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Initiative Updates: CEO Roundtable on Cancer
The CEO Roundtable on Cancer started 2020 with a new leadership team and a new vision to take the Roundtable and its programs to the next level.
K. Andrew Crighton, M.D. has joined as Chief Executive Officer of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer and Project Data Sphere®. He succeeds founding CEO, Martin J. Murphy, DMedSc, PhD, who will remain with the organization as a member of the board of directors and chief executive of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer-China.
MaryLisabeth Rich arrived in mid-January as CEORT - President Gold Standard and Member Engagement.
Betty Whichard moved to the role of Chief Financial Officer, a position that Ken Lee held for many years pro-bono. We will continue to rely on Ken as a strategic advisor in the future.
The team is talking with Roundtable members, supporters and potential members to learn more about the latest challenges employers face in building a healthy workforce.
“One of the gaps we’ve placed as a high priority is health disparities,” Andy said. “CEOs through their personal visibility and their corporate profile have the opportunity to improve the health and well-being for their community as well as employees but we need to pivot from the approach we have taken in the past.”
Andy has 20 years of experience engaging business leaders to develop measures that identify the impact of the work environment on well-being at individual and organizational levels. He recently retired as chief medical officer at Prudential Financial, where he oversaw the health and well-being, safety and medical business consulting worldwide and led a strategic transformation of the business towards a more holistic view of health, including physical, emotional, social, spiritual, financial and cognitive well-being.
MaryLisabeth previously was Senior Vice President Development for the American Cancer Society Global Headquarters in Atlanta. During almost 15 years with the ACS and its foundation over two stints, she has been a catalyst for building relationships, forging partnerships, executive engagement, mustering resources and advancing investments across the organization’s portfolio.
She also spent nine years in Higher Education Philanthropy, playing an integral part in three capital campaigns totaling $600 million, and was the executive director for Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC). While at SRC, she developed and implemented communication and marketing in support of a $100 million annual research allocation operation among other accomplishments.
Betty joined the Roundtable and PDS in August 2018. Before that, she served as Vice President of Finance and Administration for The Medical Foundation of North Carolina, where she managed assets totaling approximately $315 million. She previously was Financial Manager of Foundations & the Alumni Association at East Carolina University. She also spent nine years as Chief Financial Officer, ERM and Operations Manager for 102 store locations for Trade Oil Co.
After Trade Oil Co. merged with WilcoHess in 2005, Betty served as the Director of Finance and Enterprise Risk Management. She also served as the General Financial and Administrative Manager for the Greenville, NC, divisional office. Betty has spent more than 17 years in public accounting serving a diverse clientele.
Robert A. Ingram, Founding Chairman of the CEO Roundtable on Cancer, has been appointed to the President’s Cancer Panel, which advises the nation’s chief executive about barriers to progress in reducing the burden of cancer.
He will be part of a fireside chat at the CEO Roundtable on Cancer Annual Meeting on Sept. 21-22 in Cary, NC., to update us on the Panel’s work and gather input from us. The Panel, which was established by law in 1971, forms recommendations and presents them to President Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Ingram, a general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, formed and chaired the CEO Roundtable on Cancer at the request of President George H.W. Bush in 2001.
Previously, Mr. Ingram was Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Glaxo Wellcome where he co-led the merger and integration that formed GlaxoSmithKline. Upon reaching mandatory retirement age of 60, Mr. Ingram served as the Vice Chairman, Pharmaceuticals at GSK, before becoming Strategic Advisor to the CEO of GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
Mr. Ingram is Chairman of the boards of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Novan, a late-stage pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, and Viamet Pharmaceuticals, a private company focused on anti-infective research. He also serves as the Lead Director on the board of Cree.
At the request of President Trump, Mr. Ingram will fill the remainder of a three-year term expiring Feb. 20, 2022.
There were 2 other appointments by President Trump to the Panel:
- John P. Williams, a breast cancer surgeon and medical director of the Breast Cancer School for Patients, and a clinical professor at the Institute for Biohealth Innovation, George Mason University.
