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Sorcero Podcast Series: J&J VP of US Oncology Medical Affairs on Working at the Nexus of Medical Innovation
Christina Cullen
Aug 16, 2022

Sorcero Podcast: J&J VP of US Oncology Medical Affairs on Innovation

Here is the fifth episode in the Sorcero miniseries on building great AI-powered life sciences products, a Mighty Capital podcast.

In this Sorcero miniseries, join host Sorcero CEO and Co-founder Dipanwita Das as she sits down with industry experts and business leaders to discuss how to build great AI-powered products for Life Sciences.

Listen to the Podcast


Sorcero Podcast Series Episode 5: Johnson & Johnson VP of US Oncology Medical Affairs on Working at the Nexus of Medical Innovation

For the fifth episode in the Sorcero Podcast Series, CEO and co-founder Dipanwita Das sits down with Johnson & Johnson VP of US Oncology Medical Affairs Luca Dezzani, MD. 


Luca Dezzani is a Medical Doctor with more than 20 years’ experience in healthcare, both in clinical practice as a Physician, and in the pharmaceutical industry. He has covered roles at the national, regional, and global level in both Europe and North America. 

In this podcast, Das and Dezzani explore why Medical Affairs is at the nexus of medical innovation. 

Medical Affairs professionals are forging key partnerships across tech and medicine - directly impacting the care of medical patients in critical areas, like cancer treatment, which is Dezzani’s focus. 

Dezzani shares why he made the shift into Medical Affairs in this talk. He explains why life sciences organizations are “becoming platforms,” rather than “deliverers of pills.” He also shares the number one ingredient to building products for Medical Affairs: partnership

Listen to the full episode on Apple, Amazon, and Spotify to learn more about the latest in medical innovation. 

Listen to the Podcast



In this podcast, Dipanwita Das and Luca Dezzani discuss: 

1. The Unique Opportunity of Working in Medical Affairs

Today, Medical Affairs is at the center of the healthcare ecosystem.

Dezzani explains, “Whether you are in the field or working in an office capacity, you engage with top opinion leaders in the particular therapeutic area you cover. You also engage with medical societies, patient advocacy groups, payers, and policy makers.” 

He says, “If you are a Medical Affairs professional, you really feel that you are the glue at the center of this entire ecosystem that is striving for making a dent, in my case, in cancer care.” 

How else is Medical Affairs making a dent in today’s healthcare ecosystem? Listen to the podcast to hear Dezzani’s take.


2. The Shift from “Pills to Platforms” for Life Sciences Organizations

Traditionally, life sciences companies have focused on developing and delivering drugs. Today, their work is much more comprehensive, often targeting prevention. 

Dezzani explains, “We don’t have to have patients to treat cancer. We can start much earlier on through detection and screening. We can prevent them from becoming patients in the future.” 

Precision medicine is the next big thing says Dezzani. “We can be much more targeted in addressing a particular mutation or the alteration that is causing or driving cancer.” 

What’s the bottom line? Platforms of care, according to Dezzani. 

“In the past, we had one-on-one relationships between patients and doctors. To a certain extent, that’s still the case. Manufacturers and other players provided ingredients to that relationship,” Dezzani says.

“Now, it’s becoming much more of a seamless integration of stakeholders across the entire ecosystem. That’s why we are now focusing on platforms of care, rather than point of care," he explains. 

Listen to the Podcast


3. Why Partnership is Key to Building Life Sciences Products

Most medical affairs professionals have a background in medical science, but not technology. Thus, when it comes to finding the right product solution or new technology, collaboration and partnership are paramount.

Dezzani advises, “We need to acknowledge what we know and what we don’t. We are not IT experts. We need to partner with people who are experts in this field.”

“If you think about this the other way around, it’s also the case,” he continues. “Technology experts may not necessarily understand life sciences as we do. That’s the real definition of partnership and potential synergy.” 

What does he ask before partnering with a vendor? 

  1. Can I see myself working with this group?
  2. Can I see us growing together?
  3. Can I see us building out this solution together - so we both will learn and get something out of this journey?

“Of course, then, it needs to be robust technology,” he says. “But again, the most important thing is the mindset: let’s figure this out together. Let’s work together. Let’s grow together. Let’s make it happen together.” 

To hear more about the way Dezzani is working to make change happen at J&J, listen to the full podcast episode on Apple, Amazon, or Spotify

Johnson & Johnson VP of US Oncology Medical Affairs on Working at the Nexus of Medical Innovation


About the Podcast

The Mighty Capital Podcast features interviews with industry experts and business leaders across technology, product and venture capital.

This Sorcero miniseries is hosted by CEO and Co-founder Dipanwita Das and centers on how to build great AI-powered products for Life Sciences. 

This podcast is also made possible by Foley and Lardner, and the team at Products That Count who supported the podcast production. 


Mighty Capital Products that Count





Stay Up to Date on the Podcast

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You Might Also Like:

• Listen to Sorcero Podcast Series Episode 4: Novartis Biome Co-Founder & Global Head on Digital Health and Technology

• A Medical Affairs Guide: How to Summarize Medical Documents with AI

• New Webinar Series: Introducing Digital Clarity - Medical Affairs Innovation Series



Christina Cullen

Christina is a skilled content marketer and storyteller with a knack for SEO.