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Kerrie Brady wasn’t expecting a summer internship at a European multinational pharmaceutical company to change the course of her life. A pharmacist in training, Brady was planning to work at a hospital or community pharmacy. But the experience working with drugs before they hit pharmacy shelves opened her eyes to a new world of career possibilities.
“All of the things that I learned studying to be a pharmacist — chemistry, biology and development — I could use to put a new drug on the shelf to treat people rather than being someone to take a drug off the shelf to help an individual,” she says.
She describes her more than 30-year career as the “road less traveled” and one defined by three eras: pharma, biotech, and entrepreneurial. It’s the entrepreneurial epoch that Brady finds the most fulfilling and exciting, and one that allows her to relish in her love and passion for science as well as the satisfaction of putting the “million pieces of a puzzle” together to start up a company. Having founded four companies — Traxion Therapeutics Inc., Arcion Therapeutics Inc., Vallinex Inc., and Centrexion Therapeutics Corp. — Brady says no two experiences are the same.
“I love the ability to turn great science into new and better patient treatments,” she says. “I became a ‘born again’ scientist when I did my masters in biopharmaceuticals, but I'm not cut out to be only a scientist. I love being at the center of the business and the science. On the business side, I love fundraising. And I love creating things, but the product has to be meaningful.”
Today, as CEO and president of OcuTerra Therapeutics, which is addressing unmet needs for patients with ophthalmic diseases, Brady is bringing her vast skill set to shepherd the company’s lead asset OTT166 through development.
“I'm pleased to say at the end of last year, we closed our $35 million dollar Series B, and we're now off and running and looking to dose our first patient at the end of this quarter in our phase two clinical study,” she says.
OTT166 has the potential to treat retinal disease with an eye dropper rather than with an injection.
“This is important because at the moment there isn’t a topical solution for diabetic retinopathy, which is a disease that affects blood vessels in the retina,” she says. “Retinopathy is the No. 1 cause of blindness in working age people.”
In today’s WoW podcast, Brady shares how her willingness to take risks has paid off, her views on what it takes to be a successful biotech entrepreneur, and what it means to be part of a community of women biotech leaders.
Taren: Kerrie, welcome to the WoW podcast program.
Kerrie: Thank you delighted to be here.
Taren: I'm excited to meet you and to talk about your very meaningful 30-year plus career in the biotech life sciences industry. Without going into every job detail can you give us a thumbnail sketch of some of your career highlights that led you to your current role?
Kerrie: Sure, I'm more than happy to do that. And it's getting to be much more than 30 years. To characterize the path here I've done things differently and, in many cases, taken the road less traveled and I took a number of risks. Looking back now I can see the thread. But at the time I really was just following my curiosity and seeking challenges, and I now see it as lovely three eras if you like — pharma, biotech, and now the entrepreneurial era.
Way back when I first started in pharma, I actually entered by doing a summer internship in one of the branch offices of a European multinational that was unusual at the time. As a pharmacy student, one usually went into hospital pharmacy or community pharmacy, but I was curious about what was going on inside. And I came out of that — wow, wow, this is amazing. All the things that I've learned studying to be a pharmacist and about chemistry and biology and development I could put it all to work here and be involved in putting a new drug on the shelf to treat people rather than being someone to take a drug off the shelf to help individuals and that's what's the rest of my career is now. In my trainee year, I moved into what was then a branch office of a multinational European company. It's what we call it a startup situation. The company was moving from having licensees for the Australian market, to having their own office there. We were a small team involved in doing everything and so although officially my role was regulatory affairs, which is great grounding for everything I've done since. I got involved in clinical I got involved in marketing and really got a very, very broad experience. After another couple of years in that role, I thought, I probably should join a more established company and learn how things really are done properly in a bigger company. And so, I did that. I moved to another established country office space in Australia, again into a regulatory role as well. And it was awful. I felt like I was in a box. I was chatting with other people in the company. I talk with people in clinical and help them solve a problem. I talk with people in marketing. Oh, this isn't for me. But one of the highlights there is I got my very first product approved in Australia.
