Pharma USA 2024

Mar 26, 2024 - Mar 27, 2024, Philadelphia

North America’s ultimate gathering for pharma changemakers

What not to miss on Cell and Gene Therapy stage at Reuters Events: Pharma USA 2024

From building a solid value proposition to innovating through collaboration, discover where industry changemakers see the strengths of cell and gene in 2024.

“2024 is a really exciting year for gene therapies,” says Megan Sullivan, VP, Global Customer Experience & Commercial Innovation at Astellas Gene Therapies. “There’s been a lot of discussion around innovation, updating clinical trials and connecting with more patients. I’m looking forward to the continuing evolution of regulatory updates, so that we can get assets to patients quicker, and many of the partnerships that have already started, to really combine ideas, resources and knowledge.” 

The promise and capacity of cell and gene therapies (CGT) to change lives is clear. Now in 2024, it’s time to finesse how pharma goes about doing this. Building a solid value proposition and collaborating effectively are some of the central strands at the Cell & Gene Therapy track at Reuters Events: Pharma USA 2024 this March, alongside other industry focuses including commercial, patientmedical affairs, patient engagement, market access and health equity. 

Sullivan will be joined by her colleague Richard Wilson, SVP, Primary Focus Lead (Genetic Regulation) at from Astellas at Pharma USA 2024, for a fireside chat around how to build robust capabilities to support all aspects of the gene therapy product lifecycle, craft a solid value proposition across stakeholders, as well as reflecting on the unprecedented progress made in 2023.

“This is going to be a year where we remember just what the power of these gene therapies are and how they're going to make a difference in the lives of so many patients,” says Wilson. “Similarly, I think we're going to be tracking some really important launches in our field, as we see therapies emerging in sickle cell disease, hemophilia and DMD. Collectively, we're going to learn, how do we really turn these promising scientific breakthroughs into commercial successes, so that we can really bring the power of these therapies to as many patients as possible?”

With a growing interest in the its disruptive potential of CGT, Cell & Gene Therapy commands its own stage at North America’s largest cross-functional pharma gathering, Pharma USA, bringing together voices from across the industry, but also increasingly from the agile bio-tech companies who act as a vital and innovative driver and collaborative partner with big pharma. The Cell & Gene Therapy track is running modules around four key challenges people are facing in the industry today; from overcoming commercial barriers and streaming lab-patient journeys through to building fit for purpose cell and gene capabilities and accelerating market access.

Discussing commercialization, three events sessions focus on the current landscape and the trends ahead, while spotlighting the longer lead times required. “Gene therapy companies should start thinking about commercialization much earlier than your traditional pharma models; the reason being, there needs to be a value story’ is better,” says Sullivan, who places this at typically up to six years prior to launch, rather than the three seen in common disease areas. “In rare diseases there’s so few patients that we need to understand the patient journey very acutely. We want to make sure that we're building our capabilities around patient finding, and that our clinical trial endpoints meet the criteria that payers are looking for.”

Rita Johnson-Greene, COO for the non-profit association Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, chairs a panel on launch strategy excellence through collaboration, which brings pharma voices together with the invaluable perspective of Yuanyuan Milligan, Team Lead, Biopharma, U.S. Department of Commerce, who will highlight the government tools and policies that can support the bio-pharma industry. The power of partnership will be teased out by Doug Danison, Head, Commercial Strategy & Operations, Cell & Gene Therapies at Bayer, who will speak to the company’s strategic investment in next-generation medicine through agile bio-tech companies.

Upscaling manufacturing forms the focus of the second track module, where a panel teams experienced CMC leaders from Bristol Myers Squibb, Aurion, Sumitomo Pharma America and Iovance Biotherapeutics to explore best practice in manufacturing and sites of care experience. John Lo, Chief Commercial Officer at Beam Therapeutics will also offer a case study of their sickle cell disease strategy, touching on patient identification, scalability and once more highlighting the importance of leveraging partnerships. 

