Visionary Titans: The Female Force Redefining the BioPharma Industry

08 March 2024 | Friday | News

From Lab to Leadership: Celebrating the Women Who Are Masterminding Biopharma's Revolution
International Women's Day Special 2024

International Women's Day Special 2024

In a domain where innovation meets executive excellence, these distinguished women infuse the biopharmaceutical industry with a blend of scientific creativity and unwavering commitment, setting a global standard for achievement and inspiration.

As we celebrate International Women's Day, BioPharma APAC turn the spotlight to the inspirational women steering the biopharmaceutical industry in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Their tenacity, foresight, and impactful contributions are driving innovation and nurturing future female leaders in the fields of science and business.


Belén Garijo: The Strategic Visionary at Merck

Belén Garijo's role as Merck's CEO is marked by her strategic vision and passionate pursuit of healthcare excellence. Her leadership is defined by a commitment to innovation and a profound understanding of the global health landscape, propelling Merck into new realms of scientific discovery and patient care.

Eva Van Pelt: Bridging Biotech and Markets at Qiagen

Eva Van Pelt is transforming Qiagen with her commitment to making biotechnology accessible worldwide. Her strategic initiatives ensure that even the most sophisticated tools and services provided by Qiagen are within reach of diverse markets, thereby enhancing global health outcomes.

Ruth Kuguru: Novartis’ Voice in Asia-Pacific

Ruth Kuguru embodies the spirit of Novartis in the APAC region. Her role transcends mere communication; she connects innovative pharmaceutical strides with healthcare professionals and communities, fostering an environment of awareness and engagement.

Laura Matz: Pioneering Research at Merck

Laura Matz stands at the forefront of Merck's scientific endeavors as the Chief Science & Technology Officer. Her leadership is characterized by a relentless pursuit of breakthrough research, with the goal of translating scientific discoveries into therapeutic solutions that impact lives across the globe.

Ying Ying Yeoh: Roche's Guiding Force in General Management

Ying Ying Yeoh's strategic management at Roche is instrumental in the company's success. Her insightful leadership ensures that Roche's initiatives and operations are well-aligned with the dynamic needs and challenges of the APAC healthcare market.

Hong Chow: Shaping Merck's Healthcare Business

As Merck's Executive Vice President for Healthcare, Hong Chow plays a pivotal role in sculpting the healthcare landscape not just in China, but internationally. Her foresight and strategic planning are essential in delivering health solutions to a diverse and expansive patient demographic.

Serene Chang: Driving Growth at Amgen

Serene Chang's exceptional leadership as Amgen's General Manager for Singapore and Malaysia is marked by her strategic acumen in driving growth and excellence. Her expertise ensures Amgen's solid presence and expansion in a fiercely competitive biopharma market.

Sarah Bresse: Ensuring Excellence at Asia Pacific

As the Master Control Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Sarah Bresse's leadership is critical to maintaining the highest standards of quality. Her role ensures that therapeutic products meet rigorous quality standards before reaching patients.

Lisa P Britt: Cultivating Talent at Thermofisher

Lisa P Britt, as Thermofisher's SVP & Chief Human Resource Officer, leads with a focus on nurturing talent and fostering an environment that values innovation. Her work is instrumental in shaping a workforce that is equipped to meet the evolving challenges of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Emily LeProust: Revolutionizing Genomics at Twist BioScience

Emily LeProust, CEO of Twist BioScience, is at the vanguard of synthetic biology, leading her company to pioneer advancements in DNA synthesis. Her work is revolutionizing our approach to genetics, paving the way for groundbreaking applications in medicine.

Maria Fardis, Ph.D.: Advancing Gene Therapy at CRISPR Therapeutics

Maria Fardis plays a critical role in directing CRISPR Therapeutics towards groundbreaking gene editing technologies. Her leadership and scientific insight are driving the development of innovative treatments with the potential to cure previously untreatable diseases.

Neeta Singal: Deciphering Data's Potential at KnowDis Data Science & Molecule AI

From securing Baxter India's first major contract to spearheading innovations in data science at ANKAM SINGAPORE, Neeta Singal has been a force of change. Her leadership in identifying key biomarkers and advancing diagnostic tools showcases her deep understanding of data's power. Co-founding KnowDis and Molecule AI, she merges AI with healthcare, driving forward novel solutions in drug discovery and disease diagnosis. Neeta's journey reflects a relentless pursuit of innovation and a commitment to challenging the status quo in technology and gender norms.

Yvonne Greenstreet: Leading the RNAi Revolution at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Yvonne Greenstreet is spearheading Alnylam Pharmaceuticals as it paves new pathways in RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics. Her strategic vision is vital in bringing forth novel RNAi-based treatments, offering hope for numerous diseases.

The Visionaries: Deborah Dunsire, Reshma Kewalramani, Anne Wojcicki, and Britt Meelby Jensen

  • Deborah Dunsire is at the helm of Lundbeck, a pharmaceutical company specializing in brain diseases. With a medical degree and a profound understanding of the complexities of neurological disorders, Dunsire has positioned Lundbeck as a leader in addressing some of the most challenging medical conditions. Her leadership is characterized by a deep commitment to research and development, aiming to discover new treatments that can significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering from psychiatric and neurological diseases.

  • Reshma Kewalramani is the CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, an innovative biotechnology company known for its groundbreaking treatments in cystic fibrosis. As a physician-scientist with extensive experience in clinical development and medical affairs, Kewalramani leads Vertex's mission to develop medicines that can transform the lives of people with serious diseases. Under her guidance, Vertex continues to expand its pipeline into new therapeutic areas, maintaining a patient-first approach that ensures treatments not only address symptoms but also the underlying causes of diseases.

