President, North America
Kevin O’Brien serves as President of North America for Merz Therapeutics, where he leads commercial strategy and execution, including field sales, managed markets, medical affairs, marketing and operations, across the U.S. and Canada.
Mr. O’Brien understands the value of developing novel treatment options for neurological conditions and continually demonstrates Merz’s commitment to the movement disorder community through advocacy partnerships and awareness initiatives. Since joining Merz in 2017, he has overseen the U.S. FDA approval of Merz’s neuromodulator for the treatment of sialorrhea (excessive drooling) and as a first-line treatment for blepharospasm, two debilitating conditions associated with neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, ALS and cerebral palsy.
Mr. O’Brien is a global healthcare executive with more than 30 years of experience leading teams and product launches in neurosciences, medical aesthetics, plastic surgery and dermatology. Prior to joining Merz, Mr. O’Brien spent more than 16 years at Allergan, most recently as Executive Director of Medical Aesthetics for Canada. At Allergan, Mr. O’Brien led global teams in the U.S., Canada and Asia Pacific, with a focus on China, Japan and Korea. Before Allergan, Mr. O’Brien had a successful career with J&J and Boston Scientific.
Mr. O’Brien received his juris doctor degree from Western State University and his bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of California.
You can view Mr. O’Brien’s LinkedIn profile here.
Vice President, U.S. Marketing
Keith Burke serves as Vice President of U.S. Marketing Merz Therapeutics where he leads commercial and brand strategy for the portfolio of products across the franchise.
Mr. Burke understands the value of developing a vision, mission and strategy supported by tools and resources as well as partnerships with HCP organizations and patient advocacy groups to ensure the Merz Therapeutics portfolio is top of mind for HCPs treating and patients suffering from movement disorders or other neurological conditions. Since joining Merz in 2018, Keith has led the efforts successfully launching three U.S. FDA approved indications for the neuromodulator marketed by Merz Therapeutics.
Mr. Burke is a global healthcare executive with more than 23 years of experience leading teams and product launches in pharmaceuticals and device across allergy/immunology, anti-infectives, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, invasive surgery and neurosciences. Mr. Burke started his career in sleep medicine where he become board certified as an RPSGT, to study sleep disorders in Charlotte, NC. Mr. Burke entered the pharmaceutical industry and has held roles in field sales, field sales management and leadership, sales training, U.S. marketing, and global marketing with a focus on all regions ex-U.S. leading teams throughout his career. Prior to joining Merz Therapeutics, Mr. Burke had a successful career at Abbott, Sanofi/Genzyme and kaleo. Mr. Burke received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
You can view Mr. Burke’s LinkedIn profile here.
Senior Director, Head of Human Resources and Communications
Rachel Chase is the Senior Director of Human Resources and Communications of North America for Merz Therapeutics. Rachel is responsible for leading a high-performing HR and Communications team, focused on talent acquisition; employee services, engagement and retention; leadership capability; connecting employees to top business goals; and delivering impactful communications initiatives to drive awareness and visibility for Merz Therapeutics’ patient-centric business.
Since joining Merz in 2009, Rachel played an integral role in the integration of three organizations assisting the U.S.’s entry into the Neurosciences and Aesthetics marketplace. She held various HR and communications roles with increasing responsibility in North America between 2011 and 2015. Rachel was selected for the International Perspectives Program in 2014 representing less than 1% of the global organization. She held roles in the global HR team before being appointed to Regional Head of Human Resources for Latin America in 2016. Most recently, she completed a two-year international assignment where she was selected to serve as Business Planning Director located in Frankfurt, Germany reporting directly to the CEO. Prior to joining Merz, Rachel held various human resources roles in the software industry at ScriptLogic and APEX Analytix.
Rachel is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) with a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI).
Rachel holds a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in human resources from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
You can view Rachel’s LinkedIn profile here.
General Counsel, North America
Terry Crandall serves as General Counsel, North America for Merz Therapeutics, where she heads the legal and compliance team for all aspects of the therapeutics business in the U.S. and Canada.
