Whalen, Jerath and Tennant bring strong business development, M&A and marketing industry expertise

The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO), the trade association that represents the 88,000 jobs in Illinois’ life sciences sector, today announced the addition of three new members to its board of directors: Rahul Jerath, senior director, head of Oncology Business Development & Acquisitions at AbbVie; Phil Tennant, senior vice president and head of Oncology Business Unit at Astellas Pharma, Inc.; and Joe Whalen, senior vice president, Alliances & International Business Development at Horizon Therapeutics.

“As the Illinois life sciences community experiences unprecedented growth, now is a particularly exciting time to leverage the rich experience and insights of Joe, Rahul and Phil,” said John Conrad, iBIO president and CEO. “Each of these new board members brings unique perspectives to our advocacy, community building and education efforts. I look forward to working together as we foster more industry growth in Illinois.”

Rahul Jerath, AbbVie
Jerath has been with AbbVie since 2016. He leads the company’s M&A search process, which included the Allergan transaction in 2019. Prior to AbbVie, he worked at Baxter and the spinout, Baxalta, where he was a senior director of M&A, with prior roles in licensing, search and evaluation. Jerath also worked at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in business development, and prior to that in health care investment banking at Piper Jaffray in San Francisco. He has a MS degree in Biotechnology and a BA degree in Biology/Biochemistry from Northwestern University. He completed oncology research at both the Lurie Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic.

Phil Tennant, Astellas Pharma, Inc.
Tennant, who has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry,  joined Astellas in 2019. As head of the Oncology Business Unit, he is responsible for all commercial activities to support marketed products, Astellas’ co-promotion partners and commercial planning for early-stage oncology development compounds. Within Astellas, Tennant also has served as senior vice president and head of the Oncology Strategic Brand Marketing division and brand general manager for new products in the company’s oncology franchise. He joined Astellas from Bristol-Myers Squibb and has worked in multiple therapeutic areas across the globe, including Japan, Europe, Australia and the United States. He also has held leadership roles at AstraZeneca and Merck. Tennant earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom.

Joe Whalen, Horizon
Whalen has nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, leading and supporting transactions involving licensing, acquisitions and strategic alliances. He was among the first 20 employees when he joined Horizon in 2010. He has led or supported many of Horizon’s acquisitions since that time, helping to grow Horizon into a publicly traded company with a market capitalization of greater than $15 billion, more than 2,000 employees and net sales over $3 billion in 2021. Prior to Horizon, he worked at Baxter Healthcare and Searle. Whalen is on the board of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, is a founding member of the Industry Advisory Board of the Harper Cancer Institute at the University of Notre Dame, and is on the External Advisory Council at Rosalind Franklin University. He earned an MBA from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame.

With the addition of Whalen, Tennant and Jerath, the iBIO board of directors has 21 members. Last January, iBIO announced the transition of Marilyn Vetter from vice-chair to chair of the iBIO board, and that Harry Rowland, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Endotronix, joined as a board member.

About iBIO
The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the 88,000 life sciences employees in Illinois. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit http://www.ibio.org.

Media Contact:
Kellie Kennedy
[email protected]