It was extremely exciting. I was the one who got it over the goal line. Now there had been a lot of work of course that happened before I came in, but I was able to solve a problem, by searching out some information and being able to establish that product it was really a big highlight. And for that I got moved to be a product manager which is an unusual move. And to launch products and I got to create new products and I really loved that, and this spurred my interest more in the business side. I've always been passionate and excited about the science, but with its exposure to marketing and all these other things I felt I needed to do more. And so that led me to do my MBA, and that really was another important transitional point. It really gave me a much wider view of the world outside of pharma and created ideas and different ways of looking at things and it also made me much more appreciative of the other roles inside the company. Now I understood why the guy in counsel always needed to have our accruals. Now I understood more why the guy in manufacturing kept bugging us about forecasts. So, understanding how the company components come together and need to work is a really important thing.
Once I completed my MBA that launched my biotech epoch. And I joined as the first employee of what we would now call a translational incubator, and this is a joint venture. There were four academic partners and three industry partners — CSR, Johnson & Johnson and Peptech. And the idea there was to collaborate and bring products from academia through and into becoming products eventually. And in this program, we had four programs — three with therapeutics, and in fact during the seven-year term and two of them did go from bench to clinic and fourth program was mammalian cell expression technology, which caused me no end struggle. You know, at the time, all I knew about vectors was that they were insects that carry diseases. I was a small molecule person. I really needed to understand this. So, I started doing my master's in biopharmaceuticals part time — the tools and techniques of medical, of biology, and genetic engineering for drug discovery and development, that too, was another highlight. Ah, this whole new world of what we can do came to my attention. This further whetted my appetite for biotechnology but also for BD and exposure to the US during my time with a translational incubator. A lot of interaction with groups in the US etc. So that led to me coming here to the US. I wanted to be at the center of biologics. And now that I'm here, I can tell you, I love it and 20-plus years on I'm now a proud, dual citizen and proud to be part of this country and the work that we're doing in biotech. So, I worked in biotech, and business development to two biotech one public and one private, for a couple of years each. Then I had a business development consultancy for a couple of years doing deals between Japan and the US. And then things got really, really interesting. I started my entrepreneurial era, which we're in now. I founded my first company as CEO of Traxion Therapeutics. And I founded that based on technology I in-licensed from Japan, from the relationships that I built up there and these were very promising preclinical aspects. And the contacts and experience through Traxion Therapeutics led me to team up with Dr. Jim Campbell, who was a leading Johns Hopkins’ neurosurgeon, clinician-scientist, and he was doing an entrepreneur-in-residence sabbatical at one of the leading VC companies into US partners and teamed up with Jim to be co-founder and chief operating officer of Arcion Therapeutics. Another key moment was when we got our initial Series A funding of $20 million was a real exciting feeling. I think this is part of what the juice of being an entrepreneur is — success is always sweeter for the struggle and there’s plenty of struggle in entrepreneurship. Then we developed a program there then moved on and went on to co-found another company, Centrexion Therapeutics, by the way the ion at the end of each name is just by coincidence — stories to another time. And so, with Centrexion that was really an interesting situation because it was an M&A situation it was a very complex bringing together of a couple of entities. When Goodwin, who we were working with at the time, an expert in venture and fundraising, said this one of the most complex transactions we've ever worked on. I said, great, thanks. This is my one of my first, it makes me feel a bit better for being really tough. We did that successfully. And again, we got our initial funding round this time, closer to $40 million. Yes. And then, a few years later, and another big highlight and personally very rewarding for me, was the $1 billion out-licensing deal we did with Eli Lilly for one of our early pipeline assets.
