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Taking the World by Storm Five years ago, during a cab ride in New York City the idea for the Institute for OneWorld Health, the nation’s only nonprofit pharmaceutical company, was born. The African cabbie’s comment that pharmaceutical companies have all the money ignited the fire. The passenger was Victoria Hale, Ph.D., the woman who started the company and who has been steering it to high-profile recognition and extraordinary success. Dr. Hale knows that what the cabbie said is the perception and belief of many in the world, but it was painful to hear nonetheless. And she took action; upon returning home she visited an attorney and a few feverish months later, the Institute of OneWorld Health was incorporated. As the CEO and founder of the company, Dr. Hale is at the forefront of efforts to find new, affordable cures for diseases that disproportionately burden the world’s poorest nations. Already, OneWorld Health has made huge inroads. In May 2005, the company received orphan drug designation from the FDA and the EMEA for its drug, paromomycin, to treat visceral leishmaniasis or kala azar, a fatal disease transmitted by sand flies. The company is working toward approval of paromomycin in India in 2006, where the need is greatest. OneWorld Health also is investigating treatments for pediatric diarrhea, Chagas disease, and malaria. Like the suffragettes, whose stories Dr. Hale has found so inspirational, she continues to fight the good fight. She is partnering widely with her pharmaceutical peers and charitable organizations and encourages others to support her goals. With financial backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and partners UC Berkeley and Amyris Biotechnologies, Dr. Hale and her team have launched a $42.6 million program to use synthetic biology to develop a sustainable and affordable new source of artemisinin-based antimalarials. OneWorld Health also is building a portfolio of compounds to treat secretory diarrhea — a leading killer of children worldwide. Across the industry, scientists and companies inspired by Dr. Hale’s resolve have offered their help and expertise. If anyone can achieve these ambitious goals, it’s Dr. Hale. As a senior reviewer with the FDA, she and five other women scientists battled to ensure that women were included in larger numbers in clinical trials, a campaign that ultimately led to the NIH policy on the inclusion of women and minorities as subjects in clinical trials. A scientist, a company leader, a mentor, and a woman whose desire is to ensure every person on Earth has access to lifesaving medications, Victoria Hale, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of the Institute for OneWorld Health, leads with passion and conviction. Dr. Victoria Hale The Risk Takers Embodying the true spirit of entrepreneurialism, these individuals identified an unmet need in the industry and have successfully built companies to fulfill their visions. August 2005 PharmaVOICE 100 Lance Converse Start ‘Em Up Entrepreneurs are accustomed to calculated risk, but how a leader handles challenges is key. For Lance Converse, it’s about consistency in the approach, regardless how big or small the issue: resolve the problem, figure out why it became a problem in the first place, and ensure the problem doesn’t recur. Mr. Converse is no stranger to the thrills and challenges of entrepreneurship, having founded four successful companies. These have included a clinical- research staffing and contract resource firm, which he sold in 2001; Acurian, a leading investigator and patient-recruitment company; ePharmaLearning, a provider of e-learning and site-activation solutions; and most recently, Diasome Pharmaceuticals, a growth-stage pharmaceutical company with two compounds in clinical trials. A self-made business leader, Mr. Converse has influenced colleagues thanks to his vision, drive, and passion for making a difference in the life-sciences industry. He is a firm believer in a hands-on approach, working alongside employees and helping them to solve everyday problems. Currently, as CEO of ePharmaLearning Mr. Converse understands that the right solutions can help improve the way clinical trials are conducted and improve the way the industry does business. But he recognizes that there is a lot of skepticism with regard to embracing technology and change. To overcome that, he maintains a positive attitude, demonstrating that nothing is unattainable and that all problems can be solved. With a positive approach that refuses to be unhinged by the industry naysayers, combined with the many business successes he has had, Mr. Converse is an inspiration to many and will continue to make his mark on the industry for many years to come. Currently, Founder and CEO of ePharmaLearning, Lance Converse has created four successful businesses and each has benefited from his positive attitude and his hands-on approach to operations and problem solving. Dr. Jean-Pierre Sommadossi Unwavering Vision The mission: to discover and develop medicines to treat patients suffering from infectious diseases. The vision: to become a leading antiviral research and development firm. The man: Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Pharm.D. As the founder, chairman, and CEO of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Sommadossi is the driving force behind the company’s mission and vision to change the therapeutic landscape. Dr. Sommadossi has been unwavering in his work in the field of antiviral drugs for the past 20 years. Since founding the company in May 1998, Dr. Sommadossi has been driving success. Idenix Pharmaceuticals has advanced its research pipeline into late-stage clinical development, with a planned filing of its hepatitis B compound in late 2005, just seven years after the company was started. To date, he has secured more than $210 million in private financings and an initial public offering, and in 2003, he struck a landmark biotech-pharma deal with Novartis Pharma AG valued at more than $1 billion, whereby the two companies will work in collaboration to develop and commercialize drug candidates discovered by Idenix Pharmaceuticals. Ultimately, Idenix Pharmaceuticals’ products could significantly impact a currently unmet medical need; more than 500 million people worldwide are afflicted by hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and another 40 million people worldwide are living with HIV or AIDS. Dr. Sommadossi’s vision, pharmacology expertise, business sense, and zeal are an inspiration to those working in the field and to the people around the world who suffer from the hepatitis and HIV pandemics. For Dr. Sommadossi, his ultimate reward will come when a drug that he has been instrumental in developing reaches the market and changes the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of patients around the world. Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Pharm.D., Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, has created a dynamic corporate culture based on a set of values that stem from his commitment to innovation, teamwork, respect, quality, and ownership. John Bailye Ahead of the Curve In 1986, recognizing that there was a need for technological advancement in the salesforce arena, John Bailye founded Dendrite International Inc. to develop software applications for pharmaceutical salesforce management. Mr. Bailye, chairman and CEO, successfully took Dendrite public in 1995. Under Mr. Bailye’s leadership today, the company has more than 2,500 employees in more than 25 countries. Mr. Bailye was recognized in 1993, and again in 1998, as New Jersey’s Software and Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young and was a national finalist in 1998. In January 2003, he was ranked among the top 20 influential Australians in the United States by Business Review Weekly. Mr. Bailye also received the Golden Door Award from the New Jersey International Institute in 1998, which recognizes those who have come to the United States and achieved commercial success. Through Dendrite, Mr. Bailye was a founding member of the New Jersey Technology Council and now serves as its current chairman. John Bailye, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Dendrite International Inc., has been a pioneer in automating pharmaceutical salesforce processes. Terrence Tormey Over the course of his 30-year career, Terrence o. Tormey has seen the pharmaceutical industry from all sides and has been a driving force for just as long. On the client side, where he spent nearly 20 years, Mr. Tormey held virtually every sales, sales training, and sales management position — up to, and including, VP of sales. He began his career with Johnson & Johnson’s Ortho Pharmaceuticals division and later joined American Home Products, where he was a member of the professional sales team that launched Advil in the United States. After a successful career in pharma, Mr. Tormey ventured out with the goal of creating change in an area he felt lacked quality services. Mr. Tormey did just that as co-owner and president of The Medical Phone Company, a healthcare telesales company. He also served as the president of a contract sales organization, Nelson Professional Sales, as well as the president of an outsourcing consultancy, The Tormey Consulting Group. He also launched a healthcare-focused film and video production company, ASAP Productions. His latest role is president of BrandParents LLC. The company provides total product management services — product directors, product managers, and promotion managers — for brands that are not getting the attention needed to achieve full market potential. Regardless of which side of the table he’s sitting on, Mr. Tormey credits much of his success to the business ethics instilled at J&J. He says it was there that he learned to demand excellence, while maintaining a commitment to conduct business with respect, honesty, and integrity. Never one to sit still for long, he recently was appointed to the board of directors of Quigley Corp. and Pharmaceutical Health Management Co., and he is a strategic advisor to Granite Pharmaceuticals. In addition, he assists the board of the Foundation for Ichthyosis & Related Skin Types Inc., a nonprofit organization supporting medical research in a variety of skin disorders. Terrence O. Tormey is the epitome of integrity and optimism, no matter what side of the business he is working on. He is bringing those same qualities to his latest position as President of BrandParents LLC. A Driving Force Dr. Paul Bleicher A Technology Visionary He is a tireless advocate for the use of technology to improve data collection, data handling, data analysis, data storage in clinical development, and drug safety. But Paul Bleicher, M.D., Ph.D., chairman and founder of Phase Forward, has no formal training in software development. He has, however, worked as physician, as a clinical researcher and investigator, as a medical monitor at a CRO, and as a VP of clinical affairs at a biotechnology company. Having experience with all areas related to the collection and management of clinical-trial data, Dr. Bleicher observed that data in clinical trials were scattered everywhere — in spreadsheets, databases, and on paper — rather than in a centralized repository. Through collecting data directly from physicians conducting clinical trials, he saw that the industry could improve the quality and efficiency of managing data and the clinical trial itself. His vision and unwavering evangelism were instrumental in convincing the industry to adopt Internet-based clinical trials. With a driving passion to advance a largely paper-based industry into the electronic age while maintaining a keen understanding of the intense challenges in optimizing business processes in large organizations, he inspires others by translating that vision into action. His persistence in pursuing these initiatives, as well as his commitment to building a successful publicly traded company in a challenging economic environment, has been instrumental in creating an industry shift for clinical trials. Since starting Phase Forward he hasn’t looked back and continues to work on the current and future challenges facing the industry in automating its data value chain. Paul Bleicher, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman and Founder of Phase Forward, is transforming clinical-data collection and management. Stacy Mamarkos Martin Patricia Daly Taking a Different Perspective As New York City nurses, Stacy Mamarkos Martin and Patricia Daly were exposed to life-and-death situations every day. They learned some very valuable lessons from these experiences, and when the two started Metropolitan Research Associates, a niche CRO, they brought a unique perspective to the business. The two leaders say their nursing background honed their prioritization skills and forced them to learn how to think on their feet and how to remain controlled under pressure. They have transferred these skills to their new roles as company leaders and have created a corporate culture based on efficient processes, well-organized operations, and respect. Both women, as comanaging partners, have an intense work ethic and regard their responsibilities as managing partners of their company as extremely important, but the two entrepreneurs also realized that it was important that their employees have a strong balance between work and family. Although they value their personal lives, these women also highly value their clients and the trust placed in them by the sponsors who choose them. By being hardworking, honest, and having a good perspective on life, Ms. Martin and Ms. Daly provide their clients with the services that they need and have fun doing it. Clients appreciate the attitude these women bring to the table. Their employees also love the fresh perspective. By fostering an environment where everyone is involved in decision making and family is valued, associates are continually inspired and motivated to continue to do good work and provide valuable services. Stacy Mamarkos Martin (left) and Patricia Daly, Comanaging Partners and Founders of Metropolitan Research Associates, have built a business that focuses on the needs of their clients as well as their employees. Philip Patrick Pay it Forward In a world where everyone is so busy, it’s often hard to find individuals who truly look out for the best interests of others. Philip Patrick is one of those rare individuals. Mr. Patrick, the founder and president of PharmaStrat Inc., believes it is his obligation and duty to mentor the next generation of leaders in healthcare. Just as his mentors have inspired him and helped him grow professionally, his primary interest is helping his three most important stakeholders, what he calls the c-stakeholders: colleagues, clients, and the community. When Mr. Patrick started the company in 2002, he began an internship program specially designed to shape future leaders of the pharmaceutical industry. The program has provided many students with an opportunity to learn the ropes of the industry, managed care, and marketing research. To date, more than 10 undergraduates have completed internships with the firm, and nine of these students now have careers in the industry. Under Mr. Patrick’s guidance, the company makes the development of creative, analytic thinkers a priority by putting an emphasis on education and providing opportunities for professional development. In addition to the countless hours Mr. Patrick devotes to developing and mentoring his employees, he is a man with a thousand ideas. With an in-depth knowledge of multiple issues — most notably managed care and Medicare, market segments, and practically every disease state — he has made an impact on many blockbuster brands for a number of the leading U.S. pharmaceutical companies though in-depth market research and consulting. PharmaStrat’s anchor is in providing expert analysis as well as being innovative in every aspect of the business. Mr. Patrick leads by example and pushes himself and his employees to think creatively and always to be one step ahead, since it’s impossible to know what might be next on the horizon. Philip Patrick, President and Founder of PharmaStrat Inc., believes that any day that he can help the people around him succeed in achieving their goals is a successful day. Lois Trench-Hines Scientifically Speaking Healthcare communications for healthcare professionals by healthcare professionals — an uncompromising goal and one that Lois Trench-Hines has stood behind for 23 years. Originally trained as a biochemist and having abundant pharma industry experience, Ms. Trench-Hines, president, CEO, and founder of Meniscus Ltd., staunchly believes that to walk the walk one has to be able to talk the talk. More than one-third of her staff have advanced degrees: M.D.s, Ph.D.s, Pharm.D.s, or masters. To be able to intelligently have discussions with key opinion leaders and clients, about the mechanism of action or how a new agent fits into the armamentarium of a therapeutic area, she believes it’s necessary to understand the basic science. Ms. Trench-Hines realized early on that she would do things differently. She decided she would take a nontraditional approach to build her business and forgo having account executives. In addition to raising the eyebrows of colleagues throughout the industry, the idea of not having account executives often startles potential employees. But Ms. Trench-Hines, a team player by nature, has developed a system where everyone shares the load of developing the business, proposal writing, launching projects, and follow through. Ms. Trench-Hines is a bold leader who has built her company on intuition, innovation, and team spirit. Her passion is contagious; she is direct and demanding of her staff, yet gives as much in return, working shoulder-to-shoulder with them to meet a tight deadline. This team approach comes naturally to her. A distinguished rower, she was a member of the first U.S. Women’s Crew Team in 1973. The values learned as a rower are played out