Northwestern Events Calendar


From Idea to Therapeutic: A Biopharma, Biotech & VC Perspective

When: Friday, January 21, 2022
10:00 AM - 10:45 AM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Sonia Kim   (847) 467-0446

Group: Innovation and New Ventures Office

Category: Training


How do I attract industry interest or participation in my therapeutic ideas? 

Please join us for the first INVOForward seminar during which Jim Sullivan (Venture Partner, OrbiMed) will discuss a critical element in pursuing a potential therapeutic, namely the validation of the biological rationale, to biopharma and venture groups, as well as pointing out some common pitfalls. Based on his biopharma, biotech and venture capital perspective, Dr. Sullivan will discuss new emerging therapeutic modalities and the importance of both genomics and additional data in target validation. He will share vignettes across a number of programs and offer his perspectives on getting therapeutic projects funded by biopharma, biotech and venture.

This seminar is part of the INVOForward Therapeutics lecture series focused on helping Northwestern researchers gain insight into how to build a compelling therapeutic data package. While the INVOForward mentorship program has four select faculty-led teams participating, the lectures are open to Northwestern Faculty, Post-docs and Students.

Other INVOForward lectures may be found here.



Jim Sullivan, Ph.D.

Dr. Sullivan is co-founder and CEO of Vanqua Bio, and focused on improving the lives of patients with PD, GD, ALS, AD and related neurological diseases. In addition, he has been a Venture Partner with Orbimed since January 2019. Previously, he was the Vice President of Research at Abbvie where he was responsible for the company’s research efforts in a variety of therapeutic/disease areas including oncology, immunology, neurology, hepatitis C and cystic fibrosis. Jim has advanced more than 100 compounds into clinical development across a number of disease states and technology platforms. These include products on the market for HCV (Mavyret and Viekira), the first-in-class Bcl2 selective inhibitor, Venclexta, for hematological cancers, a new oral agent for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, RINVOQ, and multiple compounds currently in Phase II or III clinical trials. He has authored/co-authored more than 130 scientific publications and is an inventor on 11 patents. Jim is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University and serves on the board of several companies and foundations including Regis Technologies, Genomics Medicine Ireland, Genuity Science, MATTER Healthcare Incubator, Chicago Biotechnology Accelerator and the Pistoia Alliance. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and conducted post-doctoral research in neurobiology at Northwestern University.bachelor's degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and conducted post-doctoral research in neurobiology at Northwestern University.


INVOForward Therapeutics is a 7-week Northwestern mentorship program designed to accelerate biomedical commercialization at the university.

If you have any questions, please email


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