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Valentina Sartori


Valentina Sartori


Offers distinctive expertise in pharma R&D, helping clients to transform their organization, harness external innovation, and boost productivity

Valentina is a leader of the Life Sciences Practice in Europe. With a PhD in modelling and simulation for optimal drug administration, Valentina focuses mainly on pharmaceutical R&D, including disease areas and development drug strategy, organizational design and transformation, productivity, external innovation, and outsourcing.

Her work with pharmaceutical clients has included:

  • working with the president of a top oncology company to define its ten-year strategy and leadership plan.
  • leading McKinsey's support for a mid-sized company seeking to create a leaner R&D organization and capture savings worth €100 million.
  • helping a leading European company to boost its productivity by collaborating with a clinical research organization to accelerate time-to-market and improve the success rate of new drugs.
  • working with the research unit of a top-10 company on a ground-breaking model that harnessed external innovation to save 30 percent of costs.
  • advising a major European company on its strategy for a novel oncology drug, including focus indications and a development pathway, prior to a multi-million-euro investment.

Valentina also leads our Center for Asset Optimization, which works on strategies to develop new drugs more quickly, more affordably, and with a higher probability of success. She is a frequent speaker on R&D topics at industry conferences and events.

Published work

The dawn of the FemTech revolution,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

Unlocking opportunities in women’s healthcare,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

Winning with AI is a state of mind,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Unlocking the power of translational medicine,” McKinsey & Company, February 2020

Designing an agile transformation in pharma R&D,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

“Value-driven drug development–unlocking the value of your pipeline,” in Rathnam Chaguturu (ed.), Collaborative Innovation in Drug Discovery, John Wiley, 2014 (PDF–293 KB)


ETH Zurich
PhD, technical sciences

Milan Polytechnic
MSc, chemical engineering