every day in the way Ms. Trench-Hines approaches her staff. She believes that through team work, dedication, hard work, and never giving in, any goal can be accomplished. Lois Trench-Hines, President, CEO, and Founder of Meniscus Ltd., has built a first-class company, developed lasting relationships, and earned the respect of oncology healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical industry leaders. Elizabeth Moench Through the Patients’ Eyes Experience with dTC advertising, an interest in direct-to-patient communications, and a passion for breaking new ground have proven to be the perfect recipe for success for Elizabeth Moench. Taking her knowledge of the industry, FDA regulations, patient marketing, public affairs, issues management, and an uncanny ability to identify trends, Ms. Moench seized the opportunity in 1992 to form her own certified woman-owned company, MediciGroup Inc. Grown from a handful of employees with one client, MediciGroup is now a leader in the development and implementation of direct-to-patient clinical-trial recruitment and retention programs. Today, with a team of 30 professionals, the company serves a worldwide client base. Maintaining the core value that everything the company does needs to be evaluated through a patient’s eyes, Ms. Moench has overcome the “white coat” mentality that treated patients simply as statistics and has developed unique programs that address issues critical to successful clinical-study completion. With a unique perspective — having both European and American roots — she is sensitive to cultural differences and is transferring those insights to global patient recruitment and retention programs. Her dedication, innovative spirit, and commitment continuously inspire her employees, peers, associates, and clients. As president, Ms. Moench strives to inspire those around her, creating an environment for employees that meets both their needs and the needs of the company. Ms. Moench is active with the DIA and the Association of Managed Care Pharmacy; she has served as past chair of the public affairs section for PhRMA and as a former board member of the National Council on Patient Information and Education. She has been recognized for her contributions — throughout the industry and beyond — with numerous awards, including the YWCA Award for Women in Industry, a Gold Quill Award from the International Association of Business Communications, and chair of Health Decisions of New Jersey. Dedication, innovation, commitment — three words that have big meaning when describing the contributions that Elizabeth Moench, Founder and President of MediciGroup Inc., is making to the industry. Ruth Vukelich Adhering to a philosophy that a company does not have to be the biggest to be the best, Ruth Vukelich set out to tackle the challenges facing the training arena 10 years ago when she founded PLEXUS Learning Designs Inc. Coming from the clinical-research side of the industry, she quickly realized that the training arena could, and should, maintain the same caliber of standards that sponsors are held to throughout the drug-development process. By carefully selecting very seasoned staff members who work just as effectively autonomously as part of a team, Ms. Vukelich has a well-earned reputation for developing leading educational programs for numerous pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Referring to her employees as her “team,” Ms. Vukelich’s management style focuses on respecting her team members for what they bring to the table and allowing them to evolve in new and cutting-edge directions. By rolling up her sleeves and working hard right alongside her people, Ms. Vukelich, president of PLEXUS, has earned the respect of her employees as well as her clients. Her peers believe that her never-ending desire to put quality first, coupled with her foresight into the science of medicine, has led to highly educated salesforces and long-standing client relationships. With 10 years of experience on the research and development side of the industry before starting PLEXUS, Ms. Vukelich believes in creating project teams that are very strong from a clinical perspective and that also possess the ability to bring this information to a level of understanding for a variety of audiences — sales reps, district managers, marketing/brand teams, clinical scientists, and healthcare providers. Her industry involvement outside of PLEXUS includes active participation in the Society of Pharmaceutical and Biotech Trainers, the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MBC). Ruth Vukelich’s business philosophy is to establish customers for life. As President and Founder of PLEXUS Learning Designs Inc., she cultivates business relationships at a partnership level. Setting the Standards Scott Freedman On Top of the Bubble With 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing and R&D, Scott Freedman understood the time, cost, and regulatory pressures on trial sponsors to find monitors quickly, and recognized that there was a need to improve the process. In response, he developed a way to minimize those pressures and focus on achieving the common goal — bringing to market medical products to help improve people’s lives. That solution: Monitorforhire.com, the first online community that connects clinical-trial sponsors with experienced, independent monitors. The company was conceived about five years ago, just as the dot-com bubble was bursting and venture capitalists were pulling back funding. Despite the economic challenges this presented for an Internet startup, Mr. Freedman, president of the company, was able to successfully communicate his vision and the value that linking monitors and sponsors brings to the pharmaceutical development process. Monitorforhire.com has allowed thousands of monitors the opportunity to move in new directions and has jump-started many careers. The company also has enabled sponsors and CROs to improve the efficiency of their trials. Mr. Freedman takes satisfaction in knowing that he is playing a part in accelerating the clinical-trial process. Mr. Freedman’s passion for the industry is also evident through his leadership in the community. Keeping in touch with his roots, he has served as president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. He also is active in the DIA, serving on the finance committee, as well as the Licensing Executive Society. As President of Monitorforhire.com, Scott Freedman is using technology to transform the way the industry conducts clinical research. Mary Ann Liebert First in the Field Considered by many as a publishing pioneer, the founder, president, and CEO of Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers, takes great pride in establishing peer-reviewed journals in the most promising areas of biotechnology, biomedical research/life sciences, clinical medicine and surgery, and law. In 1980, Genetic Engineering News, the company’s flagship journal, emerged as the first publication in the biotechnology industry. It is now the most widely read journal around the globe in that field. Ms. Liebert began publishing the journal AIDS Research long before AIDS was considered a threat to public health. Other firsts in their fields are the journals Cloning and Stem Cells; Human Gene Therapy; and Tissue Engineering — all of which are in cutting-edge areas. The company currently publishes more than 65 authoritative international journals. With a deep passion for what she does and the people who work with her, many of whom have been with her since the company was started in her living room, Ms. Liebert’s desire is that the research published in her journals makes patients’ lives better. In addition to changing the landscape with her publications, Ms. Liebert contributes to advancements in the life- sciences by advocating for federal funding of biomedical research and serving on the board of directors for Women in Biotechnology. She also is committed to cultivating the next generation of leaders within her own staff. For the past 25 years, Mary Ann Liebert, Founder, President, and CEO of Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers, has been developing first-in-field journals. Doug Engfer The Human Touch There is an overriding moral issue associated with being an entrepreneurial CEO in the life-sciences industry. According to Doug Engfer, that is to do the right things on a humanitarian level. He strongly believes the work that he, and the company he cofounded, invivodata Inc., does directly impacts people’s lives and that he has a moral obligation to first protect the safety and well-being of patients. Even though Mr. Engfer, president, and CEO of the company, is a technology guy, there’s more to consider than developing a “cool” product; it’s about what that product can do or mean in the context of healthcare and new treatments. Described as a people person by his peers and colleagues, it’s no surprise that Mr. Engfer started a company that could positively impact the quality and duration of people’s lives; a responsibility that he considers both humbling and hugely motivating. Mr. Engfer gives full credit to his cofounder Jean Paty for bringing the idea of invivodata to fruition. He also credits his parents for instilling in him the values of honesty and integrity, which have guided him throughout his professional career: doing what’s right, not necessarily what’s easy. Doug Engfer, Cofounder, President, and CEO of invivodata Inc., believes leaders have a responsibility to clients, team members, shareholders, and investors, but most importantly to the patients whose lives their companies impact. Ed Mitzen Living the FantasyWhen Ed Mitzen decided to start an advertising agency, he had never actually worked for one. He quit his job with no money in the bank; he had only an idea and the belief that with hard work he could sell his vision. In 1997, Mr. Mitzen founded CHS, a marketing consulting firm. Two years later, he made the decision to add advertising solutions to his client offering. Six years later, as president and owner of Palio Communications, he has grown the companies from a two-person operation above a local coffee house to 130 employees with a roster of blue-chip clients. After abandoning the security of a weekly paycheck, Mr. Mitzen breathed life into CHS and Palio by concentrating on doing the best job possible, and doing whatever was necessary to get through each day and to make payroll — even if that meant paying salaries on his credit card. Coming from the client side of the business, Mr. Mitzen had a clear vision of what he wanted the firms to deliver, and he has worked hard every day to meet these expectations. He has been known to say, “I can’t guarantee that I will always be the smartest person in the room, but I can promise this: no one will ever outwork me.” His dedication to the pursuit of excellence doesn’t go unnoticed by his staff, who are more than willing to go the extra mile because they know their leader is right alongside, offering encouragement and motivation with genuine respect and a sense of humor. When asked what his fantasy job is, Mr. Mitzen answers that he has it. Throughout the two ventures’ development, Mr. Mitzen has been guided by the core value that he and his employees should be able to balance the demands of business and fun. To have harmony with their work and personal lives, he strives to foster an environment in which employees can do great work for their clients without having to skip dance recitals, Little League games, or reschedule vacations. Mr. Mitzen himself coaches his son’s baseball team. His father died at age 41, which taught Mr. Mitzen to appreciate every day, to have respect for people no matter their background, and to have fun, because when it stops being fun, it’s time to do something else. Considering himself lucky, he tries to instill in his employees the sense that there is a higher purpose than just making money. Never forgetting where he started, he considers it very important that he, and the company, give back to the community. Palio provides pro bono services