30 April 2020

2nd global Biopharma CEO / top execs virtual press briefing – COVID-19

Hosted By IFPMA

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New and repurposed treatments for COVID-19 and manufacturing and supply chain challenges for treatments.

IFPMA organized a virtual press briefing with CEOs and top executives who are at the forefront of biopharmaceutical R&D.  The briefing was an opportunity to hear directly from the decision-makers.

This media briefing touched upon:

  • What are the treatments being developed against COVID-19?
  • How are companies accelerating partnerships to fast track new or repurposed treatments against COVID-19?
  • What are the manufacturing and supply chain challenges for COVID-19 treatments and for existing medicines for other life-threatening diseases


Thomas Cueni Director General, IFPMA

Thomas B. Cueni is Director General of IFPMA, the global association of pharmaceutical research companies, based in Geneva and is Secretary of the global Biopharmaceutical CEO Roundtable (BCR).

In this capacity, Thomas Cueni was instrumental in creating the AMR Action Fund. A ground-breaking partnership, launched in 2020, that has raised nearly $1 billion to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030. These treatments are urgently needed to address the rapid rise of antibiotic-resistant infections – also called antimicrobial resistance, or AMR.

Thomas Cueni represents the innovative biopharmaceutical industry on the ACT Accelerator, the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a unique global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Thomas Cueni is Chair of the Business at OECD Health Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the City Cancer Challenge (CCan), an initiative aiming to improve cancer care in major cities in low- and middle-income countries. Cueni also serves as Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics. Furthermore, he is Chair of the Board of the cross-sectoral AMR Industry Alliance, a group committed to tackling the threat of antimicrobial resistance, which includes more than 100 companies and associations representing Rx pharma, generics, biotech, and diagnostics.

Prior to joining IFPMA he was Secretary General of Interpharma, the association of pharmaceutical research companies in Switzerland, and for many years was a member of the Board and Chair of a key committee of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.

Prior to his appointment with Interpharma, Thomas Cueni had a career as a journalist, inter alia as London correspondent for the “Basler Zeitung” and “Der Bund”, and he served as a Swiss career diplomat with postings in Paris (OECD) and Vienna (IAEA, UNIDO). He studied at the University of Basle, the London School of Economics, and the Geneva Graduate Institute for International Studies, and has Master degrees in economics (University of Basel) and politics (London School of Economics, LSE).

Dr José Baselga Executive Vice-President, AstraZeneca

Dr. Baselga joined AstraZeneca (AZ) in January 2019 as EVP & President, Oncology Research & Development and is responsible for a broad pipeline from discovery through to late-stage development.

AZ Oncology Research is focused on delivering new medicines across 6 scientific platforms: Tumour Drivers and Resistance, DNA-Damage Response, Epigenetics, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy and Antibody Drug Conjugates. In addition, under his leadership, Clinical Development continues to investigate AZ approved Oncology drugs (Tagrisso, Imfinzi, Lynparza, Enhertu and Calquence) in multiple indications.

Previously Dr. Baselga served as the Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College from 2012 to 2018. MSK is the world’s oldest and largest private cancer center, with operating revenues of $3.5B and over 600,000 patient visits each year. In this capacity, nearly 2,000 physicians and scientists reported to Dr. Baselga, and under his leadership, MSK became the leader in early phase clinical trials for cancer therapies and diagnostic genetic sequencing.

Dr. Baselga’s long-standing research interests are in the development of targeted agents for the treatment of breast cancer and in studying strategies to overcome mechanisms of resistance, with over 500 peer-reviewed publications to date. His research and clinical achievements have led to the creation of several biopharmaceutical companies, and he is an international thought leader for innovation in cancer care and clinical research.

Prior to joining MSKCC, Dr. Baselga was Chief of the Division of Hematology / Oncology and Associate Director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He was also the Chairman of Medical Oncology and Founding Director of the Vall d ‘Hebron Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. As past President of the AACR, Dr. Baselga worked collaboratively with the AACR Board of Directors and the AACR membership to further the mission to cure cancer through research.

He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and an elected Fellow of the AACR Academy.

He is a past President of the European Society for Medical Oncology, where he was recently awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award, a past member of the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology and AACR, member of the Editorial Boards of Cancer Cell, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Clinical Cancer Research and was the founding Editor-in-Chief for the AACR flagship journal, Cancer Discovery.

Bill Mezzanotte Executive Vice President, Research and Development, CSL Behring

Bill Mezzanotte is responsible for developing and executing CSL’s Research & Development strategy and portfolio, including the identification and development of all R&D platforms, skills and expertise necessary for success.

In April 2017, Bill joined the company as Head of Clinical Development, responsible for clinical science, statistics and clinical operations across CSL Behring’s portfolio. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President and Head of Development, where he oversaw regulatory, project management, clinical science & operations, plasma, recombinant protein and gene therapy pharmaceutical development activities worldwide.

Prior to CSL, he was Senior Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head, Respiratory for Boehringer Ingelheim and spent 16 years with AstraZeneca in research and development, assuming roles of increasing leadership and management responsibility across multiple therapeutic areas.

Bill holds an undergraduate degree from Villanova University, obtained his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

Bill is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and sleep medicine.

Teresa Rodó Executive Vice President, Head of Global Healthcare Operations and a Member of the Healthcare Executive Committee of Merck

Teresa Rodó is Executive Vice President Head of Global Healthcare Operations and a Member of the Healthcare Executive Committee of Merck.

