Catherine is a board member and consultant with extensive global healthcare experience. She is an independent director of the Board of Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIVO) and of Vascugen, Inc. (privately held), and also served on the Board of InMed, Inc. (NASDAQ: INM). Catherine is President/ CEO of Sazdanoff Consulting LLC and serves as Chief Business Development Officer and Chief Compliance and Legal Officer for Strata Oncology, Inc., a private precision oncology company.
Starting as a litigator in Chicago, Catherine joined Abbott Laboratories in 1984 and moved through international commercial and transactional legal roles, crossed into marketing, and then led pharmaceutical business development. She was sought after in transformational and high-risk matters, such as Abbott’s US$ 7B acquisition of Knoll Laboratories from BASF, adding global presence and assets including mega-blockbuster Humira®; and she successfully resolved critical issues such as infant formula government investigations seeking exclusion from federal business and antitrust litigation seeking US$ 9B in punitive damages. With her dual background, she also designed and managed Abbott’s global ethics and compliance program, including business operations, risk management and internal investigations.
Catherine moved to Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2006, where she held various global VP roles in business development, corporate development and finance, driving Takeda’s expansion plans. She acquired Millennium Pharmaceuticals for US$ 8.8B in 2008, then led the US$ 13.7B acquisition of Nycomed S.A. in 2011, significantly increasing Takeda’s revenue, EPS, and global footprint. She integrated and led global R&D business development across multiple therapeutic areas including CNS, cardiovascular, metabolic, GI, renal, vaccines, respiratory and immunology. Catherine also ran a corporate enterprise risk assessment and led a global restructuring project, achieving recurring savings above target of >US$ 500 MM.
In her spare time, Catherine teaches advanced life sciences licensing with the Practicing Law Institute and serves on the Jobs Committee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep School. She has also been a lecturer in the Business of Biotechnology program at the University of Chicago, a Mentor-in-Residence for healthcare startups at MATTER Chicago, and a founding member of the External Advisory Board for the Innovation and Research Park at Rosalind Franklin University.
Catherine has a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame (where, as a fencer, she was one of the first varsity-letter women in the history of the university), and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.