Life Sciences Panorama: Deconstructing the Cost of Healthcare

Thursday, Mar 12, 2020


Given the elevated risk of coronavirus infections in Massachusetts, the Annual Life Sciences Panorama: Deconstructing Healthcare, originally scheduled for Thursday, March 12th, will be postponed. We appreciate your patience as we monitor the local health situation in collaboration with the host IPSEN in order to identify an appropriate later date. We will post further details and next steps as soon as possible.  Any purchased tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date.

Panel 1: When do companies need a reimbursement strategy? 

Topics to be discussed:

  • How can start-ups define the value of their therapy, medical device or app when at an early stage of development?
  • As the pricing debate grows, which factors biopharma companies need to consider when setting price and making their case for value?
  • From a VC perspective, when does the pricing of a drug come into criteria when making an investment?


Jim Shanahan, Co-founder and Chief Business Officer @ SynDevRx, Inc and FABS Co-Founder

Jim is a serial entrepreneur with expertise in establishing and managing start-ups, including obtaining financing and developing core messaging and establishing key clients. Ability to seize on great ideas and develop business strategies to turn them into products, to attract and retain top industry talent, to understand and to effectively communicate complex technical ideas, to create and execute business plans, and to effectively execute on sales and marketing plans. Experience in multiple industries, including biotech drug development, consumer electronics, and audio electronics.  Jim is currently Chief Business Officer at SynDevRx, Inc., a Cambridge company focusing on the link between cancer and metabolic hormone dysfunction.



Michael Epstein, Head of Commercial Strategy at Ascenian Consulting

Michael Epstein is Head of Commercial Strategy at Ascenian Consulting, which specializes in evidence generation, positioning, pricing and value demonstration for health technologies. Mr Epstein helps Ascenian’s clients develop commercialization strategies that optimize access and uptake in the US, EU5 and Canada. Prior to Ascenian, Mr. Epstein was Principal in Global Market Access Consulting at Evidera, Director of Commercial Strategy and Reimbursement at United BioSource Corporation, and held specialized health technology commercialization consulting roles at Harris Interactive (now Nielsen), Roger Green and Associates, MedSpan and TVG. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as J Ambulatory Paediatrics and has been presented at international conferences such as ECTRIMS. He has spoken at industry meetings such as CBI Forecasting for Personalized Medicines, and he has moderated payer panels at conferences such as ISPOR Europe. Mr Epstein holds an MS in public policy analysis, MA in political science, and BA magna cum laude in political science from the University of Rochester.

Roberta Herman
, President and CEO at Joslin Diabetes Center

Before coming to Joslin, Dr. Herman spent nearly four years as Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), which provides and administers health insurance and other benefits to more than 450,000 employees and retirees of the Commonwealth, and their dependents. While there, Dr. Herman oversaw successful efforts to revamp the offerings of the GIC, created multiple new capabilities and efficiencies to improve interactions with GIC stakeholders and presented a strategic plan to optimize and grow the quasi-independent state agency.

Previous to her service at GIC, Dr. Herman was the Chief Medical Officer and then Chief Operating Officer for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, one of New England’s largest non-profit managed health care organizations, providing care and coverage to more than one million members throughout Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. Before that, she had been Chief of Internal Medicine at Harvard Community Health Plan’s Cambridge Center.
Prior to being selected as President and CEO, Dr. Herman served as a Trustee of Joslin Diabetes Center for six years. She has been a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Medical School with hospital appointments at Mount Auburn Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. She also has been a Faculty Mentor in Brigham and Women’s Internal Medicine Residency. Dr. Herman graduated from McGill University Medical School (Montreal, Canada). She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Montreal, Canada) and received a Master’s equivalent degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from McGill University while doing a fellowship year in Community Medicine.

Sarah Pitluck, Head of Global Pricing and Reimbursement at Spark Therapeutics

Ms. Pitluck is the Head of Global Pricing & Reimbursement (P&R) at Spark Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated gene therapy company committed to meeting the needs of patients living with genetic diseases. In her current role, Ms. Pitluck priced the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease, LUXTURNA® (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl). She also led the roll-out of Spark’s unique alternate payment options and outcomes-based arrangements for LUXTURNA. She is now working to develop programs to help ensure timely patient access to future one-time gene therapies in development.

Prior to joining Spark, Ms. Pitluck was the Executive Director for Global P&R at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, leading all global P&R efforts, including dossier preparation and negotiations for Alexion globally. Ms. Pitluck was formerly the Director of Genentech’s Coverage & Reimbursement Policy and responsible for all US public payer policy and reimbursement issues for Genentech’s products. She also worked at healthcare consulting companies including Avalere Health and Covance Health Economics and Outcomes Services Inc., focusing on policy and reimbursement analyses for a variety of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device products related to care settings and disease areas. Ms. Pitluck received her Masters of Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science and her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.


Panel 2: Enabling Commercial success through payer-focused evidence development

Topics to be discussed:

  • What is the general commonality, the “formula”, that has to be proven to payers?
  • What does value mean to payers?
  • What type of data and studies are actually needed to prove that a drug, app or device need to be reimbursed?

Roman CascianoGeneral Manager and SVP in Analytica Laser, Certara’s Evidence and Access Group.

