Alison Pilgrim

Alison Pilgrim trained as a scientist and physician at Oxford University in the UK, gaining a doctorate in developmental neurobiology. After several clinical positions in Oxford and Northampton, she joined Beecham Pharmaceuticals as a clinical pharmacologist and was responsible for a wide range of early clinical studies, including first-in-man, pharmacokinetics and efficacy modeling in healthy subjects.

Joining Glaxo in 1988 she led the global clinical trials program for sumatriptan (Imitrex/Imigran) from early phase II through phase IV, including the development of a series of line extensions. This program supported the global registration and successful launch of the product. As Director of the Cardiovascular, Metabolic and CNS therapeutic group, she oversaw the clinical development of molecules for migraine, diabetes, stroke, anesthesia, psychiatry, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

While at Glaxo she was responsible, with Michael Tansey, for initiating a fundamental redesign of the international clinical research processes used by the company. With the acquisition of Burroughs Wellcome she became a core member of the clinical integration team.

In 1996 Alison joined Sanofi in Paris as Global Head of Cardiovascular Clinical Research. Her leadership of the clinical registration efforts for Plavix involved extensive interactions with the FDA, EMEA and other regulatory agencies and culminated in the approval of the drug with the desired broad indication. She also oversaw the design of an extensive program of megatrials to support and extend the use of Plavix.

As Global Head of Clinical Research at DuPont Pharmaceuticals Alison led clinical development activities across therapeutic areas including CNS, CVS, Inflammation, oncology and HIV as well as strengthening and integrating the European capability of the organization. She initiated and directed an extensive redesign initiative spanning clinical operations, project team management and strategic planning which generated major improvements in the speed and efficiency of clinical research.

Over the last ten years, based in southern California, Alison has worked with several smaller public and venture-backed biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies including Elan, Avera, CoLucid and BioVascular. As CMO she has represented the medical function in the senior management teams and led virtual development programs in several therapeutic areas. She has also acted as a drug development consultant to start-up companies and venture capital funds.