Letter from the Editor

Contributed by:

Taren Grom, Editor

NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.

Igniting Innovation

Innovation is a tricky thing to define as it means different things to different people and organizations. For example, Mike Rea, CEO and founder of IDEA Pharma, believes the most important observation is separating invention from innovation.

“Innovation is the recognition of an idea and ability to bring it to market, which is the classic definition of innovation: creating value or the return on invention,” he says.

For Rob Goodwin, VP of operations at Pfizer, innovation is an iterative process that happens across multiple touch points along a marathon journey. This is the approach he and his team took to bring Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to the populations around the world during the global COVID pandemic. Yet, for others like Bruce Hellman, CEO and co-founder of uMoti, innovation is inspired by the people his company serves — patients — and listening to their stories. Stacy Wu, M.D., VP, head of global clinical research, neurology at Sunovion, credits a company culture built on strong cross-functional collaboration across all stages of the drug development process as well as all levels of the organization. Joe Dustin, head of clinical innovation at Bristol Myers Squibb Innovation, quips innovation is an energy field created by all living things. “It surrounds us, it penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together,” he says. “Oh? That’s the force…same thing.”

While on the surface Joe’s remark may seem lighthearted, but in fact he is spot on. Innovations, whether they are big leaps leading to breakthrough medicines or small tweaks to processes that lead to a major change in operations, are all around us — we just need to take the time to look and appreciate those who are leaning in to change the status quo. All of these folks, and dozens more, shared their valuable insights on innovation, inspiring leadership, transformation, and more during our annual PharmaVOICE 100 Celebration this year. All of the panels and roundtables from this virtual event are available on our website at www.pharmavoice.com/webinars. We encourage you to take a few minutes when you have a chance to lean in, fuel your soul, and enjoy the conversations.

Another one of our PharmaVOICE 100 community is taking innovation to a whole new level — outer space. Glen de Vries, vice chair, life sciences and healthcare, Dassault Systèmes and co-founder, Medidata, is joining three other astronauts on Blue Origin’s next mission. Glen will be part of New Shepard’s 18th mission, NS-18, which will lift off on Tuesday, October 12. Glen, who has spent his entire career working to extend people’s lives, believes with limited materials and energy on Earth, extending our reach into space and gaining a new perspective can help humanity continue to thrive.

“Playing a part in advancing the space industry and one day making those resources and that understanding available to everyone is an incredible opportunity,” he says.
Way to go, Glen! We will be watching.

Taren Grom, Editor


Their word…

Robin Robinson
Senior Editor

While COVID threw a wrench in the usual onboarding practices of agency/client relationships, these partners were able to build effective, virtual teams through transparency, honesty, and collaboration.

Kim Ribbink
Senior Editor

Life-changing events from COVID to BLM have been a call-to-action for the life-sciences industry to transform their DE&I initiatives.

Carolyn Gretton
Features Editor

More clinical trial plans are including external or synthetic control arms that unlock the full potential of real-world data to evaluate the therapy’s comparative effectiveness.


The November/December 2021 edition of PharmaVOICE will be the last issue of the publication. In this special edition, we will be tapping into our vast community of thought leaders for reflections, predictions for the future, and enhancing connections throughout the ecosystem.



The forum for the industry executive

Volume 21 • Number 9
Publisher Lisa Banket
Editor Taren Grom
Creative Director Marah Walsh

Senior Editors
Robin Robinson
Kim Ribbink

Features Editor
Carolyn Gretton

Design Associate
Ariel Medel

National Account Manager
Suzanne Besse

National Account Representative
Amy Bishop

Webcast Network Producer
Daniel Limbach

Circulation Assistant
Kathy Deiuliis

Copyright 2021
by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ
Printed in the U.S.A.
Volume Twenty One, Number Nine

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