7 January 2019 13:00 GMT: Company to drive innovation, focus, growth and productivity; José Baselga, MD, PhD, appointed to head R&D for Oncology
AstraZeneca is today announcing organisational changes to support continued scientific innovation and commercial success in the main therapy areas as the Company enters a new phase in its strategic development.
Included in the changes will be the arrival at AstraZeneca of the world-renowned oncology scientist, José Baselga, as well as the creation of:
- Therapy area-focused Research and Development units that are responsible for discovery through to late-stage development – one for BioPharmaceuticals (Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism (CVRM) and Respiratory) and one for Oncology – with dynamic resource allocation across the Company’s pipeline.
- Mirrored commercial units – one for BioPharmaceuticals and one for Oncology. The creation of the BioPharmaceuticals commercial unit aligns product strategy and commercial delivery across CVRM and Respiratory.
The Research and Development units and the commercial units will each be represented on the Senior Executive Team of AstraZeneca and report to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pascal Soriot. The units will also share common basic biology and science platforms as well as product supply, manufacturing and IT infrastructure to improve efficiency. These resources will continue to be allocated on a Company-wide basis according to the overall therapy area considerations and strategy.
The Research and Development unit for BioPharmaceuticals will be led by Mene Pangalos, who was previously responsible for the Company’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit.
The Research and Development unit for Oncology will be led by Dr. Baselga, a foremost Oncology leader with vast experience in the development of innovative cancer therapies, who joins the Company today. He was most recently Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Prior to this, he was Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Associate Director at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The commercial unit for BioPharmaceuticals will be led by Ruud Dobber, who was most recently responsible for the Company’s commercial operations in North America. The commercial unit for BioPharmaceuticals mirrors the Company’s existing commercial unit for Oncology, which continues to be led by Dave Fredrickson. The International commercial organisation remains under current leadership.
Pascal Soriot, CEO, said: “We are entering what we expect will be a period of sustained growth for years to come, which is why we have decided to more closely align our R&D and commercial operations. This new structure will support growth and sharpen the focus on our main therapy areas, speeding up decisions and making us more productive in our mission to bring innovative medicines to patients.
In line with these changes, I am delighted to welcome José to AstraZeneca. An outstanding scientific leader in Oncology, José’s research and clinical achievements have led to the development of several innovative medicines, and he is an international thought leader in cancer care and clinical research. José’s expertise adds further scientific and leadership excellence to our already strong team and will help us to continue building a world-class R&D unit for Oncology.”
José Baselga, Executive Vice President (EVP), Research and Development unit for Oncology, said: “After more than 30 years helping develop medicines in this area, it is a true privilege to now have the opportunity to work with the tremendous Oncology expertise at AstraZeneca. Bringing the discovery through to late-stage development chain into one unit will make the process more agile and accelerate our work to bring transformative medicines to patients. This really is a dream job.”