Julie Anne Smith
President, CEO and director, Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp.
7 Hamilton Landing, Novato 94949; 415-408-6200; raptorpharma.com
Professional background: I have served as Raptor’s President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors since January 2015. I joined the company in 2012 as Executive Vice President, Strategy and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Raptor, I held the position of Chief Commercial Officer at Enobia Pharma, Inc., a private, clinical stage company focused on rare diseases that was acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN). Previously, I served as Vice President, Commercial overseeing commercial operations at Jazz Pharmaceuticals and also as Vice President, Global Marketing at Genzyme General, leading the worldwide commercialization and planning for Myozyme, an infused enzyme replacement therapy for a very rare genetic disease. With nearly 20 years in the biotech industry, I have been fortunate to serve in executive management of both private and public organizations, primarily on orphan drug development and commercial stage programs.
Education: B.S., biological and nutritional science, Cornell University, 1995
Tell us about yourself and your company: Raptor is a growing biopharma company focused on transforming the treatment landscape for people living with and affected by rare diseases.
Words that best describe you: Optimistic, intense, driven, enthusiastic, motivated to do the right thing
What is a major accomplishment in the past year or so?: I am most proud of the first-class team we’ve assembled at Raptor and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead such a seasoned group of individuals. Our new team has a proven track record of successes developing important and vital medicines for people with rare diseases. And now we’re eager to replicate the success we’ve achieved with PROCYSBI, a medicine approved for the treatment of a rare metabolic disease called nephropathic cystinosis.
What achievement are you most proud of in your career?: Helping people living with rare diseases access life-saving and transformative medicines
What is your biggest challenge today?: Balancing the demands of a busy career with those of being a wife and mother of two young boys
How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?: There are major innovations happening at the intersection of technology and medicine that will enable earlier diagnosis, better monitoring and more specific treatments toward personalized medicine.
As a successful female professional, what have been the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?: This may not be a gender specific challenge, but I think every young professional needs to understand their unique value; what and how they can best contribute.
What advice would you give to a young woman entering your profession or the work world today?: Go forth with great confidence and optimism! You have every opportunity available to you, seize the first one and get started.
Current reading: Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and True North by Bill George
Stress-relievers: Working out and spending time with my family
Favorite hobbies: Crossfit