She is also the representative of the Healthcare business sector at the Merck Diversity Council.
Under Teresa Rodó’s leadership, the 7,000 people of Global Healthcare Operations are responsible for the manufacturing, supply and quality of Merck’s biotech and pharmaceutical medicines, as well as for medical devices. Besides serving 85 million patients across the world each and every day with Merck’s current medicines, the Global Healthcare Operations organization is also preparing for the future through development activities, such as process development, to ensure that Merck’s next generation of therapies of increasing sophistication are available in a timely manner for clinical trials and future commercial use upon approval.

Teresa Rodó has a more than 20-year career in manufacturing, supply and quality in the pharmaceutical industry. She joined Merck in 2017 to lead the Global Pharma Manufacturing organization and was subsequently promoted Head of Global Manufacturing & Supply in 2018 prior to her current position as Head of Global Healthcare Operations in May 2019.

Before joining Merck, she has been working for Boehringer Ingelheim and Sanofi in a broad range of manufacturing, supply and quality leadership roles, both for biotech and pharmaceutical medicines. Teresa Rodó’s experience covers operational and strategic roles, at the local as well as the global level, including the positions of Head of International Logistics, Site Director and Global Head of Corporate Quality Assurance at Boehringer Ingelheim, and Global Head of Strategy Implementation & Change Management and Global Associate Vice President Analytics and Product Quality for the biologics manufacturing organization of Sanofi.

Teresa Rodó was born in Spain where she studied up to the secondary level education. She completed her higher education in Vienna (Austria) and holds a PhD in chemical engineering from the Technische Universität. Teresa Rodó is married and lives in Frankfurt (Germany).

Dr. Julie Gerberding Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer, MSD & Co., Inc.,

Dr. Julie Gerberding is Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer at MSD & Co., Inc., where she is responsible for a broad portfolio focused on patient engagement, strategic communications, global public policy, population health and corporate responsibility. She joined MSD in 2010 as president of Merck vaccines

Previously, Dr. Gerberding was Director of the U.S. CDC, where she led the agency through 40+ emergency responses to public health crises. She serves on the Boards of Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Cerner Corporation and the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, a non-profit that develops new technologies for developing countries.

Dr. Gerberding has received more than 50 awards and honors, including the United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Distinguished Service Award for her leadership in responses to anthrax bioterrorism and the September 11, 2001 attacks. In 2018, she was selected as the Healthcare Businesswomen Association’s Woman of the Year and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from eyeforpharma.

Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine. Dr. Gerberding received a Masters of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

Nanette Cocero Global President of Pfizer Vaccines

Nanette Cocero is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. In her role, Nanette oversees an international business and is responsible for the development and delivery of innovative vaccines that address serious and life-threatening conditions, helping to protect communities around the world.

Nanette leads a global team of 1,500 colleagues and manages a diverse vaccines portfolio aimed at protecting lives at all stages, from infants to older adults. She and her team also partner with governments, civic organizations, and others in the biopharmaceutical industry to accelerate global public health progress. Nanette is Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceuticals and Manufacturers Association (IFPMA) Vaccine CEO Steering Committee, advocating for policies and practices that will enable greater access and affordability to vaccines in low and middle income countries.

Prior to her current position, Nanette was Regional President, Emerging Markets, for Pfizer’s Innovative Health business. In this role, she led business operations in over 100 countries across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, spanning Pfizer’s core therapeutic areas including vaccines, oncology, inflammation and immunology, internal medicine and rare disease. During her 15+ year tenure at Pfizer, Nanette has held numerous leadership positions in both developed and emerging markets, driving continuous growth for the businesses she managed and bringing novel medicines and access solutions to patients.

Before joining Pfizer, Nanette worked for 10 years as a management consultant and served as a Research Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Pharmacology. Nanette earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Cornell University; a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania; and an MBA from The Wharton Business School. She has lived and worked in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and Spain, and she is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Richard Saynor Chief Executive Officer, Sandoz

Richard Saynor is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Sandoz, a global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines.

Mr. Saynor has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical leadership experience in branded and generic medicines across established and emerging markets. He leads with the purpose to pioneer access for patients, and is committed to developing and commercializing high quality, affordable medicines that address unmet medical need.

Richard Saynor joined Novartis from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Pte. Ltd., where he spent nine years in a variety of leadership roles across therapeutic areas and geographies. He most recently served as senior vice president of classic and established products as well as commercial and digital platforms. He was responsible for £10bn of post-patent products covering a number therapy areas (respiratory, allergy, Stiefel, Urology, anti-infectives, CNS). Previously he held the roles of senior vice president and global head of established products and senior vice president of classic brands and generics for Europe, Japan, and the emerging markets and Asia-Pacific (EMAP) region. Prior to that, Richard Saynor held commercial operations leadership roles at Sandoz, serving as Region Head of Asian Markets, and as Region Head of Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Canada and Turkey.

Richard Saynor earned his Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in the UK, and served on the board of GSK India from 2018 to 2019. However, he will tell you that his most important role is that of husband and dad.

Julie Kim President, Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit, Takeda

Julie Kim is the President of the Plasma-Derived Therapies Business Unit for Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Ms. Kim joined Takeda in 2019 through the acquisition of Shire, where she held a number of diverse roles with increasing responsibility through her time at Baxter/Baxalta/Shire. These included roles as Global Franchise Head in different therapy areas, international market access, country and regional general management, marketing and emerging market development.

Prior to joining the industry, Ms. Kim worked in U.S. healthcare consulting.

Ms. Kim holds an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College. Ms. Kim was also a 2013 Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) Rising Star.

Ms. Kim is based in Switzerland and lives with her husband Matt and has two children.