From bench to board­room: 20 of the most in­flu­en­tial bio­phar­ma R&D ex­ec­u­tives in drug de­vel­op­ment

Bio­phar­ma is no stranger to ma­jor sci­en­tif­ic in­no­va­tions, but when you talk to the movers and shak­ers in the field on who has in­flu­enced their work the most, you start to hear a few key names over and over again.

That was cer­tain­ly the case when we polled in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives on who they viewed as the R&D lu­mi­nar­ies of note — men and women across the drug de­vel­op­ment spec­trum who take ma­jor bi­o­log­i­cal and chem­i­cal break­throughs and spin them like gold in­to med­ical mir­a­cles. These are the peo­ple who opened doors to new fields of drug re­search, lay­ing the foun­da­tion for much of the work now un­der­way in the clin­ic.

Whether it’s next-gen cell ther­a­pies or even the once oft-for­got­ten field of vac­cines, our list of the 20 most in­flu­en­tial R&D ex­ec­u­tives runs the gamut on in­no­va­tion. The key traits that tie them all to­geth­er are per­sis­tence, col­lab­o­ra­tion and the in­abil­i­ty to let a good idea go un­in­ves­ti­gat­ed.

More than that, these are not nec­es­sar­i­ly the ex­ec­u­tives who take the most drugs over the fin­ish line, but rather those whose work sets the ta­ble for oth­er in­no­va­tions down the road and makes the im­pos­si­ble pos­si­ble. And be­fore you feel in­spired to ask why we left out so many ex­tra­or­di­nary sci­en­tists, please un­der­stand that we have enor­mous re­spect for break­through sci­ence leg­ends like Jim Al­li­son and Jen­nifer Doud­na and Phil Sharp and so many oth­er aca­d­e­m­ic No­bel prize-win­ners who cre­at­ed en­tire pipelines that are still fill­ing up with new drugs.

This time we’re stick­ing with in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives.

Here’s our list. Hope you en­joy — Kyle Blanken­ship

Endpoints News

Unlock this article instantly by becoming a free subscriber.

You’ll get access to free articles each month, plus you can customize what newsletters get delivered to your inbox each week, including breaking news.