Logo for LaunchBio Program: Founders CircleLogo for LaunchBio Program: Founders Circle

A peer advisory forum for life science startup founders and C-level executives



Technology Licensing in Cell and Gene Therapy


3:45 – 4:00pm:  Registration

4:00 – 5:00pm:  Program

5:00 – 6:00pm:  Networking


It has been a difficult year for biotech startups seeking funding. The bear market has valuations down, making equity funding and M&A deals less appealing and harder to come by for start-ups. IPOs are virtually non-existent. However, with the pharmaceutical industry edging closer to the patent cliff for a significant number of top revenue producing drugs, the hunt to fill the pipeline for future revenue streams has top pharma companies leaving no stone unturned.

Opportunities abound with licensing deals and cell and gene therapy deals are leading the way. While licensing may currently be the most promising avenue for funding, the competition is steep, especially with more and more start-ups popping up in this field. Learn from industry veterans on what differentiates a start-up in this space seeking licensing opportunities and how to position your cell or gene therapy company for success.

Founders Circle forums are reserved for founders and C-level executives of start-up life science companies. The event is co-hosted with Biolabs and there will be refreshments and networking following the discussion. Please note that this forum is for founders and C-level executives. Space is limited to 40 participants. Participation in Founders Circle is limited and will be approved by LaunchBio.


  • Tracy Dowling, JD, General Counsel & Head of Business Development, AskBio

    Tracy Dowling, JD, General Counsel & Head of Business Development, AskBio

    Tracy brings significant business, legal and biotechnology experience to AskBio, where she serves as the company’s General Counsel and Head of Business Development. Tracy is responsible for business development strategy, search and evaluation, acquisitions, in and out licensing opportunities, partnership development, research collaborations and alliance management. Prior to AskBio, Tracy served in a leadership role at Spark Therapeutics as Associate General Counsel, providing legal oversight for all business matters including licensing, governance, compliance, and securities.

  • Lauren Kaskiel, MBA, Chief Business Officer, Code Biotherapeutics

    Lauren Kaskiel, MBA, Chief Business Officer, Code Biotherapeutics

    Lauren Kaskiel has 20 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and joins Code Bio from Spark Therapeutics where she most recently served as Head of Program and Alliance Management. During her time at Spark, Lauren held roles in Alliance Management, New Product Planning and Program Management and established and managed key strategic relationships on gene therapy programs with Pfizer and Novartis. Lauren most recently served as a liaison with the Roche Group to support engagement and interactions during the first year following the acquisition of Spark.

  • Craig Kenesky, PhD, JD, Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    Craig Kenesky, PhD, JD, Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

    Dr. Craig Kenesky is an associate in the New York office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Craig applies his background in synthetic organic, medicinal, peptide, bioorganic, and computational chemistry to the prosecution of domestic and foreign patent applications, as well as due diligence, freedom to operate, portfolio development strategy, opinions, and IP counseling. Craig represents clients in numerous technology-focused industries. He performs pre-transaction due diligence on behalf of both technology companies and venture capital groups, and he develops non-infringement and invalidity strategies for generic pharmaceutical companies.


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