Karen Akinsanya leads Early Stage Scientific Assessment in the US, Canada and Japan for Merck Research Labs Business Development & Licensing (BD&L). Karen has responsibility for leading the search, scientific evaluation and due diligence of licensing opportunities prior to clinical POC as well as pipeline and product enabling technologies. Karen joined Merck in 2005 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in Clinical Pharmacology, Discovery Sciences and Early Discovery and Development Sciences (EDDS).
Before joining BD&L, Karen led a research team working on atherosclerosis and cardio-metabolic drug discovery. In a previous external sciences role she was responsible for identifying and managing biotech and academic collaborations in support of the cardiovascular pipeline and led the Merck Innovators Network (MINt) open innovation team.
Karen received her PhD from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School at Imperial College in London, in endocrine physiology. After post-doctoral training at Imperial and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (UCL), Karen joined Ferring Pharmaceuticals in R&D working across sites in the UK and US. At Ferring she led the discovery of a family of dipeptidyl peptidases related to DPPIV and pre-clinical characterization of GnRH receptor antagonists including FIRMAGON®, now FDA-approved for prostate cancer.
See Karen live as a Speaker at CED Life Science Conference 2017