AstraZeneca Plc has shaken up its pharma R&D structure, creating two units with parallel commercial operations whose heads will both report directly to the chief executive, Pascal Soriot
An oncology unit will be led by José Baselga, previously physician-in-chief at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, US, while a unit for biopharmaceuticals, covering cardiovascular, renal, metabolic and respiratory medicines, will be headed by Mene Pangalos, a current AstraZeneca executive.
Dr Baselga comes to AstraZeneca after a turbulent period at Memorial Sloan Kettering where he resigned in September 2018.
This followed a report by The New York Times and ProPublica saying that he had not disclosed payments from healthcare companies in many of his research articles. Dr Baselga subsequently published a complete list of these financial interests and activities. In a statement, Mr Soriot welcomed Dr Baselga’s appointment, saying that his “research and clinical achievements have led to the development of several innovative medicines.”
AstraZeneca’s commercial unit for oncology is being led by David Fredrickson and that for biopharmaceuticals by Ruud Dobber, both currently AstraZeneca executives.
Mr Soriot said that the new structure will sharpen the focus of the company’s main therapy areas and speed up decision-making. The changes were announced on 7 January, three days after Immunocore Ltd of the UK announced the appointment of Bahija Jallal, formerly president of MedImmune, as its new chief executive.
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