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On May 31, the IE Healthcare Club hosted Sergey Gorbatov, former IE student, current IE adjunct professor, and Development Director of Abbvie Pharmaceuticals. Sergey was able to provide us HEALTHCARE2 [1]with valuable insight into leadership opportunities in the pharma industry thanks to his experience in HR across a variety of companies.

 Sergey began his talk with the most important element of the industry: the patient. Abbvie is committed to patient-centered development and this mindset is crucial to leadership, research, and development in the company. Abbvie focuses in bio-pharma and seeks to tackle some of the most serious health issues such as liver disease and cancer. Particularly exciting are Abbvie’s current investments in an all-oral interferon-free treatment for hepatitis C and difficult-to-treat cancers such as multiple myeloma.  

 An interesting insight Sergey shared with us was to look for companies that invest in drugs for rare and hard-to-treat diseases. These so-called “orphan drugs” are a good indicator of a company’s innovation environment and future viability, Sergey explained. While it may seem counter-intuitive to seek leadership opportunities in big pharma, companies like Abbvie that prove their commitment to R&D and encourage idea-sharing at all levels of the organization can deliver results and make a powerful impact in patients’ lives.


Students from the IMBA, MIM, and Big Data programs attended and participated in the discussion followed by an informal networking event with Sergey.