Invest in Cures Disease Foundation Forum

Invest in Cures

LaunchBio’s signature Invest in Cures forum invites leading disease foundations and social venture funds to discuss their research strategies and investment philosophies, and share how they are using deep scientific knowledge to accelerate the commercialization of new therapies and cures for patients. The discussion explores innovative approaches to advancing treatments for rare disease and highlights examples of successful partnerships with local startups.


  • Crohn's & Colitis
  • CureDuchenne
  • BrightEdge Ventures (American Cancer Society)
  • Dementia Discovery Fund
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness
  • Hatteras Venture Partners
  • JDRF TD1 Fund
  • March of Dimes Innovation Fund
  • Opus Genetics


9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. -  Advancing Patient Outcomes Through Partnerships

  • Panelists include:
    • Jimmy Rosen, MBA, MSPH, Biotechnology Consultant (moderator)
    • Gerard Honig, Ph.D., Director of Research Innovation at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
    • Ashwath (Ash) Jayagopal, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Scientific Officer, Opus Genetics
    • Rusty Kelley, Ph.D., MBA, SVP Investments & Alliances, Foundation Fighting Blindness
    • Mark Spizer, Co-Founder and COO of Gusto Global

10:10 a.m. to 10:40 a.m. - Innovation in Rare Disease

  • Panelists include:
    • Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners (moderator)
    • Niraj Vasisht, Ph.D., President and CEO at Avior Bio
    • John Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Aceragen, Inc.
    • Anil Goyal, Ph.D., CEO & Board chair at IMMvention Therapeutix, Inc.
    • Haiyan Fu, Ph.D., NeuroGT

11:15 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. - Impact Investing to Address Health Disparities

  • Panelists include:
    • Kirsten Axelsen Senior Policy Advisor, DLA Piper
    • Alice L. Pomponio, Managing Director, American Cancer Society BrightEdge

12:10 p.m.  to 1:00 p.m. - The Way Forward

  • Panelists include: 
    • Michael Hostetler, Ph.D., Esq, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati (moderator)
    • Dirk Landgraf, Ph.D., Vice President Dementia Discovery Fund
    • Debra Miller, Founder and CEO, CureDuchenne

For additional agenda details, click here.




Presented at NCBiotech on Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. -1 p.m., this in-person event combines main stage sessions and panel discussions with high-level networking. Tickets are limited and guests must pre-register.

More Information

Visit the Invest in Cures event page on the LaunchBio website for updates. 

Sponsored By


 NC Biotech Logo







North Carolina Biotechnology Center
15 T. W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 

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