NCRAF 2018 Spring Symposium

The Wild Ride of Biotech:
Startups, Spinouts, IPOs and Nonprofits

Speaker Dr. Ben Yerxa, CEO at Foundation Fighting Blindness

Ben Yerxa, PhD, has 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry where he’s served in prominent leadership roles at commercial businesses and nonprofit organizations. Dr. Yerxa has led product development programs from the discovery phase through product launch and has spearheaded the establishment of R&D and corporate infrastructure for several companies from inception. Dr. Yerxa is an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 50 issued US patents, and he is the recipient of prestigious awards for his achievements in scientific discovery, business, and leadership.
Dr. Yerxa currently serves as the CEO at Foundation Fighting Blindness, the leading private funder of research on potential treatments and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases. Over the last 47 years, Foundation Fighting Blindness has supported innovative retinal disease research in promising areas such as genetics, gene and stem-cell therapies, retinal cell transplantation, and pharmaceutical and nutritional therapies. The Foundation was an early funder of research for the now FDA-approved LUXTURNATM, a one-time gene therapy treatment for patients with inherited retinal diseases.
At this presentation, Dr. Yerxa will share insights and lessons learned on leadership, regulatory, clinical, CMC, business development, finance, commercial, and communication strategies and discuss some of the unique risks and challenges facing the biotech industry today.


5:30 - 6:00 Networking and Hors d'oeuvres

6:00 – 7:00 Dinner

7:00 – 8:00 Presentation


View Map and Directions


15 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

$20 members, $45 non-members, $25 students/postdocs/unemployed job seekers