Jun 11, 2020

Johnson & Johnson accelerates COVID-19 vaccine trials

William Girling
2 min
J&J
Healthcare multinational Johnson & Johnson has announced its intention to step-up Phase 1/2a trials of its SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine candidate...

Healthcare multinational Johnson & Johnson has announced its intention to step-up Phase 1/2a trials of its SARS-COV-2 (COVID-19) vaccine candidate.

Broadcast via J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutica, scheduling of tests on the potential vaccine - called Ad26.COV2-S - have been brought forward from September to mid-July.

Stating that the accelerated schedule was in-line with positive preliminary research and the consent of authorities, Paul Stoffels, MD, VP and Chief Scientific Officer at J&J, stated that the company’s goal was the swift elimination of coronavirus and the world’s emancipation from its effects:

“Based on the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities, we have been able to further accelerate the clinical development of our investigational SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Ad26.COV2-S, recombinant.

“Simultaneously, we are continuing our efforts to build important global partnerships and invest in our vaccine production technology and manufacturing capabilities.”

On a mission to defeat coronavirus

J&J has maintained a consistent focus on developing a vaccine for SARS-COV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) since the early stages of the pandemic.

As chronicled on the company’s website, it identified a potential vaccine candidate and two backups as early as 30 March. At that time, the company projected that a successful drug could be emergency-ready by early 2021, although, with the trial date now pushed forward, this date may be even earlier.

An endeavour which has required the utilisation of its partnerships and network of collaborators, including the aforementioned Janssen, BARDA, BIDMC and others, J&J is highly aware of the challenges ahead.

Pledging to manufacture and supply 1bn doses of any successful vaccine throughout 2021, research and development for the drug will be intense, yet the company is optimistic that such an outcome is achievable, providing it is save and effective.

Safeguarding the future

Additionally, J&J released details of its participation in the ‘Pandemic Action Network’, a joint initiative between it, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Schmidt Futures.

Founded with the intention of bolstering global infrastructure to help prevent future pandemics, the PA Network has three objectives: ensuring that initiatives receive funding, augmenting health security worldwide and accelerating scientific R&D.

“While we focus on stopping COVID-19 now, we must also keep one eye to the future and ensure we are learning from this experience and applying those lessons,” said Adrian Thomas, MD, VP at J&J.

“Effective, sustained and coordinated advocacy about the policy and system reforms necessary to prevent future outbreaks will be critical to ensure this happens. That’s why the world needs the Pandemic Action Network.”

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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