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Meet the Faculty

17th Annual National Pharmaceutical Congress
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Colleen Coxson brings 24 years of pharmaceutical business experience including marketing, sales, market access, analytics, and commercial oversight. Through her experience at Alnylam Canada, and previous roles at Boehringer Ingelheim Canada as a Business Unit Director and Director of Marketing, Colleen has and continues to make an impact for patients across Canada seeking innovative treatment options.

A key member of the founding leadership team of Alnylam Canada, Colleen successfully launched the company in Canada and established Alnylam as a leader in rare disease, leading all aspects of commercialization with a focus on Market Access and Patient Support Programs. Under Colleen's leadership, Alnylam initially launched the first siRNA in Canada (Onpattro) and has now expanded the company's portfolio to include four approved products thanks to the growth and success of Onpattro. The availability of these new treatments fills a need 

Colleen Coxson

Country Manager

Alnylam Phamaceuticals

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Kevin Leshuk, a graduate of McMaster University, has over 25+ years of Canadian based biopharmaceutical experience having held executive level leadership roles within Pharmacia, Pfizer, Roche and Celgene.

Mr. Leshuk is recognized as being a commercialization expert within the Life Sciences community having built and led teams that have launched some of the most successful medicines introduced into Canada within the last two decades. He has held significant corporate leadership roles within Pfizer and Celgene and was an active Executive Board member with BIOTECanada.

In 2021, he founded FORUS Therapeutics Inc., a Toronto based commercial stage Specialty Pharmaceutical company. Since the company's launch, the FORUS team has successfully launched XPOVIO for patients living with Multiple Myeloma. FORUS looks to expand on this recent success and is actively sourcing additional novel therapeutics for Canadians living with Cancer.

Kevin is a passionate champion for the Canadian Life Sciences Industry and for access to medicines for all Canadians.

Kevin Leshuk

CEO and President

FORUS Therapeutics

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Janine Pajot is the Vice President, Human Resources for Bayer Canada, a global Life Sciences organization with over 1,200 employees in Canada. In this role, Janine is a member of the Country Leadership Team responsible for governance and strategic direction for the Canadian organization.

Prior to joining HR, Janine held numerous roles with progressive responsibilities in Comercial strategy, Marketing, Sales and Communications in the Pharmaceutical space. With 25+ years of experience, Janine is a recognized strategic, and culture-building executive and is passionate about  people. She is dedicated to fostering high performing organizations with a lens toward ensuring a culture of inclusion and belonging.

She is a certified board candidate (CDI.I) with a Global ESG Competent Boards Certificate and Designation (GCB.D) and serves on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Caregivers Organization.

Janine Pajot

VP, Human Resources

Bayer

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Kevin's pharmaceutical experience spans more than two decades. He has held many roles in sales and marketing for a variety of companies, including AstraZeneca, Roche, Amgen, Sanofi, and currently with Sun Pharma. He has also previously held the role of Head of Strategy and Portfolio and built a team in the functional areas of digital strategy, launch excellence, and portfolio planning. Most recently Kevin built a hybrid GP/Specialty commercial team for two new drug launches. Kevin has spent most of his pharmaceutical career in Canada, but has also worked in global marketing in Switzerland.

Kevin Hewitt

Director, Sales & Marketing

Sun Pharma

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A partner at Torys LLP, Eileen chairs Torys' IP and Canadian Food and Drug Regulatory Practices. She represents the entire spectrum of companies on regulatory clearance and intellectual property protection of products. Across sectors—including life sciences (pharmacetuicals, medical devices, natural health products), agribusiness, consumer prodcuts, and more—Eileen helps clients identify, protect, and leverage IP and regulatory assets, obtain and maintain market exclusivity, handle high-risk situations (corrective actions, recalls, regulatory orders), and navigate the impact of current and proposed laws on clients' ability to sell products. Eileen also has marketing-leading experience with patented medicines and oversight of Canada's Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB). In addition to her Band 1 ranking in Intellectual Property by Chambers & Partners, Eileen is the only Canadian lawyer to be recognized by CHambers as a Star Individual in Life Sciences. Managing IP regards her as one of the world's top 250 women in IP, and The Legal 500 recognizes her as one of Canada's leading lawyers in intellectual property. Best Lawyers in Canada recognizes Eileen as Lawyer of the Year in Biotechnology and Life Science for 2024.

