Bayer poaches Ruettinger from Roche to head up early cancer R&D

Bayer has appointed Dominik Ruettinger, M.D., Ph.D., as its head of research and early development for oncology. Ruettinger is set to join the German conglomerate from Roche, following in the footsteps of Bayer’s head of R&D Christian Rommel, Ph.D.

Roche hired Ruettinger in 2011 and promoted him to the position of global head, early clinical and biomarker development, oncology in 2019. Earlier in his career, Ruettinger had a stint at Micromet working on the pioneering bispecific antibody Blincyto that was at the heart of Amgen’s $1.2 billion takeover of the biotech.

At Bayer, Ruettinger will apply his years working in oncology translational medicine and early clinical development to a pipeline that features phase 1 candidates against targets including TRK, ATR, PSMA and HER2.

“We are pleased to welcome Dominik Ruettinger who is a leader in oncology translational clinical research and therapeutic development and brings extensive experience that will help us to leverage science and innovative solutions to change medical practice and ultimately create superior outcomes for cancer patients,” Rommel, Bayer’s head of R&D, said in a statement.

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The appointment reunites Rommel and Ruettinger. Rommel joined Bayer from Roche in February to replace the Leo Pharma-bound Joerg Moeller. At Roche, Rommel worked as global head of oncology for the pRED division. Ruettinger also worked at pRED.

Bayer’s appointment of Ruettinger is the latest in a series of updates related to its cancer R&D work. Last month, Bayer disclosed the acquisitions of Noria Therapeutics and PSMA Therapeutics to grow its pipeline of prostate cancer prospects. The deals gave Bayer control of a pre-IND program.