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Company to focus on innovation, growth, and productivity with creation of new units.
AstraZeneca announced on Jan. 7, 2019, that it is undergoing organizational changes as the company enters a new phase of its strategic development. The organizational changes will support continued scientific innovation and commercial success in main therapy areas.
The company will create therapy area-focused Research and Development (R&D) units that will be responsible for discovery through to late-stage development-one for BioPharmaceuticals (cardiovascular, renal & metabolism [CVRM] and respiratory) and one for Oncology. Resources will be allocated across the company’s pipeline. Mirrored commercial units will also be created-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 R&D units and the commercial units will each be represented on the company’s senior executive team and will report to CEO Pascal Soriot. The units will also share common basic biology and science platforms as well as product supply, manufacturing, and information technology (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 R&D unit for BioPharmaceuticals will be led by Mene Pangalos, who was previously responsible for the company’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit.
In addition to the creation of these units, the company has also welcomed José Baselga, who will lead the R&D unit for Oncology. Dr. Balega is a leader in oncology who has vast experience in the development of innovative cancer therapies. He joined the company on Jan. 7, 2019. 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. This unit mirrors the existing commercial unit for Oncology, which continues to be led by Dave Fredrickson. The international commercial organization remains under current leadership.
“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,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO, of AstraZeneca, in a company press release.
“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,” Soriot added.
“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,” Baselga, who now holds the position of executive vice-president, R&D unit for Oncology, AstraZeneca, said in the press release.