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Lilly’s Levi Garraway will replace Sandra Horning as Roche CMO

Garraway joins from Eli Lilly

Levi Garraway

Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development, Sandra Horning, will retire later this year after five years in the role.

Her replacement has already been lined up. A statement from Roche’s Genentech subsidiary notes that Levi Garraway (pictured above) – who was most recently Eli Lilly’s senior vice president of oncology R&D and head of novel target research – will join Roche on 1 October.

The CMO job at Roche is a prestigious one, with responsibility for making the most of one of the biggest R&D budgets in the biopharma industry at more than $11bn in 2018.

Horning and Garraway will work together during a transition period until the end of the year, when the current CMO will officially step down. Garraway will be based in Genentech’s South San Francisco office, says Roche.

Sandra Horning

Sandra Horning

Horning has been at Roche for ten years and according to a company statement, “brought 15 new medicines to patients and tackled some of the world’s toughest diseases including cancer, multiple sclerosis, influenza and blindness” on her watch.

Prior to joining Lilly in 2017, Garraway was director of the Joint Centre for Cancer Precision Medicine, an organisation that brings together the expertise of Harvard teaching hospitals. He stepped down from Lilly just a few days ago.

Garraway’s appointment also comes at a critical time for the Swiss pharma giant, as it copes with biosimilar competition for its ‘big three’ antibiotic products – Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin – which accounted for more than a third of sales last year.

He will be tasked with adding to Roche’s growth products, like Ocrevus for multiple sclerosis and Hemlibra for haemophilia, with a string of 16 new molecular entity (NME) candidates in its late-stage pipeline.

The company has just picked up a new approval for targeted cancer drug Rozlytrek (entrectinib), a rival to Bayer’s Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), and for anti-CD79b antibody drug conjugate Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin) for aggressive lymphoma in June.

Filings are also planned for anti-IL-6 antibody satralizumab for neuromyelitis optica and risdiplam, a small-molecule drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that would compete with Biogen’s Spinraza (nusinersen).

Article by
Phil Taylor

20th August 2019

From: Marketing

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