Company: Sirtris, a GlaxoSmithKline Company, Kittery Point, ME
Entry Submitted By: Pure Communications, Inc.
Company Description: Sirtris is a pioneer in the discovery and development of proprietary sirtuin-modulating drugs that may increase longevity by averting diseases associated with aging, such as Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Sirtis’ drug candidates are designed to mimic certain beneficial health effects of calorie restriction by activating sirtuins, a recently discovered class of enzymes involved in the aging process.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive – Non-Services Businesses – up to 100 Employees
Nomination Title: Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., Sr. Director Corporate Development, Sirtris, a GSK Company
1. Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):
Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., a 31-year old dynamo, is already leading an
accomplished career in medicine and biotechnology. Dr. Dipp was a founding
employee and currently is the Vice President of Corporate Development at
Sirtris, a GSK company, where her efforts during this past year culminated with
the June 5, 2008 acquisition of then-named Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. by
pharmaceutical giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). While many Sirtris senior
executives and board members contributed to and helped steer the successful
completion of this transaction, a “darling” deal in the eyes of Wall Street, the
opportunity was the brainchild of the bright and strategically creative doctor
and mid-level executive, Michelle Dipp, who led the therapeutic area analysis
for Sirtris’ lead product candidate, SRT501. This orally available small
molecule, currently being tested in diabetic patients, is Sirtris’ proprietary
and potent formulation of resveratrol, the substance found naturally in red wine
that has been shown to offer important health benefits.
Sirtris’ employees and investors alike were satisfied with the $720 million cash
acquisition of the Company by GSK priced at $22.50 per share – an 84% premium to
the $12.23 share price on the day preceding the tender offer announcement, and a
125% premium to Sirtris Pharmaceuticals’ May 2007 initial public offering price
of $10 per share.
This key industry success, in which Dr. Dipp played a leading role, is an
example of how she, as a senior director, fearlessly lives and breathes the
unique Sirtris culture that she helped to create and that she continues to
inspire, by encouraging creativity and prioritizing the Company’s highest
values: People, Excellence, Trust, Respect and Urgency.
Under her Corporate Development title, Dr. Dipp wears many hats, overseeing
business development, investor relations and public relations. She has been a
force behind many major media placements for Sirtris – achieving remarkable
visibility for a small biotech company – including the inclusion of Sirtris on
Barbara Walters’ ABC special, “Live to 150…Can You Do It?”, which aired April
1, 2008. As a key spokesperson for Sirtris, Dr. Dipp is often quoted in
industry articles as well; she is featured prominently in the April 24th edition
of BioWorld, addressing core strengths and benefits of the then-proposed
acquisition of Sirtris by GSK (see supporting documents).
Beyond her “executive” skill set, Dr. Dipp is trained as a surgeon and practiced
medicine prior to joining Sirtris. With no formal financial or marketing
training, her natural enthusiasm and focus have led to remarkable “on the job”
success, worthy of nomination for The Stevie Awards’ Executive of the Year.
2. List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
The BioWorld link is to a leading industry trade newletter. Dr. Dipp is quoted
extensively in this cover story.
The abcnews link is to the Barbara Walters special on aging. The "red wine"
segment is the relevant one.
3. Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 100 words):
Dr. Michelle Dipp is the Vice President of Corporate Development for Sirtris, a
GSK company. Prior to joining Sirtris, she worked in healthcare private equity
at The Wellcome Trust, London. Dr. Dipp did her Post-Doctoral Research in the
Departments of Pharmacology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital,
Oxford, and has published several papers in peer-reviewed journals. She holds
an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Pulmonary Physiology from the University of Oxford.
Dr. Dipp teaches ballet and rowing to underprivileged children through Kids
Enjoy Exercise New (KEEN), and helped start Doctors for Africa, a non-profit
organization in the U.K.