• The Little-Known Coalition Tasked With Saving The World From COVID-19

    Vaccine manufacturing veteran James Robinson details a little-known organization (i.e., the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation [CEPI]) and their task of saving the world from COVID-19.

  • Why CMO/CDMOs Should Seek Opportunities To Collaborate

    When I look at the state of the contract manufacturing and development industry, I see an industry ripe for disruption. It isn’t inconceivable to envision an outsider coming in to shake things up.

  • Does Adversity Build Character Or Reveal It?

    Denice Torres is the president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Johnson & Johnson company, and winner of HBA’s 2015 WOTY award. Listening to her acceptance speech reminded me of legendary pro football coach Vince Lombardi’s philosophy — “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” 

  • Expect The Unexpected: Daiichi Sankyo’s Glenn Gormley Shares Post Interview Insights

    I first met Glenn Gormley, M.D., Ph.D., at the 2014 PhRMA’s (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. At the time, I was engaged in a conversation with James (Mit) Spears, EVP and general counsel for PhRMA, and so my discussion with Dr. Gormley was brief. However, our encounter reminded me of an idea I once had for doing an article about Daiichi Sankyo. Though the company has a lengthy history, it had little experience in the area of oncology R&D. As Gormley is the senior executive officer and global head of R&D at Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., as well as chairman of the board, executive chairman and president of Daiichi Sankyo, Inc, I thought perhaps he could share some insight on the company’s approach to entering into the field of developing cancer therapeutics. We conducted our formal interview on June 30, 2014. It resulted in the September 2014 Life Science Leader magazine cover feature — How Daiichi Sankyo Is Venturing Into The Unfamiliar Terrain Of Oncology R&D.

    As is my custom, I provide interviewees with questions in advance to guide our discussion. After an article is published, it is rare for me to revisit these questions. Further, it is unheard of for me to receive legally approved written responses to my interview questions — especially after an article is complete. But with Glenn Gormley, I have come to expect the unexpected. What follows are the previously unpublished written responses to my interview questions, which serve to shed additional insight into Daiichi Sankyo’s approach to entering the field of oncology drug development.  

  • What Can You Learn From The Educational Planning Process Of BIO?

    In my role as the 2015 co-chair of the BIO International’s educational planning committee, I am privy to what goes into creating one of our industry’s largest annual events. As many of you are involved in organizing your own customer educational programs (e.g., The Emerson Exchange) or have been asked to serve on an event planning committee, I thought a behind the scenes look into how BIO goes about the process would be helpful to your efforts. Here are some of the best business practices I have witnessed thus far.

  • The 7 Habits Of The Highly Effective Pharma And Biopharma Manufacturing Executive

    While all The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People listed by Stephen Covey remain relevant and timeless, the one which resonates with me most is the seventh — sharpen the saw. In the life sciences industry, Covey’s concept of continuous improvement is more than just a habit, but a way of life. This is especially true for those who work in pharma and biopharma manufacturing — striving to maintain high quality, be on time with delivery, increase productivity (often with fewer resources) and so on. If you work in manufacturing, you are probably tempted to stop reading and get back to work. Though pharma and biopharma manufacturing executives most certainly work long and hard hours, I am sure the manufacturing executives I know would rank working smarter above working harder as a best business practice. Working smarter requires making the time to sharpen your saw. As we are just seven weeks away from a very unique saw sharpening continuous improvement conference for the pharma and biopharma manufacturing executive (Outsourced Pharma West), I thought it a good time to put together a list of the seven habits of the highly effective pharma and biomanufacturing executive — so you can sharpen your saw.

  • Are You Embracing The Life Sciences New Innovation Ecosystem?

    At this year’s BIO CEO and Investor Conference in New York, I had the opportunity to meet Annalisa Jenkins, EVP and head of global R&D, Merck Serono. Jenkins has been busy working on a game-changing, singlesource CRO collaboration model with Quintiles. Understanding how and why she did it first requires insight into the leadership approach of her risk-enabling CEO, Belén Garijo (see page 24), followed by Jenkins’ detailed explanation of creating the model, along with some pretty good advice on building game-changing collaborations (see page 30). Finalizing this collaboration model won’t make her schedule any less busy; in fact, it just got busier.

  • The Future Of Clinical Trials In An Outsourced Model

    Throughout human history people have held a fascination with trying to predict the future, employing a variety of tools — crystal balls, palm readings, tarot cards, or my personal favorite, the Magic 8 Ball. Scientists typically use data when forecasting the future.

  • How To Improve Clinical Trials – Some Good Old-Fashioned Wisdom

    Intel cofounder Gordon Moore predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit would double approximately every two years. What came to be known as Moore’s Law has basically held true ever since.

  • Mission TransCelerate: Transforming The Drug Development Terrain

    During the ill-fated 1970 Apollo 13 mission to the moon, it was astronaut Jack Swigert who alerted ground control that something had gone terribly wrong when he uttered the phrase, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” Those same words seem very fitting to the current state of affairs around the skyrocketing costs of drug discovery. Recent estimates place the expense of successfully bringing just one drug to market at between $350 million and $1.2 billion. However, in the last decade, companies having brought 4 to 13 drugs to market have watched the price tag reach stratospheric heights — orbiting $5 billion+. “I think the pain point has reached a threshold that’s no longer bearable,” states Dalvir Gill, Ph.D., CEO of TransCelerate BioPharma.

Rob Wright author page

Rob Wright

Rob Wright was chief editor of Life Science Leader magazine from 2011-2021. Prior to joining the publication, he spent nearly 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. During his industry career, Wright conducted well over 1,000 presentations and roundtable discussions, including the facilitation of FDA-mandated clinical training programs for hundreds of licensed healthcare providers. He has chaired, moderated, and served as a speaker at industry and academic conferences, and served as co-chair for the 2015 and 2018 BIO International conference’s educational planning committee. Wright’s 500+ published articles have appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals, B2B magazines and online publications. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, MBA with distinction from Gannon University, and completed his doctoral coursework in marketing at Cleveland State University. He is a member of international business honor societies Sigma Beta Delta and Beta Gamma Sigma. He can be followed on Twitter @RfwrightLSL