The Celgene Story

Passion, innovation, courage.

30.05.2015   |   14:29 BST

At Celgene, we are committed to changing the course of human health through bold pursuits in science, life-enhancing therapies and a promise to always put patients first.

Using cutting-edge technology to discover new treatments is at the forefront of Celgene’s entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with a teamwork-oriented culture and commitment to rare diseases. All of these factors play a crucial role in transforming patient outcomes. “We are a company of groundbreakers, advocates, partners, creators and colleagues,” Executive Chairman Robert Hugin said. “We have built, and will continue to build, a company where every employee’s best work is supported and celebrated for the impact it has on patient lives.”

Passion, innovation and courage have been in the company’s genes since its founding. “Our journey to a successful company included unexpected road blocks, the courage of our people to convert those road blocks into opportunities and seize them, the vision to not only overcome obstacles but to transform them into novel approaches and progress,” former Chairman & CEO Sol J. Barer, PhD said. On those principles, Celgene has become a leader in delivering medicine to patients with unmet needs, by digging deeper to resolve unanswered scientific questions and working tirelessly to improve the lives of patients worldwide.

Wim Souverijns, Vice President & General Manager for UK and Ireland notes, “In 2006, Celgene took the bold decision to go it alone in Europe because we believed we could maximise the benefit of our innovative therapies for patients with high unmet need. We opened our offices in the UK and Ireland the same year, hiring the best possible talent to realise that vision.”

By taking chances, investing heavily into research and development, and taking a unique perspective, Celgene has been able to offer patients options that can enhance their quality of life.

Whether it’s working to deliver innovative therapies to emerging markets that lack proper infrastructure or doggedly pursuing regulatory approvals to bring new options to treat rare diseases, Celgene employees are committed to putting patients first

According to Hugin, “it’s not hard to set bold goals—you don’t need to meet many cancer patients to understand the urgency.” And he makes it clear that the company supports boldness, creativity and bravery from the top down. “This is a risky business, and failure is a key component of learning. No one wants to fail, but the important thing is that when you do fail, you learn from it.”

Joel Beetsch, Vice President of Patient Advocacy, has been impressed by the openness of the company and how the typical limitations of red tape in larger organisations don’t tend to apply at Celgene. “It’s a make-it-happen culture,” he said.

Whether it’s working to deliver innovative therapies to emerging markets that lack proper infrastructure or relentlessly pursuing regulatory approvals to bring new options to treat rare diseases, Celgene employees are committed to putting patients first. If an obstacle arises, colleagues work together to brainstorm and figure out a solution to the issue.

Celgene employees also demonstrate a real commitment to the patient communities with which they are involved. In 2014, 7 members of staff from the UK office set out to cycle 500km across Malawi to raise money for World Child Cancer (WCC). The team embarked on a grueling four days of intense cycling across tough terrain from Lilongwe to Blantyre. As a result of their fundraising and the time invested for this great cause, the team raised over £45,000 for WCC.

Celgene is committed to conducting business based on integrity, ethics, sound decision making, respect for the environment and behaviours that reflect its corporate culture. They have expanded efforts with the aim of continuous improvement of environmental, social and economic performance. These efforts include new methods for patient support and advocacy, personnel interactions with corporate leadership and support for new programmes in local communities.

For Jonel Schwarz, Senior HR Manager at Celgene UK & Ireland, the creative employees who collaborate toward a common goal are the critical Celgene elements—the genes that make up the company. “People are very talented, motivated, and driven to think outside the box and make a difference,” she said. “Everyone is engaged because they believe in the mission. Having the same values, they excel in delivering results.”

The story of Celgene encompasses unexpected opportunities, the courage to seize those opportunities, and the vision to transform those opportunities into progress. Ultimately, Celgene hopes to turn some of the most formidable disease challenges of the 21st century into manageable conditions. “Only by embracing innovation will we be empowered to do well by doing good, while promoting global prosperity and human progress for a better tomorrow,” Hugin said.


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Date of Preparation: May 2015