Michele has over 30 years of broad industry experience in senior executive, scientific, clinical and commercial functions and expertise developing and commercializing small molecules, large molecules, drug device combinations and gene therapies. She was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Proneurotech, Inc. a start-up biopharmaceutical company backed by The Column Group, focused on discovering and developing neuroprotective drugs that block axon loss after acute injury or chronic degenerative disease.
Prior to Proneurotech, Michele was Lifecycle Leader, Global Product Strategy, at Roche/Genentech leading neurology, ophthalmology and immunology product strategy and global commercialization. In these roles, she oversaw the successful development and commercialization of a number of innovative flagship products, including OCREVUS®, LUCENTIS® and Rituxan®. With a passion for making a difference in the lives of people with neurologic, autoimmune, ophthalmic and psychiatric disorders, she is recognized as an entrepreneurial thinker with the ability to drive change, define vision and transform it into results. She has a proven track record in strategic leadership, building, fixing and growing businesses, most notably in leading organizations through complex areas of ambiguity and crisis management.
From 2013-17, Michele was General Manager of Ocrevus, accountable for the global development and commercialization of Ocrevus for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, considered one of the best launches in pharma, achieving global sales of > $1 billion CHF within the first year of launch. Michele served as General Manager of Lucentis from 2009-13, growing sales to exceed $2 billion USD by launching 3 new indications and defending against several significant competitive threats during this period. From 2006-09 Michele launched Rituxan in rheumatoid arthritis and was accountable for defining Rituxan’s life cycle management strategy in immunology, resulting in additional subsequent approvals of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis), microscopic polyangiitis and pemphigus vulgaris. During this time Michele also assumed accountability of Raptiva®, and led the analysis and recommendation for the voluntary market withdrawal of Raptiva in 2009, Genentech’s first and only product withdrawal, following reports of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML). She was asked to take this leadership role based on her previous crisis management experience managing PML risks associated with Rituxan and TYSABRI®.
Earlier in her career Michele held global clinical development leadership positions with Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where she developed Tysabri for multiple sclerosis from Phase 1 to approval and led clinical development in inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune indications. She also spent several years in clinical and pre-clinical roles in start-up companies Transcept Pharmaceuticals and Somatix Therapy Corporation, and started her career in neurology and psychiatric discovery research and clinical development at Schering-Plough Research Institute.
Michele served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 2002-2006 and was appointed a member of the Executive Committee in 2004. She holds a B.A. in Neuropharmacology from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Pharmacology from New York Medical College.