Delali Attiogbe Attipoe, an accomplished global executive leader and board member within the biopharma and health sector, has joined the non-profit medical research organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as its North America Executive Director.
Delali brings to DNDi a unique mix of pharmaceutical industry knowledge, not-for-profit experience, and a deep commitment to equitable patient access. Prior to joining DNDi, she served as Chief Operating Officer for 54gene, a life science, health tech start-up addressing disparities in genomics research for drug discovery, particularly in Africa. She was also Head of Market Access in East Africa for Roche Pharmaceuticals and held various US-based positions within Genentech, Inc. while serving on the board of ReSurge International, a non-profit focused on training medical teams on life-saving reconstructive surgery and providing quality surgical care in Africa, Asia, and South America.
‘My personal and professional experiences in Ghana, the U.S., Nigeria, and Kenya have made me passionate about providing under-represented patients and communities with solutions for unmet medical needs,’ said Delali Attiogbe Attipoe. ‘With DNDi’s focus on ensuring that neglected populations can access and reap the benefits of biomedical innovation, my next challenge and opportunity will be to engage the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, government, philanthropists, academia, and other not-for-profit organizations to deliver the best science for the most neglected.’
Delali holds a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester; a Masters in Biotechnology (MB) from the University of Pennsylvania; a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Babson College, F.W. Olin School of Business; and received a Certificate in Health Economics and Outcomes Research from the University of Washington.
‘Delali brings valuable knowledge and experience to DNDi, from genomics start-ups to multinational biopharmaceutical companies, and a passion for global health equity,’ said Dr Luis Pizarro, Executive Director of DNDi. ‘She is uniquely equipped to lead DNDi North America, and I look forward to accompanying her as she works to nurture strategic alliances in the U.S. and Canada to urgently tackle climate-sensitive diseases like dengue and other pandemic-prone threats, in partnership with our founding institutions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.’
Delali succeeds Rachel Cohen, who steps down after 12 years as North America Executive Director. Under Rachel’s leadership, DNDi rallied a number of key champions and partners in North America to the cause of neglected patients, a high-water mark of which was DNDi’s 2018 ‘Making Medical History‘ gala featuring Dr Anthony Fauci, Sharon Stone, Dikembe Mutombo, and many others. Rachel built DNDi’s credibility and influence with senior leaders in the US government and US-based multilateral institutions, and secured DNDi’s first-ever multimillion dollar grants from USAID and the World Bank as well as significant grants and gifts from private foundations and philanthropists. An accomplished activist and global health leader in her own right, Rachel worked with academic and civil society partners to push pro-access policies within and outside of DNDi, including important advocacy for development of and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments. Rachel will continue with DNDi, taking on a more global role as Senior Advisor for access and policy advocacy.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is a not-for-profit medical research organization that discovers, develops, and delivers safe, effective, and affordable treatments for neglected people. DNDi is developing medicines for sleeping sickness, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, river blindness, mycetoma, dengue, pediatric HIV, advanced HIV disease, cryptococcal meningitis, and hepatitis C. Its research priorities include children’s health, gender equity and gender-responsive R&D, and diseases impacted by climate change. Since its creation in 2003, DNDi has joined with industry, academia, government, and philanthropic partners across the globe to deliver 12 new treatments, saving millions of lives.
These collaborations include major partners in the United States. For example, DNDi has joined with prominent research centers to launch the AI-Driven Structure-Enabled Antiviral Platform (ASAP), one of the Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers for Pathogens of Pandemic Concern funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health, to develop antiviral drugs for future pandemics. DNDi’s main efforts, focused on neglected tropical diseases, have been supported by major philanthropies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and have leveraged technologies from several US biotech and pharmaceutical firms, complemented by scientific collaborations worldwide. It operates in North America as a tax-exempt nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
Ilan Moss (New York)
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