Terry strongly believes that the legal and compliance department best serves the company by operating in a solution-oriented manner, helping to find appropriate ways to support the success of Merz and the achievement of its objectives. Named one of the Top 25 Women in Biotech in 2020 by the Healthcare Technology Report, Terry enjoys rolling up her sleeves and partnering with the business in search of the most effective ways to reach healthcare professionals and patients while maintaining the highest standards of ethics and integrity.
Terry joined Merz Therapeutics with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and begun her in-house career with GlaxoSmithKline where she held a number of roles within the Legal Department over the course of 16 years. In 2009, Terry joined ViiV Healthcare, a global joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Shionogi focused on the development and commercialization of HIV medicines, as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Following her 8-year tenure at ViiV, Terry served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Ironshore Pharmaceuticals, where she focused upon the commercialization of ADHD medications.
Terry received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and bachelors’ degrees in English and psychology from Bucknell University.
You can view Terry’s LinkedIn profile here.
Chief Financial Officer, North Ameirca
Chad Duncan is the Chief Financial Officer of North America for Merz Therapeutics, where he partners across the organization to drive the financial strategy and execution.
Chad is a diverse finance leader with broad experience across the healthcare industry including pharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical devices, services, and software. Prior to joining Merz Therapeutics, Chad was the Vice President Finance at Syncardia Systems leading finance for the manufacturer of the only commercial artificial heart. Before Syncardia, Chad held several finance leadership roles at Siemens Healthineers across the diagnostics, imaging, and healthcare software divisions in a mixture of global, U.S., and Asia Pacific focused roles. He worked in various large established and startup businesses within the organization. He led the commercial finance group for a global diagnostics division, as well as, established two new business units within the company as the head of finance, including the enterprise services group in Japan creating long term partnerships with hospitals and the digital incubator group in the U.S. focused on early stage healthcare software ventures.
Chad has a Master of Business Administration from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.
Chad’s LinkedIn profile can be viewed here.
Director, Commercial Operations
Jared Emerson serves as Director, Commercial Operations for Merz Therapeutics in North America where he leads and develops commercial analytics, incentive compensation, and other operational capabilities.
Jared has spent his professional career in various roles within the pharmaceutical and managed care industries. He specializes in transforming data into knowledge within the healthcare space, providing insights and consulting for companies with vastly different business models, and building dynamic and intuitive tools that scale across organizations and enable nimble strategic decision making. Since joining Merz in 2015, Jared has been responsible for commercial analytics for three different business units and has been integral in transforming and advancing commercial operations within North America.
Prior to joining Merz, Jared spent three years in Clinical Informatics at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), analyzing healthcare claims and biometric data and publishing insights and studies for their largest employer groups. Before BCBSNC, he worked for Humana Inc. in various roles within Sales Operations, Pharmacy Analytics and Reporting, and Product Development.
Jared has an MBA from University of Louisville, a bachelor’s degree in finance from University of Kentucky, and a graduate certificate in Clinical Information Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
You can view Jared’s LinkedIn profile here.
Vice President, U.S. Sales
Kari Escobar serves as the Vice President of U.S. Sales, where she provides leadership and strategic direction for the field sales and training team.
Ms. Escobar’s mission is to deliver meaningful treatment options and a better patient experience for each person she and her team serve. In support of that mission, she led the creation of the our patient savings program and oversaw the development and deployment of the organization’s first field reimbursement team. In her current role, she has built a collaborative sales team that is driven by passion and rooted in integrity.
Since joining Merz in 2010 at the inception of its neurosciences business unit, Ms. Escobar has held various leadership roles, including National Sales Director, Head of Reimbursement and Access Services, and Director of Franchise Development. Prior to Merz, she served as a Regional Sales Manager for Valeant Pharmaceuticals, where she helped launch several therapies for the treatment of neurological conditions.
Ms. Escobar holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Iowa State University and an MBA from Arizona State University.
You can view Ms. Escobar’s LinkedIn profile here.
Country Manager, Merz Pharma Canada Ltd.