Eileen McMahon

Senior Partner

Torys LLP

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Ross Glover leads the Taiho Pharma Canada Executive Team and oversees the operations for the company in Canada, as well as the expansion into the Mexican pharma market.

Ross has more than 30 years' experience in the Pharma industry and his team is proud to have delivered two new options for oncology patients in Canada since opening the doors at Taiho in February 2017.

Prior to joining Taiho Pharma Canada, he was a member of the Canadian Leadership Team at Sanofi Genzyme and led the MS business unit. Prior to that, Ross held senior leadership positions in oncology and neurology and had built multi-functional teams to support the business and the clinical direction for breast cancer, colon cancer, lymphoma, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Ross has extensive experience in navigating the complicated Regulatory and Market Access process and has worked to develop some unique outcomes while making drugs available for patients who are in need.

Ross Glover

General Manager

Taiho Pharma Canada

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Corinne Buchanan-Russell has more than 30 years of continuously progressive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She is passionate about people and their growth and development which has driven her to explore numerous professional and personal challenges across global and local leadership roles. Corinne is a co-founder of Advancing Black Talent in Pharma (ABTiP) and Franchise Head for the RARE franchise at Sanofi.

Corinne is a strategic pharmaceutical business leader with a strong track record of developing winning teams as she coaches and mentors individuals to be their best authentic self. As a member of the Sanofi Canadian and North American DE&I Councils, she openly leverages this platform to challenge existing biases and drive cultural change.

This commitment to DE&I is woven throughout her life. While having achieved many career successes she was struck by the fact that along her journey there were no mentors or leaders with shared experiences or understanding. Bouyed by this fact, Corinne partnered with likeminded individuals to form a not-for-profit company, Advancing Black Talent in Pharma (ABTiP). This organization's ambition is to achieve a sustained representation of Black Talent throughout the Canadian Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industry. Today, ABTiP is growing in membership and through various initiatives strives to overcome the systemic barriers to growth and development of Black talent.

Impassioned by the words of Maya Angelou, Corinne's mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.

Corinne Buchanan-Russell

President & Co-Founder

Advancing Black Talent in Pharma

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For more than 20 years, Sandra Heller has had the privilege of working toward improving the lives of Canadians. As GM of Seagen Canada, part of the global counterpart Seagen Inc., she leads a dedicated team focused on bringing transformative cancer therapies to Canadian patients. She is proud to be part of an organization delivering new options for oncology patients through their pioneering novel technologies and working closely with stakeholders and partners to bring these solutions to the patients who need them.

Over the past eight years with Seagen Canada, Sandra has witnessed the company's transformation from a one-product company to having multiple products commercialized, further delivering on Seagen's mission to help improve the lives of people with cancer through targeted therapies.

Before joining Seagen, Sandra also worked for Gilead, Roche, and EMD Serono in various sales and marketing roles in therapeutic areas such as breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, bladder cancer, lymphomas, and multiple sclerosis. She also has extensive experience in patient support programs where she started her career.

As a leader, she's passionate about transformation, learning, collaboration, and the inspiring potential of science and innovation to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians touched by cancer.

Sandra Heller

General Manager

Seagen Canada Inc.

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LSO collaborates with governments, academia, industry, and other life science organizations across Canada to promote and encourage commercial success throughout the diverse sector. Jason obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and his BSc from the University for Waterloo. His professional experience includes the pharmaceutical industry and the Ontario government before joining LSO as Executive Director in October, 2011. He was appointed President and CEO in April, 2014. He serves on several boards and advisory committees including UofT's Translational Research Program, ReMAP, BioTalent Canada, Research Canada and co-chairs the Resilient Healthcare Coalition. Jason is the 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waterloo and Chair of Ontario's Life Sciences Cuncil.

Jason Field

President & CEO

Life Sciences Ontario

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Shawna Boynton has 10 years of pharmaceutical commercial experience working in respiratory, vaccines, diabetes, and obesity therapeutic areas in various roles including sales, brand, and digital marketing. Most recently, Shawna joined Novo Nordisk Canada to successfully lead the OmniChannel Marketing Transformation merging brand strategy with innovative advancements in technology to enhance customer engagement and sales enablement. Prior to Novo Nordisk, Shawna was part of the GSK Canada team starting out as a sales representative in 2013. She soon after continued to follow her passion for health and wellness focused on customer experience in the digital space moving into a Digital Marketing Manager position. on the newly formed Digital Team at GSK. She is known for her agility, strategic thinking, and innovative mindset to accelerate business transformation and innovation. In her spare time, Shawna also held the Strategy and Insights position on the Executive Leadership Team at Women Leaders in Pharma where she devoted her time to the organization's mission of empowering women in the industry to reach their full potential.

