery to improve drug profile and therapeutic performance.  

Day One

2021

1:45 pm | Peripherally Restricted CB1 Receptor Blockers for the Treatment of the Metabolic Syndrome

Shimon Lecht
Chief of R&D
CannnRx

Dr. Lecht is a multifaceted and experienced drug development professional. His experience spans between formulations design, through establishing animal models and elucidation of molecular mechanisms of drugs action. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Lecht was actively involved in developing small molecules, biologics, nucleic acids, cell therapy and botanical drugs. Dr. Lecht performed post-doctoral training in regenerative pulmonary medicine at Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), received his graduate degree in pharmacology from Hebrew University (Jerusalem, Israel) and he is also a licensed pharmacist.

Day Two

2021

1:30 pm | A Party of Three: The Intriguing Interplay Between Three Cannabinoids for the Treatment of Insomnia

Clifton Flack
CEO & Co-Founder
CiiTECH

Clifton Flack. Born in the UK though living in Israel since 2005, Clifton has accumulated over 25 years of consumer and corporate marketing experience. Entering the emerging medical cannabis industry in late 2014, Clifton helped create CannaTech, the International Conference on Medical Cannabis innovation & investment. In 2017, Clifton founded the renowned cannabis company CiiTECH, using Israel’s world-leading cannabis knowledge and combining it with the excellent healthcare system of the UK. CiiTECH is the creator of flagship and UK market leading CBD brand 'Provacan'

Brian Murphy
CEO
Emerald Bioscience

Dr. Brian Murphy has served as CEO of Emerald Bioscience since 2015. Prior to this appointment he has served as Chief Medical Officer of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (now Bausch Health Companies), Epiphany Bioscience, and Eiger Biopharmaceuticals. Dr. Murphy received his MD, MPH, and MS (Pharmacology) degress from New York Medical College, an MPH in clinical epidemiology from Harvard and MBA from Columbia University.  He is board-certified in internal medicine and a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society.

Day Two

2021

4:30 pm | Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Conference

2:00 pm | The Development of Cannabinoids for the Management of Ocular Diseases

8:25 am | Chairs Opening Remarks

Manuel Alfaro De Pra
R&D Coordinator
Entourage Phytolab

Dr. Manuel De Prá is BSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Science, MSc in Pharmacology and PhD in Biotechnology and Biosciences. Experienced in research, development and production of medicines, focusing on processes and formulations. Track record in product development. Experienced in nanotechnology applied to pharmaceuticals. He worked for more than ten years in pharmaceutical industries including pharmaceutical development and production of solid dosage forms, liquids, semi-solids and novel drug delivery systems. Along his career he has participated in management and implementation of innovation projects and in a series of start-up programs and training. He is author of book chapters and scientific articles published in international journals and has one patent application. Currently he is the Head of Research and Development at Entourage Phytolab.

Day One

2021

10:00 am | Panel Discussion: The Industry Approach to Gaining Drug Approval

Day Two

2021

9:00 am | Toward the Establishment of GMP Process: From Cannabis Extraction Methods to Nanotechnology-Based Formulations

Rob Dhoble
Managing Director
Havas ECS

Day One

2021

9:30 am | Rx and Non-Rx Cannabinoids: A Regulatory Framework for Market Access and Product Quality in Healthcare and Selfcare

Mikael Sodergren
Senior Clinical Lecturer
Imperial College London

Mikael Sodergren is an Academic Clinician and Consultant Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgeon at Imperial College London. At Imperial he has a broad research portfolio which includes leading a medical cannabis research programme focusing on cancer, pain and inflammation. He is also the Research Director at EMMAC Life Sciences where he leads the pre-clinical and clinical medical cannabis research activities. He is co-founder and Managing Director of Sapphire Medical Clinics, the first integrated medical cannabis clinic to be granted registration by the Care Quality Commission in the UK.

