Catherine is a board member and consultant with extensive global healthcare experience. She is an independent director on the Board and Audit Committee member of Meridian Bioscience, Inc., a public diagnostics and life sciences company, and serves on the Advisory Board of Neurocern, Inc., a private dementia insuretech company. As President/ CEO of Sazdanoff Consulting LLC, Catherine serves as Business Advisor to Strata Oncology, Inc., a private precision oncology company, and works with other healthcare companies on strategy, corporate/ business development, and other matters. She is also a lecturer in the Business of Biotechnology program at the University of Chicago Graham School, and teaches advanced life sciences licensing with the Practicing Law Institute.
Starting as a litigator 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 transformational and high-risk matters, for example Abbott’s US$ 7B acquisition of Knoll Laboratories from BASF in 2001, adding global presence and assets including megablockbuster Humira®; and 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 globalization plans. She acquired Millennium Pharmaceuticals for US$ 8B in 2008, then led the US$ 13B acquisition of Nycomed S.A. in 2011, significantly increasing Takeda’s revenue, EPS, and global footprint. 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 ran an enterprise risk assessment and led a global restructuring project, achieving recurring savings above target of >US$ 500 MM.
As a volunteer, she mentors healthcare startups at Chicago Innovation Mentors @ MATTER and women-led companies via Springboard Enterprises Life Sciences Advisory Council; she is a board-readiness mentor for Women in Bio; and she serves on the Jobs Committee at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep School. She is a member of the Innovation and Research Park External Advisory Board for 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. She is married with two children.