Sector News

Shire snaps up Bayer’s Andreas Busch

December 4, 2017
Life sciences

Bayer was keeping mum yesterday on where its R&D vet Andreas Busch, Ph.D., was heading after it announced his exit and a big change-up in its research unit, but early this morning Shire announced he would be joining their company.

At Shire, he becomes its EVP and new head of research and development, as well as its chief scientific officer. Meanwhile, Howard Mayer, M.D., currently interim head of its R&D operations, will become its chief medical officer. Both changes are effective from next month.

Just yesterday, Bayer announced it would be combining its pharma R&D unit under one division and under one leader, namely Joerg Moeller, currently its head of development within the pharma’s pharmaceuticals division.

But that left no room at the inn for Busch, also a Sanofi alumnus, who has been the head of drug discovery (i.e., its early-stage work) within the pharmaceuticals division of Bayer. But his exit has been Shire’s gain.

“Andy is an outstanding scientist with extensive experience leading research and development functions, and an established track record of building broad portfolios that encompass both biologics and small molecules,” said Flemming Ornskov, M.D., CEO at Shire. “We look forward to Andy enabling us to further accelerate our ability to discover novel treatments for our innovative rare disease pipeline.”

This comes as Shire is hard at work across a number of early- to late-stage pipeline meds, including in fatty liver disease, hereditary angioedema as well as hemophilia. It’s also been steadily building its MAb research capability, which now includes MAb programs in diabetic macular edema, antibody-mediated autoimmune disease and anti-thrombotic therapy.

But as with many biopharmas, Shire has also had to make cutbacks: In the summer, it said it had decided to concentrate its U.S. operations into two main sites in Massachusetts—Cambridge and Lexington—in a move that will likely lead to the closure of some sites.

The Ireland-headquartered group employs more than 3,000 people in the state but stressed that despite the consolidation plans, it does not expect any significant reduction in overall headcount. In fact, some R&D staffers will be moved to Massachusetts from Europe, and the company is expecting to make plenty of new hires in the coming years.

That move came in the midst of a big transformation for Shire, which acquired both Dyax and Baxalta last year and left it with a huge task in refining its commercial structures, ushering a dramatically increased pipeline of products to market and advancing a broader R&D base with around 40 drugs in clinical development.

That work will now be headed up by Busch. He said: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead the research and development function for Shire, which has developed and brought to market numerous high-impact medicines targeting underserved patient populations.

“This is a unique time to join Shire, as it has built an industry-leading pipeline of rare disease programs in recent years and has a sharp focus on serial innovation in areas of significant patient need. I believe there is tremendous opportunity to accelerate this effort and look forward to leading this talented R&D team.”

By Ben Adams

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

January 15, 2022

Colorcon Ventures invests in AI-Driven bio-simulation company VeriSIM Life

Life sciences

Colorcon Ventures, the corporate venture fund of Colorcon Inc., has invested in VeriSIM Life, a San Francisco-based startup with a digital bio-simulation platform that accelerates drug development and reduces animal testing.

January 15, 2022

A record number of biotechs are going public. Here’s how they’re performing.

Life sciences

Initial public offerings have fueled biotech’s boom. Keep track of them as they happen with this database. Which biotechs create value over time, and which fail? What types of companies are generating the best returns? Who are their top investors? Biopharma Dive is tracking these details in the database which will be updated regularly.

January 15, 2022

Sanofi cuts ties with Sangamo, sharpening focus on ‘off-the-shelf’ cell therapy

Life sciences

Sanofi has ended a long-running alliance with Sangamo Therapeutics to develop genetic medicines for inherited blood disorders, among them an experimental sickle cell disease therapy that is in early clinical testing.
The two have been developing complex, personalized treatments, led by a sickle cell drug known as SAR445136. But Sanofi is now more interested in off-the-shelf approaches, which are meant to be more convenient.

Send this to a friend