Session 203
Where's the Spark? How Alliance Leaders Can Create Innovation

When new alliances are announced, they often promise to create innovations that could not be created by either company alone. Are alliance leaders creating an innovative culture within their company, and within their alliances to ensure the potential for new ideas is fostered, or do they default to managing the alliance within the narrow confines of the contract?

Beyond individual alliances, are alliance leaders creating innovation within the alliance management profession? Are they looking for opportunities across the alliance portfolio to unlock further innovation?

What are the measures of alliance innovation, and how do we know that open innovation is working? Does innovation mean different things to different companies and organizations?

The need for innovation is clear, more now than ever, so this diverse and experienced panel with share their insights on how to address these questions. The panel will draw on both big pharma, and start-up company experience to give different perspectives on how alliance leaders can be innovation drivers.

This interactive panel session will provide insights on:


Christine A. Carberry, CSAP
Carberry Consulting

Christine Carberry is a biopharmaceutical leader with the unique ability to transform strategy into results through the power of collaboration. Most recently she was the Chief Operating Officer at Keryx Biopharmaceuticals. In her leadership role she served on the Executive Committee while leading initiatives in cross-functional integration, operational excellence, and program management. She headed the Manufacturing, Technical Operations, Quality, Human Resources, and Regulatory functions.

Prior to Keryx, she served as a Senior Vice President at Forum Pharmaceuticals. At Forum, She established the Program & Alliance Management cross-functional matrix to integrate across the entire organization. She also led the CMC, Supply Chain, and Quality functions.

At Biogen for over 25 years, Christine held positions of increasing responsibility as the company advanced from a biotechnology pioneer to an internationally recognized Fortune 500 company.

Christine is a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP). She holds an M.S. in innovation and technology management from Boston University, Graduate Certificates in Management and Biotechnology Strategy from Harvard University, and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire.


Chandra Ramanathan
Global Head, Pharma R&D Open Innovation



Elizabeth Gazda
Embr Labs

Elizabeth Gazda is the CEO of Embr Labs, a Boston-based wearables company that developed the Embr Wave – a wrist-worn, personal thermostat that improves sleep, relieves anxiety and helps with hot flashes.

Prior to Embr Labs, Liz was a member of several founding teams including Doni, a fintech company, and Noteflight, a music technology company and has also worked at a number of Boston's fastest growing companies, including m-Qube (acq. Verisign) and unicorn Art Technology Group (acq. Oracle). Liz began her career with Philips Consumer Electronics in the Netherlands, where she was responsible for driving innovation in several business divisions across multiple countries.

Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and International relations from UC Berkeley where she was also a member of the Women's Varsity Soccer team. She also holds an International MBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands and an Executive Coaching degree from William James College. Elizabeth serves as a board member and advisor to several Boston-based startups in IoT, hardware and software.

Yaminah Leggett-Wells, MS, MBA, PMP
Senior Director, Alliance Management
Viela Bio, Inc.

Yaminah is responsible for leading Alliance Management at Viela Bio. Over the past two years her primary focus has been on building and managing the alliance organization and activities supporting Viela's portfolio. For more than 20 years she has worked in the pharmaceutical industry leading teams and overseeing programs. Previously, Yaminah managed Respiratory, Inflammation, and Autoimmunity alliances at AstraZeneca including, BioWa, Kyowa Hakko Kirin, Amgen, and Allergan. She has also had responsibility for merger and acquisition activities of the global clinical pharmacology unit operations at ICON plc. Yaminah holds an MS in Pharmacology from Howard University and an MBA from the Johns Hopkins University. She is a certified project management professional (PMP).