FierceBiotech's 2011 Women in Biotech - Plexxikon President and Tesaro Co-founder Honored

News | 11. 29. 2011


November 29, 2011

Female biotech executives have been key players in many of the biggest events in the industry this year--Takeda Pharmaceutical's buyout of Nycomed, the merger of Alkermes ($ALKS) and Elan Drug Technologies and the sale of Plexxikon to Daiichi Sankyo. Should we be surprised? No, women in this industry defy the odds when they rise to key positions in the male-dominated biotech game. Of course we're seeing them accomplish big things. But they deserve recognition.

So, we're excited to bring our readers FierceBiotech's much-awaited-and belated-Women in Biotech feature. We had an overwhelming response to our call for nominations this year, with more than 130 great submissions and an amazing slate of candidates. True to our mission of providing readers the top news in biotech, many of the honorees here are women who drove some of the big stories we covered this year. We also wanted the women featured this year to represent the best of the global biotech industry, and you'll find women here who are making an impact for organizations based in Asia, Europe and here in the U.S.These women are inspiring, not just to women, but (at least speaking for the males on our team) men involved in the industry, too. Our profiles will bring you up to date with what each of these female movers in biotech are working on these days. Some are rallying scientists at young startups, gearing up for important late-stage trials or leading research of serious health concerns such as HIV. For each of the honorees, there are unique stories about how impressive women have gotten ahead in the competitive biotech field."

I think that the potential interesting little extra that you get from speaking to some of the women in biotech is we've probably been challenged with thinking a little bit more about how to cultivate our careers," said Abbie Celniker, chief executive of Eleven Biotherapeutics and one of this year's Women in Biotech. "As a result, we can be a tiny bit more self-reflective because we've had to do lots of course correction to make sure we could compete in the days when it was more predominately male."

Kathleen Sereda Glaub
President, Plexxikon

In the biotech business and at her home garden, Kathy Glaub likes to plant seeds and watch them grow. Of course, the seeds of biotech involve investments in R&D and carefully crafted financing strategies. In those regards, there's been a bumper crop this year at the drug discovery firm Plexxikon, and Glaub has been able to savor the fruits of her 10 years spent helping to shape the business strategy and firming up lucrative partnership deals.

Mary Lynne Hedley
President, CSO, Co-founder, Tesaro

Mary Lynne Hedley's latest biotech adventure has her exploring multiple paths to find and develop new therapies and supportive care drugs for cancer patients. Hedley, the president and chief scientist at Lexington, MA-based Tesaro, is now leading the company's excursion to gain FDA approval of its lead compound, rolapitant, which aims to prevent nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and is ready for late-stage trials. At the same time, she's responsible for hunting for other drugs for cancer patients that fit the company's in-licensing strategy.