PhRMA Foundation Announces New Members of Board of Directors
The PhRMA Foundation today announced the appointment to its Board of Directors of Aida Habtezion, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Pfizer, Maha Radhakrishnan, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Biogen, George Addona, PhD, Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery, Preclinical and Translational Medicine at Merck Research Laboratories, and Lori Reilly, Esq, Chief Operating Officer at PhRMA.
The PhRMA Foundation is a 57-year-old nonprofit that fosters biopharmaceutical innovation and value-driven health care by investing in the frontiers of research. The Foundation catalyzes the careers of promising researchers through competitive, peer-reviewed grants and fellowships.
“These new Board members bring to the PhRMA Foundation a diversity of experience and perspective that is critical as we enter the next era of change for the biopharmaceutical industry,” said Amy M. Miller, PhD, President of the PhRMA Foundation. “I look forward to working with our Board of Directors to chart a path forward for the organization and support the rapidly evolving field.”
As chief medical officer, Dr. Habtezion leads Pfizer’s Worldwide Medical & Safety organization responsible for ensuring that patients, physicians, and regulatory agencies are provided with information on the safe and appropriate use of Pfizer medications. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was a practicing physician and scientist at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, where she led a large translation research lab focused on understanding disease mechanisms and identifying potential immune-based therapeutic targets for pancreatic and intestinal inflammatory diseases and their long-term complications such as cancer.
“As a longtime academic researcher who transitioned to industry, I greatly value the PhRMA Foundation’s unique role in funding promising young scientists conducting research that helps seed the biopharmaceutical industry’s future efforts to deliver new medicines to patients,” Dr. Habtezion said. “I am eager to partner with the Foundation’s Board and staff to ensure the continued success of this respected organization.”
Biogen’s Dr. Radhakrishnan is one of the foremost experts on medical affairs strategy and health outcomes research currently serving as chief medical officer. She brings extensive experience in overseeing external engagement approaches with academic institutions, key opinion leaders, patient advocacy groups, payers, and regulators. Prior to joining Biogen, Dr. Radhakrishnan held leadership roles at Sanofi, Bioverativ, Bristol Myers Squibb, United Health Group, and Cephalon.
“By investing in promising scientists and researchers, the PhRMA Foundation is playing a foundational role in helping the biopharmaceutical industry adapt to changing realities,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said. “With this evolution, there are many challenges the PhRMA Foundation’s programs can help the industry address. One thing remains clear — we all must come together across the industry to advance science and improve meaningful and measurable patient outcomes.”
Dr. Addona has worked at Merck since 2008 and currently oversees early-stage pipeline, early human studies, and biomarker development. Previously, he was Vice President of Quantitative Biosciences, playing a critical role in Merck’s drug discovery organization by leading a multidisciplinary team focused on preclinical programs across all the company’s therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Merck, he held roles with Novartis and Praecis Pharmaceuticals.
“Our industry stands at an inflection point where emerging technologies and new therapeutic modalities are creating exciting opportunities in medicine and vaccine discovery and development,” Dr. Addona said. “I look forward to working with my fellow Board members at the PhRMA Foundation to foster innovative research and inspire a new and diverse generation of biopharmaceutical scientists.”
Due to a change in the Foundation bylaws, Ms. Reilly joins the Foundation’s Board as PhMRA’s ex officio representative. A longtime leader in developing and advocating for practical policy solutions that bring medicines to patients, Ms. Reilly oversees PhRMA’s advocacy activities and alliance development work and provides strategic leadership to the organization and its members. Prior to her 20 years of service at PhRMA, she served as counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Commerce and to a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“Research is critical to advancing new medicines and informing the policy environment that paves the way for patients to access those medicines,” Ms. Reilly said. “The PhRMA Foundation fills a critical niche for the biopharmaceutical industry, helping to fuel innovation and build thoughtful approaches to promote a value-driven health system.”