Coulter Partners Finds Chair for Cell Medica

Coulter Partners Annalisa Jenkins chair Cell Medica

December 13, 2017 – Executive search firm Coulter Partners has placed Annalisa Jenkins as chair for Cell Medica, a leader in next generation cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.

“Everyone talks about board and sector leadership diversity – here we see another excellent female chair appointed and are proud to have been involved in this transatlantic search,” said Bianca Coulter, CEO of Coulter Partners.

Gregg Sando, CEO of Cell Medica, said Dr. Jenkins should prove invaluable as the company moves forward with its next generation cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. “Her deep understanding and thought leadership in immuno-oncology drug development, as well as her board and executive leadership experience with innovative biotechnology companies, make Annalisa exceptionally well-qualified to serve as chair of Cell Medica’s board,” he said.

Life Sciences Leader

Dr. Jenkins is a life sciences business and thought leader with over 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience in advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval and into healthcare systems globally. Before joining Cell Medica, she served as president and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, a gene therapy company that was acquired by Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical in November.


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Dr. Jenkins has held multiple leadership positions, including executive vice president, head of global research and development, for Merck Serono, where she led global medical affairs and quality and was a member of Merck Serono’s pharmaceutical executive committee. Prior to that, she had a 14-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she became SVP and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jenkins was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf War, reaching the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander.

“The cell-based immunotherapy industry has come of age in 2017 with the first marketing approvals and a growing pipeline of exciting products in late stage development that address current patient unmet needs and gaps with available therapeutics,” said Dr. Jenkins. “With a portfolio of differentiated and powerful technology platforms, including both chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and engineered T cell receptors (TCRs), Cell Medica is very well positioned to address these unmet needs and make a significant impact for cancer patients globally.”


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For these top 50 executive recruiters working in the life science and healthcare sectors, the last decade has been one of transformation. Pressure on pricing, regulatory changes, emerging innovations, growth, and an uncertain political environment have all helped shape a new field of play.

Top 50 Ranking

Coulter Partners, which is based in London, is a senior-level executive search boutique focused exclusively on identifying global life sciences leaders and board directors. With offices in the U.K., Europe and North America, the firm serves clients in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, CRO and services sectors. Recently, Coulter made seven new appointments in the U.S., Switzerland, Germany and London.

According to Deloitte’s global sector outlook report on life sciences, persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill-sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work. This will require a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent and human resources.

Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said Ms. Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”

The sector has recently enjoyed a healthy stream of consistent investment for the development of new therapies for unmet medical needs. “This spans the entire gamut of existing therapeutic areas from CNS, respiratory, immunology and inflammation to oncology, hematology, ophthalmology and rare diseases,” said Helga Long, a life sciences search specialist at ZRG Partners. She noted that there is a need and reliance on the biotech sector for innovation and early science, and this has led to a surge of investment in biotech start-ups. “All of these segments now require world class leadership,” said Ms. Long.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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