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Genentech names Anderson new CEO as Ian Clark retires

Leadership changes come as the Roche subsidiary faces increasing biologics competition
Roche

It's all change at the top of Genentech, with chief executive Ian Clark announcing his retirement on 1 January after 14 years at the biotech company.

He will be replaced by Bill Anderson, a Genentech veteran who has been head of the company's North American commercial operations since July and has held a number of key roles at the company and its parent Roche over the last 10 years. Prior to that he held positions at Biogen, including as general manager of its neurology unit.

55-year-old Clark oversaw the 2009 merger with Roche in 2009 and has overseen the launch of 15 new medicines. The changing of the guard at the company comes as Genentech is entering a new chapter in its 40-year history, facing direct competition to its big-selling biologic drugs for the first time.

Big-selling brands such as breast cancer therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab), Avastin (bevacizumab) for solid tumours and MabThera/Rituxan (rituximab) for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are all expected to have biosimilars on the market in the US, Europe and other world markets between 2017 and the end of the decade.

This means Anderson is taking over as long-standing brands that brought in more than $21bn last year will start to face lower-cost competition for the first time.

The company is looking to drugs such as new checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq (atezolizumab), Venclexta (venetoclax) for leukaemia and targeted lung cancer therapy Alecensa (alectinib), and said last month it is approaching an "unprecedented" launch period for new medicines.

Roche says it is confident it has the right man to take on the challenge. "Bill is an outstanding leader with a deep understanding of the company and proven expertise in bringing important medicines to people with serious diseases," said Daniel O'Day, CEO of Roche's pharmaceuticals division.

"We are confident that he will nurture Genentech's unique culture and build upon a legacy of pursuing groundbreaking science to find the next breakthroughs for patients."

Article by
Phil Taylor

16th December 2016

From: Sales

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