MassBio® Welcomes Six New Members to its Board of Directors

Apr 04, 2019

Batra, Leibman, Leveille, Meeker, Supko, and Wentworth Bring Unique Background and Rich Experience to Board

April 5, 2019 (CAMBRIDGE, MA) – The Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio®) today announced the appointment of six new life sciences executives to the trade association’s Board of Directors. These new members will direct and support MassBio’s mission to grow and sustain the life sciences industry in Massachusetts, improve patient lives, and bring value to the healthcare system.

“Our industry is at an inflection point – breakthrough science that has been tested for decades is leaving the labs and starting to reach patients. Yet, our healthcare system is not set up to absorb these high value therapies. We are also facing the challenge of finding the next generation workforce, and our industry is not as diverse as it should be,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President and CEO of MassBio. “We are thrilled to welcome the industry’s brightest minds to our Board to help us tackle these weighty challenges and guide us as we seek to advance all aspects of life sciences to ensure patients everywhere receive the treatment they need and deserve.”

Joining the Board of Directors this year:

  • Udit Batra, CEO of Millipore Sigma
  • Chris Leibman, SVP, Value & Access at Biogen
  • Lizabeth Leveille, Head, Business Development and Licensing Boston Innovation Hub at Merck
  • David Meeker, MD, CEO of KSQ Therapeutics Inc
  • Donna Supko, VP, Global Head Regulatory Affairs R&D at EMD Serono
  • Kerry Wentworth, Chief Regulatory Officer of Flexion Therapeutics

“As Chair, it is my goal to ensure Massachusetts remains the top life sciences cluster in the world,” said David Lucchino, Chair of the Board of Directors at MassBio, and Co-founder, President and CEO of Frequency Therapeutics. “I am confident that the fresh perspective each of the new Board members bring will further this goal and support MassBio as we bring increased value to our growing membership, foster digital health convergence, and solidify Massachusetts as the best place in the world for our industry.”

About the New Board Members

Udit Batra is Chief Executive Officer of MilliporeSigma, the €6.2 billion Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and a member of its Executive Board. In addition to leading MilliporeSigma, Udit has Board responsibility for the company’s global Business Technology function and the company’s Bioethics Advisory Panel.

Born in New Delhi, India, Udit is an accomplished executive who has dedicated his career to improving health for people globally, bringing more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare and the life sciences. After Udit became CEO in 2014, he and his MilliporeSigma team developed and executed a growth strategy that included the 2015 acquisition of chemicals and technology giant Sigma-Aldrich. Udit architected and led this merger — the largest acquisition in the history of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and the largest ever in the life science industry. Before joining MilliporeSigma, Udit led the turnaround of the Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s consumer health business and worked in the pharmaceutical industry in R&D, Strategy, and general management at Merck & Co., Kenilworth, NJ, McKinsey and Novartis. He holds both a PhD and BS in chemical engineering from Princeton University and the University of Delaware, respectively.

Since 2015, MilliporeSigma has set the performance benchmark in the industry with the fastest organic sales growth and a profit margin that is 400-500 basis points ahead of other large peers. Additionally, MilliporeSigma is an innovation leader with solid positions in areas such as tools for gene editing, manufacturing of novel modalities such as viral vectors for cell and gene therapy, and in digital commercial models such as e-commerce.

Today, Udit continues to lead the business through a strategic transformation that has made MilliporeSigma a top-three player in the industry and an employer of choice in many regions where it operates around the world.

Chris Leibman is Senior Vice President, Value and Access at Biogen, where he leads the global value demonstration, access and pricing strategy development and execution across the Biogen portfolio.  Prior to this role Chris lived in Zug, Switzerland where he led market Access and pricing at Biogen for Europe and Canada. 

Mr. Leibman joined Biogen in 2014 from Janssen Pharmaceuticals (J&J), where he served as head of Market Access and Policy: Neuroscience and led the team responsible for the development and execution of market access strategies and value evidence generation across the Neuroscience franchise.   Prior to this, first with Élan Pharmaceuticals and then with Janssen AI following their program acquisition, Chris led the market access launch readiness activities across the Alzheimer Immunotherapy Program in partnership with Pfizer. 

Mr. Leibman has published and presented extensively on the benefits and costs of prescription drugs in Alzheimer’s disease, value frameworks in healthcare, and sustainable pricing in drug development.  He brings two decades of diverse experiences in biopharmaceutical development, value demonstration, access, and working across multi-company alliances. 

Mr. Leibman holds a B.S. degree in Biology, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Following his pharmacy degree, he completed a post-doc fellowship in health economics with GlaxoWellcome and earned a M.S. degree with focus in Pharmacoeconomics and Health Policy from the Ohio State University. 

Outside of work, Chris enjoys competitive bike racing and spending time with his wife and three kids.

Lizabeth Leveille brings over 17 years industry experience and over the past 14 years has focused her work in business development at large pharmaceutical companies.  She is currently the Head of the Merck Boston Innovation Hub, which is a Business Development & Licensing team focused on early-stage therapeutics (prior to human proof-of-concept) as well as accessing innovative research and technologies through collaboration, licensing, or M&A in the academic, pharma, and biotech community.  Previous to Merck, she spent nine years at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) in the Strategic Alliances department.  During her time at NIBR, her roles included search and evaluation activities as well as leading the negotiation of licensing, collaboration, and M&A transactions including Novartis’ acquisition of CoStim Pharmaceuticals and licensing deals with Servier, Peptidream, among others. 

Liz also has industry experience in scientific roles, given her time at companies such as AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Akceli, Millennium, and Genzyme.  Liz has a Masters degree in Biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.

Dr. David P. Meeker is the President & CEO of KSQ, a biotech company with a proprietary CRISPRomics drug discovery engine. Utilizing this engine, KSQ is advancing a pipeline of oncology and immuno-oncology drug development programs. Dr. Meeker was formerly the President and CEO of Genzyme, a Sanofi company, a position he assumed when Genzyme merged with Sanofi in 2011. He was also a member of the executive committee. 

In his career with Genzyme, Dr. Meeker held key positions of increasing responsibility beginning in the R&D organization and subsequently in operating roles, culminating in the position of Chief Operating Officer at the time of the merger. In his most recent role within Sanofi, he headed Sanofi-Genzyme, the specialty care unit with responsibility for Rare Diseases, MS, Oncology and Immunology franchises.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Meeker was the Director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University. He completed his internal medicine training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital and his pulmonary/critical training at Boston University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2000.

Dr. Meeker is the Chairman of the Board of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and Trevi Therapeutics and a member of the board at Myokardia. He also serves on the boards of the Biomedical Science Careers Program, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and the Dimock Center, a Boston based community health center.

Donna Supko is the Head of Global Regulatory Affairs, Research and Development at EMD Serono. In this role, Donna is responsible for driving regulatory strategy and execution for products in the early stages of clinical development through marketing approval, which includes navigating all FDA requirements across the development portfolio.

A seasoned R&D leader, Donna has more than 25 years of regulatory affairs experience across a wide range of therapeutic areas in the biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries. She has also led successful marketing authorization applications for drugs, biologics, devices, and combination products, in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia.

Prior to joining EMD Serono in 2017, Donna held oncology regulatory leadership roles at both Sanofi and Eisai Inc, and she started her career managing drug development programs in the Division of AIDS for National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Donna holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology, and an M.S. in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, both from the Ohio State University, as well as a B.S. in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. She completed post-doctoral neuropharmacologic research at the Johns Hopkins University.

Kerry Wentworth has 25 years of experience in both domestic and international Regulatory Affairs that spans early and late development across multiple therapeutic areas. Ms. Wentworth joined Flexion Therapeutics in 2014 where she’s been responsible for leading the company’s first NDA successfully through the FDA approval process. Prior to joining Flexion, Ms. Wentworth served as Vice President, Clinical, Regulatory and Quality at Agenus, Inc., where she was responsible for leading all global regulatory and clinical development efforts for 10 years. Previously, Ms. Wentworth led the Regulatory and Quality function for Genelabs Technologies, Inc. and prior to that held positions of increasing responsibility within Regulatory Affairs at Genzyme. Ms. Wentworth holds a BS in pre-veterinary medicine from the University of New Hampshire.

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