Leadership Turnover at BIO

In an abrupt transition, Dr. McMurray-Heath is replaced by an interim CEO

Michelle McMurray-Heath, MD, PhD, has resigned as president and CEO of the Biotechnology Organization (BIO), and has been replaced by an interim appointment of Rachel King, co-founder and former CEO of GlycoMimetics, Inc., as well as former chair of the board of directors. Dr. McMurray-Heath will serve as an advisor to the executive committee of the BIO board, and a search for a new leader has commenced.

Press reports (in the Wall Street Journal and on StatNews) cite dissension among board members both preceding and during Dr. McMurray-Heath’s leadership. While StatNews cited her background as a “social justice advocate,” the WSJ reported that “Some members have wanted BIO to engage more on general social issues not directly connected to healthcare policy, while she felt the organization’s advocacy should stay focused on biotech.” The biggest lobbying issue for pharma-related legislation in Washington this year was the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included future limits on pricing for some types of drugs. BIO had opposed this legislation.

BIO calls itself the world’s largest trade association representing biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and others, in the US and abroad; it covers life sciences, agriculture, industrial, and environmental applications of biotech.