Billion Dollar Bets: Lessons on Innovation from a BMS Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Elliott Sigal (Ep. 4 on The Pharmcast)

December 1, 2016 Jim Combs



Each week in The Pharmcast, we talk with top industry experts from our network or beyond about hot industry topics, leadership, and the path to success. This week in The Pharmcast, we catch up with Dr. Elliott Sigal, the former Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In 2012, Dr. Sigal was called by Scrip Pharma Intelligence "The Best R&D Chief in Pharma," largely for helping deliver BMS' "String of Pearls" strategy that helped position BMS as a major player in the immuno-oncology space.

As referenced in both Episode 1 and Episode 2 of The Pharmcast,  Dr. Sigal, through internal development and making sizable asset acquisitions, developed a pipeline of first-in-class medicines that helped transform the company, the industry, and most importantly, the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions – of patients. 

When asked what his "secret sauce" to success was, he said it was not just one thing, but the culmination of many things.  Below are the three of the things Dr. Sigal attributed to his success.

1) Team. Despite being called "The Best R&D Chief in Pharma," he acknowledges that this was the recognition of something greater: his team. 

2) Experience. Sigal's unique background, which combined engineering and medicine as a Physician Scientist, brought him an interesting, advantageous outlook on the large organizational issues in the pharmaceutical industry. 

3) Focus. Dr. Sigal felt he and his team benefited from having focus:  a focus on the patient, a focus on the changing landscape of medicine, and a focus of his time on areas where he uniquely could add value.

Join us in Episode 4 of The Pharmcast, as we talk more with Dr. Sigal about leadership, portfolio decisions and what made him successful in his journey. 

The Pharmcast is now available for download on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher. If you like what you hear, share it with your friends and write a review or give us a rating on your podcast store. 

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