Aldevron Breakthrough Blog

A Successful and Inspiring Breakthrough Symposium

Earlier this month Aldevron hosted its first scientific conference, the Breakthrough Symposium. We felt the time was right, given 2018 is Aldevron’s 20th anniversary, to invite those in the gene and cell therapy fields to Fargo, North Dakota, for collaboration, networking and fellowship. We were overwhelmed and gratified by the response!

James02Many excellent speakers gave informative and inspiring talks on a variety of topics including manufacturing, clinical development and discovery research. We were honored to have multiple presentations from the patients’ perspective, highlighting the amazing results we have seen in the field.

One blog post certainly cannot do justice to the impressive science presented at the meeting or the extensive networking and collaborations that occurred. In the next few weeks, we plan to provide more analysis, content and perspectives from the event. We welcome any feedback from participants and others, as we are already thinking about the next meeting and how we can make the event better.


We send a heartfelt thanks to our sponsors; please check them out on the Breakthrough Symposium website.  We were gratified to see the exhibit space crowded as attendees discussed their plans and needs with vendors, from staffing to bioprocess development. Several exhibitors commented on the high-quality discussions taking place and we are glad the event was able to facilitate new connections.

I was able to participate in the Symposium by presenting the last scientific talk on the second day of the event. I was truly honored to be part of such an impressive array of speakers. I discussed Aldevron’s plasmid DNA offerings and how they fit it in to programs based on how they are used and the stage of development.

During my talk and others there was lively discussion regarding manufacturing challenges, the largest of which is the availability of capacity to meet the increasing demands of a rapidly growing field. My slides are available for download, and you can also watch a video of my presentation. We will be making more content available, so please be sure to keep an eye on your email for more information.

DSC_2272We would like to give our sincere thanks to our speakers and poster presenters, without whom the event could not happen. Poster abstracts are available on the Breakthrough Symposium website.  Many attendees commented to us about the quality of the presentations and the new information they were eager to take back to their colleagues. We thank all of you who participated with your presentations, questions, products, and networking.

Aldevron staff did an amazing job supporting the event, in particular Ellen Shafer, Director of Marketing and Communications, and Darrel Veldhouse, Marketing Manager. We also thank Flint Group who supported us in all aspects of the event, including advertising, logistics and multimedia production.

DSC_2284Lastly, I want to thank Michael Chambers and John Ballantyne for their relentless pursuit of their vision over the past 20 years. Aldevron is a great place to work, a dedicated servant to its clients, and the basis for many breakthroughs that are improving patients’ lives. Thanks, Michael and John. We look forward to the next 20 years!


About the author

Latest posts

James Brown, Ph.D.

James Brown, Ph.D.

James Brown has over 25 years of biotechnology industry experience, and has spent the last decade in gene and cell therapy. In 2015 he joined Aldevron where he serves as Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief of Staff. His responsibilities include developing and implementing strategies for expanding Aldevron’s products and services. In this capacity he heads the product management function, which expands existing product features and develops new products. As Chief of Staff Brown works with the CEO to execute on his strategic priorities. Prior to joining Aldevron, Brown was Vice President, Technical Operations, at REGENXBIO Inc., a gene therapy company. In this role he was responsible for contract manufacturing, vendor management, operations, quality assurance and biological reagent sales. Prior to REGENXBIO Dr. Brown served in roles of increasing responsibility in operations and quality assurance at MedImmune, Meso Scale Discovery and IGEN International, Inc. Brown holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and a B.S. in chemistry from Butler University.

Topics: Events