So now that brings us to OcuTerra where I stepped in two years ago as CEO, this is basically a rescue for the company. The asset was fantastic, they struggled with the financing, and they needed someone who could come in and help them. And I was delighted to have the opportunity to do that. It was risky. They didn't have the funding. But I saw the opportunity and thought, why not. And I'm pleased to say at the end of last year, we closed our $35 million dollar Series B. And we're now off and running looking to dose our first patient at the end of this quarter in our phase two clinical study.
The final career highlight is the end of last year I was invited to join my first board role as an independent director and that was really rewarding. I wasn't actually out looking, I'm pretty busy. But this was a particularly interesting opportunity, and I was delighted to be invited and I must say I think it's made me a much better CEO sitting on the other side of the boardroom table. This really helped me and hopefully I think I’m being helpful to the company as well. One of the things that they were particularly interested in was multiple experiences in setting up new companies and you know, what advice and things I can help them with along the way. So, there you go. Not such a short sketch because it's been a long ride.
Taren: But what a fascinating ride, and I'm just so amazed by the experiences that you've had and how you built such a purposeful career that has led you to the C suite of multiple companies. And the fact that you've had these three eras as you called it really quite fascinating. If you had to pick, is there one phase that you really have enjoyed more than another?
Kerrie: Oh, yes, the entrepreneurial phase. You can tell by my voice.
Taren: Absolutely. So, what is it about being part of a startup? What is it about being an entrepreneur that really gets you jazzed?
Kerrie: It’s that ability to turn great science into new and better patient treatments. I can see how this loops all the way back to my summer internship, that initial fire of being able to create something but also, I love being at the center of the business and the science. I became a “born again” scientist when I did my masters in biopharmaceuticals. And I just love the science. I'm not cut out to only be a scientist because I want to do things and turn them into something. And on the business side I love fundraising and I love doing all of that. And I love creating things, but the product has to be meaningful, and I think having the sort of cross-cultural skills and understanding really brings it together and it's something where I can add value and be helpful. But the other part of standing up a company that excites me is the fact that you are creating something, it's like you're pulling together a puzzle with a million pieces. And it's going to be different each time. People ask is it easier each time you do it and it's like yes and no — I mean there are the basics, and you know sort of what to do. You've had experiences but there will always be something different, which is also part of the attraction — curiosity and risk taking, wanting to solve and understand that all comes together when you're starting up a company. And then the best part is getting to put your team in place and getting to choose the people to work on the team. That’s a really great opportunity. There are a lot of wonderful, highly skilled people out there. And when you get the right team together, it's like magic.
Taren: I love that it's like magic and I love that you still find that enthusiasm every time you go into one of these ventures and sometimes some are riskier than others. But as you said, it's based on good science when you do make that decision to back up a company. So, let's talk a little bit about OcuTerra Therapeutics’ lead product. You said you were going into phase two with your first patient. What is about the product that makes it different from some of the other treatments that are out there?
Kerrie: Oh, it's very different and very exciting and based on very sound science. OTT166 has the potential to treat retinal disease with an eye drop. Now, that's important because at the moment there isn’t a solution for example for diabetic retinopathy, which is a disease that affects blood vessels in the retina, which leads to blindness. It’s the number one cause of blindness in working age people. And what we don't have anything at the moment to treat it until you get sight threatening complication, or your vision deteriorates. And then fortunately, we do have something that's the intro-vitriol or directly into the eye injections and they're wonderful. They haven't been around for that long either. At least we can do something to help once it's a major problem. Because they're injections and particularly into the eye, the current sort of standard of care is what's called watch and wait. And so you're watching wait until a problem occurs. Now with OTT166, two reasons to be excited about it. First of all, we can deliver the therapy by an eyedropper to the patient and they administer it themselves. They don't have to go into the retinal surgeon's office and we can start treatment earlier in the disease process. They're supposed to improve their retinal health, but also most importantly, slow down or even prevent progression to the stage of the disease complications or vision loss, we would need to start injecting. The molecule, the active ingredient in OTT166 is a new molecular entity, it’s small molecule that was what we call purpose-engineered, designed to be able to travel through the relevant tissues in the eye to get to the retina. And when it gets there it works on mechanism of action called integrin inhibition or selective interference inhibition. And that's really important because that's a very promising emerging target in ophthalmology, and it has the benefits of anti-VEGF activity, but it also does more working on some of the other important growth factors and bad actors that lead to the problems of diabetic retinopathy and a number of other retinal diseases. We're delighted to be moving forward into the phase two, there was already phase one B data in patients where there was evidence, firstly, and importantly, of safety and tolerability, which is crucial, absolutely essential, and we were able to obtain really promising signs of biological activity. Using what's called an OTT we measure the thickness of the retina to see response so we know it can get to the back of the eye and have a biological effect.
