After earning a degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a law degree from DePaul University’s College of Law, Anna Richo went on to a career in litigation, business ethics, and compliance in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Named one of FiercePharma’s Top 15 Women in Pharma, Anna Richo brings almost 30 years of experience to her role as executive vice president and general counsel for UCB S.A., a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
UCB works with patients and scientists to develop medicines for serious diseases, especially in the field of immunology and neurology. Parkinson’s disease, which is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as the most common neurodegenerative disorder, is a special focus of treatment.
Parkinson’s tends to come on late in life, usually after age 60, and slowly worsens with time, causing tremors and other symptoms. It is difficult to detect and diagnose early, and there is currently no cure. At present, around 6.3 million people all over the world have received a Parkinson’s diagnosis.
Parkinson’s is caused by a malfunction of dopamine production in the brain. Among other things, dopamine affects bodily movements, and in addition to tremors, Parkinson’s patients may have trouble sleeping and experience depression, anxiety, and dementia.
UCB manufactures a medicine called Neupro which doctors may prescribe with or without levodopa, a medicine that works to replace the brain’s lacking dopamine. This recommendation will depend on the stage of disease advancement and the prescription guidelines in Europe or the US. These drugs can greatly ease Parkinson’s symptoms, and some patients may also find complementary therapies like physiotherapy or reflexology helpful.
Joining UCB in November 2012 as executive vice president and general counsel, Anna Richo previously held senior executive positions at other pharmaceutical and health care companies. The corporation that Anna Richo represents is listed by Forbes magazine on it Global 2000 List of companies.
Biopharmaceutical company UCB SA focuses on the fields of immunology and central nervous system disorders. It engages in research and development as well as commercialization of new drugs and solutions to help people suffering from severe diseases of the central nervous system or the immune system.
Its main immunology product is Cimzia, which is used to treat Crohn’s disease, axial spondyloarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. UCB’s main neurology products include Briviact, Vimpat, and Keppra, which are all used for the treatment of epilepsy, and Neupro, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome.
UCB reaches millions of patients around the world with its products and solutions. It has more than 7,500 employees globally and does business in around 40 countries. Listed on the Euronext, it generated revenues of €3.8 billion in 2015.
UCB was founded in 1928 and is based in Brussels, Belgium.
Based in Brussels, Belgium, as executive vice president and general counsel of biopharmaceutical company UCB, Anna Richo has more than two decades of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. A recognized industry speaker, Anna Richo is a member of several professional organizations, including the Women Business Leaders (WBL) of the U.S. Healthcare Industry Foundation.
With over 3,000 members in senior executive positions, the WBL of the U.S. Healthcare Industry Foundation was established in 2001 to help its members connect and promote their role in the industry. Comprised of leaders from life sciences companies, insurance providers, hospitals, and a variety of other health-care companies, the foundation offers free and dues-paying membership options depending on how intended member involvement.
Throughout the year, the foundation hosts a number of regional events and webinars, some of which qualify for education credits for the American College of Healthcare Executives. Its largest event, the annual three-day WBL Summit, is designed to provide a place for about 150 members to network and learn about trends and challenges in the industry. Attendance to the Summit is limited to preserve a close-knit atmosphere that encourages networking without being overwhelming. With representatives from across the country, it also gives a complete picture of the industry for members, their customers, and their business partners. Summit speakers are selected based on their relevancy to attendees and are encouraged to focus on executive skill-building to help propel the industry forward.
The next summit is scheduled for March 16-18, 2016. Slated to take place on Amelia Island, Florida, the summit is themed Innovative Leadership and will cover such topics as What Makes a Great Leader? and Are You Driving Change or Is It Driving You?