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BioSymposium – COVID-19: A Global Progress Update

November 5 @ 8:45 am - 12:55 pm AEDT

BioMelbourne Network’s half-day BioSymposium will provide attendees with a global progress update on the advancement of COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutic treatments.

Given high global demand for effective products, complex challenges in manufacturing, supply chains and worldwide distribution are emerging and require efficient solutions. How will the world rise to these challenges, and how can supply and distribution of these critical products be optimised to meet the diverse needs of our society?

To explore these themes, we are joined by an esteemed line-up of industry experts:

Session 1:

  • Jane Halton, Chair, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) & Member, Australia’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission
  • Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, Epidemiologist UNSW & Member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme Ad Hoc COVID-19 for Infection Prevention and Control Guidance Development Group
  • Bruce Goodwin, Managing Director, Janssen Australia and New Zealand & Member of the Board, Medicines Australia
  • Facilitator: Dr Rob Grenfell, Director, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, CSIRO

Session 2:

  • Dr Caroline Popper, Co-Founder and President, Popper and Company
  • Jaime McCoy, General Manager, Gilead Sciences Australia New Zealand
  • Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Health Products Regulation Group, Australian Department of Health
  • Dr Felicia Pradera, Program Leader – Medical Countermeasures, DMTC Ltd
  • Facilitator: Dr Ashley Bates, Director, AusIndustry – Entrepreneurs’ Programme

View a virtual event booklet for more information about our speakers and sponsors, and to read an opening statement from BioMelbourne Network Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Malone.

Event Details

Date: Thursday 5 November 2020
Time: 8:45 am – 12:55 pm AEDT. Access the full agenda here.
Format: Delivered via a virtual platform – a link to join will be received upon registration. There will be a mid session break.
Registration: BioMelbourne Network Members: $50; Non-members: $70
Unsure if your organisation is a member? Check our member directory

We are also pleased to offer a reduced rate ($20) for full-time students from member organisations. Please ensure you select your educational institution and provide an appropriate email address during registration.

Thank you to our event sponsors

Read more about our sponsors. 

Cancellation Policy: 
Full refund given up to 3 days prior to the event.
No refunds within 3 days of the event.

Jane Halton, Chair, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) & Member, Australia’s National COVID-19 Coordination Commission

Jane Halton is a former Secretary of the Australian Department of Finance, responsible for supporting the delivery of the Australian Government Budget, the ongoing management of the Australian Government’s non-defence domestic property portfolio, key assets and asset sales, plus the financial and performance framework for Australian Government agencies. She has extensive experience in finance, insurance, risk management, information technology, human resources, health and aging, sport, and public policy, as well as significant international experience.
In a 33-year career within the public service, including nearly 15 years as Secretary, Ms. Halton’s previous roles include Secretary of the Australian Department of Health, Secretary for the Department of Health and Ageing, and Executive Co-ordinator (Deputy Secretary) of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Ms. Halton is a member of the Boards of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ Bank), Clayton Utz, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. She is also a member of the Board for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Previously, Ms. Halton has held numerous international appointments including the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (2004–2007), President of the World Health Assembly (2007), Chair of the Executive Board of WHO, and Chair of the OECD Health Committee (2007–2012).
Ms. Halton holds the positions of Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. She also holds a Doctorate of Letters Honoris Causa from the University of New South Wales.
She was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2002, the Centenary Medal in 2003, and the Geneva Health Prize in 2013. In 2016, Ms. Halton became one of a small number of international members elected to the National Academy of Medicine in the United States.

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, Epidemiologist UNSW & Member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme Ad Hoc COVID-19 for Infection Prevention and Control Guidance Development Group

