Catherine Sazdanoff

Board Experience

Meridian Bioscience, Inc.



Catherine is a consultant and board member with extensive healthcare experience. She is an independent director and Audit Committee member of the Board of Directors of Meridian Bioscience, Inc., a public diagnostics and life sciences company (NASDAQ: VIVO), and serves on the Advisory Board of Neurocern, Inc., a private dementia management system company. She is Business Advisor at Strata Oncology, Inc., a private precision oncology company, where she consults in corporate strategy and business development, marketing, public relations, legal and IP functions.

Starting as a litigator at Isham, Lincoln & Beale in Chicago, Catherine joined Abbott Laboratories in 1984 and moved through commercial and transactional legal roles, crossed into marketing, and then led pharmaceutical business development. She was sought after in high-risk and transformational matters, for example Abbott’s $7B acquisition of Knoll Laboratories in 2001, adding global presence and assets including mega- blockbuster Humira®; and avoiding bet-the-company penalties such as exclusion from federal business and a $9B punitive damages award by successfully managing infant formula antitrust litigation. With her dual background, she also ran an enterprise risk assessment and designed and managed Abbott’s global ethics and compliance program, including business operations, risk advisory and internal investigations.

Catherine moved to Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2006, where she held various global VP roles in business development, corporate development and finance, supporting Takeda’s globalization plans. She first led oncology BD, acquiring Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $8B in 2008, then created Takeda’s first corporate development function, leading the $13B acquisition of Nycomed S.A. in 2011, (>30% increase of Takeda revenue and EPS, direct presence in >60 countries). She ran Nycomed BD integration while building and managing global R&D business development across multiple therapeutic areas including CNS, cardiovascular, metabolic, GI, renal, vaccines, respiratory and immunology. Catherine also led a post-integration global restructuring, achieving recurring savings of >$500 MM.

Throughout her career Catherine has supported community education and development.  Currently she mentors healthcare startups at Chicago Innovation Mentors @ MATTER and Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Advisory Council, and is a board-readiness mentor for Women in Bio; serves on the Jobs Committee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep School; and teaches advanced licensing with the Practicing Law Institute. She is a member of National Association of Corporate Directors, Women Corporate Directors, DirectWomen, and the Catalyst Corporate Board Resource.

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. She is married with two children.