  • Anne Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe, a leading personal genomics and biotechnology company. Wojcicki's vision was to empower individuals with access to their genetic information, thereby fostering a new era of personalized medicine. Under her leadership, 23andMe has made significant strides in making genetic testing accessible and understandable to the general public. This approach not only helps individuals learn about their health predispositions and ancestry but also contributes to a larger database that aids in research, potentially leading to new discoveries in genetics and healthcare.

  • Britt Meelby Jensen plays a critical role at Novo Holdings, an investment entity of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, focusing on life sciences ventures. With a strong background in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, Jensen's expertise lies in identifying and nurturing innovative companies with the potential to bring transformative solutions to healthcare challenges. Her work involves strategic investments in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare infrastructure, supporting companies at various stages of development

The Innovators: Helen Sabzevari and Emma Walmsley

Helen Sabzevari is the President and CEO of Precigen, a biotechnology company focused on the development of gene and cell therapies. Sabzevari, with her extensive background in immunology and oncology, is a pioneer in the field of precision medicine. Her work involves leveraging genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create targeted treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases.

Emma Walmsley is the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the world's leading pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. As the first woman to head a major pharma company, Walmsley has brought a fresh perspective to GSK, focusing on innovation, performance, and trust. Her leadership is characterized by a strategic overhaul of the company's research and development pipeline, prioritizing a science-led approach to discover and develop medicines and vaccines that address some of the most pressing health challenges.

The Changemakers: Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Vinita Gupta

Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of BioCon Biologics and Vinita Gupta of Lupin Pharma embody the spirit of change. Their entrepreneurial drive and leadership are key forces in their companies’ success, making significant impacts in biopharmaceuticals both within and beyond the APAC region.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is the Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Limited, a biopharmaceutical company based in Bangalore, India. As a trailblazer in the biotechnology industry, Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon in 1978, and under her stewardship, it has evolved into a leading global entity in biologics, focusing on diabetes, oncology, and autoimmune diseases. Her pioneering efforts have not only positioned India on the global biotech map but also transformed Biocon into a research-oriented company with a keen focus on affordable innovation. Mazumdar-Shaw's contributions extend beyond her company, as she actively advocates for global healthcare access and affordability, earning her numerous accolades and recognition as a thought leader in biotechnology and healthcare.

Vinita Gupta is the CEO of Lupin Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies globally, headquartered in Mumbai, India. Taking the helm in 2013, Gupta has been instrumental in steering the company through significant international expansion, particularly in the US and Japanese markets. Under her leadership, Lupin has made considerable strides in complex generics and specialty drugs, including pediatrics and women's health. Gupta's strategic vision focuses on innovation, growth, and leveraging technology to enhance healthcare outcomes. Her leadership style, characterized by a deep understanding of global markets and commitment to quality and affordability, has been pivotal in Lupin's rise as a significant player in the global pharmaceutical landscape.

The Entrepreneurs: Nandini Piramal, Holly Rockweiler, and Nina Tandon

Entrepreneurs Nandini Piramal of Piramal Pharma, Holly Rockweiler of Madorra, and Nina Tandon of EpiBone are redefining what it means to lead in the medical field. Their companies stand on the front lines of innovation, bringing forth advancements that redefine patient care.

Nandini Piramal is the Executive Director of Piramal Enterprises Limited, a diversified conglomerate with a significant presence in pharmaceuticals, financial services, and healthcare insights and analytics. Within the pharmaceutical sector, Piramal Pharma, under her guidance, has become a global player known for its innovative solutions across the drug life cycle – from drug discovery and development to manufacturing and distribution. Nandini's strategic acumen has been pivotal in steering the company's growth, focusing on expanding its global footprint and enhancing its R&D capabilities. Her leadership emphasizes sustainability, innovation, and accessibility, making crucial medicines available to underserved populations.

Holly Rockweiler is the CEO and co-founder of Madorra, a medical device company aimed at improving the quality of life for women. Madorra is pioneering non-hormonal treatments for vaginal dryness, a common condition experienced by postmenopausal women. Rockweiler's work at Madorra encapsulates a dedication to addressing unmet needs in women's health, leveraging technology to provide safe, effective, and non-invasive solutions. Her entrepreneurial spirit and innovative approach to women's health issues have positioned Madorra as a leader in developing groundbreaking healthcare solutions for women worldwide.

Nina Tandon is the CEO and co-founder of EpiBone, a groundbreaking company at the intersection of biology and technology. EpiBone is a pioneer in skeletal reconstruction, using stem cells to grow bone and cartilage tissue that is custom-tailored to the patient. Tandon's work is at the forefront of personalized medicine, combining the fields of biotechnology and tissue engineering to develop treatments that can potentially revolutionize orthopedics and craniofacial surgery. Her vision for EpiBone reflects a broader commitment to harnessing the power of scientific innovation to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.


These esteemed leaders not only illuminate the path of progress in healthcare but also exemplify the change and empowerment that International Women's Day stands for. Their dedication and leadership are not only propelling the healthcare industry forward but also inspiring a legacy of inclusion and empowerment for women worldwide.

As the sun sets on International Women's Day, our narrative concludes, yet the journeys of these extraordinary women continue to unfold, resonating with every stride they take. The women at the zenith of the BioPharma sphere serve not only as leaders of industry but as architects of change and champions of hope. Their narratives go beyond professional achievements; they weave stories of courage, ingenuity, and resilience.




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