Behind Brickell: Building teams and visions, for the patients

Spotlight on Robert Brown, Chief Executive Officer


Brickell Biotech is a leader of patient-centered scientific research and innovation, and that’s in large part thanks to Chief Executive Officer, Robert Brown. After holding 18 different positions within marketing and product management throughout his thirty years at Eli Lilly and Company, Rob joined Brickell Biotech. Bringing with him invaluable industry knowledge and leadership experience, Rob’s guidance has been instrumental in Brickell’s success.

Given all his accomplishments, Rob was asked what he views as his greatest achievement. “Having two kids graduate from college and are now prosperous and have good values. Raising kids is a contact sport,” Rob laughs. “As for work, I was a part of two exceptional teams, which were leading Lilly’s China brand and guiding Cialis’ branding and marketing strategies,” Rob shared. 

While at Eli Lilly and Company, Rob served as the General Manager of Lilly China. As GM, he successfully implemented Lilly’s first manufacturing facility, expanded the affiliate’s reach from 12 to 45 cities, and laid a strong foundation for Lilly China’s future growth. 

Also while at Lilly, from 1999-2003, Rob oversaw the global marketing strategy for Cialis, the first drug to compete with Viagra. He worked as the global marketing director for Cialis and Lilly ICOS, a 50/50 joint venture between Lilly and ICOS Corporation. Rob ensured Cialis reached maximum market value, and in 2004, Cialis was awarded Best Brand Launch of the Year by the Pharmaceutical Marketing Congress. 

Rob credits his successes to his incredible teams while guiding Lilly’s China affiliate and overseeing Cialis’ marketing initiatives. Rob described how his team started out in China – “We had all these individuals, and we had to figure out what’s missing. When searching for new hires for Lilly’s China branch, I was looking for common motivators but a balance in perspectives and skills.” Rob assembled the best team to build a solid foundation for Lilly’s China branch. Investing in team and individual growth, Rob and his team were able to achieve many successes for Lily’s China affiliate. 

Rob also stressed the importance of finding time to “block out work.” Through the years, he’s learned how to balance work and life to prevent burn out. “Before Covid-19, the commute to and from home was like a cleanse. Now, it’s harder to compartmentalize because we are constantly stepping in and stepping out of work. But it’s even more important to have something that’s separate from work – hobby, friend, whatever it is – without that, [work life balance] is not possible.” Rob has found his break in golf and spending time with family. 

Rob’s years of pharmaceutical knowledge and team building expertise are key factors in the success of Brickell’s commitment to improving the lives of hyperhidrosis patients. Rob keeps the patient the focus of the company by fostering a keen understanding of the patient’s daily life. As Brickell studies an investigational treatment for primary axillary hyperhidrosis, Rob highlights that “the burden on [hyperhidrosis] patients is greater than the casual onlooker realizes” and that hyperhidrosis patients “make life choices based on their condition.” In the same breath, Rob understands that the drug is a small part of a patient’s journey. “When you hear ‘look at what we did’ ‘we changed mankind.’ That’s a problem. You’re helping people solve an issue in their life. Not everything in their life. It’s not about you or your drug, it’s about the patients.” Rob is looking forward to Brickell’s future as he continues to lead the team through innovation in medicine with a patient-first mindset, particularly throughout their work on an investigational treatment for primary axillary hyperhidrosis.