As the head of Development Operations, I lead a diverse organisation of over 2000 employees across 40 countries, responsible for the operational delivery of hundreds of clinical trials from Phase 1 to 3. I have over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry across all phases of development and in a broad range of therapy areas.

My department works in strategic partnership with our therapy area teams to translate drug development strategy into action, from study design to regulatory submission. We deliver our work using our own internal delivery engine and through partnerships with Clinical Research Organisations, ensuring efficient, ethical and high quality delivery of AstraZeneca clinical trials and clinical trial documents. There are many interrelated and co-dependent disciplines within Development Operations, including Study Management, Site Management & Monitoring, Clinical Data & Insights, Global Clinical Solutions, Process, Quality & Learning, Alliance Management, Portfolio, Transformation & Insights and Medical Communications. All these functions work together to deliver on time, on budget and with exceptional quality.

A recent focus of our department has been the implementation of new digital technologies to enable remote data collection through devices like wearables and sensors. In addition, we are looking for new ways to conduct clinical trials that improve our patients’ experience during their participation. This work started prior to COVID-19, but as the pandemic continued it became critically important to accelerate these new ways of working. This has enabled continuation of our clinical trial programmes and ensured that we can continue to get new medicines to patients.

As part of my role, I am also a member of the BioPharmaceuticals R&D Leadership Team, and Early and Late Stage Product Committees, where I leverage my expertise to provide insights that can accelerate portfolio delivery.

I’m delighted to oversee a department that is so committed to transforming clinical trials. By embracing innovative digital solutions, we aim to shorten clinical cycle times and deliver a much better patient experience.

Phillippa Brown Vice President, Development Operations, R&D, AstraZeneca


Vice President of Development Operations


Oversaw delivery of accelerated vaccine and monoclonal antibody clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring continuity of wider clinical trial portfolio


Established newly formed Development Operations as part of R&D re-organisation, aligning across legacy organisations and early to late development


Built Oncology Clinical Operations capability in line with AstraZeneca Oncology mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of death