Roman is an applied health economist and market access strategist at Certara, a company providing modeling & simulation, regulatory science, and scientific value assessment software and services to reduce clinical trial burden, accelerate regulatory approval and increase patient access to medicines. Roman’s role comprises the executive management of all strategic and scientific teams, and he actively participate in client engagements. As a market access strategist, he ensures that customers can leverage all of the benefits of our multidisciplinary team and integrated offer. Roman has personally led hundreds of engagements in the international market access and health economics and outcomes research context related to product value demonstration. He has deep experience in the management of multidisciplinary teams of scientific and strategic consultants across continents. Roman’s experience ranges from analytical activities such as economic modelling and database studies, to strategic activities such as developing product pricing and market access plans and communicating evidence internally and externally for our customers. He intervenes across the product lifecycle, including assessment of early phase assets, licensing due diligence, and go/no-go decision-making support, as well as launch planning and commercialization activities.Roman received both a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Decision Making from Cornell University


Erin Mistry, Vice President Market Access, Intarcia Therapeutics

Erin Mistry has more than 15 years experience working in the rapidly evolving pharmaceutical and biotech industry with a focus on commercial strategy, portfolio prioritization, brand development, pricing, access and reimbursement strategy. Currently Vice President of Market Access at Intarcia Therapeutics responsible for all aspects of pricing, coverage, access, Real-World Evidence and channel strategy for a competitive product in T2D. On the service side of the business, Erin was responsible for leading a team of 55 pricing, access, and HEOR consultants across global markets launching 10 assets across 8 therapeutic categories including oncology, rare/orphan diseases, diabetes, infectious disease, metabolic disorders, ophthalmology, CNS, microbiome, cardiovascular, and opioid addiction.

Erin has worked directly with VC firms and PE to help identify strategic assets in clinical trial development for commercial viability, indication prioritization, in close cooperation with their biotech leadership. Erin received her M.S. in Biomechanical Engineering and B.S. in Industrial Engineering Healthcare track from North Carolina State University.


Peter J. Neumann, Sc.D., Director, Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health at Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center. Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine

Peter J. Neumann, Sc.D., is Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health (CEVR) at the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. He is the founder and director of the Cost-Effectiveness Registry, a comprehensive database of cost-effectiveness analyses in health care. Dr. Neumann has written widely on the role of clinical and economic evidence in pharmaceutical decision making and on regulatory and reimbursement issues in health care. He served as co-chair of the 2nd Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. He is the author or co-author of over 250 papers in the medical literature, the author of Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Improve Health Care (Oxford University Press, 2005) and co-editor of Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, 2nd Edition (Oxford University Press, 2016). Dr. Neumann has served as President of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). He is a member of the editorial advisory board of Health Affairs and the health policy advisory boards for the Congressional Budget Office.  He has also held several policy positions in Washington, including Special Assistant to the Administrator at the Health Care Financing Administration. He received his doctorate in health policy and management from Harvard University.

Michael S. Sherman, Senior Vice President & Chief Medical Officer at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Dr. Michael Sherman serves as chief medical officer and senior vice president for health services for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.  He is a pioneer in developing outcomes-based payment agreements with pharmaceutical companies that go beyond the historical “pay for pill” approach and tie reimbursement to patient outcomes.

Dr. Sherman serves as chair of the Board of Managers of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, which encompasses the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, on the Advisory Board of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), and on the board of directors for the Personalized Medicine Coalition.  He holds a B.A. and an M.S. in biomedical anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.D. from Yale and M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.


John Tagliamonte, Entrepreneur-in-residence at MassBio

John Tagliamonte has more than 20 years of experience in executive leadership with responsibility for corporate development, finance, commercial and business operations, strategic planning, finance and legal functions with established and emerging public and private life sciences companies.  As the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the MassBio, he is responsible for forward-looking program content across the organization, while helping to develop the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs.

He also serves on the business advisory boards of oncology drug startups WntRx and PercpTx.  Previously he was Chief Business Officer of rare disease company Oxyrane and held various executive business leadership roles at Anchor Therapeutics, ImmunoGen and Johnson & Johnson, as well as venture investing with Safeguard Scientifics. He began his career as a scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute followed by global business unit management at Bio-Rad.  John received his M.B.A. from Boston College and his B.S. in molecular biology from Tufts University.

Closing Keynote: Lessons learned and global market access insights on how to get it right

Sasha Richardson, Managing Director, Life Sciences Commercial Strategy at EY

sasha richardson

Sasha Richardson is a Managing Director in EY’s Health Sciences & Wellness practice focused on commercial strategy, innovation, value optimization and transformation, and brings close to 25 years of experience in the healthcare / life science sector. Prior to joining EY, Sasha was EVP & Head of the US and EU practice lead for a global Commercial & Market Access Consultancy serving global life science clients for almost 11 yrs. She also worked in Commercial Affairs at Janssen-Cilag Germany, was Director of Grand Central Physical Medicine Practice in NY, and practiced both as a healthcare consultant and independent healthcare provider in the private and public sector in Canada and England. Sasha has spoken at dozens of international events regarding healthcare strategy, pharmaceutical pricing, contracting & access issues for global audiences, as well as published multiple articles, abstracts and posters for industry and academia.


Early Bird Rates extended until February 29th
Members: $35 | Non-members: $50

Rates after February 29th:
Members: $50 | Non-members: $65

Tickets are transferable but not refundable.

650 E. Kendall Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

5PM to 9PM

5 to 6 pm: Registration & Pre-networking
6 pm: Welcome
6:15 pm: Panel 1
7:00 pm: Panel 2
7:45pm: Closing remarks
8pm – 9pm: Networking cocktail


This is a partner event with the French-American Chamber of Commerce of New England and hosted at Ipsen