2022 Distinguished Pharmacy Alumni Awardee
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development (BARDA)
“My pharmacy education set the stage for my career. The broad range of knowledge that is required made my medical school education a breeze. And the knowledge from this education allowed flexibility in my career choices over time. I have always recommended a Purdue Pharmacy education as a springboard to many different occupations, not just roles in retail or hospital pharmacy, but wide-ranging options to flex into different roles that you never imagined existed. Be open to all the possibilities and never be afraid of new experiences!”
- BS, Pharmacy, Purdue University, 1979
- MD, Michigan State University
- Approval of linezolid (Zyvox) a novel antibiotic in a novel class with oral activity against MRSA. I was fortunate this was my first pharma experience as a physician. It was the basis of my career and I saw the world because of Zyvox (both figuratively and literally). I was also able to see that, instead of treating one patient at a time as a physician or pharmacist, I could positively impact millions of patients with deadly diseases.
- Approval of icatibant (Firazyr). I became the head of clinical research at Shire HGT at the end of 2010 and didn’t know anything about the drug or disease, hereditary angioedema. Given my senior pharma experience I was tagged to be the presenter, moderator and main Q&A person for the FDA advisory committee in early 2011, as well as strategic lead of the team that generated the FDA dossier. I had to become an expert in the disease and drug in only a few months. This was a success with a positive outcome and approval of Firazyr for this rare disease. It also showed my abilities as a leader to this team as well as my skills in learning and presenting and was a huge revelation to me.
- Most of my career has been in anti-infectives, particularly antibiotics. This is an area of unmet need as well as severe financial pressures. Antibiotics are undervalued lifesaving therapies. Much of my career has been in the area of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and I was Chief Medical Officer at a biotech developing new antibiotics. This environment requires flexibility to wear many hats, to lead your team and also get into the trenches as needed to get the job done in a financial constrained setting. This has now culminated in my work in support of BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. BARDA provides an integrated, systematic approach to the development of the necessary vaccines, drugs, therapies, and diagnostic tools for public health medical emergencies such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) accidents, incidents and attacks, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases.
- I have been fortunate to see and show my flexibility and resilience within the pharma industry. Experienced in diverse areas, big pharma and biotech, small molecules and biologics, able to move from early development through product approval, acting in a leadership role or as an individual contributor. All of this has given me the opportunity to work in a variety of settings and new experiences.
- I am very proud of my mentorship and support of those who have worked for me, particularly women who have seen me as a role model. Many of these talented women have looked to me for advice and support and are now pharma executives in a variety of companies.
Sue Cammarata, MD has had a diverse career in both patient care and pharmaceutical development. She is a consultant to Biomedical Advanced Research and Development (BARDA within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Cammarata primarily supports the Antibacterials Group as well as other various medical countermeasure projects to develop treatments in case of public health emergencies. Prior to BARDA, she was at Melinta Therapeutics as the Chief Medical Officer for 7 years, managing 4 antibiotics, Vabomere, Orbactiv, MINOCIN IV, and Baxdela. Prior to joining Melinta, she held senior development roles at Shire HGT as well as Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacia in clinical development and program management. Under her leadership, her teams have successfully brought rare disease and infectious disease products to approval and launch in the US and EU, including approvals for Firazyr, Baxdela, Kimrysa, Famvir, Tyzeka, and Zyvox in the US, and Quofenix, Vabomere, Zyvox, Sebivo, and Cubicin in the EU.
Dr. Cammarata earned her B.S. in pharmacy from Purdue University in 1979. She then received her M.D. degree from Michigan State University. Dr. Cammarata completed her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at Henry Ford Health Systems. Prior to moving to pharma, she was in a private pulmonary/critical care physician practice in Michigan. Dr Cammarata is board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine as well as sleep disorders medicine.