TCU Place 35 -22nd St. East, Saskatoon, SK    

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John E. Hamer Ph.D
Burrill & Company
San Francisco, CA USA
Agricultural Biotechnology and the Next 10 Years:  An Investors Perspective
Monday, September 13, 2010
8:30 - 9:15 am

Abstract:  The importance of agriculture in developing a low carbon, renewable energy economy has now been layered upon an even more demanding role for agriculture to meet the food and feed needs of a growing world population.   Innovation in agricultural biotechnology has largely been driven by small innovative companies funded by venture capitalists.  But are investors ready to fund the next level of agricultural biotechnology innovation?  The presentation will explore the history of ag-biotech investing and discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future.
John E. Hamer joined Burrill & Company in 2003 and brings over 25 years of experience combining distinguished research, business and operational management to his investment strategies. He focuses his investments in food and agricultural areas including microbial technologies, renewable fuels and chemicals as well as early stage biotechnology companies. Dr. Hamer currently serves as Chairman of the Board for two of the leading biotechnology companies in agriculture and energy; Chromatin Inc. and Cobalt Biofuels Inc.

Dr. Hamer currently serves on the Boards of Osprey Pharmaceuticals, Sentinext Therapeutics, Nanovasc and Diadexus. He is a Director and Board Member of the Malaysian Life Science Capital Fund a fund co-managed by Burrill & Company and focusing on the bioindustrial sector. His previous Board positions include Crop Design NV (sold to BASF), Agraquest and E-markets.

Prior to joining Burrill & Company, Dr. Hamer helped to build Paradigm Genetics/Icoria, a leading agricultural biotechnology company (IPO in May 2000 on NASDAQ; sold to Monsanto) holding a variety of positions including Chief Science Officer, Executive Vice President for Business Development and Interim-CEO and President. Dr. Hamer help to co-found a number of companies including Arete Therapeutics, Newbridge Pharmaceuticals, and Sentinext.

Prior to his career in the biotechnology industry, Dr. Hamer held the rank of Full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University and was Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Immunology in the Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Hamer received numerous awards of distinction throughout his career, including a David and Lucille Packard Fellowship (1990-1995) and the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellowship (1993-1998).