Taren: You said that this was purpose developed?
Kerrie: I call it purpose engineered. The company had a technology where you called selective fluorination. The technology allows you to substitute in certain parts of your drug’s fluorine molecule. And by doing that, you can either dial in desired characteristics such as with 166 that we have a physical chemical profile that now suits to traveling through the tissues. You can also use it to dial out undesired characteristics, such as maybe a metabolic pathway or adverse, you know, loss of selectivity of things that you don't want. So in this case, here, by putting the fluorine atoms at a particular point in the molecule we were able to change the profile on the biophysical or biochemical entity, but also to actually improve the selectivity and increase the potency. So that's why we call this purpose engineered. There was a number of molecules they worked on and developed some didn't get to the back of the eye. The base molecule they started with was orally available but couldn't get to the eye from an eyedropper. So they had a specific criteria, a specific purpose, and they engineered the molecule to address that purpose.
Taren: Fascinating. Are you looking at other molecules in the same way for the pipeline build out or are you focusing just on 166?
Kerrie: We are focused, laser focused, on 166 at the moment. But there are some other interesting things in the vault that we may consider adding to our pipeline as we go on. But let's let's get 166 off and running and well into the phase two before we can consider that. I think one of the challenges that entrepreneurs face is a lack of focus. There are so many wonderful opportunities and so much unmet need. And I think particularly in the early stages in a company like ours, you've got to be able to focus, get things moving and get your clinical trial going once you've established your chops, etc. with your investors, then you can make the case well, maybe we could do this, maybe we could do that. What I do with my team, who is always coming up with great ideas, we capture those ideas, keep them and we'll come back to them later because we are interested in that and you don't want to lose that enthusiasm, but we don't want to get distracted either. So that's how we deal with it.
Taren: I love that. Yes, keeping focused is so important you’re right. You know another thing that you touched on that I found fascinating is that I believe you and you used the “L” word loved fundraising. You raised a lot of money and a billion dollar deal with Lilly. We're not talking not small change. So tell me what, what gives you that kind of energy because that's not a favorite thing for a lot of people to do?
Kerrie: I find I love telling the story. And translating the science business maybe that's part of why I love it and being able to explain what we're doing. But also I find you learn a lot from interactions with investors and partners and in many occasions there's been important feedback. Oh, we hadn’t thought of it that way. And you’re learning, you should treat it as such, it's not just to make another pitch. We're at JP Morgan, we've got our 10th meeting for the day and slog through it. I know it's hard. That's what caffeine is for. I enjoy the people that you meet along the way. I might sound like Pollyanna, I mean it's hard and you get tired, and you've got to be able to deal with rejection a lot, but yes, I still enjoy the process.
Taren: That's wonderful. And, you know, I would imagine and tell me if I'm wrong, that when you go into these meetings, oftentimes you're the only woman sitting at the table too. And how do you find your voice in those kinds of meetings where sometimes it's still a boys club?
Kerrie: That's less so now. At Centrexion we had three females VCs on our board.
Taren: That's wonderful.