“Three things come to mind for me as success factors for gene therapy,” says Wilson. “The first is partnerships. No one company is going to solve all of these challenges alone. We have to be able to work collectively so that we can truly bring these powerful technologies through to patients. The second is a focus on what mindset and culture you bring to bear, and the last part is writ and perseverance. If there's one thing we've seen, you have to be in this game for the long run.”

Building fit for purpose cell and gene capabilities is the third pillar of the Cell & Gene program  track, taking in both digital capabilities and the importance of articulating a solid value proposition. Within the unique space of CGT, where patient and HCP groups alike are both much smaller than elsewhere, commercial strategies need to be both targeted and precise.

A case study from Bayer dives into elevating the impact of your value proposition with the support of patients, HCPs, regulators and payers, while a panel of speakers from the likes of Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine and Cencora discuss how to build digital capabilities to scale up commercialization in a transitioning market, and how to differentiate products in a fiercely competitive industry.

The Cell & Gene program will be rounded off with a focus on accelerating market access, teaming pricing strategy and reimbursement with the work that needs to be done with patients. Cindy Perettie, Executive Vice President at Kite, a Gilead Company, and a leading voice in the CGT industry, is joined by Jeff Patton, CEO at One Oncology, for a fireside chat focused on improving patient access to CAR T-Cell therapy. They will look at tackling bottlenecks in the patient journey and offering ways through these roadblocks, while the final panel discuss developing value-based relationships with reimbursement stakeholders.

Outside of the Cell & Gene Therapy stage, a further fireside chat in the Health Equity sector brings together CEOs from two agile bio-techs focused on innovative medicine, Micron Biomedical and Excision BioTherapeutics, who will share dynamic case studies showing how to widen market access in developing environments through the development and delivery of needle-free microarrays and HIV and hepatitis treatment.

Along with the how, through the speakers’ experiences, the program will also bring out the why of working in this innovative space. “One of my nieces has a rare disease, a genetic condition, and after seeing what my sister and niece had to go through, I felt it was a space that I wanted to work in,” says Sullivan.

“It's a deeply personal story when you start reflecting on what the power of these gene therapies is and what transformational benefits they can bring,” adds Wilson. “It's hard not to be deeply moved by these stories and to me that's what gets me up every day and what inspires me to make sure we can bring those benefits to as many patients as possible.”


Pharma USA 2024 runs from March 26 to 27, 2024, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia. For more information, or to register, visit


Unmissable Cell & Gene Therapy track highlights at Pharma USA 2024:


  • PANEL: Elevate your cell and gene launch strategy by leveraging multi-disciplinary collaboration and shared learnings 
    2:40-3:20pm | 26 March
    Pharma, bio-pharma and governmental experts join forces to share how to expand market footprints with proven potentials.
  • CASE STUDY: From Concept to Cure: Pioneering the Commercialization of Precision Base Editing through Innovation and Strategic Collaborations
    5:10-5:30pm | 26 March
    Explore Beam's innovative three-wave strategy in sickle cell disease, learning how to scale globally and leverage partnerships.
  • FIRESIDE CHAT: Build robust capabilities to support all aspects of the gene therapy product lifecycle
    8:50-9:10am | 27 March
    Richard Wilson, SVP, Primary Focus Lead (Genetic Regulation) at Astellas and Megan Sullivan, VP, Global Customer Experience & Commercial Innovation, Astellas Gene Therapies reflect on building end-to-end capabilities across the value chain.
  • FIRESIDE CHAT: Collaborating to Reach More Patients and Bring CAR T-Cell Therapy Closer to Home
    12:10-12:30pm | 27 March
    Hear Cindy Perettie, Executive Vice President at Kite, a Gilead Company, in conversation with Jeff Patton, CEO, One Oncology, about the CAR-T journey.

Pharma USA 2024

Mar 26, 2024 - Mar 27, 2024, Philadelphia

North America’s ultimate gathering for pharma changemakers