and charitable contributions to more than 40 nonprofit organizations. Mr. Mitzen sits on the boards of The Double H Hole in the Woods, Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Saratoga Care Foundation. In evaluating the success of the agency, Mr. Mitzen is quick to point out that the company wouldn’t be where it is today without the contributions of his entire staff, especially Mike Myers and Guy Mastrion, who each left behind successful careers in Manhattan to join him at the beginning. Drawing inspiration for the agency’s name from the famous horse race, Palio di Siena, held in Siena, Italy, where different families from the same town race against each other and at the end of the day come together to celebrate, Ed Mitzen, President, Founder, and Owner of Palio Communications, has created an environment that mirrors this same type of camaraderie and togetherness. Jeffrey Aronin Jeffrey Aronin has a track record of success. After leading two successful venture-backed healthcare companies, Mr. Aronin set his sights on developing, manufacturing, and marketing specialty products and founded Ovation Pharmaceuticals. What has set this venture apart from his previous experiences, as well as most other companies in the industry, is Ovation’s mission to acquire high-need pharmaceutical products and promising late-stage development products that benefit patients suffering from severe illnesses. In addition to garnering respect in the industry for his vision of helping focused patient groups with unmet needs find relief and hope, Mr. Aronin, as president and CEO, has built a reputation in the industry as the “partner of choice” when other companies look to divest their products. Thanks to Mr. Aronin’s business savvy, today Ovation is renown for its ability to execute transactions expeditiously and professionally. With unparalleled financial strength and a commitment to manufacturing and marketing products responsibly, he is ensuring that severely ill patients have access to high-need treatments. By taking the road less traveled, Mr. Aronin has inspired many in the industry. His belief in his team and their combined pursuit of the same vision have created an atmosphere of mutual respect and admiration that permeates the organization. By promoting a strong, clear vision, Mr. Aronin has attracted what he calls “the best people” to surround him. Mr. Aronin’s focused approach to company growth has propelled Ovation to become the 12th fastest growing company in the country, according to Entrepreneur magazine. Although the road to success has not been without obstacles, Mr. Aronin says once he outlined the big picture vision for Ovation, the challenges he has faced have not been too different from those most entrepreneurs face: raising money, recruiting great employees, and creating a sound business structure. Jeffrey S. Aronin, Founder, President, and CEO of Ovation Pharmaceuticals Inc., has a focused approach to sustaining growth and a clear vision of helping high-need patients gain access to products to treat serious illnesses. Standing Ovation Joan Bachenheimer Bonnie Brescia having spent their professional careers helping to improve patient access to information that empowers and facilitates personal health decisions, Joan F. Bachenheimer and Bonnie A. Brescia, the cofounding principals of BBK Healthcare Inc., entered the life-sciences industry in 1983 with the idea that the complexity and import of health decisions should not be over-simplified in healthcare advertising and communications. The two dedicated their company to helping clients achieve market share, not by the tenets of Madison Avenue, but by helping patients to better understand their health and healthcare options. At the same time, two distinct niche markets were emerging: the now ubiquitous direct-to-consumer, integrated approach to healthcare communications and the burgeoning field of professional patient recruitment. Since the inception of BBK, Ms. Bachenheimer and Ms. Brescia have constantly adapted their company to meet the most current needs of the industry, and they are now focused on developing best practices for clinical-trial participation. After 22 years together, these entrepreneurs still draw their inspiration from the patients and people they meet who have overcome incredible health challenges in the absence of information or credible information. The partners’ “people-first” attitude is pervasive in every facet of their business, whether it is by providing groundbreaking industry contributions, such as Good Recruitment Practice guidelines that ensure the ethical and expedient recruitment of study participants, pro bono contributions to community healthcare organizations, or by offering yoga instruction to their employees at no cost. While their actions and attitudes inspire others, these women are likewise inspired and energized by the people they work with. The “management diversity” mantra that they employ at BBK takes into account that people learn differently and contribute differently. This guiding principle also recognizes that there is a need to balance work and family priorities, which they believe will lead to a collective community with a richer culture of contributions, more individual expression, and a love for the work. Joan F. Bachenheimer (left) and Bonnie A. Brescia, Cofounding Principals of BBK Healthcare Inc., pride themselves on listening to what the evolving needs of sponsors, sites, and patients are and then reengineering the organization and its products and services to respond. MIchael Morales Breaking Down Silos Identifying an unmet need for late-phase research and medical-education services while working in both sales and marketing positions on the sponsor side, Michael Morales was motivated to take the entrepreneurial step to build Dimensional HealthCare Inc. (DHC). Although the clinical data he was given to market drugs was sufficient for regulatory needs, Mr. Morales recognized that it did not contain the real-world info that could actually help practicing physicians