- Edith P. Mitchell, a clinical professor of medicine and medical oncology in the Department of Medical Oncology, director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, and associate director of diversity affairs at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University.
BeiGene and John V. Oyler, Chairman, Co-Founder and CEO. BeiGene started in Beijing and has expanded to be a global company. Its focus is discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative, molecularly-targeted, and immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer.
Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and Ken Keller, President and CEO. Daiichi Sankyo is a global pharmaceutical company with corporate origins in Japan. It provides innovative products and services in more than 20 countries around the world. With more than 100 years of scientific expertise, the company draws upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help patients.
Foundation Medicine Inc. and Brian Alexander, Chief Medical Officer. Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patient’s cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicine’s molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer.
The Menarini Group and CEO Elcin Barker Ergun. Menarini Group, the leading Italian pharmaceutical company in the world, has 17,640 employees in 136 countries, including the US in San Diego and Philadelphia.
COVID-19 immediately affected the conduct of ongoing clinical trials but it equally changed the way they will be conducted in the future, said speakers at the CEO Roundtable on Cancer online conference April 24 on “Maintaining Oncology Clinical Trial Integrity during the Covid-19 Pandemic.”
“Oncology trials represent an important subset of clinical trials,” said Dr. Mace Rothenberg, panel moderator and Chief Medical Officer, Pfizer. “There is the serious and life-threatening nature of the disease; the fact that a clinical trial may represent the best or only option for some patients with few or no other therapeutic options; they require special expertise in administration, monitoring, and management of acute adverse events or hypersensitivity reactions; and the use of advanced technology processing samples that cannot be easily performed outside of trial sites.”
There were three primary areas of discussion about trials amid the pandemic: managing patients in studies, managing data from studies, and interpreting trials with missing data and other challenges.
Speakers included clinical trial experts from industry, academia, and the US Food and Drug Administration who shared recent experiences. The audience was invited to pose questions and more than a dozen FDA staff attended the 90-minute panel to gather input and learn more about what’s happening on the front lines of research.
Within the US there have been wide geographic disparities in severity of COVID-19 and response to the virus, which makes trial operations challenging. But many shared accounts of positive results with telemedicine that will become a standard trial feature going forward.
“If there is a silver lining, it is that we are running a grand experiment concerning decentralized trials,” said Dr. Paul Kluetz, Deputy Director, Oncology Center of Excellence, FDA. “We have been interested in this for a long time, because they can show us efficiencies and can be quite patient friendly.”
Other speakers expressed frustration that regulatory agencies around the world do not agree on what trial modifications are permitted.
“Most of our recommendations at the moment have been based on internally coordinating across centers and within FDA and less of a coordination externally with the other regulatory bodies,” said Dr. Patricia Keegan, Associate Director for Policy, Oncology Center for Excellence, FDA. “That’s why I was particularly interested in comments about differences across regulatory agencies that are posing particular problems.”
Panelists agreed that some of the most pressing questions that remain include:
- How should missing trial data be handled? What statistical techniques should be used to address this?
- How do we assess the impact of geographic disparities because of the varying intensity and duration of the pandemic?
- How will we share information about tools and technologies that have been effective for remote monitoring and data collection?
- How should we view the so-called “period” effect related to the time before, during and after COVID?
- What should be site-level protocol deviations versus protocol amendments? Safety measures are being implemented without approval leading to compliance concerns.
- How do we always keep in mind the benefit to patients as well as their safety?
“We are in the middle of a grand experiment. What we don’t know yet is the result of that experiment,” Dr. Dave Reese, Executive Vice President, R&D, Amgen, said in summing up the conference. “What are the conclusions of the experiment? I believe it’s incumbent on all of us to really ask fundamental deep questions of what do we change permanently? There are many things that we must learn from this experiment.”
Most of the attendees represented pharma and biotech industries but government agencies, academia and others, including non-profits, also made up a substantial part of the audience.
Post-event surveys reflected that participants found the content important and they would likely attend a future virtual meeting hosted by the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. Discussion is ongoing about future topics for similar events.