From the get-go, the intention of the PharmaVoice 100 was to shine a light on individuals throughout the industry — from molecule to market — who inspire their teams, companies, and communities to go farther, reach higher and raise the bar on behalf of patients. Although PharmaVoice relaunched as a digital publication this year, the mission to find transformative and inspiring leaders in life sciences has stayed the same.
And over the past 16 years, you, our PharmaVoice community of readers, have risen to the challenge and identified a wide range of influential leaders, from CEOs to patient advocates to brand team leaders to technology visionaries. Sharing their personal and professional stories is a privilege that we take seriously every year.
Click here to submit a nomination.
The impact of our honorees
Our community of honorees are not just inspired leaders, they are also newsmakers. Take for example, 2021 honoree Kate Cronin who was named chief brand officer of Moderna last July. Reporting directly to CEO Stéphane Bancel, Cronin also sits on the company’s executive committee. Cronin, who most recently was global CEO of Ogilvy Health, is using her decades of experience in public relations, marketing and advertising to advance the biotech company’s COVID-19 vaccine in the marketplace. She is also using her position to advocate for women through STEM initiatives. And here’s a little known fact: Before getting into health communications, Cronin was an electron microscopist at Cornell.
Then there is another 2021 honoree Stanley Erck, CEO of Novavax, who reported this January that his company’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is already available for use in 170 countries, could be cleared by up to 10 regulators in several additional countries in the next couple of months. Novavax’s vaccine Nuvaxovid, a recombinant protein-based treatment, has a different mechanism of action than Moderna’s, which could appeal to skeptics adverse to mRNA technology. The biotech company began shipping the first doses of Nuvaxovid to Europe last week.
Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton, another 2021 honoree, was also tapped last year as a Global Icon awardee by Women of Color in Pharma (WOCIP), and her vision is to drive the transformation of the life sciences landscape for women of color. Jones-Burton, who is the founder and president of WOCIP, also assumed a new role as senior vice president of product development and strategy at Chinook Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision medicines for kidney diseases, after almost a dozen years at Otsuka Therapeutics and Bristol Myers Squibb. (Check out her 2019 Woman of the Week podcast interview).
In addition, this year saw the ascent of PharmaVoice 100 Ramona Sequira as the first woman to chair the industry organization PhRMA. Sequira, who serves as president, U.S. Business Unit and Global Portfolio Commercialization, will share her vision for the organization, the industry, and the future of healthcare during an in-depth interview with PharmaVoice, which will be published on March 8 — International Women’s Day. Stay tuned.
Big next steps
Toward the latter half of 2021, the industry saw two big shifts in big pharma leadership. Red Jacket honoree Alex Gorsky, announced he was stepping down as chair and CEO of J&J in 2022 after 30 years with the company, and PharmaVoice 100 honoree Merck & Co.’s Ken Frazier, following his retirement from a decade-long tenure as the company’s president and CEO, assumed the role of executive chairman of Merck’s board of directors in July 2021.
Gorsky’s impact on J&J and the industry was transformational. In addition to recognizing the importance of scientific breakthroughs in several indication areas, Gorsky was instrumental in promoting and driving for a more diverse and inclusive culture, including a $100 million pledge to fight health inequities for communities of color in the U.S. In November 2021, Apple announced Gorsky was joining its board of directors. It’s only a matter of time before we begin to see what comes to fruition from this move.
Under Frazier’s leadership, Merck developed and commercialized several innovative life-saving medicines and vaccines, including the breakthrough oncology treatment Keytruda.
Frazier will continue to build on his legacy of public service — especially in the legal, business, and humanitarian fields. For example, he is co-founder and co-chair of OneTen, which bills itself as a “coalition of leading organizations committed to upskilling, hiring, and promoting 1 million Black Americans into family-sustaining jobs.”
In 2021, the PharmaVoice community, as well as the industry at large, experienced a significant loss when Medidata founder and Life Sciences and Healthcare Vice-Chair for Dassault Systèmes, Glen de Vries, was killed in a small plane accident in New Jersey, just weeks after completing his life-long dream to visit space aboard Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin New Shepard. We had the honor of speaking with the two-time PharmaVoice 100 honoree in an exclusive interview just after he returned from his epic astronaut adventure. De Vries called it an incredible privilege to be part of the beginning of the “space race,” which he said had many parallels to life sciences, including the creation of a “virtuous cycle of innovation.”
Send us your nomination
Transformation, innovation and creativity are the sparks of inspiration. And there is no shortage of inspiring leaders who are lighting up the landscape of the life sciences industry through their courage, conviction and compassion.
Who will be on this year’s list? Well, that’s up to you — our readers. Now is the time to submit the person or people propelling the industry to new heights.
The deadline for submissions is April 1, 2022. Click here to submit your nomination now.