Mary-Louise is an epidemiologist and Member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme Ad Hoc COVID-19 for Infection Prevention and Control Guidance Development Group
For several years she was a short mission World Health Organization Advisor to China and Malaysia for surveillance development and on the WHO Clean Care is Safer Care Challenge program development and assessment team. She collaborated with Beijing to review the response to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak and healthcare worker safety for the Hong Kong SARS designated hospital. In preparation for pandemic influenza she was commissioned by the Commonwealth to review the Pandemic Influenza Infection Control Guidelines for evidence of protection for healthcare workers.
She has remained an Honorary Advisor to the Clinical Excellence Commission for many years collaborating on several state-wide patient safety interventions including improving hand hygiene in healthcare care workers, reducing central line associated bloodstream infections and detecting and treating sepsis early in patients presenting to emergency departments.
Her research has included the seminal Australian survey of healthcare associated infections (HAI) in 1984 and developed the first standardized surveillance system for HAI as a pilot in 1998-2001 for the NSW Health Department. For the past four years she and a team of UNSW experts are developing wastewater surveillance of antibiotic resistant pathogens. She enjoys capacity building infection control in Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, Mali, Indonesia, Iran, Viet Nam, Taiwan and Turkey.

Bruce Goodwin, Managing Director, Janssen Australia and New Zealand & Member of the Board, Medicines Australia

Bruce Goodwin’s career with the Johnson & Johnson family of companies spans thirty seven years.
He has been in General Management roles for the last eleven years including two terms in his current role of Managing Director Janssen Australia and New Zealand, and also three years as President and Representative Director, Janssen Japan.
Prior to General Management he has held Management Board Director positions in Sales and Marketing and in Finance, as well as having gained valuable experience in Global Licensing and Acquisitions. His service with Johnson & Johnson outside of his home country, Australia, includes postings to Janssen Japan, Janssen Belgium and Janssen United Kingdom.
Bruce is a respected Industry Leader and is currently an elected Director and Board Member of Medicines Australia, a role he has also held previously. Whilst in Japan he served as the Vice Chair of the Japan Based Executive Committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Bruce has a strong track record in advocating for policies that support timely and affordable access to innovative medicines and since 2018 has been a Director and Board member of the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre. In 2017 he was also a key member of the Cancer Drugs Access Committee.
Bruce holds an Economics degree from Macquarie University, an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Dr Rob Grenfell, Director, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, CSIRO

Dr Rob Grenfell, a Public Health Physician, is the Director of CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity Business Unit. Leading a broad portfolio covering Nutrition, eHealth, Medtech and Diagnostics and Biosecurity, from weeds to Ebola.
Rob has broad ranging public health experience including; National Medical Director at BUPA Australia New Zealand; National Director Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation; Strategic Health Advisor to Parks Victoria; Senior Medical Advisor at the Department of Health Victoria; Physician in charge of travel health BHP; General Practice.
He was a member of the Safety and Quality Outcomes Committee of the Hospital Innovation Reform Council, a member of the Victorian Quality Council, Chair of General Practice Victoria, and Member of the Health Advisory Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Dr Caroline Popper, Co-Founder and President, Popper and Company (USA)

Caroline founded Popper and Company with Ken Walz more than fifteen years ago to address inefficiencies in healthcare by helping life science companies develop and commercialize new technology. Today, the members of their growing team leverage their extensive knowledge of the tools and trends shaping all aspects of healthcare market and impacting its participants.
Caroline has more than 25 years of hands-on operating experience within healthcare companies. She did not set out to be a business person. Rather, she became a physician (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) and an internist and pathologist (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore). Most impactful, was her training in Health Policy and Health Economics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Caroline has managed a wide spectrum of diagnostics, device and drug discovery businesses in both Fortune 500 and start-up settings, at amongst others, Becton Dickinson, bioMerieux, and MDS. Now, at her firm, she combines those experiences with her clinical experience to help clients interpret relevant market forces, develop strategies and create partnerships to thrive in the global changing, and increasingly value-driven, healthcare landscape.
Popper and Co. has partnered with Monument Analytics to develop “Precision Econostics,” the firms’ joint offering designed to optimize therapeutic strategies through the use of advanced diagnostics and digital tools. Precision Econostics, which is in step with Precision Medicine 3.0, utilizes health economic analytic methods and advanced diagnostics expertise to design optimal companion diagnostics strategies for biopharmaceutical clients. The sharp focus on diagnostics and unprecedented interest in diagnostic technologies in 2020 have created lots of interesting and unique and uniquely challenging assignments for Popper and Co.
When Caroline is not trying to “impact the world” she is equally passionate about making an impact at home where her daughter is a college student and her son is an IP lawyer. She grew up in South Africa and has had the opportunity to travel extensively. She loves coffee shops, and modern and tribal art… and she is a cable news junkie. But, in the new normal, like everyone, she has reconfigured work and play to be productive and meaningful in different ways.

