7 September 2020

4th global Biopharma CEO / top execs virtual press briefing – COVID-19

Hosted By IFPMA

For any questions, please contact:

COVID-19 therapeutics: innovation, trials and access

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:

  • Overview of R&D for COVID-19 therapeutics pipeline and how companies are collaborating to develop and deploy safe and effective treatments at scale
  • Why is it important to evaluate these therapeutics in large international clinical trials?
  • How are manufacturers coordinating with regulators to streamline regulatory pathways, timelines, and review processes to accelerate clinical trial development?
  • How are companies working to enhance access to ensure no-one is left behind?
  • Six months since the launch of the biopharmaceutical industry commitments on COVID-19, where has most progress been seen?


David A. Ricks Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly and Company, President of IFPMA

David A. Ricks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Eli Lilly and Company, President of IFPMA
Dave Ricks is chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company. He was elected chairman of the company”s board effective June 2017.

A Lilly veteran for more than 20 years, Dave served as president of Lilly BioMedicines from 2012 to 2016. Previously, he was president of Lilly USA, the company’s largest affiliate, from 2009 to 2012. He served as president and general manager of Lilly China, operating in one of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, from 2008 to 2009. And he was general manager of Lilly Canada from 2005 to 2008, after roles as director of pharmaceutical marketing and national sales director in that country. Dave joined Lilly in 1996 as a business development associate and held several management roles in U.S. marketing and sales before moving to Lilly Canada.

Dave earned a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University in 1990 and a master of business administration degree from Indiana University in 1996.

Dave is president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations IIFPMA. He serves as chairman-elect of the board of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America PhRMA. Dave is also on the boards of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and Adobe. He chairs the Riley Children ‘s Foundation Board of Governors.

Daniel O’Day Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences, Inc

Daniel O’Day joined Gilead Sciences in March 2019 as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to Gilead, Daniel served as the Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. His career at Roche spanned more than three decades, during which he held a number of executive positions in the company’s pharmaceutical and diagnostics divisions in North America, Europe and Asia.

He served as a member of Roche’s Corporate Executive Committee, as well as on a number of public and private boards, including Genentech, Flatiron Health and Foundation Medicine. Daniel O’Day holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

He currently serves on the board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America organization and Galapagos NV.

Kenneth C. Frazier Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, MSD

Kenneth C. Frazier has served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA, known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada since 2011.

Under Ken’s leadership, Merck &Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA is delivering innovative lifesaving medicines and vaccines as well as long-term and sustainable value to its multiple stakeholders.

Ken has substantially increased our company’s investment in research, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products that provide benefit to society. He has also led the formation of philanthropic and other initiatives that build on Merck’s 125-year plus legacy.Ken joined the company in 1992 and has held positions of increasing responsibility including General Counsel and President.

Prior to joining the company, Ken was a partner with the Philadelphia law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath. Ken’s contributions, especially in the legal, business and humanitarian fields, have been widely recognized. He sits on the boards of PhRMA, Weill Cornell Medicine, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, PA.

He also is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, The Business Council, the Council of the
American Law Institute, and the American Bar Association.

Ken received his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Dr Albert Bourla Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer

Dr Albert Bourla is Chairman and CEO of Pfizer. Before becoming CEO, he was COO, overseeing commercial strategy, manufacturing, and global product development. Previously, he was group president of Pfizer Innovative Health, including Consumer Healthcare, Inflammation & Immunology, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Rare Disease and Vaccines business groups. He also created the Patient and Health Impact group, dedicated to increasing patient access, demonstrating the value of Pfizer’s medicines, and business model innovation.

Prior, he was president of Established Products business. He is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and joined Pfizer in 1993 in the Animal Health division. In 2020, Dr. Bourla was ranked America’s top CEO in the pharmaceuticals sector by Institutional Investor magazine.

He is on the executive committee of the Partnership for New York City, a trustee of the US Council for International Business, and a director on multiple boards, including Pfizer Inc., the Pfizer Foundation, PhRMA, and Catalyst.

Dr Severin Schwan Chief Executive Officer, Roche Group, Vice-President of IFPMA

Severin Schwan, Roche CEO since 2008, brings a relentless drive for innovation and a passion for personalized healthcare to his role. He joined Roche as a trainee in 1993 and has stayed with the company ever since. He is fascinated with Roche because “we can literally save millions of lives and improve the quality of life of millions of patients and their families”.

Severin Schwan was born in 1967 and is an Austrian citizen. After obtaining a degree in economics and a doctorate in law, Schwan began his career in 1993 at Roche Basel as a finance officer.

Following various management postings to Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, he moved to Singapore as regional head of the Roche Diagnostics business for Asia-Pacific in 2004. In 2006 Severin Schwan became CEO of Roche Diagnostics, the Roche Group’s global diagnostics business.

In March 2008 he was appointed CEO of the Roche Group and he became a member of the Roche Board in 2013.

Thomas Cueni Director General, IFPMA

As Director General, Thomas leads IFPMA’s mission to encourage the development of sustainable solutions that enable innovation and improve global health.

Over the past two decades, Thomas has been instrumental in developing collaborative solutions for some of the greatest global health challenges. These include HIV/AIDS and antimicrobial resistance, as well as the industry’s response to pandemics.

He is frequently called upon to comment on industry’s contribution to global health in the world media and at international fora.

Since he joined IFPMA, Thomas has pioneered collaborative solutions to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR), chairing the AMR Industry Alliance and launching the AMR Action Fund. This is a USD 1 billion venture begun in July 2020 to fund the development of between two and four new antibiotics by 2030.

Thomas represents the innovative pharmaceutical industry in the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative, set up in April 2019. In 2022, together with industry CEOs and building on the lessons learned from COVID-19, he led the development of the Berlin Declaration. This is a vision for equitable access in global pandemic response that invites multilateral organizations as well as the G7 and G20 to agree to a social contract for future health security.

He is Chair of the Business at OECD Health Committee and serves as Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics.