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New R&D roles at Pfizer and AZ

Martin Mackay joins AstraZeneca as president of R&D as Dr Mickael Dolsten becomes Pfizer's president of worldwide R&D

Martin Mackay will leave his role as one of the heads of R&D at Pfizer to join AstraZeneca (AZ) in the newly-created position of president of R&D.

In his new position, Mackay will be in charge of AZ's R&D projects, and will have "overall accountability for delivering new products – small molecules and biologics" according to the company.

"Martin has impeccable scientific and leadership credentials combined with extensive experience of the pharmaceutical industry. I am delighted he is joining us," said David Brennan, CEO, AZ.

Mackay has headed pharmatherapeutics R&D at Pfizer since October 2009 after joining the company in 1995.

His role at Pfizer will now be integrated with the president of biotherapeutics R&D, currently held by Dr Mickael Dolsten, to create the new position of president of worldwide R&D. Dr Dolsten, who previously led R&D at Wyeth before the company was acquired by Pfizer in 2009, will step into this new role.

The two division structure in R&D was implemented after the Wyeth acquisition to "ensure the progress and steady integration of both legacy organisations" according to Pfizer.

The company will consolidate the two fields of research in what Jeff Kindler, Pfizer's chairman and CEO, described as a "natural and progressive step".

The new worldwide R&D organisation will include both biotherapeutics R&D, focused on large molecules and biotechnologies, and pharmatherapeutics R&D, focused on small molecules. Research into vaccines will also be covered by the department.

"Mikael Dolsten is an exceptional scientist who is highly regarded and committed to bringing new preventative measures, treatments and cures to people," said Kindler.

"Mikael's scientific expertise, vision for R&D and commercial mindset have distinguished him at Pfizer and uniquely qualify him to lead our R&D colleagues and advance our pipeline."

Dr Dolsten said: "I am excited to have the opportunity to align the tremendous science that is in every corner of Pfizer to bring forward medicines and vaccines that transform lives."

He continued: "I look forward to working with our leaders to advance our effort to become the world's premier biopharmaceutical R&D group."

Dr Rod MacKenzie, current senior vice president and head of worldwide research for pharmatherapeutics R&D at PFizer, will have his role expanded, including adding responsibilities for Asia R&D strategy, as well as small molecules pharmaceutical science.

27th May 2010

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