Shawna Boynton

Associate Director,

OmniChannel Marketing

Novo Nordisk

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As a driven, tech-savvy, healthcare sales and marketing specialist, Jennifer Wellman has a breadth of experience and knowledge in a variety of roles across the Canadian pharmaceutical industry. She is responsible for the commercial promotion of NARCAN® Nasal Spray in Canada to ensure optimal positioning, demand, utilization, and overall growth of the brand.

Prior to that she was a medical sales representative at Servier Canada where she was responsible for the promotion of cardiovascular products to family physicians.

Before making the switch to 'client side', Jennifer worked at the healthcare agencies Ariad Health and CPC Communications as an account director for a variety of top-tier pharmaceutical and medical device company clients. She gained experience across a wide range of therapeutic areas and a demonstrated record of developing and executing integrated marketing and communications plans from end-to-end. Upon completing a degree in Biochemistry from McMaster University, she began her career in pharmaceuticals with Patheon (now Fisher Scientific), a multinational contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company.

Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters and is passionate about volunteering and community organizations. During her down time, she enjoys watching a good movie, reading, baking, and running outdoors.

Jennifer Wellman

Senior Marketing Manager for NARCAN® Nasal Spray

Emergent BioSolutions Canada

Bob McLay

Vice President

and General Manager

Sobi Canada

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Bob McLay is the VP, General Manager of Sobi Canada. As GM of Sobi Canada, he oversees all operations and commercial aspects of our business strategy and performance. For the past three years he has been the Immunology Franchise Head for the US and Canadian business. In that role he was responsible for the commercial process, performance and success for Sobi North America.

 

For the past several years Bob has served as Chair for RAREi.  RAREi is an informal network of Canadian research-based bio-pharmaceutical organizations involved in developing therapeutics for rare diseases. The purpose of RAREi is to provide a forum to address common public policy issues.Their vision is to help shape the Canadian health system and policy environment to facilitate patient access to diagnostics and medicines that improve the lives of Canadians with rare disorders.

 

Bob joined Sobi North America in 2016 from Merus Labs where he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in Toronto. He also has held roles as a Sales Director for Takeda Canada, Marketing Director with Graceway Pharmaceuticals, and Sales leadership roles with Pfizer and Alcon. 

Bob earned a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Auburn University Harbert College of Business in Alabama. While at Auburn, Bob was a graduate assistant football coach for the Auburn Tigers. Prior to that, he received Bachelor of Science degree from University of Guelph in Ontario. He resides in the Burlington, Ontario.

Leandra Wells, PhD, MBA is responsible for the overall performance, strategic direction and growth of this portfolio which includes GSK's legendary respiratory portfolio, as well as GSK's established brands. With 20 years in the industry, her diverse background includes experience in both start-up, and large multi-national pharmaceutical settings (including Janssen Inc., Allergan Inc., and Innomar Strategies Inc.) as well as an array of therapeutic categories including hematology, oncology, and medical aesthetics. Her breadth of experience includes roles in commercial, market access, medical affairs as well as academia, having been a professor for 12 years in the MBA Program at the Schulich School of Business.

Leandra has proven success in driving transformational change across a large organization, instilling a culture of competitiveness, agility, and innovation at every level of the organization. She inspires and enables teams to achieve beyond their own expectations by leveraging her strengths in being curious and continuously challenging the status quo.

In 2022, Leandra was recognized by her Pharma Industry Executive peers with the Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame Award.

Leandra has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto, and a PhD in Molecular Developmental Biology from the University of Toronto.

Leandra Wells

Business Unit Head,

General Medicines

GSK

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In April 2020, Christine became the first General Manager and employee for Incyte Biosciences Canada.

Prior to Incyte, Christine was CEO of Epigene Therapeutics, a spinout of Neomed (now Admare Bioinnovations). Prior to that, she spent eight years with Novartis as Canadian Commercial Head, Solid Tumors/Rare Disorders; General Manager—Oncology, Novartis Ireland; Head of Policy, Market Access, Stakeholder Relations, Novartis Oncology Canada. Christine also held leadership roles with Neurochem, Shire (now Takeda), BioChem Pharma, and with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program. Christine has been an advisor to life sciences startups and an executive-in-residence and advisor to healthcare venture capital teams at Business Development Bank of Canada (now Amplitude Ventures) and at Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec.

Christine holds an MBA and BSc from McGill University and her Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. She serves as a judge and mentor for McGill's Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship and McGill's Desautels MBA School. She is a McGill Scarlet Key Award Recipient and was named a Healthcare Businesswomen Association Luminary in 2022. Christine is a Board member of Montréal inVivo, Innovative Medicines Canada, and Research Canada.

Christine Lennon

General Manager

Incyte Biosciences Canada

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Eisai is a BioPharma company focused on neurology and oncology research and the development of products to address areas of high unmet need. Their mission is to improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer's disease, sleep disorders, epilepsy and cancer (including liver, kidney, endometrial, thyroid and breast cancer. Eisai is also a global leader in research into dementia treatments in order to address this devastating disease.

Pat has more than 25 years of experience in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry in a range of therapeutic areas from oncology to specialty biotech to traditional primary care. He has been involved in over 20 unique launches in a variety of therapeutic areas.

Eisai is founded on the principle that the company exists first and foremost to help pateints and their families. The needs of patients, their families, and the community are central priorities that have shaped the direction and activities of Eisai and are aligned with Pat's vision to build an organization focused serving patients and their families first and foremost.

Prior to Eisai, Pat lead the oncology and HIV business units at Gilead an was also the acting GM. He was the GM of Forest Labs Canada, a start-up focused on several product launches in CNS, gastroenterology and respiratory medicine.

Pat Forsythe

Vice President & General Manager

Eisai Canada

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As President and CEO, Brigitte is responsible for the growth and success of the Canadian Pharmaceuticals Division, as it aligns with the company's goals of providing novel healthcare solutions to Canadians. She leads a diverse team of nearly 2,000 employees from Roche's Canadian Pharmaceutical headquarters in Mississauga, Ont., which is home to five different areas of Roche business: Commercial, Informatics, Pharma Technical Operations, Procurement, and Product Development.

Brigitte has held a number of progressive leadership roles within Roche, locally and globally, since joining the company in 2006. These include Director of Government Affairs and Health Policy for Specialty Care at Roche Canada; Head of the Global Health Policy team; Integrated Franchise Leader for the rare diseases franchise at Roche UK; and most recently as General Manager for Roche Belguim and Luxembourg.

In her various leadership roles, Brigitte has worked with patient groups; established a global policy function; supported the evolution of Roche's work with Global Health Institutions like the World Bank and the World Health Organization; represented the company on numerous global and local trade association committees; led Roche's early participation on the industry NCD Access Initiative to bring oncology medicines to low and lower middle income countries; and supported multiple product launches.

Brigitte Nolet

President & CEO

Roche Canada Pharma

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Driven by a life-long commitment to improving the health and well-being of Canadians, Pamela works with the country's research-based pharmaceutical companies to ensure that all Canadians have access to the medicines they need, when they need them, and that Canada remains an attractive place to invest in the life sciences. Her unique perspective on the policy issues of the day is informed by her decades of working closely with patients and researchers to find solutions to some of our most pressing healthcare challenges.

Prior to IMC, Pamela was President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, where she led the transformation of the organization's operational and governance structures, helping to strengthen its position as the country's leading cancer-fighting charity.

Her patient-centric perspective is also shaped by past leadership roles at the Canadian Healthcare Assocation (now HealthCareCAN), the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the Health Action Lobby (HEAL), the Health Charities Coalition of Canada (HCCC), CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.

Pamela Fralick

Past President

Innovative Medicines Canada

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Robin Hunter has over 25 years of experience in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry, working previously as General Manager and Vice President of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals Canada, the VP of Sales and Marketing at LEO Canada, and in a variety of senior leadership roles at Roche Canada over several years. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and the Queen's School of Business executive development program.

Robin Hunter

General Manager

Tolmar Canada

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Andrew Casey is the President & CEO of BIOTECanada, responsible for the strategic operations of the Association representing Canada’s biotechnology sector. He is the lead spokesperson for Canada’s biotechnology industry, communicating on the industry's behalf with government, regulators, international bodies, media and the Canadian public. In his capacity as head of BIOTECanada, Andrew also serves as Director, Board of Directors, BIOTECanada; Vice Chair, International Council of Biotechnology Associations (ICBA); Director, Board of Directors, Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Commercialization of Research (IRICoR); and Director, Board of Directors, Arthritis Alliance of Canada (AAC).


Prior to joining BIOTECanada, Andrew served as Vice President, Public Affairs and International Trade with the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and previously Assistant Vice-President, Government Relations with the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association.

 

Andrew is a native of Montreal. After attending Loyola High School (Montreal) and St. Lawrence CEGEP (Quebec City) he graduated from Carleton University (Ottawa) with a degree in Political Science.

Andrew Casey

President & CEO

BIOTECanada

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Danielle is an established Canadian leader who has also taken on important work on the international stage. She joined Emergent in May 2023, where she leads the canadian organizations to maximize impact across Canada and the communities it aims to serve. Prior to joining Emergent, Danielle diversified and broadened her perspective in diagnostics as the Regional Bsiness Director, International with Ambry Genetics where she led the international bsiness development straegy for Ambry's precision medicine offering in the Americas, Europe, and ANZEA. She has also held numerous roles across the pharmaceutical space in product management, marketing and sales oversight, medical affairs, and account management and has led strategy and execution for drug and medical device protfolios. Her strong bsiness-clinical background, passion, and drive have curated innovative, high impact programs and healthcare partnerships. She has been recognized by both local and global colleagues for her leadership, unique strategies and outstanding business growth, and by national and international organizations for her contributions to ecellence in the field. In 2023, she was nominated for Acquisition International's 2023 ost Influential Businesswomen Award and WXN's Top 100 for her work.

Danielle Portnik

Senior Director, Commercial

Emergent BioSolutions

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Andrea Schwarz oversees sales and marketing for BeiGene's hematology portfolio. She has held various commercial roles from a regional to national level and has won local, national, and global awards for her strong commercial results launching new products in Canada. She has consistently transformed and built teams to great success across various therapeutic areas both in pharma and digital healthcare working for Abbott, Grifols, Shire, Takeda, and Telus Healthcare. She also was part of the executive team with Women Leaders in Pharma and helped build out their coaching and entoring program. Andrea is passionate about people and dedicated to creating a culture with high performing teams that have a shared sense of purpose and vision.

Andrea Schwarz

Commercial Lead

BeiGene Canada

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A business leader in the Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical Industry, Paul has a proven track record of performance and experience leading people and business in biotechnology and rare disease in both Canada and the United States. His experience includes building and growing businesses with such companies as GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Biogen and of recent jazz Pharmaceuticals. His 23 years of proven success is built on extensive launch experience, lifecycle management and breadth of understanding in sales, marketing, market access, medical, government relations and regulatory. Paul's experience and success transcends the financials, he also led the organization in creating a winning culture, being recognized as a Great Place to Work in Canada for multiple years.

His leadership in Biotech has been recognized by being included in the Canadian Pharmaceutical Hall of Fame and is a Biotech Canada Gold Leaf Award recipient.

Paul has BSc in Biology, Genetics, from the University of Toronto and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors program at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Paul Petrelli

General Manager, Canada

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

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Brian Bloom, a co-founder of Bloom Burton & Co., serves as the firm's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. By forging unique relationships with international healthcare-specialized investors, Brian raises capital for healthcare companies while helping investors realize returns. Brian is on the Board of Directors of Satellos Bioscience and Appili Therapeutics. Brian was formerly the Chariman of the Board of Grey Wolf Animal Health and Triumvira Immunologics, a member of the Life Sciences Advisory Board at the National Research Council of Canada, the Dean's Advisory Board at McMaster University and on the Board of Directors of BIOTECanada, the Baycrest Foundation and Qing Bile Therapeutics.

Before co-founding Bloom Burton in 2008, Brian spent six years at an independent investment dealer in the healthcare and biotechnology institutional sales and equity research groups. Brian started his career at New York-based investment banking firms SCO Financial Group and Molecular Securities. Brian received an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from McMaster University and subsequently studied at the Mount Sinai Graduate School for Biological Sciences of New York University, with a focus in molecular endocrinology and biophysics.

Brian Bloom

Chairman & CEO

Bloom Burton & Co

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