Dr. Cheryl Blanchard joined Microchips Biotech in July 2014 as its Chief Executive Officer. She is a medical device and biologics executive with over 25 years of leadership experience. Most recently she was a corporate officer of Zimmer, Inc., a medical device company focused on musculoskeletal products, where she served as Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and general manager of Zimmer Biologics. During her 12 years with Zimmer, she operated in roles of increasing responsibility including global leadership of research and development, advanced technologies, clinical, quality and regulatory affairs, medical affairs, medical education, health economics, and reimbursement. She created, built and led the biologics business at Zimmer through disciplined execution of an R&D pipeline coupled with significant partnering and business development activities.
Prior to Zimmer, Dr. Blanchard built and led the medical device practice at Southwest Research Institute while also serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, both in San Antonio, TX. Some of her work led to the creation of Keraplast Technologies, LLC. Dr. Blanchard brings a unique combination of results-oriented business management skills, technical leadership, and a track record of commercializing game-changing products that address unmet needs. In 2015, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.
Dr. Blanchard holds a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University, and a Masters of Science and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, both from the University of Texas at Austin.
Carol Pekar joined Microchips Biotech in May 2016 as Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, engaging over 30 years of executive leadership experience in bringing technical and medical products to market.
Previously, Ms. Pekar served as Vice President of Clinical and regulatory Affairs for Anika Therapeutics, Inc., an orthobiologics company. While at Anika, Ms. Pekar led successful clinical trials of a novel drug-device combination product that led to global marketing approvals, and achieved PMA approval of a device to treat symptomatic osteoarthritis requiring significant interaction with FDA leadership.
Prior to Anika, Ms. Pekar held positions at Abiomed, Inc., where she delivered PMA, HDE, and 510(k) approvals for implantable Class III cardiovascular devices, and Palomar Medical, a medical laser company, where she conducted multiple clinical trials that supported the first 510(k) for an Over-the-Counter Class IV laser device for consumers to treat wrinkles around their eyes.
Ms. Pekar has a proven track record of success in obtaining key global regulatory approvals for Drug-Device and Biologic-Device Combination Products and Class II and Class III Medical Devices. She has been instrumental in coordination of a successful FDA Advisory Panel leading to a PMA approval, and served on the FDA New Innovation Pathway Panel representing industry.
Ms. Pekar holds a degree in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University, an MBA from Babson, and Certificates in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs from the Boston University School of Medicine and Northeastern University.
Nicolas Pacelli joined Microchips Biotech as Vice President of Alliance Management and Business Development in 2015, bringing 14 years of product development and partnering experience in the medical device and biologics sectors.
Previously, Mr. Pacelli served as Associate Director, Project Management in the Early Intervention Business Unit at Zimmer Inc., where he held alliance management, technical sales support, and product management responsibilities for one of the company’s partnered products, Gel-One® Hyaluronate. During that time, he also evaluated external technologies for licensing or acquisition to expand the unit’s portfolio and pipeline. Prior to that, Mr. Pacelli held positions at Zimmer in product development and research where his work focused on the design and development of novel orthopedic device technologies for the spine and trauma markets.
Mr. Pacelli has proven experience across all stages of product development and has a successful track record of leading large-cross functional teams to support complex commercialization projects. In addition, he brings a significant background in international business, strategic planning and portfolio development.
Mr. Pacelli holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
Paige Cochran is Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. Cochran brings over 20 years of experience in human resources for high-growth companies across a variety of industries including biopharma, medical device, clean tech and high tech. She has previously served as VP of Human Resources at Hydra Biosciences and at American Science and Engineering, Inc., where she managed through critical phases of rapid growth and organizational change. She brings to the team notable skills in executive coaching, employee relations, talent acquisition, compensation, performance management and compliance expertise.
Ms. Cochran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Emory University.