Kerrie: It was wonderful, it sort of didn't really occur to me, I just do it, I guess, I was at the Bio Equity meeting in Europe last week, and there were more women there and we were talking and there was this great feeling of belonging. Now, that there are more women around you, you walk around the room and there are women and it feels so much easier to go up and say hello, not that it's really ever bothered me going up to a guy. But with women, this must be what it's like to be a guy in these things, there are people that you feel immediately more comfortable with because they're more like you. Now that I'm CEO, I am much more comfortable with myself and who I am and what I'm doing. When we were at banking session at Centrexion and I was telling them the background how we built out the pipeline, and I went out and was looking to acquire several assets from one of the big pharmas to add to my pipeline, which we then developed and one of them actually was the subject of the Lilly out licensing deal. Our board had said, guess what Kerrie we need to add another one asset to our pipeline, let's go ahead and do that. And lo and behold, I came back with three great assets. And I made the joke, I was the only woman in the room in the room, and said, well, I guess I like to shop, because I bought three and not one. I can make jokes about things like that.
Taren: That’s funny. Since we started the WoW podcast program a couple of years back, I've had the great pleasure of speaking to other women such as yourself, and I'm finding that there are more and more women sitting in biotech seats of influence than there are in big pharma. So I find that to be really refreshing and it's energizing. And there are groups coming together of peers and really, to make a difference and share what it's like because it is not usual. And it's only in the last five or six years that we're starting to see the numbers rise within the biotech sector of women sitting in C-suite spots.
Kerrie: Definitely. I think modeling behavior is really important for us, for other women. It's really influenced me seeing women in positions of authority or those women reaching out to help me and talk with me, and seeing that they can do. There was a National Science Foundation program called Activate, I can’t remember what it's called now. They still run it for both sexes, but this was an experiment they did for female entrepreneurs in biotech and high tech. There was a group of about 30 of us who for a year we went through this program meeting every week, and we had our company. And we were partnered with another person, and we optioned technology from some of the leading institutes and this is when I was based back in Baltimore. And the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the number of our mentors, advisors, and course, the successful CEO entrepreneurs. Now there were many who were tech people, and I thought oh wow I could see myself doing that. Having seen them do it. And so I feel now the need and the desire and the joy of being able to give back and help mentor other women and model just by being here and doing what I do, but of course, you can do it too.
Taren: Do you consider yourself to be a role model and do you find that to be a mantle of responsibility that sits easily on your shoulders?
Kerrie: I am still getting used to it. With that, I take it as a great compliment. I have had a number of young women and men, come up to me and ask for advice. I’m actually involved with MIT's venture mentoring service. It's another way I help to give back. I think a lot of us are really hard on ourselves and say I'm not perfect. I've made all these mistakes. And at the end of the day, I think what happens when you're mentoring someone is maybe I'm not so bad. You realize not everybody knows how to do this, this is not obvious to everyone. You can help people see and learn from what you've seen and learned.
Taren: That’s wonderful. I'm glad you find yourself in those positions where you can give back and that you are influencing the careers of up-and -coming talent. You know, you've touched on a couple of theories of entrepreneurialism, do you believe that becoming an entrepreneur is part of one's DNA or is it something that can be taught?
Kerrie: I gave this a lot of thought, that's a perennial question. I think the key is your ability to tolerate risk and uncertainty. That part of your attitude, really is key, as is the ability to deal with failure. If you can take the view … Benjamin Franklin once said that it's only a failure if you fail to learn from it. And it's so true. You can't be afraid to try and if it doesn't work, did you learn something? And what can you learn and move on? In my very first company way back at Traxion Therapeutics, I had a disappointment about a technology and my board said to me well, what did you learn? What are your resources? What are you interested in? What are you going to do? Oh, that was a real awakening for me. And I think that is also part of the entrepreneurial culture and success that we have in the US, it's that ability to say, you're good on for trying, what are you going to do next, not being afraid of risk, not being afraid of failure. I think that's a key component of being an entrepreneur. I think the rest can be taught, but it's more like an apprenticeship than being taught by theory. You really do need to live it, and listen and learn from other entrepreneurs out there. That'll help a long way, you'll find your own journey. But if you can tolerate the risks and the uncertainty and dealing with failure, and you also need to be in a personal situation too and a stage in your life or your career that you can deal with, there is a lot of financial uncertainty as well. Certainly, it will all come together.