Day Two

2021

3:30 pm | Challenges in Medical Cannabis Research and Translation to Clinical Practice

Karen Long
Director of Drug Development
InMed Pharmaceuticals

Karen Long is currently Sr. Director, Drug Development at InMed Pharmaceuticals, a Canadian pharmaceutical company developing topical cannabinoid therapies. She has 25 years of regulatory affairs experience in the drug and medical device industries, specializing in novel drug delivery systems such as liposomes and biodegradable polymers. Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Science from the University of British Columbia, and has Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) for United States, European, Canadian and Global regulatory affairs

Day One

2021

10:00 am | Panel Discussion: The Industry Approach to Gaining Drug Approval

Michael Woudenberg
VP Chemistry Manufacturing and Control
InMed Pharmaceuticals

Mr. Woudenberg leads all aspects of CMC at InMed.  He brings over 20 years of engineering leadership and GMP manufacturing and scale-up experience in the development, technology transfer and commercialization of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), including process and formulation development from lab scale through clinical development to validated and successfully approved commercial APIs. He has extensive experience with regulatory inspections (FDA, EMEA, Health Canada, etc.) and related CMC requirements from clinical to commercial production of approved products.  Mr. Woudenberg held various positions with Cardiome, Arbutus Biopharma and as Managing Director of Phyton Biotech. Mr. Woudenberg received his Bachelor’s in Chemistry and Bachelor’s of Chemical Engineering at Western University of London, Ontario, Canada.

Day One

2021

2:15 pm | Panel Discussion: Comparing Whole Plant and Synthetic Cannabinoids and Their Potential in Pharmaceuticals

Jahan Marcu
CSO
International Research Center on Cannabis and Health

Jahan Marcu, Ph.D., has over 15 years of experience in academic research, industry, and government relations. Dr. Marcu is presently the Chief Science Officer, Director of Experimental Pharmacology and Behavioral Research at International Research Center on Cannabis and Health (IRCCH), which he co-founded. His Ph.D. focused on the structure and function of the CB1 receptor as well as investigating the role of the endocannabinoid system in bone. He has also developed pharmacogenomics testing technology, used commercially and in research studies to predict drug-drug interactions with cannabis, as well as using the technology to guide dosing and administration forms for patients. Dr. Marcu helped develop the first nationally recognized standards for cannabis and hemp products with the American Herbal Products Association. He is an author of the American Herbal Pharmacopeia's Cannabis Monograph

Day One

2021

11:45 am | Understanding the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabinoid Receptor Biology

10:00 am | Panel Discussion: The Industry Approach to Gaining Drug Approval

Deepak Anand
CEO and Co-Founder
Materia Ventures

Mr. Anand is recognized as a thought leader in the global cannabis space. He currently serves as the co-founder & CEO of Materia Ventures, a European-focused supply and distribution company for medical cannabis and CBD products. He previously served as vice president of business development and government relations at a Canadian cannabis consulting firm; vice president of a Health Canada-licensed producer; and as a board member for various pharmaceutical associations across Canada, the United States and Europe

Day Two

2021

8:30 am | Discussing the Challenges in Sourcing, Extracting and Formulating Cannabinoids

Saeid Babaei
CEO
Orpheus Medica

Dr. Babaei’s track record includes over 20 years of academic and corporate experience, during which he has led several novel and first-in-class product opportunities to either commercialization or late-stage development.  He brings tremendous business foresight having closed over 15 licensing and strategic alliance transactions, as well as raising over $50 million in equity and debt financing. Dr. Babaei is currently the Chairman and CEO of Orpheus Medica, a Canadian biopharmaceutical engaged in R&D and commercialization of cannabinoid-based drugs for “Orphan Diseases”. Before Orpheus, Dr. Babaei founded AbCelex Technologies that had successfully developed a series of antibody-based products for animal health and food safety. Before AbCelex, he was the VP of business development at Aptose Biosciences, where he was responsible for product and technology in- and out-licensing, strategic planning and corporate finance. Dr. Babaei holds a PhD and an executive MBA, both from the University of Toronto. He has authored over 50 publications including research papers, conference presentations and patents. He is former Chairman of the Board of BriaCell Therapeutics and Vaxil Bio Ltd, both clinical-stage immuno-oncology companies listed on TSX-V.

Day One

2021

3:30 pm | Panel Discussion: What Targets are Optimal for Different Disease Indications

Day Two

2021

11:00 am | Drug Target Prediction and Development Using an Integrated Computational and High-Throughput Screening Approach

Patrick Gray
CEO
Pascal Biosciences

My career has focused on drug discovery for critical diseases. I helped develop a vaccine for Hepatitis B and characterized numerous genes important for immunology and cancer. My laboratory became interested in cannabinoids after discovering they enhance immune function. Specifically, we identified certain cannabinoids that increase expression of the Major Histocompatibility Complex on tumor cells. This should improve the ability of the immune system to recognize and eliminate tumors. We are currently developing a cannabinoid-derived compound for treating glioblastoma. PAS-403 kills patient-derived glioblastoma cells in culture and also is effective in a mouse model of glioblastoma.