Yannick Grosskreutz is Country Manager, Therapeutics for Merz Pharma Canada, where he leads the strategy and commercial operations, including sales, marketing and medical affairs.
Yannick is dedicated to supporting health care professionals in fulfilling their mission to improve patient outcomes. He strives to build partnerships and believes in adding value by providing our neurological products, expanding scientific knowledge, and facilitating education.
Prior to joining Merz Pharma Canada in February 2020, Yannick held several roles of increasing responsibility at Merz’s global headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, most recently as Head of Global Marketing where he was instrumental in driving Merz’s patient-focused communication strategy, international educational programs, and neuromodulator clinical program. From 2003 through 2011, Yannick held various roles in marketing, medical affairs, and sales at Altana Pharma/Nycomed. Over his career, Yannick has acquired significant experience launching new brands and indications, patent expiries, life cycle management, business development projects, as well as, educational and research projects.
Yannick Grosskreutz holds a Ph.D. from the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research (Germany), a MSc in Biology from the J.W. Goethe University (Germany), and a M.B.A. from the University of Wales (UK). He lives with his wife and two kids in Oakville, Ontario.
You can view Yannick’s LinkedIn profile here.
Director, Head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs
Hadley Iliff serves as the Head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs and Product Safety for Merz Therapeutics, where she leads strategy and execution of new drug and biologic approvals, maintenance of existing products, and safety reporting and pharmacovigilance. Ms. Iliff is dedicated to continuing to pursue new indications and product approvals to provide more available treatments for patients with neurological conditions. Since joining Merz in 2014, Ms. Iliff has managed or contributed to the approval of four new first-line indications for Merz’s neuromodulator, including its first for pediatric patients. Prior to working at Merz, Ms. Iliff worked as a Research Scientist in a computational biochemistry laboratory.
Ms. Iliff holds a Master of Arts in Biochemistry from Duke University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Oberlin College.
You can view Ms. Iliff’s LinkedIn profile here.
Senior Director, Head of Medical Affairs
Rebecca McKinnon, Ph.D., serves as Senior Director, Medical Affairs for Merz Therapeutics, where she leads medical affairs strategy and execution, including, field medical science liaisons, investigator-initiated trials, medical education support, medical communications and medical information in the U.S.
Dr. McKinnon has been with Merz since 2010 and is committed to providing the highest level scientific and clinical support within the medical community. Prior to joining Merz, Dr. McKinnon was a Pharmaceutical Consultant with IMS Health, where she had the opportunity to partner with multiple companies in creating strategic portfolio assessments during the development of new products, indications, and the life-cycle management of existing products.
Dr. McKinnon received her Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.
You can view Dr. McKinnon’s LinkedIn profile here.
Vice President, Managed Markets
Denise Zomorrodian serves as Vice President, Managed Markets for Merz Therapeutics in North America. In this role, she leads a robust managed markets team responsible for market access and reimbursement across the Merz Therapeutics portfolio.
Ms. Zomorrodian brings a comprehensive understanding of the complex, highly regulated healthcare delivery system. With over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Ms. Zomorrodian leverages her insights to influence category management for specialty drugs managed under the medical benefit and provides guidance regarding regulatory and legislative changes impacting the evolving U.S. health care landscape.
Since joining Merz in 2014, Ms. Zomorrodian has been responsible for the development and execution of payer and federal strategies. She leads a diverse team of U.S. market access specialists responsible for securing optimal patient access and value proposition execution across Commercial, Medicare, Medicaid and PBM channels. In addition, she leads the reimbursement team responsible for practice and institution support to minimize access hurdles and support navigation of local and regional coverage. This team also plays an active role in delivering MERZ CONNECT, a robust set of patient support programs that help ensure patient affordability and access to therapy.
Prior to joining Merz, Ms. Zomorrodian spent more than 15 years at Janssen Biotech, a Johnson and Johnson company, serving in various roles including account management, pricing and strategy, managed care contracting and strategic analytics.
You can view Ms. Zomorrodian’s LinkedIn profile here.