Women in Technology

Inteliquet is a leading provider of technology, insights and expertise that dramatically reduce the time and cost involved in conducting clinical research for Life Science and Healthcare. Focused on oncology, its proprietary platform securely, accurately, and quickly aggregates, normalizes and analyzes EMR/EHR and other healthcare data. Powered by a robust and growing clinical data consortium comprising leading academic and community oncology and other practices, Inteliquet’s solutions help to ensure that clinical trials are designed more effectively, patients are matched to trials more rapidly, and patient-care decisions are made using real-world evidence. At its core, the company excels at matching patients to clinical trials.

For healthcare organizations, the combination of Inteliquet technology, data analytics and clinical support enable dramatic efficiencies. Cancer centers benefit the most with complete patient match and full transparency. This helps to reduce their time and costs involved in screening, matching and evaluating which trials to open.

For Life Science organizations, such as Biopharma/Sponsors, CROs and Clinical Development Consultants, the company’s services and analytics which are identified from the clinical data consortium accelerate clinical research process, from feasibility to screening and matching to commercial launch. A recent case study noted significant improvement in results using Inteliquet’s solutions which includes 3X faster patient enrollment, including into hard-to-enroll trials; 30% faster clinical trial feasibility and site start up; and nearly 2X faster site activation.

An Accomplished Life-Science Industry Veteran

Marie E. Lamont is the President and the Chief Operating Officer of Inteliquet. She is responsible for the overall vision and operations of Inteliquet. With the goal of providing patients and physicians access to the latest and the best treatment options and care available, she helps to commercialize Inteliquet’s offerings of intelligent technology, insights, and services to improve the clinical trial process, research, and translational medicine. The goal is to ensure treating physicians, researchers and patients have clinical studies as a therapeutic treatment option.

With more than 25 years of experience as a global healthcare executive, Marie has significant commercial and operational leadership expertise. She has been on multiple sides of the healthcare eco-system:  biopharmaceutical with Genyme then Sanofi; patient services and specialty pharmacy with Dohmen Life Science Services (now Eversana); executive and advisory; and now healthcare digital technology and services with Inteliquet. Marie has experience in multiple specialties with the longest duration in Rare Disease and Oncology.  A uniting factor across her experience is the importance of data for healthcare treatment and business decisions and a unique focus on meeting the needs of patients. Sharing her experiences, she says, “Early on, I was fortunate to work for a CEO (Henri Termeer of Genzyme) who believed that when you treat patients, customers and employees right, business success follows — and you can change the world. I firmly believe in this tenant.”

Building Targeted Therapies with Patient Opinion

As for Marie’s role in the clinical research process, her grandfather passed away due to lung cancer, so she saw how the cycle of disease progression and therapy could be a horrid emotional journey for everyone involved. Since then, other family members have been diagnosed with cancer. The upheaval and uncertainty can be difficult. Add to that the complexity of understanding biomarkers and other data points which impact their care and health, and the uncertainty can be overwhelming. When considering a new role, Marie evaluates whether the role, company and technology will make a difference to patients now or in the future. In the case of Inteliquet, she believes what is offered is a choice to physicians and patients. There are novel therapeutics in trials today, targeted therapies based on diagnostic results. A choice should be given to patients and their treating physicians if a targeted therapy is an option. These targeted treatments can have a significant impact on survival and life span. Studies indicate that only 3-5% of cancer patients are involved in clinical studies. “What a travesty, not to have that option.” Marie echo’s her viewpoint that if she was a patient, she would have wanted the choice.

Marie has been fortunate to work alongside strong women and men. She has also worked with managers whose behavior were less than positive and has learned from both sides. She says, “You learn what not to do as a leader when you observe the lack of effectiveness from poor managers. My goal is to be a leader not a manager. Be a visionary, lead from the front lines, but don’t expect my team to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. I believe my people and staff are our best asset and act accordingly!”

Facing Challenges for Excellence

Speaking of her career, specifically, Marie reminisces that if she had harken back to what she had learnt from her previous CEO at Genzyme who believed success and the ability to change the world (and at least healthcare) if patients, customers and employees were treated right–she would have to say that one primal challenge was the complexity of healthcare, and most profoundly the ability to bring new therapies to patients who desperately needed them.  The primal challenge was to see the deep complexities not as a roadblock but merely problems to overcome. In a world where almost 50% of clinical trials don’t meet enrollment goals, where the cost and intricacies of clinical research continues to grow, the challenges can be daunting for some. As an example, precision targeted therapies based on diagnostic results are the new norm, and it requires increasingly complex combination of molecular and genomic markers to drive therapies. A laser-like focus on the end goal being part of the solution that can actually help to extend, or even save lives had become a mantra for Marie and the teams she leads.

