As we reported earlier this week, Lisa Gable has stepped down as CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) after having held the role since June 2018.
The surprise announcement of the transition came far sooner than expected given a prior FARE press release stating she would stay with the non-profit until the spring of 2022.
Her successor, Interim CEO Dr Bruce Roberts, previously held the position of FARE’s Chief Research Strategy and Innovation Officer since joining the organization in May 2020.
Dr Roberts issued the following message introducing himself to the allergic community:
On this, my first day as Interim CEO of FARE, I want to personally reach out to all of you who are so actively involved in our food-allergy community.
I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to continue FARE’s mission and vision into 2022. This is indeed an exciting time to be at FARE. We embarked on a journey together several years ago and my transition into this role is simply the next stage in that journey. With FARE’s renewed focus on research and overall commitment to the food-allergy community, I am proud to utilize my extensive research and leadership background to shepherd FARE confidently into the future.
As this CEO transition occurs, I think it is important to reflect on how we got here and focus on what lies ahead. Reflecting back, FARE took a hard look at itself and the existing food allergy landscape when Lisa Gable was first appointed as FARE’s CEO. At that time, it was apparent the food allergy community was being overlooked and the unmet medical need was high. There were no approved therapies for treatment of the disease; limited and outdated options for disease diagnosis; and no prevention studies underway within the United States. There was also a lack of reliable information to help food-allergy patients cope, compounded by misconceptions that food allergy is a condition, not a disease.
To fill this void, FARE realized it could become THE champion for food-allergy patients by focusing on the core capabilities of food-allergy research and education. On the research front, a visionary plan was created to build a clinical trial network capable of allowing rapid advancement of clinical studies from phase I to phase III. FARE also looked to develop new diagnostic tools for food allergies, as no single pharma company was going to tackle this issue. Regarding education, FARE stepped up to provide reliable information to patients and caregivers, while also creating a strong government relations group to advocate for change and improve the lives of patients now while they await new treatments in the future.
Today the long-term plan FARE envisioned is still viable and successful as we continue to execute on that initial strategy. With the solid foundation of research and education we have already built, FARE is in a unique position to catalyze the advancement of critical initiatives like preventing food allergy, creating new diagnostics and promoting precautionary labelling. This important work would not be addressed were it not for FARE.
I am pleased to tell you there is more good news to come. For example, I am extremely proud of the foundational work conducted in 2020 and 2021 which led to the initiation of the SEED (Start Eating Early Diet) prevention study. Also, because of intense interest in our first innovation award for diagnostics, we extended the Fall deadline for applications and will be announcing the recipients of this award later in the first quarter of 2022. Further, in conjunction with pharma partners, we will be leveraging our expanded clinical trial network to enroll patients in several clinical studies designed to test new drugs. In addition, this year we plan to greatly expand our patient database to help better understand what patients are experiencing, or what we call the burden of disease.
The goals we have set for ourselves are ambitious and we are aware that challenges still lie ahead. FARE must remain focused on our goals and commitments to the food-allergy community, which will require the allocation of appropriate resources and application of discipline. This also means we need to be vigilant and ask ourselves periodically whether we are making the best use of the talent and financial resources we are fortunate to have.
Simply put, periodic review and prioritization of projects based on progress and future potential is essential. Like any other organization, FARE does not have limitless resources; thus, it is incumbent upon us to make the right choices when it comes to investing time and money in projects. Today, I am happy to share that FARE is in a good place and we are in a position to execute on our high value goals for the year. What the global tumultuous events of 2021 have taught us is that circumstances can change, and so we have agreed to defer new initiatives until we are able to pay for them. We are also committed to remaining agile and adapting to new challenges that might otherwise detract us from our mission.
It goes without saying that FARE would not be where it is today without the guidance, support, and passion of all of you in the food allergy community. Your efforts have helped FARE continue its life-saving mission of advancing forward-thinking projects, messages and strategies that will have a positive impact on the lives of patients. Your involvement provides the drumbeat that pushes this movement forward and serves as the catalyst for change and advancement while improving the lives of food allergy patients.
FARE looks forward to continuing on this successful journey with you; and I personally look forward to working with each and every one of you. The future of FARE is bright, and our continued success brings even greater hope to those battling this disease. In the end, we are here to serve the patients and the patients are waiting. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve this great organization and community.
Dr. Bruce Roberts
Interim CEO, FARE
FARE is hosting a webinar on Friday, January 21 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST. Please join us for this Question and Answer session with Dr. Bruce Roberts.
We at SnackSafely.com wish Dr Roberts much success in his new role.