Day Two

2021

11:30 am | Discovery and Development of a Cannabinoid-Derived Therapeutic for Glioblastoma

Tamás Bíró
Director of Applied Research
Phytecs

Day One

2021

2:15 pm | Panel Discussion: Comparing Whole Plant and Synthetic Cannabinoids and Their Potential in Pharmaceuticals

Gary Hiller
President & COO
Phytecs

Gary has over 30 years of diverse entrepreneurial, management, start-up and legal experience building businesses around technology innovation and intellectual property creation. Today, Gary overseas investments in a number of life science portfolio companies. On occasion, he assumes executive positions at companies, and is currently serving as President of Phytecs, a biotechnology company researching and developing endocannabinoid system interventions, and as managing member of Biotech Institute, an innovation company that has built a robust, global intellectual property portfolio including cannabis cultivars with targeted efficacy and enhanced safety profiles, new analytic methods, and novel plant propagation technologies. Early in his career, in addition to political consulting and legislative affairs work in Washington, DC, Gary practiced law in a national law firm’s corporate finance group, representing issuers, investors and lenders in a broad range of corporate and securities transactions. He later practiced law at a boutique health care law firm, specializing in business development opportunities and regulatory compliance matters for individuals and entities working in highly-regulated healthcare industries. Once Gary left the formal practice of law, he served in multiple executive roles at a technology company that developed and provided business information services and project management solutions. In addition, he launched an innovative market research platform that provided actionable data intelligence used by movie studios, production companies, and marketing firms. Gary received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and later earned his JD from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where he graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif. He received American Jurisprudence Awards in Commercial Law and Legal Writing, was Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Journal, and was a member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society. Gary is also a graduate of the Wexner Heritage Foundation Fellowship program.

Day One

2021

4:15 pm | Intellectual Property Considerations for CDP Pharma

Andrea Leone-Bay
CSO
Receptor Life Sciences

Dr. Leone-Bay is the Chief Scientific Officer and a Founder of Receptor Life Sciences.  She is an internationally recognized authority on inhaled dry powder and oral drug delivery technologies.  At Receptor, Dr. Leone-Bay is focused on the application of pharmaceutical drug delivery technologies to address the significant challenges associated with cannabinoid administration.  She brings unparalleled pharmaceutical development and formulation expertise with 48 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 93 issued U.S. patents.

Day Two

2021

9:30 am | Improving Cannabinoid Dosage Forms: Inhaled and Oral

Arnold Lippa
CEO and Co-Founder
RespireRx Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Lippa has extensive expertise in drug discovery and development, governmental regulations, corporate and research management, as well as merchant and investment banking.  He presently is Executive Chairman of the Board, Chief Scientific Officer and Interim Chief Executive Officer at RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinic stage company which is pursuing innovative and revolutionary treatments to combat diseases caused by disruption of normal neuronal signaling. Dr. Lippa also is a Senior Managing Director and founder of T Morgen Capital LLC, his family office and a significant equity owner and managing member of Aurora Capital LLC (“Aurora”), a boutique investment bank and securities firm.  Dr. Lippa co-manages, since 2004, Atypical BioCapital Management LLC and Atypical BioVentures Fund LLC, a life sciences fund management company and venture fund, respectively.  Since 2015, Dr. Lippa has also been a member of the Board of Directors of Hepion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Dr. Lippa was co-founder of DOV Pharmaceutical, Inc., where he served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from its inception in 1995 through 2005.  He also has founded and managed a number of companies conducting research in the areas of AIDS, otolaryngology, hypertension and metabolic disorders. Dr. Lippa began his career at the Medical Research Division of American Cyanamid where, as Director of Molecular Neurobiology, he was an early pioneer in identifying the role of cholinergic dysfunction in the etiology of dementia, which led to the use of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia.   He also identified GABA receptor heterogeneity, based on his discovery of the first drugs to act as positive allosteric modulators at specific GABA receptor sub-types.  In a series of translational studies conducted at DOV, this class of drugs was shown to act selectively at the alpha1 GABA-A receptor subtype and to display anti-anxiety properties in animal models and in human patients without producing the sedation and motor impairment produced by non-selective benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax.  While at DOV, he also discovered and developed a series of drugs that blocked the reuptake of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine (“triple reuptake inhibitors”), one of which is in late stage clinical development. Most recently, at RespireRx, Dr. Lippa has focused his research on: (1) ampakines, positive allosteric modulators of the AMPA glutamate receptor, and their potential use for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, recovery from spinal cord injury, opioid-induced respiratory depression and certain forms of cognitive decline; as well as (2) the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of breathing disorders, particularly sleep apneas.

