Deirdre Gillespie, a seasoned executive operating in the life sciences industry, draws her most recent experience from several years serving with La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. in San Diego. In the capacity of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President, Dr. Gillespie played an instrumental role in testing Riquent®, a drug targeting lupus. After implementing fundraising efforts that raised $70 million within two years, Deirdre Gillespie directed a clinical research effort involving approximately 950 patients at 185 locations throughout the world, which represented the largest lupus study ever completed as of early 2009.
Prior to signing on with La Jolla Pharmaceutical in 2006, Deirdre Gillespie led Oxxon Therapeutics, Inc., as CEO and President. Her responsibilities with this venture-backed start-up company included cost-effectively establishing a functioning organization with research and development capabilities, operations in both the United Kingdom and the United States, building an enhanced intellectual property portfolio, and leading fundraising initiatives. During her time with Oxxon, Dr. Gillespie helped secure a number of significant research and development accomplishments and recruited a panel of leading scientists and clinicians for the company’s Scientific Advisory Board and Clinical Advisory Groups.
Deirdre Gillespie furnishes additional executive experience working with Vical, Inc., in San Diego, where she held the position of Chief Operating Officer and acted as Interim CEO for nine months. Dr. Gillespie originally joined Vical in 1998 with the titles of Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer. Additional companies she collaborated with throughout her career include DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company in Wilmington, Delaware, where she progressed through several roles, including Senior Director and Vice President of Strategic Product Development and Vice President of Marketing.