Updated on 7 March 2013
I was actually head hunted out of Covance for my first biotech role as CEO of Hyal Pharmaceutical in 1997. I had just completed my Master of Business Administration (MBA) and I saw the CEO role as a chance to integrate the skills I had picked up from my MBA with my industry experience gathered while working in regulatory affairs and pricing, and practical experience as a pharmacist.
Working in the biotech industry provides many opportunities to move up within your organization because the companies tend to be smaller and your role needs to be quite broad. In a much larger company, your role is more likely to be quite specific to your area of expertise.
When I joined BioDiem in 2009, my focus was on diversifying our product portfolio and growing revenue streams. In the last few years, we've focussed on the highly attractive markets of infectious diseases and vaccines, expanded our asset base by in-licensing three world-class Australian technologies, and promoted our LAIV-based flu vaccine business, which is already generating revenues through partnerships in India and China. In addition, we are continuing to discover new indications for our BDM-I antimicrobial compound, which is active against a range of infectious diseases. In summary, it's a very exciting time for BioDiem and I'm very proud to be a part of it.
Taking up challenges
Completing my Master of Science research whilst heavily pregnant is something that definitely stands out in my memory. It was a wonderful and very challenging time, but it just goes to show what you can achieve if you really want something. Later in my career, I went back to university to complete an MBA while working full time with three young children. Both experiences were meaningful, because it's those sort of challenges that teach you a lot about yourself. I've learnt that perseverance is one of the most important attributes a person can have to achieve their goals.