BioNJ’s Gateway Gala to Salute Patients And the Innovator Companies Inspired by Them

BioNJ will present Innovator Awards honoring industry leaders, policy champions and Patient advocates who have reached significant milestones, as well as companies with a footprint in New Jersey that have received a drug approval in 2016 during its 24th Annual Gateway Gala and Innovation Celebration taking place February 2 at the Hilton East Brunswick.
The Gateway Gala will feature the presentation of the tenth Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership to Fred Hassan, Partner and Managing Director, Warburg Pincus and Former Chairman of the Board & CEO, Schering-Plough. As a globally recognized and revered biopharmaceutical leader, Mr. Hassan is widely regarded for his passion for Patients, dedication to advancing healthcare and mentoring industry leaders. The Keynote will be delivered by Patient, Patient advocate and media legend Joan Lunden.
“Because Patients Can’t Wait®, BioNJ is committed to fostering a life science ecosystem in New Jersey where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients are Paramount,” said Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ, “Our 24th Gateway Gala will celebrate the advances in medical innovation with ties to New Jersey that are helping Patients live better, longer lives while lessening the burden of illness and disease on society.”
Innovator Awards
With the gathering of more than 750 life sciences professionals, BioNJ is pleased to present an Innovator Award to these honorees:
2016 Drug Approval Category:

Amicus Therapeutics


Eli Lilly and Company

Elusys Therapeutics

Heron Therapeutics

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Merck & Co., Inc.

Novo Nordisk

Leadership Category:

John Crowley, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Amicus Therapeutics

Scott Jackson, Former CEO, Celator Pharmaceuticals

Christian Kopfli, CEO, Chromocell

Elizabeth Posillico, Ph.D., President & CEO, Elusys Therapeutics
Policy Champion Category:

Congressman Leonard Lance

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.

Patient Advocate Category:
Andrea, Natalie & Hannah Gorsegner
“Magic” Max Schill
Don Wright — Marathon Man

Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership

Now in its tenth year, the 2017 Dr. Sol J. Barer Award for Vision, Innovation and Leadership will be presented by Dr. Barer to Fred Hassan – respected industry leader in both small and large company environments, known for mentoring entrepreneurs who have become successful CEOs; guiding emerging companies through Board leadership; and investing in promising entrepreneurs and biopharma companies.

Keynote by Joan Lunden

As the longest-running early morning TV host ever, for nearly two decades Joan Lunden greeted viewers each day on Good Morning America bringing insight to the day’s top stories. In June 2014, Ms. Lunden was diagnosed with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, which required chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. She made a decision to take her battle public and has since shared her journey through cancer treatment with the world. An eternal optimist, Ms. Lunden decided to turn her diagnosis into an opportunity to help others in the breast cancer community, recently launching ALIVE, an online channel dedicated to people living with and surviving from breast cancer.

During her Keynote presentation, “My Breast Cancer Journey, A Patient’s Perspective,” Ms. Lunden will speak about her personal battle with breast cancer and what she has learned through her journey. She’ll share a Patient’s perspective on treatment, the difficulties of navigating the healthcare system, the technology that helped her and the hard decisions a Patient has to make during the battle to save their life.
Register today at and celebrate New Jersey’s vibrant life sciences community. Registration is $425 for BioNJ Members and affiliated organizations and $570 for Future Members. Please contact Edie Esposito to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
About BioNJ
BioNJ, The Gateway to Health, is a network of more than 400 Members representing research-based life sciences companies and stakeholders dedicated to propelling a vibrant ecosystem where Science is Supported, Companies are Created, Drugs are Developed and Patients are Paramount. Because Patients Can’t Wait®, BioNJ supports its Members in the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies and cures that save and improve lives and lessen the burden of illness and disease to society by driving capital formation, fostering entrepreneurship, advocating for public policies that advance medical innovation, providing access to talent and education and offering a cost-saving array of critical commercial resources. For more information about BioNJ, please visit
Randi Bromberg
Vice President, Communications and Marketing
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