Sector News

Amgen R&D head Harper to leave for new pastures

July 30, 2018
Life sciences

Amgen’s head of R&D, Sean Harper, announced he is stepping down from the big biotech to pursue new opportunities in startups and early-stage companies.

Harper has led Amgen’s research work since taking over for Roger Perlmutter in 2012, inheriting a $3-billion-plus research budget, and helped guide the company to new product approvals in oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and kidney disease. He has spent the past 16 years at the company, joining as VP of development in 2002 from Merck Research Laboratories.

Amgen’s senior vice president of translational sciences and oncology, David Reese, will take over as executive VP of R&D, effective immediately, the company said in a statement. After joining Amgen in 2005, Reese has held roles in its development and medical sciences departments, and served as head of discovery research. Harper will stay on for a time to help with the transition.

In addition, the company’s executive VP of global commercial operations, Anthony Hooper, announced his retirement. Murdo Gordon, who recently left Bristol-Myers Squibb as commercial head, will take over in September.

“I would like to thank both Sean and Tony for the important contributions they have made to Amgen, each bringing their own vital experiences and skills,” said Amgen Chairman and CEO Robert Bradway. “They leave the company having established strong foundations within Research and Development and Global Commercial Operations for the future.”

Analysts at Jefferies said in a note to clients: “More exec changes in the industry. Neutral impact to Amgen for Street perspective.” The firm says that Harper “was fairly well-regarded in the biotech community given advancement of numerous drugs (PCSK9, CGRP, Bone health) and recently well known for his bullishness on bi-specifics instead of CAR-T.”

In May, Amgen and Novartis ushered in a new class of migraine drugs with the FDA’s approval of Aimovig, a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor with blockbuster hopes. That landmark could prove important as the company begins to see new biosimilar competition for its tentpole products, such as Neulasta.

By Conor Hale

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

December 3, 2022

Sanofi moves into swanky new Paris HQ designed around hybrid work and sustainability

Life sciences

Monday, the French pharma giant officially moved into its new global home base in Paris, dubbed La Maison Sanofi. The 9,000-square-meter (about 96,875-square-foot) facility comprises two historic buildings and will host around 500 employees, the company explained in a release.

December 3, 2022

As CEO Schultz eyes retirement, Teva taps former Sandoz head Francis as its next leader

Life sciences

On the first day of the new year, former Sandoz chief Richard Francis will take the reins from Schultz, who is hanging up his CEO hat to retire on Dec. 31, Teva said Monday. The news comes a little more than two weeks after Teva publicly said it was looking for Schultz’s replacement.

December 3, 2022

General Electric sets healthcare division spinoff plans

Life sciences

General Electric Co. set the terms for the spinoff of its healthcare division, putting an initial value of roughly $31 billion on the soon-to-be-public company. The Boston conglomerate plans to split into three separate public companies by early 2024. Following the healthcare spinoff, it plans to separate its aerospace business from its power and renewable-energy units.