design better clinical-treatment strategies, which would allow for better care of patients. Coupling his experience from the marketing and commercial side of pharma with his clinical knowledge, Mr. Morales’ vision is to break down the walls between the two functional groups to assist practicing physicians with a better understanding of medicines. As chairman and CEO, his optimism has been essential for establishing credibility and trust with sponsors, and his positive outlook and sense of humor have been assets with employees as well. Mr. Morales’ philosophy is to hire the best people he can and then get out of their way. He looks for “builders,” not those who just want to maintain the status quo. He doesn’t just want out-of-the-box thinking, but thinking that destroys the box. He exudes a powerful passion for the business and clearly articulates his own vision and direction for the company, while encouraging each member of the DHC team to actively participate in their own career development. To promote employee growth, Mr. Morales has worked diligently to acquire state educational grants that can be applied to team or individual training programs. Additionally, he has instituted Team Think, a companywide team-building initiative that encourages interdepartmental communication through regular off-site meetings that consist of presentations and activities. The Awards of Excellence program recognizes select employees, nominated by management or peers, for outstanding exhibitions of model behavior, such as exceptional customer service, process improvement, and cost savings. The investments he makes in his employees have directly translated into a positive work environment and a strong sense of pride in delivering high-quality programs. To assist physicians in designing the best clinical-treatment strategies for their patients, Michael Morales, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Dimensional HealthCare Inc., is breaking down the walls between marketing and clinical to provide the information and services to meet this goal. Neil Matheson All for One, and One for All High-energy, respected, visionary, passionate, brilliant, considerate — these are the words his staff use to describe Neil Matheson, CEO of AXIS Healthcare Communications LLC. Since founding AXIS in 1999, he hasn’t stopped pouring himself into his work, his clients, and his staff. Mr. Matheson has expanded AXIS into an eight-company conglomerate that focuses on all aspects of healthcare communications, ranging from early-stage strategic consultancy through sales training. Team spirit and an “all for one, one for all” approach is the only accepted attitude within the organization. His energy permeates the entire company, which in turn pushes everyone in the organization to do his or her very best and remain focused. Mr. Matheson recognizes that it’s the people who really control the destiny of the company and his success as a leader — not the other way around. Mr. Matheson considers himself as one of the team, and in fact he doesn’t refer to those who work for him as “employees.” Instead, he calls them “team members.” Rather than a “human resources” department, AXIS has a “valuable assets” department. Making the culture thrive is a two-part challenge. First, he seeks out people who really fit with the company’s vision, then he strives to make them feel as though they have ownership in the vision and future of the business. One way that Mr. Matheson fosters a sense of ownership is by allowing his team members the freedom to structure their own employment relationship with the company as their needs change. If people are prepared to work, AXIS will do everything to support them, allow them to contribute, and help them to grow. Neil Matheson, CEO and Founder of AXIS Healthcare Communications LLC, engages peers, key opinion leaders, clients, and staff with professionalism, friendship, and inclusiveness in the pursuit of life-cycle management communications solutions. Dr. Lukas Makris A Personal Touch Having a personal connection with his staff is of utmost importance to Lukas Makris, Ph.D., and showing his staff that he cares comes naturally. Every morning, the founder and CEO of BioCor walks through the office, greeting them individually. No matter how busy he is, when Dr. Makris returns from a business trip, he personally visits each of them to say, “Hello. How are you doing?” and offers a hug, a handshake, and a funny story. Even on the most hectic days, Dr. Makris can be found smiling, laughing, and generally keeping spirits high. For BioCor employees, his positive motivation, infectious enthusiasm, and warmth have created a genuine sense of family. Employees are willing to go the extra mile for the company because they know Dr. Makris would go the extra mile for them. Dr. Makris has a tremendous respect for talent. He interviews every potential employee and values each person equally, no matter what role he or she may play. His staff are extremely loyal. They believe in Dr. Makris’ vision for the company, which he founded in 1998. He has created a positive working environment where employees can maintain a balance between work and home, with opportunities to develop and grow in their individual careers. He is quick to give credit and praise whenever it is due and he spends little time “crying over spilled milk.” For clients, Dr. Makris’ roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic makes him the ideal CRO partner; in fact, he is sometimes more committed to the projects than the clients are themselves. He is recognized among his peers in the CRO industry as an expert in the field, beyond his technical expertise as a statistician, in all facets of drug development. Dr. Makris continually seeks out new tools and approaches to keep abreast of cutting-edge technologies, creative solutions, and market opportunities. Dr. Makris has been on the forefront of influencing the analysis criteria of oncology and cardiac imaging for many years. His in-depth understanding of the subject matter and what is