Taren: Absolutely. I think is that risk reward, that gut check. Because not everybody can, not everybody likes to have that roller coaster ride.
Kerrie: For me, it was I cannot not do this. I will never forgive myself.
Taren: I love that I cannot not do it. You know since you’ve have been at the ground floor of building up several companies, what is it like for those who may want to get into that entrepreneurial path to make an impact with a company with limited resources? What are some of the things you really need to think about?
Kerrie: Well, no matter what the size of the company, remember, there's always going to be limited resources, even in Big Pharma. You're going to need to make a case for expenditure if it's outside budget. And if it's if it's outside the budget, it's going to need to come from somewhere else right? But in biotech, such as like at OcuTerra even though we raised a decent sized Series B, the pool we have to draw on is smaller. And that means being very thoughtful and strategic in expenditure. I know that sounds sort of obvious, but that means, also equally important, don't cut crucial corners. Don't underpower the trial, for instance. Or also important is to recognize that the clinical data is necessary, but not sufficient for building and creating value. Key commercial aspects, also, you've got to investigate that selectively, even at a relatively early clinical stage. So you can demonstrate values such as is the product sufficiently demonstrated to provide an important clinical benefit? How does the target product profile resonate, not only with clinicians, but also payers. And also making sure to build awareness with the key opinion leaders in the therapeutic community because investors and potential partners will be reaching out to them to gauge the value of your product. Make sure that you invest in the right things, and that does include the commercial aspect early on. I think this is an area where, particularly biotechs, coming straight out of an academic setting, etc. don't appreciate the importance of. I think the other thing about making an impact with limited resources is to hire people with lots of experience because you can leverage them so much more. They know what to do, they know how to manage a CRO, they have the connections that already exist. You can have a small but mighty team. Virtual now gives us a great opportunity to reduce our costs as well. And it's actually how we expanded our ability to hire some of the best talent. That’s just a few things. There's a lot more we could go on. But I think a lot of it does come down to experience, knowing what you need to do, and what you shouldn't do.
Taren: Talent, right now is getting harder and harder because talent is at such a premium. So how do you draw that talent to your organization? And in that same vein, how do you create a company culture that retains key talents?
Kerrie: Part of drawing folks in is the network of people that you have — certainly that is very important. Also working with a great and trusted headhunter. And I think that when you're interacting with potential employees, treat everybody with the respect and get back to them, give them feedback, ask thoughtful questions. They will be forever carrying an impression of you and your company, even if you aren't going to have them work with you for the longer term. Also, in interviews try to convey what real life is like inside a startup, but also who you are, because you're a small team. You're going to be like family. You are going be dealing with each other a lot — close up and personal with key decisions and things like that. Chemistry is a really important thing that both sides have to feel. I mean, we were lucky with the people we've been able to attract and that includes our board as well. We had Brent Saunders join us as our chair just over a year ago now. And we are honored and delighted to have him join us. He obviously saw something not only in the promise of OTT166, but also the team around us, he found us to be very credible, experienced and dedicated. That goes a long way.
Taren: Kudos to you. That's awesome.
Kerrie: Thank you. Yeah, that's, that's very nice.
Taren: In that same vein, how would you describe yourself as a leader, you've had a very successful career and you've had a lot of time to figure out what is that persona? And so tell me about your leadership style.
