ELITE Leader of the Future Susan Lenderts of Innoviva

Susan Lenderts

Director, Strategic Marketing & Analytics

Innoviva, Inc.



Helping Bring Innovative Assets to Market

Susan Lenderts knew she wanted to work in the pharma industry following a semester of college spent in Washington, D.C. She was interning for Senator Tom Daschle’s office during a period of intense debate surrounding the Medicare Modernization Act and became fascinated with healthcare policy. While policy was interesting, and she had a desire to do work that ultimately helped patients, she felt her business acumen made her best suited to work in the pharma industry. But she wanted to understand what was going on across the industry as a whole. She wanted the ability to make a far-reaching impact. And she is well on her way to achieving that.

Susan began her career at Quintiles as a research analyst. Focusing on marketing strategy, marketing analytics, and data analytics, she helped companies figure out what they needed to do to be successful and then deliver on that—often in a short time frame. Now at Innoviva (formerly known as Theravance), Susan has taken on a less traditional role in the pharma industry.

As an asset management company, Innoviva helps its partners take on the financial risk of drug development by offering financial structures that are non-dilutive to the company through avenues such as selling future royalties on the product. Susan is working with one of Innoviva’s commercial partners, GlaxoSmithKline, on the commercial strategy for two brands. Additionally, she built the company’s data, market research, and forecasting functions—determining where to build internal functionality and where to outsource—and is deploying that functionality to allow the 13-person company to evaluate assets in any therapeutic category and have the relevant information to make go or no-go decisions as quickly as possible.

“I want to help companies bring truly meaningful change to medicine,” Susan says. “As an industry, we have to think about if we are really being innovative with our product design and R&D. We have to do more to understand unmet need, develop therapies that are truly game changers, and determine how to better provide patients with access to those medicines on a global scale. And that is what I would like to use my experience and talent to help achieve.”


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