AskBio CEO and Co-Founder Sheila Mikhail Named One of the Fiercest Women in Life Sciences 2022

Research Triangle Park, N.C.– November 14, 2022 – Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a wholly-owned and independently-operated subsidiary of Bayer AG, today announced that Sheila Mikhail, the company’s Co-Founder and CEO, was named one of the “Fiercest Women in Life Sciences 2022” by industry-leading publication Fierce Pharma. Mikhail is one of 20 female leaders in life sciences to receive this honor.

Recipients were selected following a rigorous review process that identified women who are leading the way and making a lasting impact on the industry. The inspirational women being recognized are leaving an indelible footprint across biotech, pharma and medtech. Mikhail, who is at the forefront of life science innovation and business leadership, has left an unparalleled mark on the industry as a serial entrepreneur, company builder and one of its few Latina CEOs.

“Sheila is an exceptional businesswoman. Her command of the science of gene therapy is only rivaled by her incredible business acumen,” said Jude Samulski, Ph.D., AskBio Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer. “What makes her contribution to our industry most remarkable is her ability to create environments for cutting-edge science to thrive. Sheila’s work has directly resulted in breakthrough gene therapies reaching patients and in the development of others that we hope will do the same in the future. This honor is well deserved.”

Mikhail co-founded AskBio over 20 years ago with the unwavering belief that gene therapies could cure disease and change the world. During her tenure at the company, she also led several spinoffs where she realized various strategic partnerships and acquisitions. These included Pfizer’s acquisition of Bamboo Therapeutics in 2016 and the acquisition of Chatham Therapeutics by Baxter (now Takeda) in 2014. More recently, Mikhail negotiated the $4 billion acquisition of AskBio and its cGMP manufacturing subsidiaries by Bayer AG in 2020, a reflection of the tremendous value she and co-founder Dr. Samulski have and continue to build with the company.

“I’m honored to be recognized by Fierce for my contribution to our industry,” said Mikhail. “I am fortunate to have been part of the gene therapy field over a period where it matured from concepts to real life examples of transformative benefits for patients. In addition to bringing treatments to patients, my priorities have also included ensuring equitable access and creating opportunities to advance women and underrepresented minorities in biotech. As a head of an organization represented by over 50 percent women, with women holding key leadership positions, I am proud that together at AskBio we have created an inclusive environment where women feel they can thrive.” 

Today, AskBio is a global leader in gene therapy and works to bring innovative technology to the market and potentially life-changing therapeutics into the clinic. As CEO, Mikhail has helped grow the company to over 700 employees operating in five countries. She is also Co-Founder and Board Member of Columbus Children’s Foundation (CCF), which develops gene therapies for children with ultra-rare diseases and treats them free of charge.

Mikhail was named the Overall US Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young (2021), received the Distinguished Alumni Award – Entrepreneurial from the Booth School at the University of Chicago (2022), was recognized as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs (2020), was listed on the Inc. Female Founders 100 (2020) and earned Springboard Enterprise’s Northstar Award (2019).

About AskBio

Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of Bayer AG acquired in 2020, is a fully integrated gene therapy company dedicated to developing life-saving medicines and changing lives. The company maintains a portfolio of clinical programs across a range of neuromuscular, central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic disease indications with a clinical-stage pipeline that includes therapeutics for Pompe disease, Parkinson’s disease, and congestive heart failure. AskBio’s gene therapy platform includes Pro10™, an industry-leading proprietary cell line manufacturing process, and an extensive capsid and promoter library. With global headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and European headquarters in Edinburgh, UK, the company has generated hundreds of proprietary capsids and promoters, several of which have entered clinical testing. Founded in 2001 and an early innovator in the gene therapy field, the company holds more than 750 patents in areas such as AAV production and chimeric and self-complementary capsids. Learn more at or follow us on LinkedIn

Media Contact:

Phil McNamara
Vice President, Corporate Communications, AskBio
T: +1 984.389.1797