Ruth March

Ruth is Senior Vice President, Precision Medicine & Biosamples, R&D Oncology, at AstraZeneca.

Ruth is an experienced Board member, senior industry leader and scientific investment advisor with experience in biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, genomics and precision medicine. She combines deep scientific and technology expertise with board and committee experience in both private and public sectors.

As Senior Vice President of Precision Medicine and Biosamples, she is accountable for the development of novel companion and complementary diagnostics for AstraZeneca’s drug projects in all therapy areas and phases of drug development, leads more than 240 diagnostics and biosamples experts globally, and has successfully launched 48 diagnostic tests for five Precision Medicine drugs.

Dr March has a proven record of driving innovation in Precision Medicine including the world’s first drug label based on circulating tumour DNA (Iressa); the first FDA approval of a lab-based companion diagnostic (gBRCA for Lynparza); the first diagnostic approval based on both ctDNA and tissue testing (Tagrisso); the first point of care diagnostic for respiratory disease (EDN). She has gained major investment for a world-leading pharmaceutical genomics initiative that is successfully discovering novel drug targets proceeding into the R&D pipeline.

In the Covid-19 pandemic, she set up an end-to-end global programme to test AstraZeneca key employees by PCR, antigen and antibody methods in 3 major markets in 18 working days, keeping the workplace safe and maintaining the supply chain of critical medicines. This programme has now completed over 60,000 PCR assessments.

Dr March is passionate about mentoring, diversity, early career researchers and innovation in life sciences, establishing important collaborations with institutions such as the University of Cambridge, FinnGen and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.