An additional primal challenge was learning to say “no.” Marie grew up as a part of the generation that was taught to be people pleasers. Saying “no” to some activities meant that she was able to be more focused on the work at hand. For someone who is a problem solver, recognizing that she could not do everything allowed her to stay focused on the things that matter the most.

She recollects, learning not to take things personal was and is the most important life-long lesson.  The work that is done in health care, especially related to optimizing clinical research, is hard work.  Everyone responds to challenges differently. As long as Marie was confident that she was doing her best work to bring solutions to market, there was no reason to take criticisms or constructive conflict personally.

Attributes of a Transformational Leadership

Speaking on the attributes of transformation leadership, Marie lists-

  • Transformational leaders must know that everything will never be known and be comfortable making decisions with the best facts and information in hand.
  • Fast processing and interconnectedness. Understand consequences of interactions and own them.
  • Understanding of the customer and importantly the challenges they are facing, their pain points. Transformational leaders should be able to put themselves in their shoes, so they can actually transform and build the business to innovate around the core problems. Without a relentless pursuit of real solutions to real challenges, innovation is undertaken for innovation’s sake.
  • Emotional intelligence is the key. Transformational leaders need to rally individuals around a common goal and motivate them to seek out better solutions for a myriad of problems. The capacity to be aware of one’s own emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically, delivers better results. Marie adds, that transformational leaders should hire the best people who fill their gaps! She says that “She hires really smart people”.
  • Visualize the end goal, and then get others as excited about what could be. It is not enough to just set milestones and expectations. When transformational leaders can truly see the future, it is their responsibility to help others see that possibility as well, then inspire them to participate in the journey to success. People always step up when they know that they are driving towards an important and meaningful goal—it helps to keep people motivated when times are tough.

Harnessing the Best Data for Innovation

Marie goes back to the single most important aspect of innovation, which is a relentless pursuit of understanding the needs and pain points of the customer. Clinical research is the only way that novel treatments, such as new cancer drugs that can save or extend lives, come to market. She views, “Yes, we live in a world where roughly half of clinical trials don’t meet enrollment goals and less than 5% of cancer patients are enrolled in a study. We need better solutions faster. Patient recruitment to trials is wholly ineffective and remains the single most time-consuming aspect of clinical research.”

Since Inteliquet can harness the best data to rapidly identify and qualify patients for trials, it has a significant opportunity but more importantly an obligation to benefit patients, improve health outcomes, and advance the standard of care in oncology and beyond.  Therefore, all of the innovation must be designed around advancing the ability for Cancer Centers and Biopharma to more efficiently and more quickly enroll patients into clinical studies.  Every idea and initiative must be stress-tested against that goal. “That is how we prioritize and then attack problems to solve. Will this new idea, feature, tool or product help clear a path for new therapies to reach patients faster?  If yes, we go after it fiercely.”, she adds.

Managing Future Change

Marie feels precision medicine is only making the landscape more complex and demanding as it requires precision analysis. This means that Inteliquet has tremendous opportunity to improve efficiency in clinical research through unique solutions that address many challenges that prevent novel therapies from getting to patients. It is an important mission—and the company sees itself at the forefront of the growth.

With its proven foundation of dramatically improving the ability to match patients for trials, the company is only seeing the demand for its digital, data-driven solutions increase across Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations. Before COVID only 3-5% of cancer patients participated in clinical studies [in July there were more than 6K studies occurring in the US].

Precision targeted therapies can have a dramatic impact on patients, survival rates and life span. Clinical trials are an additional therapeutic choice, and Marie would like to see many more cancer patients participate in trials ideally 30% or more and says, “imagine the impact that could have on patients’ lives!”

A Trusted Advisor

Advising Emerging women leaders, Marie observes that they must create the vision that they want for themselves, professionally and personally, then work hard for it. It is the same for individual success as it is for organizations, in a sense.  If emerging leaders can create and see the future they want, they will be able to achieve it. Also, Marie is a huge proponent of networking. In additional to making many personal connections, she is very active in the Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL), as it gives her the opportunity to connect with and learn from others who may be on a similar journey but have very different skillsets and perspectives. Ellevate, HBA (Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association) and Executive Connections of St Louis are three other organization of which Marie is a member of and wholly supports.

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