Despite some progress in recent years, women are still severely under-represented in the Biotechnology industry. Although studies suggest that the industry is moving towards gender parity, women have become scarcer in the upper ranks. Hostile work culture and domestic pressures compel women to stay away from such professions. The proverbial glass ceiling for women in biotech has some cracks, but it is yet to be shattered. However, there is a trailblazing entrepreneur who is swiftly making her way to reach there. Christina DiArcangelo, a woman entrepreneur, working in the traditional Biotech industry and founder of Affinity Bio Partners, has dedicated her life to revolutionizing patient care.
Serving Varied Roles with Panache
Christina holds more than two decades of experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and medical device industries. After getting out of college, she started as a paralegal and later interviewed for the first global clinical research company (CRO). This professional stint encouraged her to stay in the biotech, pharma, and medical device industries. Through her roles as CEO of Spectral Analytics Precision Tele-Monitoring, and Board President and CEO of Affinity Patient Advocacy, Christina has been involved with revolutionary projects and global clinical studies that positively impact patients with the inclusion of state-of-the-art technology. As a clinical research pioneer, contracts negotiator, and business owner, she has utilized the tools at her disposal to champion patient care and provide best-in-class patient advocacy services.
For Christina, patient care comes first as she has battled bad health herself. Her journey as a patient began with her autoimmune diseases that were a byproduct of domestic abuse. She set foot on the path to recovery, and the willingness to seek help from therapists, trusted doctors, nutritionists, and many other healthcare professionals were the positive tipping point in her journey. This also made her a patient advocate for life.
Patient Care through Affinity Bio Partners
The first CRO that Christina started was Armonia Clinical Research in 2010. Rather than rebranding it to start a new global CRO and offer additional services, she went on to launch her second CRO, Affinity Bio Partners (ABP), in 2014. The company works to provide important enterprise-wide solutions that facilitate the development of drugs, biologics, and medical devices. The services include clinical operations, monitoring, site management, medical writing, study start-up activities, drug safety, biostats and data management services, clinical quality auditors, clinical SOP development, training, and implementation, among others.
Christina truly understands the patients’ needs, and with ABP, she maintains a steadfast dedication to bringing efficiency, safety, innovation, and value to the clinical research process. Through her patient advocacy firm, Affinity Patient Advocacy, she has obtained a thorough understanding of the patients that sponsors are trying to recruit based on her in-depth knowledge of patient care from earlier professional engagements. About four years ago, she also became interested in medical cannabis and CBD as therapeutic treatments.
Chistina is an active Bahai and believes that listening, learning, and growing are values that can change the world by impacting our hearts, homes, and communities. To further this cause, she hosts a podcast called “I am Christina DiArcangelo”, which educates, empowers, and delivers hope. Besides earning respect and admiration of her peers, Christina’s body of work has fetched her numerous industry awards, keynote speaking engagements, TV and media appearances, a multitude of global clinical trials, as well as contributions to several drugs that have received FDA approval. Her work, through her ventures, instills a ray of hope among patients, promising them access to the latest clinical treatments and related aspects of their treatment.
Alongside, Christina also launched The DiArc Magazine, an online publication that focuses on mental health, clinical research, fashion, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, and overall lifestyle. The publication addresses issues that once plagued Christina’s early life, from battling an auto-immune disease to hurdles in her career, and therefore, seeks to act as a guiding force for those who feel stuck in similar situations.
Facing Challenges Head On
Defying discriminatory gender roles does not mean women have it easy and the road ahead is smooth for them, especially those who want to start their own businesses. Challenges still exist, including trouble raising capital, earning the respect of their peers, and building a support network of mentors. “Whatever the situation, remember to stand behind yourself and know who you are. People will try to discourage you but just keep going. Be patient with the process, as success won’t happen overnight. Keep at it!” advises Christina.
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