Jared Simmons shares an episode from his podcast, What is Innovation. In this episode, he interviews William A. Lumpkin, Head of New Products Strategy & Business Development for Alexion, Astra Zeneca Rare Disease Business Unit. Will shares how innovation works within the pharmaceutical industry and how marketing and science differs especially in commercialization.


William A. Lumpkin is Head of New Products Strategy & Business Development for Alexion, Astra Zeneca Rare Disease Business Unit. Will shares how innovation works within the pharmaceutical industry and how marketing and science differs especially in commercialization.

William A. Lumpkin is Head of New Products Strategy & Business Development for Alexion, Astra Zeneca Rare Disease Business Unit. His business acumen, enterprise leadership, and passion for cross-functional collaboration helps bring new medicines to people living with rare diseases across the world. Prior to Alexion, he held a diverse set of U.S. and global commercial leadership roles at Takeda, Baxter, Baxalta, Shire, and Procter & Gamble spanning functional disciplines, product lifecycles and therapeutic areas. William is a proud father of three (Ailey, Sage, and Liam), loving husband (Layla), and resilient Indiana University sports fan. He also maintains interests in urban community development initiatives and was on faculty at the University of North Carolina Kenan Flagler School of Business online MBA program. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and B.S. Finance from Indiana University.


Key Points include:

  • Stereotyped view of Pharmaceuticals
  • Large companies vs smaller companies: Providing real value to people
  • Intersection and divergence of Marketing and Scientists

Access the podcast, Innovation is finding a way, on


Umbrex is pleased to welcome Marco Berizzi.  Marco acted as Chief Financial Officer within pharmaceutical and medical device space and as Head of Business Solutions for a company developing business intelligence, advanced analytics and planning platforms in Switzerland since 2013. Prior to this, he spent almost six years in Bain & Company, Italy accomplishing business due-diligences underlying private equity transactions, serving financial institutions customers within corporate banking & risk management projects and dealing with business improvements & BPR projects in Oil & Gas sector. At the beginning of his career, he worked for Italian Stock Exchange mainly in the equity market listing department dealing with forty IPO’s.

He lives in the south part of Lugano lake in Switzerland with his wife and daughter. Marco is happy to collaborate on projects involving strategy, corporate development, financial issues for both industrial corporations and banks, organization and business efficiency and operational excellence.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Vlad Sumarokov. Vlad spent three years with BCG and has been running his own consulting practice since 2012. Prior to BCG, Vlad spent over a decade in the technology field across multiple industries. In his practice, Vlad provides his expertise to operationalizing large transformation efforts within Pharma and Med Devices industry as well as to organizations seeking to accelerate their innovation agenda via external partnerships.

Vlad lives in Portland, OR with his wife and three children. Both he and his wife are avid judo players, who continue to practice, teach, and compete in the sport. Vlad is happy to collaborate on interesting projects globally.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Andrew McKee with Headland Strategy Group. Andrew has 15 years’ experience in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and other healthcare sectors. In his health care work, he specializes in consulting projects for healthcare executives that combine disruptive growth strategy expertise (e.g., disease area strategy, pipeline marketing/commercial evaluations, novel disruptive technologies) with distinctive consulting offerings (e.g., strategic decision-making workshop design and facilitation; qualitative market research with thought leaders). These projects necessarily require Andrew and his team to be multi-disciplinary problem-solvers and top-notch communicators.

Since 2012, Andrew has supervised 60+ projects on growth strategy and commercial strategy for executives from Fierce 15 biotechs to Top 5 pharma and across a wide range of therapeutic areas.  His background includes having worked for McKinsey and Company, Google, and Genentech in roles of increasing responsibility, and having trained and performed as a professional saxophonist. He holds BSE and MD degrees from Duke University, and is the lead author of scientific publications and is co-inventor on several patents that have been licensed by industry.  He is married and active with his family of three children.  He has a dedicated hobby of writing novels.  He also enjoys playing music (guitar, piano, drums, saxophones), hiking, camping, and sports with his family.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Nicholas Gertler with Galen/Atlantica.  Nicholas is co-founder of Galen/Atlantica, a boutique agency that shapes markets and co-creates health. He works with the global pharmaceutical industry across the medicines lifecycle on issues of regulation, access, medical and policy, and with medical foundations addressing complex multi-stakeholder issues. An enduring passion is solving antimicrobial resistance, while a new focus is the proper application of artificial intelligence to medical decision-making. He has co-led a dozen initiatives bringing together senior leaders and leading experts across industry, government and civil society.

Nicholas started his career as a regulatory lawyer in the Washington DC office of Latham & Watkins, and spent several years as a McKinsey consultant in Europe and the Middle East.

While at home, he is vastly outnumbered by his wife and two daughters. While traveling, he strives to sing karaoke in every city he visits.

Nicholas would be excited to collaborate on issues at the intersection of science, strategy and policy and on innovation in general.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Yevgeniy Rikhterman.  Yevgeniy Rikhterman spent three years as the Director of Strategy at Herff Jones, a PE owned CPG company. Yevgeniy has experience in creating strategic plans, as well as an evergreen strategic planning processes. Yevgeniy led the strategic planned that helped to maximize the value of Herff Jones during a critical PE transaction.

He also led the corporate development, and M&A aspect, and as such has specific experiences that is applicable to mid-size companies looking to grow through partnerships and acquisitions. In addition, he led multiple product transformations, and is experienced in not only understanding root causes, but also guiding the implementation of the solution. Prior to Herff Jones Yevgeniy spent two years as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), working on a variety of projects in finance, retail, pharmaceuticals, telecom, industrial goods, and aviation.

Yevgeniy lives in New York City, and when not working enjoys travelling around the world, and outdoor activities. He is happy to work projects globally.

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Tushar Srivastava. Tushar is an independent strategy consultant who started his consulting career at McKinsey where he spent more than 3.5 years working as a generalist, eventually developing a spike in healthcare and life sciences. He has spent more than 3 years working as an Independent with multiple projects in pharma, life sciences, medical technology and healthcare.

Functionally, he is comfortable working on strategy initiatives across R&D, marketing, operations, technology, and pre-sales. He is open to collaborating on projects and supporting (research/analytics) clients without a restriction on geography, he has worked on projects in North America, Europe and APAC.