Never an Easy Task

Pharmaceutical Executive, Pharmaceutical Executive-05-01-2022, Volume 42, Issue 5

Pharm Exec announces annual Emerging Pharma Leaders class.

Every January, we kick off the new year with our annual campaign to unearth the rising stars of the biopharma world. Our Emerging Pharma Leader (EPL) selection process begins with a call to action for nominations. As our stack of applications grows, we’re also securing our diverse group of judges for the year, composed of three rotating members of the Pharmaceutical Executive Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) and one former EPL.

This year, our judges included EAB members Indranil Bagchi, senior vice president and head of global value access at Novartis; Al Reicheg, CEO of Sea Change Healthcare; and Adele Gulfo, chief business and commercial development officer at Sumitovant Biopharma. Former EPL winner Carla Pearson, vice president and global commercial lead for Cabotegravir at ViiV Healthcare, also participated.

Over the years, we’ve noticed a slight shift in nominees. Whereas in the past many were from large pharma companies and had worked their way up the career ladder, a newer generation of nominees has emerged. This group consists of already executive-level titles but at smaller, newer biotechs where most titles by default are of high rank. However, despite their executive titles, these nominees are still emerging in their careers, are on a growth path, and are moving their company forward.

Our aim is to recognize biopharma individuals—whether from large pharma or emerging biotechs—who are dedicated to their work, know when to push boundaries, and know how to think outside the box to achieve their goals. We look for well-respected leaders who know how inspire their teams. We review their accomplishments along their career paths and their progression of increasing responsibilities. Many themes we see along the way include a focus on mentorship, inclusion, and vision. But the descriptions of the winners always include that je ne sais quoi—that undefinable quality that makes them stand out.

This year, we are proud to announce our EPL class of 2022 has 11 elite members. It includes people who participated in developing COVID-19 drugs, and others who are dedicated to the development of important mental health and oncology treatments. We have EPLs well-versed in global strategy and collaboration, while others focus on the financial side of growing a business. Some are committed to fighting for patient diversity and health equity, while others champion patient centricity and access. Some are fueled by innovation and technology, and others are impacting the world of training with emotional intelligence, inspiration, and passion.

We are proud to have such a diverse mix of pharmaceutical professionals and truly enjoy learning about each of their paths. In fact, it’s one of my favorite issues of the year. I relish sitting down and talking with these leaders, to learn what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, and what impactful initiatives they are working on. These interviews are always equally enlightening and encouraging, often topped with a dose of humility from the EPLs. But there is nothing to be shy about for these winners—they have earned their spot in our eyes, and we’re ready to watch them expand their horizons even further.

Elaine Quilici is Pharm Exec’s Editor-in-Chief. She can be reached at equilici@mjhlifesciences.com