TB Alliance, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of developing better, faster and affordable treatments for tuberculosis (TB), announced the appointment of Elana Robertson to Senior Vice President, Market Access. Ms. Robertson joins the organization from Novartis Vaccines, where she was responsible for the company’s business in Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe. In her new role, she will oversee the TB Alliance’s efforts to ensure beneficial new TB treatments are available and adopted around the globe, particularly in countries with the highest rates of the disease.
“We are on the cusp of realizing improved treatments to fight tuberculosis—but we can’t achieve our mission until those treatments reach people in need,” said Mel Spigelman, MD, President and CEO of the TB Alliance. “With her experience heading market expansion efforts in nations with high rates of TB infection, Elana Robertson is the right person to guide that effort.”
Ms. Robertson has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, where she has been responsible for the marketing and commercialization of vaccines and drugs on a global, regional and country level. For the past six years, she served as Head of Sub-Saharan Africa and Other Eastern Europe for Novartis Vaccines, where she was responsible for expanding the company’s business in those regions. Prior to joining Novartis, Ms. Robertson held business development, marketing, sales and product management positions at several other pharmaceutical companies, including Roche, Sanofi Pasteur, Schering Plough, Upjohn and Intramed. A native of South Africa, she holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stellenbosch University, a marketing diploma from Damelin College, and is pursuing a master’s degree in public health from the University of Liverpool in England.
“I’ve seen the devastation caused by tuberculosis first hand in my home country of South Africa and the burden the current treatments cause on the healthcare system and on patients,” said Elana Roberston. “I am excited to join the global fight against this deadly disease by ensuring new drugs, which hold the potential to improve the lives of millions, are available to those in need.”
Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Robertson was a Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Witwatersrand and a researcher at the University of Stellenbosch.
Every year, 1.3 million people worldwide die from TB. It is estimated that the bacteria that causes TB infects one-third of the world's population. The current treatment is inadequate, and resistance to today’s drugs is growing. New, faster-acting, simpler drug regimens are critical to defeating TB.