SCN / Innovative Medicines Canada Workshop: Key People

Speaker Biographies

Ms. Anne Babineau
Director, Prairies, Innovative Medicines Canada

Anne is the Director, Prairies with Innovative Medicines Canada and works with key partners and stakeholders to advocate for an improved environment for the research-based pharmaceutical industry so that research and development activities in Canada can continue to develop new medicines and vaccines for patient benefit.
Anne has worked in an advocacy role with United Way of Calgary and Area (as their Senior Director of Marketing Communications) previous to this position. And she spent nine years working on the Executive Team at Chinook Health in Lethbridge as their Director of Communications.

Anne graduated from University in Halifax with degrees from University of King’s College, Dalhousie University and Mount Saint Vincent University.

Ms. Bindi Ferguson
Senior Manager – Industry & Technology Initiatives (Health), Alberta Innovates

Bindi has over 9 years of experience in research partnerships and health innovation commercialization. Her prior experience includes patenting and commercial licensing of intellectual property, and negotiating spin-off companies developed out the University of Alberta with TEC Edmonton. Prior to that she had worked at the University of Alberta’s Research Services Office negotiating complex multi-party research partnership agreements. She has a science background in Immunology (MSc) and Pharmacology (BSc).

Mr. Gilles Gagnon
President and CEO, Ceapro Inc.

Mr. Gilles Gagnon is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ceapro Inc. He has also been President of Prodev Pharma Inc. since May 2007. Prior to that, he was Chief Executive Officer of AEterna Zentaris. During the past thirty years, Mr. Gagnon has worked at several management levels within the field of health, especially in the hospital environment and pharmaceutical industry where he participated in launching several new pharmaceutical products. Before coming to AEterna in 1999, Mr. Gagnon was Vice President, External Affairs, for Novartis Pharma Canada Inc. Mr. Gagnon holds a Master’s degree in Pharmacology (M.Sc.), a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Sherbrooke University, and a certificate in general management from the London Business School, UK.

Mr. Reg Joseph
Vice President, Initiatives and Innovations, Alberta Innovates

Reg has 15 years’ experience in the biotechnology and high technology sectors and has worked with large publically traded firms, start-ups, and the investment banking industry. His prior experience includes serving as an equity research analyst with Boston-based Leerink Swann & Co., where he covered the life science tools sector. He also spent four years at US-based Invitrogen Corp (now Thermo Fisher) in a variety of roles including licensing, product development, acquisitions and integration. Reg has also served in a variety of C-level and board positions with local medical technology-based start-ups.
Reg currently serves on the Board of BioTalent Canada and is a mentor for the AllerGen NCE commercialization program. He also sits on BioAlberta’s policy committee and serves on the board of the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE).

Dr. Blair O’Neill
Associate Chief Medical Officer, Strategic Clinical Networks, Alberta Health Services

Dr. Blair O’Neill is the former Senior Medical Director for the Cardiovascular Health and Stroke Strategic Clinical Network for Alberta Health Services. He recently assumed the position as the Associate Chief Medical Officer Strategic Clinical Networks for Alberta Health Services. He served as President of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society from 2010 – 2012 and is currently its Immediate Past President (2012 – 2014).

The Strategic Clinical Networks are new AHS entities intended to help ensure a sustainable publicly funded health-care system by using evidence to improve value for money. Other functions of the SCN’s are to support population and public health initiatives, to develop best practices and to support clinical pathways for dissemination and implementation, to develop and publish measures and performance across quality dimensions, to assess and reassess technologies and enable evidence development, to prioritize outcomes and interventions for improvement by AHS Zones and across the continuum of care, as well as to work with zones and communities in order to undertake a medium and long term view of needs and service development to drive quality and sustainability.

Dr. O’Neill’s role is to engage clinical experts, users, patients and members of the public to design service models and implementation strategies to achieve goals as well as to work with the 5 AHS Zones to implement, evaluate and optimize innovative service delivery models. The SCN proactively develops and uses research to generate new knowledge and apply the knowledge translation skills within the Academic Health Network (AHN) to solve important clinical problems. Innovation is key to improving the health care system and hence is a critical success factor for the networks.

Dr. O’Neill remains actively involved in clinical research in the area of cardiovascular health and prevention, health systems, health services and outcomes research and has been a principle investigator of many trials concerning the management of acute coronary syndromes, hyperlipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, and the use of new devices in interventional cardiology. He is a member of the Executive Steering Committee of “A Novel Approach to Cardiovascular Health by Optimizing Risk Management” (ANCHOR), an innovative approach to screening for patients at moderate to high risk of CV disease and reducing risk scores in primary care settings.
A member of several professional committees, Dr. O’Neill is active in his professional community. He has served as member of the Council of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society from 1996 – 2001 and President of Canadian Cardiovascular Society (2010 – 2012), as well as past chairman of its Access to Care Committee. For his work in setting targets and benchmarks for Access to Cardiac Care, Dr. O’Neill was awarded the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s 2006 Public Policy Award. He also chairs the Common CV Data Definitions and Quality Indicator Strategic Oversight Committee.

Mr. Dan Palfrey
Director, Industry Engagement, Institute of Health Economics

Dan Palfrey is the Director of Industry Engagement with the Institute of Health Economics. In previous roles Dan has held progressive leadership positions with a multinational pharmaceutical organization in Market Research, Sales, Marketing, Product Management and Government Relations, and most recently was a Vice President with one of Canada's leading Electronic Medical Record companies. Dan has Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Alberta.