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Gaurav Agrawal

PartnerNew York

Serves biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, global health institutions, and public sector clients in developing cutting-edge innovation strategies, improving R&D productivity, and pursuing growth strategies; coleads our work in product development excellence globally

Gaurav is a leader in our Life Sciences Practice with over 15 years in-depth experience in R&D and innovation across therapeutics and vaccines. He serves biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and vaccine companies on growing through innovation, building new innovation models, enhancing clinical trial strategy, and dramatically improving R&D productivity and performance. He also advises regulators and public health entities on global health issues.

Gaurav coleads McKinsey’s work in product development excellence globally, with a focus on advancing biopharma asset development and bringing transformative therapies and vaccines to patients faster and better. His work has included helping conceive and set up biotech startups, advising public health organizations with R&D funding strategies, and leading global R&D transformations for top pharmaceutical companies. He has also worked closely with pharmaceutical companies on accelerating the pipeline through patient-centric approaches, as well as improving R&D performance through advanced data and analytics. Gaurav previously coled our regulatory practice, guiding companies in transforming their regulatory strategy and operations.

Gaurav’s extensive expertise also includes vaccines and global health matters. He has served private sector clients, philanthropic organizations, and public health institutions, setting strategy and bringing innovative products to patients in need and helping drive their adoption. Gaurav led McKinsey’s R&D work during the Ebola epidemic and most recently chaired McKinsey’s global COVID-19 taskforce, supporting pharmaceutical and medical technology clients in their COVID-19 response and recovery, as well as the taskforce supporting clients on the development of vaccines and therapeutics.

Prior to joining McKinsey, Gaurav was general manager for a small generics company leading their expansion into regulated markets such as United States, Europe and Japan. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BTech in mechanical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology.

Published work

Accelerating clinical trials to improve biopharma R&D productivity,” McKinsey & Company, January 2024

Fast to first-in-human: Getting new medicines to patients more quickly,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

Getting strategic about new-product submissions in the pharma industry,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

No place like home? Stepping up the decentralization of clinical trials,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Fast-forward: Will the speed of COVID-19 vaccine development reset industry norms?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

The risks and challenges of the global COVID-19-vaccine rollout,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Biopharma 2020: A landmark year and a reset for the future,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

The COVID-19 vaccines are here: What comes next?,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

Clinical trial recovery from COVID-19 disruption,” Nature, September 2020

On pins and needles: Will COVID-19 vaccines save the world?” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

COVID-19 implications for life sciences R&D: Recovery and the next normal,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

Winning against COVID-19: The implications for biopharma,” McKinsey & Company, April 2020

The pursuit of excellence in new-drug development,” McKinsey & Company, November 2019


Harvard Business School

Indian Institute of Technology
BTech, mechanical engineering