We are honored to share that Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, has agreed to become an advisor to BrightInsight as of March 2021. Dr. Leiden’s experience as a biopharma CEO and passion for revolutionizing healthcare through technology align perfectly with BrightInsight’s vision to transform patient outcomes globally through the power of digital.
We sat down with Dr. Leiden to learn a little more about our newest advisor:
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: “I am a physician and scientist who, for the last 40 years, have dedicated my career to improving the lives of people with serious diseases. My experience spans all aspects of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and I’m currently the Executive Chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where I have served as a member of the board of directors since 2009 and as Chairman, President and CEO from 2012 to 2020. While CEO, Vertex delivered the first and only precision medicines to treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF). It is my mission and the basis of the company’s research priorities to bring transformative medicines to people with CF and other serious diseases.
My prior roles include President and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Abbott Laboratories, where I had responsibility for running Abbott’s global pharmaceuticals business. While at Abbott, I led the development and launch of multiple breakthrough medicines, including HUMIRA® (adalimumab) for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and KALETRA® (lopinavir/ritonavir) for HIV infection.
I also care deeply about inspiring and equipping under-resourced students and young women to become the next generation of scientific leaders. I established a signature program at Vertex to enhance science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) education among students in our local communities, including an on-site Learning Lab, mentorship programs, internships and college scholarships. I’m proud that in 2017, Vertex announced a sustained corporate giving commitment of $500 million over the next 10 years, of which $50 million is focused on STEAM education.
In addition to my responsibilities at Vertex, I am currently Chairman of Casana, a home health monitoring company, and Chairman of Tmunity Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing novel T-cell immunotherapies to treat solid tumors. I am Vice Chairman of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership and a director of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. I also serve on the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School and as co-chair of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s STEM Advisory Council and Digital Health Council. I am a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians.
From an education standpoint, I received my B.A., M.D. and Ph.D. degrees with honors from the University of Chicago.”
Q: What excites you most about BrightInsight?
A: “For years I have believed that applying technology to healthcare will revolutionize the way we deliver care globally by making it more effective and efficient. Using technology to democratize healthcare – increasing access for many more patients – is a deep passion that I’ve focused my work around, and I see us at an inflection point of making this a reality. BrightInsight is a perfect example of the intersection between healthcare and technology. Its proven, global SaaS platform is supporting game-changing regulated digital health products from biopharma and medtech which have the potential to improve patient outcomes and decrease costs to healthcare systems globally.”
Q: Where is your favorite place on earth?
A: “The Vertex board room! Just kidding. My favorite place on earth would definitely have to be Cape Cod. Our family has a home there, and it’s the place where we gather every summer to get some quality time together.”