AstraZeneca appoints controversial R&D leader

Jan. 7, 2019

AstraZeneca has appointed well-known but controversial cancer doctor, José Baselga, to head research and development for oncology, as part of a larger overhaul designed to speed drugs to market.

Baselga resigned as chief medical officer of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and from the board of Bristol-Myers Squibb in September after the New York Times and Pro Publica revealed that he had not disclosed millions of dollars in payments from healthcare firms

“The American Association of Cancer Research subsequently concluded my failure to disclose was inadvertent,” said Baselga. According to an AstraZeneca spokesperson, the validity of his research was not under question and AstraZeneca views the episode as over.

The organizational change will also involve the creation of therapy area-focused Research and Development units that are responsible for discovery through to late-stage development — one for BioPharmaceuticals and one for Oncology as well as mirrored commercial units.

Read the press release