Novartis is getting its third oncology chief in less than a year after Liz Barrett said on Thursday she was leaving the Swiss drugmaker to become chief executive of a U.S. biotech firm only 11 months after taking up the role.
Barrett, a U.S. citizen who previously worked at Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson J&J.N before joining Novartis in February, will be replaced from January by Susanne Schaffert, a longtime Novartis executive.
Barrett, who could not be reached for comment, cited challenges in moving her family to Basel, Novartis’s headquarters, as the reason for her departure. She did not name the biotechnology firm she was joining.
Novartis is trying to build up its oncology portfolio with new therapies including its costly Kymriah cell therapy, nuclear-based medicines and immuno-oncology.
“After much personal reflection, it became clear that my family would be unable to relocate,” said Barrett, who had replaced Bruno Strigini as oncology chief less than a year ago.
A Novartis spokesman said he did not know where Barrett had taken a job.
Schaffert, a 20-year Novartis veteran, had for five years been Region Head, Novartis Oncology Europe, before this year taking over at its Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) unit, purchased late last year for $3.9 billion.
AAA makes therapies that deploy trace amounts of radioactive compounds to treat cancer.
Schaffert will replace Barrett on the Novartis executive committee, where she will report to Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan.
“She has our full support and confidence as we continue to invest in both our internal pipeline as well as external assets to strengthen our presence,” Narasimhan said in a statement.
By Silke Koltrowitz and John Miller
Johnson and Johnson’s experimental two-stage vaccine for protection against Ebola virus disease is among eight medicines backed by the European Medicines Agency’s human medicines committee (CHMP) at its May meeting. […]
Eli Lilly and Company is the first company to begin a clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody that targets SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. AbCellera, an antibody start-up in […]
Thermo Fisher Scientific has aggressively expanded its biologics manufacturing capacity in recent months, dumping millions into capital spending. Now, in another deal that will keep its supply chain growing, Thermo […]