Jaime McCoy, General Manager, Gilead Sciences Australia New Zealand

Jaime McCoy was appointed General Manager of Gilead Sciences in Australia and New Zealand in 2019. At Gilead, Jaime oversees all aspects of the Australian business including its liver, HIV and growing haematology oncology business units, as well as steering the company’s entry into new therapeutic areas, including emerging viruses such as COVID-19. She led Gilead ANZ’s innovative pandemic response, working in close partnership with government and healthcare professionals, to secure registration of the first approved treatment for COVID-19.

Ms McCoy has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for more than 20 years across Asia, Europe and Australia. Starting her career in the pharmaceutical industry as a sales representative, Ms McCoy has enjoyed a meaningful career in a sector she is deeply passionate about, and that aligns with her personal mission of improving the lives of patients and their families.

Before joining Gilead Sciences, Ms McCoy spent five years as the ANZ Managing Director at Japanese pharmaceutical company, Eisai. Under her leadership, the company established a presence in Australia, launching four highly specialised medicines. Prior to Eisai, Jaime has held various senior roles with other pharmaceutical companies, including Takeda, Sanofi and Pfizer

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, Deputy Secretary, Health Products Regulation Group, Australian Department of Health

Adjunct Professor John Skerritt joined the Department of Health in May 2012 and is the Deputy Secretary, Health Products Regulation Group. As a Deputy Secretary, he contributes to the stewardship of Australia's health system, as well as having direct responsibility for both the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Office of Drug Control.

John is a former Deputy Secretary in the Victorian Government and has extensive experience in medical, agricultural and environmental policy, as well as regulation, research management, technology application and commercialisation. Prior to this role, John was the Deputy CEO of a Commonwealth statutory authority), a Ministerial appointee on the Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee, and Chair of the Board of an international technical organisation.

During the 1990s he held senior management positions in CSIRO and Cooperative Research Centres. He has significant experience on boards of international and national organisations and has more than 30 years experience in negotiating and leading international technical and commercial collaborations. He is currently Vice-Chair of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science.

John is an Adjunct Professor of the Universities of Sydney, Queensland and Canberra, has a PhD from the University of Sydney, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Programs of London Business School and of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Business School in Switzerland. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration of Australia (Vic). In 2012, he was the global winner of the Alumni Service Aware from Rotary International for scientific and humanitarian contributions.

Dr Felicia Pradera, Program Leader - Medical Countermeasures, DMTC Ltd

Felicia Pradera established and leads the National Medical Countermeasures Initiative (MCMi) at DMTC Ltd on behalf of the Defence Science and Technology Group and other government stakeholders. She is responsible for the collaborative development of new platform technology and sovereign industrial capability to support Defence and National Security requirements. Felicia is the co-lead author of the 2012 and 2017 Medical Countermeasures National Capability Audits and is recognized nationally and internationally as the MCM development lead for the country.
Felicia has expertise in academic research (immunology), preclinical & clinical trials, intellectual property and complex program management. She specializes medical countermeasures and health security on behalf of the Government in addition to providing strategic advice and guidance.
Felicia holds a Dr.rer.naturwissenschaftern (PhD) from the Technical University of Berlin, and a Masters of Intellectual Property Law from Monash University.

Dr Ashley Bates, Director, AusIndustry – Entrepreneurs’ Programme

Ashley has worked in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Technologies Industry for around 30 years. Starting as a research scientist at The Upjohn Company (now Pfizer) he worked in the UK and USA before moving to Australia with GSK.
Ashley has a deep understanding of the commercialisation of biomedical innovation gained from senior roles in new product development, technology scouting and licencing.
In addition to working with multinationals, Ashley also has worked with a variety of SMEs, government-funded initiatives and translational research entities and has served on the boards of NFPs, Cooperative Research Centres and industry associations. In his current role, he has strategic oversight over a number of Federal Government initiatives designed to support growth in the Australian SME sector.


Student - Virtual Ticket$20.00
Member - Virtual Ticket$50.00
Non Member - Virtual Ticket$70.00


November 5
8:45 am - 12:55 pm
$20 - $70
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