Webinar Recording

Live Webinar for our Plenary Session:
Next Generation Advances in Neuroscience Research

Millions of people around the world are impacted by neurodegenerative diseases and with an increasing aging population there is a call to action among scientific experts to diversify neurodegenerative drug discovery. Which neurodegenerative treatments are showing greatest progress?

This panel brings together executives that are each taking new approaches to treating neurodegenerative disorders. Attendees can expect the session to center around the current challenges in neurodegenerative disease treatment and the anticipated next steps in global research.

Moderator: Danielle Friend, PhD, Senior Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs, BIO


  • Tor-Kristian Jenssen, Head, Research & Development, PubGene
  • Peter Laivins, Chief Commercial Officer, Alzheon
  • Professor Charalampos Tzoulis, Prof. of Neurology & Neurogenetics, Neuro-SysMed
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Danielle Friend

PhD, Senior Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs, BIO


Tor-Kristian Jenssen

Head, Research & Development, PubGene

Peter Laivins

Chief Commercial Officer, Alzheon

Prof. Charalampos Tzoulis

Prof. of Neurology & Neurogenetics, Neuro-SysMed

Speaker and Moderator Bios

Tor-Kristian Jenssen

MSc and Ph.D degrees in Computer Sciences

Tor Kristian holds lectured Informatics at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in 1998 – 1999, was a researcher in the Norwegian Cancer Hospital in 2001 – 2002, and a Board member of two strategic programs at the Norwegian Institute of Technology.

Peter Laivins

Chief Commercial Officer, Alzheon Inc.

In joining Alzheon, Peter brings unparalleled depth of expertise in shaping the Alzheimer’s commercial landscape over his 20+ year career in both large Pharma (Pfizer Inc.), and rising Biotech (Elan, Merrimack, Tesaro). At Pfizer, with their partners Eisai Inc., he launched Aricept®, the first meaningful treatment for AD, to achieve peak sales exceeding $3B. Subsequently, at Elan as VP Strategic Brand Management, he led commercial development of the first anti-amyloid antibody – bapineuzumab.

As Group Leader, Pfizer US Oncology Marketing, Peter oversaw the launch of Sutent® – a breakthrough drug for renal cell carcinoma and GIST. At Merrimack, as SVP, Head of Late-stage Development he led Phase 3 and successful FDA approval of Onivyde® – the first new therapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer in 20 years, and supported a $1B sale transaction of the asset.

Prior to Alzheon, Peter served as SVP, Strategic Development Program Management & Portfolio Assessment at Tesaro, as well as managing R&D Leadership, Governance, and Decision processes.

A graduate of McGill University in Montreal with a BS in Microbiology and Immunology, and MBA in Marketing and Corporate Policy, Peter is originally from Montreal Canada, and now resides with his wife and children in Scituate Mass., south of Boston.

Peter strongly believes that winning commercial development strategy is grounded in deep competitive and customer insights, coupled with agile, fit-for-purpose execution. Through integrity, independence of thought, and diversity of experience, he brings a powerful combination of qualities so important to rising biotechs such as Alzheon.

Prof. Charalampos Tzoulis

Vice Director, Neuro-SysMed Center for Excellence in Brain Disorders

Charalampos Tzoulis is Professor of Neurology and Neurogenetics. He is Director of the research group Neuromics.org at the University of Bergen and Vice Director of the Neuro-SysMed Center of Excellence for Brain Disorders at Haukeland University Hospital. His research focuses on Parkinson's disease, neurodegeneration and aging. 

Danielle Friend

PhD, Senior Director, Science and Regulatory Affairs, Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Danielle Friend serves as the Senior Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. In this role, Dr. Friend develops and advocates for policies that support the development of innovative therapies. Her portfolio includes work on issues pertaining to rare diseases and orphan drugs, pediatric drug development, and PDUFA and 21st Century Cures Act implementation, including patient-focused drug development and she leads BIO’s work related to the current opioid crisis. Prior to joining BIO Dr. Friend was selected as a Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). During her fellowship Danielle developed policies related to genomic and scientific data sharing within the Office of the Director, in the Office of Science Policy at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Danielle Friend received her Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2013 from the University of Utah. After completing her graduate work, Danielle conducted postdoctoral research at the NIH. Dr. Friend has published papers in peer-reviewed science journals on drug addiction and toxicity and the relationship between obesity and reward circuitry in the brain.