Kelly Timpane – Precision Medicine Group
- Written by: David Harry
- Produced by: Matthew Warner & Matt Heppner
- Est. reading time: 4 mins
It can take 10 years and more than $1 billion to develop a new drug or therapy from R&D through clinical trials and get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell it—which, it goes without saying, is hardly a given.
The process after getting the green light from the FDA, including pricing and marketing strategies, is arduous and complex, too.
Enter Precision Medicine Group. Kelly Timpane, the company’s senior vice president of people operations, says pharmaceutical and life sciences companies turn to PMG for assistance and guidance on all facets of developing new drugs and therapies.
“We’re a company that’s using data to compress the timeline between initially researching and getting a drug to market,” she says. “We don’t manufacture drugs. We’re a life sciences company that uses data and technology to help clients bring new therapies from molecule to medicine.”
Timpane also takes a data-driven approach to her role. She helps the company find more efficient ways to process and analyze employee data to help guide areas such as applicant tracking, onboarding and off-boarding. She and her team oversee global benefits, employment data and systems, policies and HR regulatory compliance, as well.
“It seemed very novel over the past 10 to 15 years to approach HR as a customer service,” Timpane says. “I don’t want our team to be seen as the red tape or police of the organization. The goal for me, as well as the rest of the HR team, is to view our employees and managers as customers.”
From lab to pharmacy
Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., in Bethesda, Maryland, Precision Medicine Group was co-founded in 2012 by Mark P. Clein and Ethan D. Leder.
Today, the company operates two divisions. Precision for Medicine organizes, designs and manages clinical trials for medicines and therapies used in oncology, pediatrics, cell and gene therapy and COVID-19. In addition to providing lab services such as sample processing, the division also touts a team of biostatisticians and statistical programmers, as well as artificial-intelligence-powered technology to provide data analysis from clinical trials.
A second division, Precision Value & Health, leverages evidence and insights to support clients as they market newly approved drugs and therapies. Precision helps its clients launch new brands as well as to set global pricing and marketing strategies. It’s a crucial service, with PMG’s website noting that 44 percent of biopharma products fail to meet sales forecasts in the first year they’re marketed.
In the five years since Timpane joined PMG in January 2018, it’s grown from 950 to more than 3,200 employees. She says about half of the growth stems from company acquisitions such as global consultants Across Health, in March 2021. The acquisition allows PMG to help clients use data and analytics to drive more efficient drug launch and commercialization strategies.
“We are a very acquisitive company,” Timpane says. “We’re always looking to make good additions to offer clients a new service or expand our current offerings to new regions.”
Timpane says the growth has also led to company-wide transformation initiatives that enable greater efficiency and support plans for future growth. The HR shared services center she and her team are developing is part of that transformation.
Scheduled to launch in the spring, the shared services center is a pilot program. Timpane says it will assist employees, managers and the broader HR team with features including a digital repository for internal HR use throughout PMG. For example, the HR team will be able to reference events such as an employee changing departments or managers, employment status from part-time to full-time, as well as events such as requesting a medical leave of absence or adding a new child to their benefits plan.
Timpane and her team have provided information on processes, systems, policies and benefits as well as compliance resources for state and federal labor regulations.
“We want to be the central hub that can be a launching point and the resource everyone needs,” she says. “We’re looking to be the resource to the people and provide whatever information that we can.”
The data and information she and her team are gathering will also be an important component of a new human resources information system. Though there’s currently no target date to launch an HRIS to replace the one now in use, Timpane says it’s needed to accommodate PMG’s growth, especially overseas.
“The HRIS needs to provide accessible, actionable HR data,” she says. “It’s hard to get the full look at the global workforce right now.”
A desire to help
While Timpane has long been passionate about the “techy and nerdy” side of HR, she actually planned to become a teacher before entering the field. However, a teaching internship made her realize that she enjoyed interacting with students far more than grading tests or making lesson plans.
Looking for a new career path, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia and joined Health Care Management Group as an HR generalist in May 2000. In 2004, Timpane joined L3 Communications. While there, she earned her master’s degree in HR management and her MBA from University of Maryland—and the company’s first HR Hero award.
Timpane is also certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by HCRI and as a Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Blockchain Expert by the Blockchain Council.
“I always knew I wanted to help people even if I didn’t know what form it would take,” Timpane says. “I try to live by Richard Branson’s saying: ‘Train people well enough so that they can leave; treat them well enough so that they never want to.’”
View this feature in the Vol. III 2023 Edition here.
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