It’s lucky for Madison, Wisconsin’s bioinformatics and genotyping firm EraGen Biosciences that new president and CEO Irene Hrusovsky, a self-proclaimed health nut who’s always been interested in genetics, has a thing for commercialization. A pediatrician by training, she got her industry start at Abbott Laboratories almost 25 years ago. The mentality there was to commercialize new technology or a new business as soon as possible: “When it looked feasible, they would fund a venture,” she says. The practice allowed Hrusovsky to cut her teeth launching new business units. “That was my foray into general management. It really fueled my love for commercialization.”
She eventually moved to GlaxoSmithKline as the vice president of general medicine and medical marketing strategy, but what she wound up working on was a strategic redesign of the company (then Glaxo Wellcome) prior to its merger. Before leaving, she designed and launched a new business unit as well.
Hrusovsky predicts that her strategy background will come in handy at EraGen, where her role is to take the science and technology that attracted her to the company and turn them into the basis of a successful business. “Like every other company, we really need dollars,” she says. “We’re out now looking at our second round of funding” — which she hopes will hit $15 million or $20 million. “We have got to build a commercial arm.” Exactly what she’s looking forward to.
— Meredith Salisbury