Business Development professesionals from across the Healthcare industry gathered on Thursday 9th February 2017 to recognise the achievements of their deal-making colleagues during 2016. Attendees at the 10th Annual PLG Business Development Awards Evening heard from Ian Tomlinson, Chairman of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, and Shaun Grady, VP Business Development at AstraZeneca, about the importance of partnerships across the industry and the critical role BD plays in creating these successful relationships.

Both award winners were in attendance to accept their awards in person. Karen LaRochelle, Chief Business Officer, PsiOxus Therapeutics, was presented with the AstraZeneca Business Development Executive of the Year for her involvement in securing 2 transformational deals with BMS. Karen praised her colleagues for a team effort, and accepted the award on their behalf.

Benjamin Owens, Head of Business Development, EUSA Pharma, received the PLG Business Development Newcomer of the Year for his impressive haul of 3 deals in 12 months worth €500M, having only moved from a career in academic research in mid-2015.

Congratulations to both winners and to all the nominees. Details of the 2017 nomination process will be available later in the year.


The UK PLG makes two Business Development awards each year where we recognise the contribution made by individuals to the healthcare business development community.

These awards are open to executives from European based companies and are presented at the PLG’s Annual Dinner held in February/March of each year in London.  The event attracts around 100 CEOs and business development & licensing executives from across the industry.

The AstraZeneca award for the Business Development Executive of the Year is given to a person who has directly contributed to achieving one or more deals that have been significant or transformative for their company during the past year.

Previous Winners

  • 2015 – Francois Fornieri, Mithra Pharmaceuticals
  • 2014 – Thorsten Umland, Bayer HealthCare
  • 2013 – Joint Winners – Joanne Kelley, AstraZeneca & Barbara Krebs-Pohl, MorphoSys
  • 2012 – Catherine Pickering, Merck Serono
  • 2011 – Daniel Thomas, Alliance
  • 2010 – Sean McKercher, Ipsen
  • 2009 – Martin Buckland, Astex Therapeutics
  • 2008 – Keith Martin, Apitope
  • 2007 – Eva-Lotta Allen, Ablynx

The second award is the PLG Business Development Best Newcomer of the Year, which is awarded to a new entrant or person with limited experience who has made significant progress in their business development skills and experience.

Previous Winners

  • 2015 – Anne Vroon, Genmab
  • 2014 – Arnaud Wieczorek, Onxeo
  • 2013 – Cedric Ververken, Ablynx
  • 2012 – Peter Huber-Saffer, AstraZeneca, Germany
  • 2011 – Ashley Cox, Glenmark
  • 2010 – Angela Columbano, Merck
  • 2009 – John Strafford, Antisoma & Giorgio Pinci, Merck Serono
  • 2008 – Rebecca Forster, Mundipharma
  • 2007 – Steve Skilleter, Thornton Ross