Day One

2021

9:00 am | Regulatory Perspectives on Developing Pharmaceutical Cannabinoids in the United States

Aurelia De Pauw
Vice-President Clinical Programs/ Medical Affairs
Tetra Bio-Pharma

Aurelia De Pauw holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Science from the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liege and the University of Namur, Belgium. She has 13 years experience in preclinical and clinical research. Aurelia is the author of 10 peer-review articles in cellular metabolism and regenerative therapy. Her work in cardiac stem cell therapy was rewarded by the European Society of Cardiology, the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science and the International Society for Heart Research. After establishing her career in basic sciences and regenerative therapy, she progressed from the laboratory bench to the bedside where she gained an even deeper appreciation of the impact of research on patients and caregivers. Aurelia has extensive experience in numerous therapeutic categories including oncology, drug addiction, endocrinology, dermatology and cardiology, from phase I to phase IV clinical trials. She’s now Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Medical Affairs at Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc., a pharmaceutical company developing cannabinoid-based drugs.

Day One

2021

2:15 pm | Panel Discussion: Comparing Whole Plant and Synthetic Cannabinoids and Their Potential in Pharmaceuticals

Day Two

2021

12:00 pm | The Future of Inhaled Cannabinoid-Based Medicine in Cancer: An Alternative Treatment to Improve Quality of Life and Pain Management in Advanced Cancer Patients?

Pavel Gershkovich
Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutics
University of Nottingham

I have completed my BScPharm, MSc in Clinical Pharmacy and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences in The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. My graduate research focused on the mechanisms of intestinal lymphatic transport of lipophilic drugs. My postdoctoral research was in the Division of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada from 2007 to 2012. I was appointed to a position of Assistant Professor of Pharmacokinetics in the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham in 2012, and promoted to Associate Professor of Biopharmaceutics in 2019.  

Day One

2021

3:30 pm | Panel Discussion: What Targets are Optimal for Different Disease Indications

Workshop A

9:00 am | Cannabinoid Formulation & the Drug Delivery Pathway

Cris Constantinescu
Professor of Neurology
University of Nottingham

Cris S Constantinescu is Professor of Neurology at the University of Nottingham, and Consultant Neurologist at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals. In addition to his clinical activities focused on MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases, he has been Investigator in many MS clinical trials, of phase I-IV. He has also been in steering committees and data monitoring committees of MS trials.  Prof Constantinescu also runs a research laboratory at the University of Nottingham, in particular exploring immunomodulation and cytokine regulation in MS and its models. undergraduate and postgraduate (MS, MD, and PhD) students.  He has had a particular unterest in the bidirectional interaction between cannabinoids and the immune system. Prof Constantinescu received his MD from the Boston University School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his internship in internal medicine, residency in neurology, and fellowships in neuroimmunology and neurorehabilitation at the University of Pennsylvania and received further post-doctoral research and clinical training at the University of Basel. He has been on faculty at University of Nottingham and has run or co-run the MS Clinic, one of the largest in the UK, since 2000.  

Day Two

2021

3:00 pm | Linking Cannabinoids to Their Therapeutic Potential Opportunities and Challenges in Clinical Trials with Focus on Multiple Sclerosis

Workshop A

9:00 am | Cannabinoid Formulation & the Drug Delivery Pathway

Mauro Maccarrone
Professor & Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Rome

Mauro Maccarrone, Dr. Enzymology and Bio-Organic Chemistry, is Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Director of the Laboratory of Lipid Neurochemistry at the European Center for Brain Research (CERC)/IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy. He was awarded the “4th Royan International Research Award for Reproductive Biomedicine”, the “2007 IACM Award for Basic Research” and the “2016 Mechoulam Award”, and has been Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conference on “Cannabinoid Function in the CNS”. He published more than 505 full papers, of which 60 with I.F. ≥ 9, 12 with I.F. ≥ 15, 45 with ≥ 100 citations (total I.F. > 2520; citations >16240, h-index = 66 according to Scopus).  

Day One

2021

12:15 pm | Plant-Derived and Endogenous Cannabinoids: Naturally Different

Robin Emerson
Medical Cannabis Campaigner

Day Two

2021

4:00 pm | How to Progress Access to Medical Cannabis in the UK