Subscribe to Newsletter

Mike Rea

CEO and Founder, IDEA Pharma and Protodigm

Rea wears many hats within the pharmaceutical industry. Beyond his role at IDEA Pharma, he is also a contributor to several publications, Senior Fellow at the Milken Institute, an advisor to BioEthics International, and a Strategic Innovation Advisor at Nanoform. In 2020, he wrote Positioning Pharmaceuticals and developed the Pharmaceutical Innovation and Invention index in 2010.

What is the most interesting or little-known fact about you?

I hope there’s a lot that’s unknown, but something that was pivotal to my attitude to life, perhaps, was that I set up the UK American Football college league, after setting up the team at my university. It’s big now, but back then there were only two teams. I also own a record label and foster dogs for charity.

What has been the biggest breakthrough in biopharma in recent years?

Probably the quiet revolution; so much attention goes to the molecules and science, but breakthroughs in engineering, manufacturing, clinical studies, IT, and other areas have enabled scaling and kinds of technology we’d have struggled with in decades before.

What one thing do you think could improve the pharma industry?

We need better decision making in development. Instead of “follow the science,” it should be “follow the decision science.”

If you weren’t in the pharma industry, what would you be doing?  

It’s probably safer to stay here! But I have too many ideas for things I’d like to do (a great restaurant idea, dog rescue, a new music production concept!).

Part of the Power List 2021

Find out more

Welcome to our annual celebration of the great and inspirational minds that contribute to the development and manufacture of new medicinal products

Go to The Power List 2021

Part of the Power List 2020

The Power List 2020

Celebrating the great minds that bring us innovation in small molecules, biopharmaceuticals, and advanced medicine.

Go to The Power List 2020

Part of the Power List 2019

The Power List 2019

Breakthroughs at the bench, novel technologies and groundbreaking policies and regulation have helped the pharma industry grow from strength to strength. After months of collating reader nominations and judging overseen by a panel of industry experts, we proudly present The Medicine Maker 2019 Power List, featuring 100 of the industry’s pioneers across four categories: Industry Influencers, Business Captains, Masters of the Bench, and Champions of Change.

Go to The Power List 2019

Part of the Power List 2018

The World’s Top 100 Medicine Makers

Bringing new drugs to patients is an incredibly difficult task that involves numerous indispensable actors – from pioneering entrepreneurs and CEOs, to industry experts, to dedicated researchers, to regulators who keep everyone on the right tracks.

Go to The Power List 2018

Part of the Power List 2017

Our Top 100 into 4 categories

Go to The Power List 2017

Register to The Medicine Maker

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine