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Becoming a Pharma Industry Leader


Pharmaceutical Executive

Pharmaceutical ExecutivePharmaceutical Executive-02-01-2020
Volume 40
Issue 2

With the nomination period for our latest Emerging Pharma Leaders selections in full swing, it's a good reminder that the industry's future path ultimately depends on its leaders, emerging and otherwise.

At the end of this month, February 28, we will close the nomination process for the 11th Pharmaceutical Executive Emerging Pharma Leaders (EPL) recognition. As you won’t be reading this until mid-February online, I encourage you now to nominate the person you know who is headed for the C-Suite. Or you can nominate yourself! Go to our judging platform here.

Lisa Henderson

It’s not a coincidence that James (Jay) J. Galeota, Jr., president and CEO of Inheris Biopharma, is our featured February Executive Profile. Jay is a Pharmaceutical Executive Editorial Advisory Board Member and was recognized as an Emerging Pharma Leader in our first class of 2008. At that time, Jay was SVP, general manager, diabetes and obesity at Merck. Since then, Galeota led Merck’s pharma and vaccine integration of Schering-Plough; served as SVP, global human health, strategy & BD; was president, hospital & specialty care; and was chief strategy & BD officer, president, emerging business, all at Merck. He then moved on to become president of G&W Laboratories, before taking the position as CEO of Inheris Biopharma.


When I reached out to Jay to participate in the executive profile, the timing seemed perfect. We were opening the EPL nominations, he is a former selection, a well-accomplished executive, and Inheris Biopharma was nearing FDA review action on NKTR-181, the potential first new molecular entity opioid in over 30 years with a target profile of less unwanted side effects while delivering effective pain relief. Potentially timely indeed for the tens of millions of people suffering from chronic pain in the midst of the current opioid crisis. 

But, like many best-laid plans, Galeota is now facing what many CEOs and executives in the life sciences have faced, reflecting the inherent and extraordinary risk in our industry-a situation that requires a new plan.

How Galeota navigates through to the next step will build on the skills, qualities, experiences, and vision that has guided his career through to this point.

And Galeota’s story also connects with what we ask of your nomination for the next class of Emerging Pharma Leaders. Like Galeota, do they have what it takes to make the tough decisions that will continue to face

manufacturers in the coming years? Can they navigate the commercial, financial, scientific, R&D, marketing, sales, and/or market access landscapes with leadership and inspiration? Do they have what it takes to get to the next level?

The 2020 EPL winners will be announced at eyeforpharma Philadelphia in mid-April, showcased on the cover and inside of Pharm Exec’s May issue, and featured on episodes of the Pharm Exec podcast.

As Galeota emphasized in his interview, there is tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the current convergence of technology, biology, and engineering to change the trajectory of the more conservative paradigms that currently exist in the pharmaceutical industry. “The opportunity to innovate has never been greater, and innovation now moves beyond the discovery at the bench to how that brilliance is applied in practice in ways that maximize the potential benefit conveyed to people who are suffering,” he says.

Where ultimately the future of pharma goes depends on leaders, emerging and otherwise.

We look forward to featuring the future of pharma leadership.


Lisa Henderson is Editor-in-Chief of Pharm Exec. She can be reached at lhenderson@mmhgroup.com. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @trialsonline


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