Gilead Sciences, Inc. announced that Norbert Bischofberger, PhD, has decided to step down from his role as executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer, effective at the end of April 2018. Bischofberger will remain with the company through July. John McHutchison, MD, currently executive vice president, clinical research, will be appointed chief scientific officer and assume responsibility for the company’s research and development organization. Also effective in April, Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD, executive vice president, clinical research & development operations, will be appointed chief medical officer. Both McHutchison and Cheng will report to John Milligan, PhD, Gilead’s president and chief executive officer.
Bischofberger joined Gilead in 1990 and has served as EVP since 2000 and CSO since 2007. Bischofberger has overseen the development of more than 25 compounds that are available today for a range of serious medical conditions.
“There are few people across the entire biopharmaceutical industry who have had the kind of impact Norbert has had on transforming the treatment of serious diseases, or who have demonstrated his depth of understanding of and caring for the needs of people living with those diseases,” said Milligan. “I have worked alongside Norbert for nearly three decades, and I know I speak for the entire Gilead organization in expressing my profound thanks to him for what he has done to build this company and to change the lives of so many individuals around the world. We wish him all the best in the next phase of his professional career.”
McHutchison joined Gilead in 2010 as SVP, liver disease therapeutics and was named EVP, clinical research in 2014. With his help, Gilead has developed five medications for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C that have been used by nearly 2 million people around the world.
“John is an extraordinary physician and a visionary leader,” said Milligan. “The work he has led in the field of viral hepatitis is clear evidence of his capabilities, and we are excited to have him bring the same energy and focus to his new role. I am confident that John’s leadership and his deep clinical and scientific expertise will allow Gilead to advance the promising compounds in our pipeline and drive the kind of innovative research and development programs that have been a hallmark of our history and will help us build for the future.”
Cheng joined Gilead in 1999 to lead its development-stage programs in HIV/AIDS. He was named EVP in 2015. As CMO, Cheng will retain leadership of the company’s HIV clinical research program and will assume responsibility for Gilead’s medical affairs organization.
“Andrew has demonstrated tremendous vision and leadership over nearly two decades at Gilead, building a world-class organization that is able to advance experimental products through clinical development and regulatory approval with industry-leading speed,” Milligan said. “Gilead will benefit from Andrew’s clinical and scientific expertise in his new role, as he assumes oversight of post-approval studies that are vital to better understanding the company’s more than 20 approved products and their potential to help a greater number of patients with life-threatening illnesses.”
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