Kerrie: Well, I think the best one, if we are going to use an established category, is the servant leader mentality. We're a small team, my team is highly experienced, highly educated, highly competent. My leadership style is to inspire support, and just provide direction where we need to go. It’s not a command and control situation. It really is a team. We're not hierarchical. One of our guys who recently joined us while at dinner with my husband was I was a great CEO to work with. And I was like why? And he said, because your listen Kerrie. And I said, don't all CEOs listen? He said oh no… And I think I it's not just listening. I know what he what he was getting at. Listening and really wanting to understand things. Maybe that's where my science business chimera comes in to it because on the clinical side I understand some of it and I understand the issues but I want to know more. I also encourage my team to push back and challenge. You guys are the experts in the area. I'm not the expert. If I'm resisting something, push back on me. Maybe I don't understand it, take the time, let's talk this out. I think at first, I think they thought does she really mean it. Over time, we've established, yes, she does. And many times, even 50% of the time, I say oh, thank you, I didn't quite understand it that way. Now that you’ve explained it to me, yes, please go ahead. Taking the time to listen really does help with the leadership style and trust, establishing the trust of the team let’s people tell you sometimes you've got that wrong.
Taren: Isn't that the difference between listening and hearing?
Kerrie: Yes, good point.
Taren: That's a lovely story. Thank you for sharing that. And what is the key piece of leadership advice you provide to others and to help them guide them on their own path?
Kerrie: The key thing I've learned is, be yourself. And it's not that I haven't been myself but I can be more fully myself and be authentic in who you are. I come from a different background, where I come out of Australia, I've worked outside the US for many years, I’ve come through a circuitous route to get where I am. I'm not going to pretend that everything was fine and I marched on and yes, yes, yes, there is success. Some things didn't work, but I tried. Again, just be yourself and be authentic and true, if possible. Something that's really important, particularly, as you advance in your career, enjoy what you do. Make sure it's meaningful for you, because that drives everything else. Life's too short.
Taren: Absolutely. When I talk to leaders who have been at the top of their game for some time, they will often say it's being authentic. And I wonder if we could teach authenticity to women earlier in their career, if that would make a difference. Because I think some of that comes with a little bit of maturity and having that self confidence.
Kerrie: Oh, for sure. And I think not teaching but modeling it. I mean, that's how we teach it, to see people in action and seeing them being vulnerable. I was on a panel and someone asked me a question about leadership style, and I said, it's really important to empower people to take risks and if they make a mistake, okay, what did we learn from it? We certainly move on, and not beat up on people if they make a mistake. Everyone's trying really hard, and you're so busy and it's a true mistake, okay, so be it, but also own your own mistakes. And I do. Sometimes my team laughs at my tech capabilities, but I'll own it. There's other things I've made mistakes on too, but I say forgive yourself. We're all human. I own it, fix it, and learn from it. That authenticity, having people see that you embody it and live it, that you are human really helps them.
Taren: It's been delightful to speak with you and I could talk to you for another hour, but we are out of time. But I do want to ask you about the wow moment that either changed the trajectory of your career, or has left a lasting impression on you. Can you name one?
Kerrie: Yes, it's not a moment. It's this lasting impression that I that I have and that continues to be here. And that is this supportive community of women that we have in the biotech life sciences industry. It really is incredible. I've been the beneficiary of it, men and women, but I'm talking particularly about this community of women. We lend each other support. Great friendships, good times and bad, that really makes a lasting impression. Again, that's not available many other places in the world. As I said earlier, this really drives me to want to be able to give back to help the next generation, to help other women achieve their potential and do great things to improve health and outcomes for us all.
Taren: Well, Kerrie, thank you so much. This has been a delightful conversation, and I look forward to seeing what 166 does and the help that it can bring because it's such an unmet need to those who are in desperate need of a product like this. So thank you so much for the work you're doing on behalf of patients. And thank you for being a mentor to the next generation.
Kerrie: Thank you, Taren. It's truly a delight. Thank you for the series. It's wonderful.
Thanks for listening to this episode of WoW — the Woman of the Week podcast. For more WoW episodes visit pharmavoice.com. This 2022 program is copyrighted by Industry Dive.