Hikma names ex-Fresenius scientist as global R&D chief

Hikma products (Hikma)

Hikma Pharmaceuticals has named Surendera Tyagi, Ph.D., as its CSO and global head of R&D. Tyagi joins Hikma with a brief to stimulate noninjectable R&D activity at a time when its generic drug unit is suffering.

The CSO is joining Hikma from Fresenius Kabi. Tyagi joined Fresenius Kabi in 2008 and went on to expand its cancer business and take charge of a U.S. innovation and development center. Earlier in his career Tyagi held positions at companies including Dabur Pharma, Roche, IGEN, Abbott and Schwarz Pharma.

Hikma hopes to tap into the experience Tyagi accrued in these roles to expand its pipeline and accelerate the progress of its top prospects. For the first year, Tyagi will focus on the noninjectable side of Hikma’s business. 

Tyagi’s appointment follows a 12-month period in which Hikma’s stock fell by more than 40%. Investors drove down the price of the stock throughout the last nine months of 2017 as news of the difficulties of bringing a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Advair to market in the U.S. and the woes of the broader off-patent unit dripped out.

Hikma sees research and innovation as one of the ways to dig itself out of its current predicament. And it views Tyagi as the right person to execute this part of its growth strategy. 

"Surendera is an outstanding scientist with a proven track record of leading research and development in some of the world's largest and most successful pharmaceutical organizations," Hikma CEO Saïd Darwazah said in a statement. “Research and Innovation is one of our five pillars for growth and the appointment of Surendera is a significant step forward in executing on this strategy.”