key to defend a submission has helped many clients complete NDAs to the FDA. With a genuine personal concern for his employees, associates, and clients, Lukas Makris, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of BioCor, brings the highest scientific standards and commitment to innovative approaches to clinical research. Charlene Prounis Entrepreneurial Spirit Her motto in life is: “If you can dream it up, you can make it happen.” A true trailblazer at heart, Charlene Prounis has the drive, determination, passion, and smarts to make good things happen for her, her partners, her colleagues, her employees, and the companies she has launched. The question for Ms. Prounis has never been why, but rather why not when it relates to embarking on new business ventures. Making it happen has become a habit for Ms. Prounis, whether it’s pulling together a program, launching a brand, or exceeding client expectations. In 1999, having finished a year-long term as president of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Ms. Prounis made the decision to step out on her own. Driven by the love of entrepreneurialism that she had developed during her 12 years working in advertising at Grey Healthcare Group, Ms. Prounis, along with her current partner Risa Bernstein and two other colleagues, founded Accel Healthcare Communications (now Corbett Accel Healthcare Group). Accel received financial backing from Omnicom Group Inc., a strategic holding company that manages a portfolio of global agencies, and quickly rose to national prominence. Within five years, Ms. Prounis, Ms. Bernstein, and their partners developed Accel to a top-20 medical advertising agency, making it among the most successful start-ups in Omnicom history. With the wind of that success filling her sails, Ms. Prounis jumped back into the entrepreneurial ocean in the beginning of 2005 by founding FlashPoint Medica LLC, again with the support of Omnicom and with Ms. Bernstein as a cofounding partner. Ms. Prounis, copresident and managing partner of FlashPoint Medica, believes there are moments in every brand’s life when the timing is right, interests converge, and connections are made. The goal of the agency is to provide specialty communications tools to ignite new opportunities at those crucial moments. In addition to developing inspired solutions, Ms. Prounis’ success has much to do with her ability to inspire those around her. She believes that by setting a standard that others can look up to, always pushing the envelope, and developing ideas that spark the imagination, people become inspired and want to be on a winning team. Ms. Prounis also strongly believes in helping others in their career development and takes a genuine interest in identifying peoples’ strengths to make good things happen. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Charlene Prounis, Copresident, Managing Partner, and Cofounder of the newly formed FlashPoint Medica LLC, is embarking on the next stage of an already successful career. Dr. Paul Janssen A 20th Century Icon Regarded as one of the 20th century’s most innovative and inspiring pharmaceutical researchers, Paul Janssen, M.D., Ph.D., believed in leading by example. Not only was he the founder of a thriving pharmaceutical company — Janssen Pharmaceutica, which was established as a pharmaceutical laboratory in 1953 and later became part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies in 1961 — he also was responsible formany breakthroughs in several fields of disease, including pain management, psychiatry, infectious disease, and gastroenterology. One of his achievements was Haldol, the first antipsychotic therapy to allow patients to be treated at home. Dr. Paul, as he was known throughout the global scientific community, was an exceptionally gifted and passionate scientist who revolutionized modern medicine and inspired a new generation of researchers. As a leader, perhaps his greatest gifts were his deep regard for the people around him and his belief that it was people who created results. “He never worked through systems, only through people,” says Dr. Paul Stoffels, company group chairman, global virology, of Tibotec. “It was a fantastic feature of his management skills — pushing people forward to be entrepreneurial, to take risks, to take the initiative to make changes in healthcare. And time after time, it yielded fantastic new drugs. His focus on people — driving people forward, making a difference — was the whole culture in the company, which I think in large part is still there today.” A scientist first and foremost, Dr. Janssen was the project leader for all the products the company was developing. He cared little for bureaucratic structures; rather his focus was on how to bring a drug forward to the next stage. “Because he was in charge of bringing each and every drug forward, there was no red tape, no issues in the company, no barriers,” Dr. Stoffels says. “That was the magic touch of Dr. Janssen.” Dr. Janssen believed that, in medicine, everything was possible. In the mid- to early-1980s when HIV emerged on the world stage, his approach was that there must be a way to make a difference. His desire to find new cures for sick people was a lifelong passion; and up until his death on November 11, 2003, he continued to work with other scientists from a laboratory he had established in his home near Turnhout, Belgium. Even today, his impact is being felt in the lab. He was the architect of one of the molecules that J&J and Tibotec are exploring as a treatment for HIV. “We made several trips to Africa in the last 10 years to observe what HIV was and what a catastrophe it is,” Dr. Stoffels says. “One of Dr. Janssen’s last wishes was to make a difference. And even now, after his death, I bet he will do just that as we develop one of the greatest molecules he created.” Having founded Janssen Pharmaceutica, Paul Janssen, M.D., Ph.D., who passed away in November 2003, was one of the pioneers of 20th century healthcare who believed that in medicine, everything is possible.