Two decades ago, the Canadian CDMO BioVectra installed Heather Delage as its director of business development. She was named vice president of business development in 2014. In 2021, she assumed the role of chief commercial officer.
At the outset of her tenure with BioVectra, the company was beginning its journey to invest in large-scale cGMP manufacturing capacity.
A 30-year veteran of the life sciences industry, Delage has been foundational to BioVectra’s evolution from a small, founder-led business offering diagnostic products, intermediates, and raw materials to a full-service CDMO.
She served as general manager in 2018 and 2019 for the company’s large-scale biologics facility startup in Windsor, Nova Scotia.
“I have found my entire career with BioVectra rewarding and meaningful, as ultimately our products and services deliver health care solutions to the patients that need them,” Delage said. “A contract manufacturer’s work isn’t always visible to the consumer, or even healthcare providers, yet in our operation, there is an amazing degree of knowledge, skill, and passion invested by our scientists and engineers in making sure we do things right and on time. I am constantly in awe of what our experts can do, and I feel personal responsibility to connect our clients, and prospective clients, with our teams so that we can achieve success together.”
Founded in 1970, BioVectra was originally named Diagnostic Chemicals Ltd. and focused on making small amounts of specialty chemicals under contract with a U.S. company. Since Delage joined the company in 2000, BioVectra has grown tenfold in revenue and workforce.
The company now serves most of the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies, helping them develop biologic and small molecule drugs. The company also counts mid-sized and smaller biotech companies as clients.
Delage spent the first part of her career interacting with North American hospitals and reference labs, understanding the application of the company’s products in clinical chemistry settings. Delage progressed successively in her career through a range of sales and marketing roles which helped to position a division of the company as a private-label partner to numerous global diagnostic companies.
In the past three years, Delage has led commercial efforts to generate substantial growth in BioVectra’s business that outpaces industry norms.
She also led BioVectra’s launch of a new brand identity in 2021 through a revitalized commercial team that includes a global, experienced business development group and project management professionals.
Delage has also supported the company in successfully navigating several ownership changes over her tenure.
She has lent her time to both board and industry panels in service of growing the biotechnology sector in the Atlantic region and Canada as a whole.
Delage was involved with organizations such as the Valley Regional Enterprise Network, the National Research Council’s Biomanufacturing Center in Montreal, Quebec, BIOTEC Canada, and Industry Canada.
“I started in what was a small company at the time, and very much at the entry level. By consistent learning, strengthening, and practicing my own unique skills, I was able to grow and move into management and then senior leadership as the business needs and opportunities presented themselves,” Delage said. “I have not ever felt limited; BioVectra fosters creativity and is a supportive environment for those who want to grow and learn over the entire course of their career. The focus is always on the work we are doing, and that has honestly been highly and consistently satisfying.”
Filed Under: Women in Pharma