Founder & CEO of Juca Bio, former COO & Co-Founder of CinCor Pharma Inc.
(acquired by AstraZeneca in 2023)
Dr. Pearce started her career in 1997 at Hoffman-LaRoche, then at Merck launching therapeutics in the cardiovascular space. In 2001, Dr. Pearce joined a small CRO, Medpace, as a Clinical Project Manager. She led hundreds of global Phase 1-4 studies in a variety of therapeutic areas, including neurology, diabetes, lipid-lowering, kidney diseases, and obesity. She started the first business development team and marketing teams at Medpace in 2011. In 2013, Dr. Pearce joined Teva as VP, R&D, leading a new division dedicated to evaluating generics for repurposing. One of the most recognizable efforts to come from this program was the approval of Uzedy in 2023 for the treatment of schizophrenia. Uzedy was approved in partnership with Medincell, which was a collaboration her team had spearheaded. In 2015, Dr. Pearce decided to come back to her hometown of Cincinnati, OH to co-found a biotech incubator, CinRx. The idea of launching a biotech portfolio company seemed timely Dr. Pearce: the thesis was to take early-stage or “shelved” assets from pharma, biotech, or academia and develop them through proof-of-concept to be acquired by large pharma with commercial capabilities. During her time at CinRx, Dr. Pearce developed 6 “Cin” portfolio companies in areas such as oncology, obesity, gastroparesis, and hypertension. When CinCor’s Board decided the strategic exit of this company’s novel aldosterone synthase inhibitor was a public offering, Dr. Pearce spun out with the organization to build the company’s infrastructure and help take it public. After the asset, baxdrostat, demonstrated its value in the Phase 2 BrigHtn study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the company was eventually acquired by AstraZeneca in February 2023 in a transaction worth up to $1.8B.
Today, Dr. Pearce is once again embarking on the idea that forming a company around early-stage or shelved assets is a necessary endeavor. This time, though, she is using her experience to build stronger clinical development teams, Advisory Boards, strategic partners, and financial backers to evaluate novel therapeutics and design the ideal trials to demonstrate the benefits and safety of life-saving medicines for the patients that need them. As the CEO of newly formed JucaBio, she is excited about the future of drug development and the possibilities of bringing additional therapeutics to patients worldwide in areas of high unmet medical needs.
In addition to sitting on a number of private biotech Boards, Dr. Pearce is an advisor to several start-ups and a Board of Trustee Member at Xavier University, where she received her undergraduate education and MBA. She received her Doctorate in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Pearce is married with 3 children and is a fitness enthusiast, book lover, traveler, and avid cook. Dr. Pearce lives by three creeds: say “yes” many more times than you say “no,” never ask someone to do work you are unwilling or unable to do yourself, and importantly – always look for a little fun along the way.