Sector News

Johnson & Johnson’s head of R&D Mathai Mammen heads for the exit in surprise move

August 14, 2022
Life sciences

Johnson & Johnson’s head of R&D is off. In a surprise post-market announcement yesterday, the company revealed that its executive vice president of pharma R&D Mathai Mammen, M.D., Ph.D, is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”

Mammen joined the world’s biggest pharma company by market cap in 2017, heading up R&D at J&J’s research unit Janssen. He moved over from Merck & Co., where he oversaw research across cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, as well as immunology and oncology. Before that, Mammen headed up R&D at Theravance, a small molecule-focused biotech he co-founded in 1996.

As part of the leadership shakeup at J&J last year, Mammen’s role was amended to become VP of pharmaceuticals R&D.

In his five-year tenure at J&J, Mammen oversaw a move into CAR-Ts that resulted in the approval of Carvykti for myeloma earlier this year. In 2021, he secured a 21% year over year rise in R&D expenditure at the company, with J&J coming close to being named the industry’s top research spender.

In a LinkedIn post in January, Mammen said he had a “very good feeling about 2022” and drew attention to how J&J was harnessing data science to “help decide where we focus, invent a therapeutic or vaccine, and develop the right evidence sets targeting the right people.” However, this positive outlook was apparently not enough to keep him at the Big Pharma for the long term.

J&J’s announcement didn’t include any details of why Mammen had decided to leave the company. For the time being William Hait, M.D., Ph.D.—who Mammen replaced when he first moved to J&J—will serve as interim head of the pharmaceutical R&D organization “until new leadership is identified.”

Fierce Biotech has contacted J&J for more details of Mammen’s departure.

By James Waldron


comments closed

Related News

February 4, 2023

MedTrace receives U.S. patent for diagnosing the human heart

Life sciences

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to MedTrace for their method of diagnosing the human heart via 15O-water PET. The patented method is the foundation of the company’s software aQuant, currently under development. Hendrik “Hans” Harms, PhD and Senior Scientist at MedTrace, and Jens Soerensen, Professor and Clinical Advisor to MedTrace, are the originators of the method.

February 4, 2023

Roche taps insider Teresa Graham for top pharma job as setbacks prompt M&A questions

Life sciences

Teresa Graham, currently head of global product strategy for Roche pharma, will become the division’s new CEO next month, Roche said Thursday. Simultaneously, Roche is elevating Levi Garraway, chief medical officer, to the executive committee.

February 4, 2023

J&J’s pharma group quietly works through global overhaul, with layoffs expected to reach multiple countries

Life sciences

Fierce Pharma has obtained internal documents and video of a town hall meeting conducted this week describing what J&J called a “comprehensive review” of its portfolio. Moving forward, J&J plans to operate its vaccines and infectious diseases outfits as one group, the executives explained.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach