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Roche CMO joins Google health venture Calico

Hal Barron among four new appointments

Calico Hal Barron

Dr Hal Barron has left his role as chief medical officer of Swiss pharma company Roche to join Google's recently-launched health research arm Calico as its president of R&D.

Dr Barron is one of four new recruits from industry and academia to join Calico, which was founded in September this year and is led by Arthur Levinson, the former CEO of Roche's US biotech Genentech.

Two of the other new appointments also have a connection with Genentech, which was acquired by Roche in 2009 in a deal worth almost $50bn.

Dr David Botstein, who joins Calico as chief scientific officer, was VP of Genentech in the late 1980s before focusing on academic research, while Dr Bob Cohen joins as a Calico fellow having most recently served as senior oncology fellow at Genentech.

The other new recruit is Dr Cynthia Kenyon who joins Calico as senior scientific adviser. She is currently an American Cancer Society Professor at University of California, San Francisco and is renowned for her research that demonstrated that ageing is a regulated process controlled by specific genes.

The appointments were announced by Levinson in a post on Google+, in which he described the new appointments as “four of the brightest and most accomplished individuals in the fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology and genetics”.

He also promised more additions to the team at Calico, which has ambitions to tackle the challenge of ageing and associated diseases.

“We invite you to stay tuned over the following months as we continue to build out our team of exceptional scientists and clinicians,” said Levinson.

22nd November 2013

From: Research

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