Gail Maderis is president and CEO of Antiva, a biotech company that's developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV. HPV is a major cause of certain cancers.
In the U.S. alone, more than 500,000 women and 300,000 men are diagnosed with HPV-lesions each year. Most patients with HPV cancers will eventually need surgery to remove or ablate their lesions. But, while these surgeries can be quite effective, the procedures can also cause significant discomfort, as well as infrequent but very serious issues. Antiva’s solution is a much-needed, topical treatment that could make these riskier procedures a thing of the past. Gail and her team have made major progress since founding the company, and their drug is now in early human clinical trials.
From her earliest days growing up in San Francisco to her time at university -- from a bachelor's at Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard -- Gail has had a fierce determination to excel and achieve, even after her own diagnosis of multiple sclerosis 13 years ago. Her steadfastness has served her well in twenty-plus years in the biopharma industry. In 2015, just when Gail thought she’d retire and enjoy some traveling, Cannan’s partner, Wende Hutton, had a better idea: recruit Gail to build and run Antiva and to champion not just the company but a cause.