Meet our people

Michelle O'Connell

Michelle O’Connell

Area Business Director at Oncopeptides, South Central

Tell us about how you ended up in pharmaceutical sales?

I’ve always been interested in health and wellness and I have a passion for science. I actually got into medical school but I decided that it wasn’t for me. When I graduated from college, I found my way into medical device sales and not long thereafter, pharma sales. I love that my career combines two of my favorite things – learning about science and data as well as meeting and engaging with new people. Also, I thrive in fast-paced and dynamic environments.


Why did you decide to work in oncology?

For me, it is personal. My husband, father and best friend are all cancer survivors. I know what it is like when someone you love hears the devastating news that they have cancer. I’ve also seen the tremendous strength and determination that cancer patients demonstrate on a daily basis. I am proud to educate Health Care Providers on new treatment options to help their patients. At Oncopeptides we are all unified in a common goal – bringing hope through science.


What is your leadership approach?

I played basketball in college. I loved the camaraderie, dedication and passion that my teammates and I shared. As an Area Business Director, I often think back to those days and I think of myself as the Coach of the time. I’m here to support my team and I’m so pleased to work with such a talented group of professionals.


What do you like about working at Oncopeptides?

We have such a great spirit of collaboration here. More than anywhere else I’ve worked, I’ve found people are excited to share best practices and work together across functions.

Michael Barbosa

Michael Barbosa, MBA

Director of US Marketing, HCP Promotions, Waltham MA

Tell us a bit about your career.

I’ve worked across a number of different commercial functions at large global pharmaceutical companies. Over the course of my career I’ve worked in field sales, training and marketing. Prior to joining Oncopeptides, I was most recently focused on US healthcare provider marketing for the launch of a drug in the Multiple Myeloma space.


That sounds exciting, why did you leave to come to Oncopeptides?

I really wanted to be part of building something from the ground up. When I joined Oncopeptides in the Spring of 2020, our Company was well established in Sweden, however, we did not have the same name recognition here in the U.S. Therefore, I saw an opportunity to leverage my broad range of experience to make an immediate impact in defining our U.S. marketing strategy and build awareness of our exciting portfolio.


What has your experience been like so far?

There is a lot of momentum and excitement as we prepare for launch. Our first drug candidate has a PDUFA date of February 28, 2021 so there is a lot to do! I am responsible for all of the health care provider promotional activity. For example, I am creating field resources and preparing our digital non-personal promotion.


Tell us a bit about the people at Oncopeptides.

I’ve been really impressed with the people Oncopeptides has been able to attract. We have built a team of really seasoned professionals. More importantly, we have people on board who are truly passionate for helping patients.


What is the culture like at Oncopeptides?

I’ve found that there is a strong foundation of trust and respect here at Oncopeptides. Therefore, people feel empowered to share their ideas and even respectfully offer a differing point of view.


What would you tell someone thinking of joining Oncopeptides?

We are at a really exciting time in our history as a Company. There are so many opportunities to get involved in different projects and try new things. My days go by very fast – which is how I like it!

Victoria Simmons

Victoria Simmons

Associate Director, US Key Customer Marketing - West

How did you get started in this industry?

I’ve spent the last 20 years working in hematology and oncology sales and marketing. Right out of college, I was recruited for a sales position at one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. It was a great fit for me because I enjoy learning about science and I also thrive in a fast-paced environment.


When did you pivot to a smaller biopharmaceutical company?

In 2008, I had an opportunity to join a much smaller company and help work on the launch of a drug for a rare hematologic disease. Working at a smaller company enabled me to work more closely with leadership and inform our marketing and sales strategy. I found that I enjoy working at smaller companies as they are often more dynamic and what you do every day can make a significant impact in the organization.


What do you do at Oncopeptides?

I am one of two Key Customer Marketing leaders in the U.S.


What drew you to Oncopeptides?

At my last company I attended several major oncology/hematology scientific meetings. I attended a couple of Oncopeptides’ data sessions. I found the data presented by Jakob Lindberg, Med Lic, Oncopeptides’ Chief Scientific Officer, compelling and I could also tell immediately how passionate he was to help patients suffering with Multiple Myeloma.


What do you enjoy about your job?

Every day I’m inspired to make a contribution to the lives of people living with Multiple Myeloma. I love sharing information on new therapeutic options with doctors and nurses who are on the front lines of treating patients. I also enjoy learning from our customers and better understanding how we can help support them and their patients. For example, what resources could we develop to help guide them through the journey?


What does a day look like for you?

Every day looks a little different which means I never get bored! I am currently working on developing a peer to peer education platform, a series of disease education videos and I’ve also been quite busy leading advisory boards where we gather insights from leading health care providers.


What do you like about Oncopeptides?

Our culture is very collaborative. I work very closely with many different functions and we are all working towards the same goal – bringing forward a therapy for patients suffering with Multiple Myeloma. There is a lot of transparency across the organization and our leaders are very accessible. I also really appreciate that even though we are preparing for launch we remain very focused on science and data – they are the backbone of the Company.

Lissa Gray

Lissa Gray, MS, FNP, AOCNP

Oncology Nurse Educator, California

Tell us a bit about your career so far.

For almost 20 years, I worked as a Nurse Practitioner on the front lines of patient care. Most recently, I worked at an academic institution as a clinical research nurse practitioner. In this role, I cared directly for Multiple Myeloma patients enrolled in clinical trials for therapies like CAR-T cells, antibody drug conjugates, and anti-cancer vaccines.


What was it like working with these patients?

Working with Multiple Myeloma patients is truly humbling. I was constantly in awe of their perseverance and strength. I was also impressed by how well researched many of these patients were about their disease, treatment options, and novel therapies. They ask informed, thoughtful questions of their care team. They always kept me on my toes!


What was your philosophy regarding patient care?

Every time a new patient began their treatment journey I was filled with hope. Whenever I gave a drug as part of a clinical trial, I always hoped the patient would be in the responder group and it would have a meaningful impact on their lives.


Why did you decide to take on a role at a biopharmaceutical company?

When I was at the medical center I interacted with people from industry very regularly. I realized that we share the same vision – bringing forward new therapies to help patients in need and hopefully giving them more quality time with their loved ones.


What do you do at Oncopeptides?

I am an Oncology Nurse Educator. I’m currently learning all of the data on our investigational drug candidate, so upon its anticipated approval, I’ll be able to get into the field and educate health care providers. Our focus is to support health care providers, primarily nurses and advanced practice providers, for the safe utilization of our drug candidate which includes education on preparation, administration, and side effect management.


Why did you choose Oncopeptides?

To be honest, I considered opportunities at many different pharmaceutical companies. However, as soon as I started the interview process with Oncopeptides it was clear it was the right place for me. I was struck by the passion and energy that the medical affairs team brought to their work. They keep patients at the heart of everything they do. Now that I’m part of the Company, I see that is ingrained in the culture here.