Sean Bohen to leave AstraZeneca as exodus continues

AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca continues to shed high-profile executives. (AstraZeneca)

After creating two new R&D units and simultaneous commercial units to run alongside them, with a new and controversial scientist taking up the cancer research reins, the changes and departures keep coming from AstraZeneca.

Today, Bloomberg reports that Sean Bohen, M.D., Ph.D., CMO and EVP of global medicines development, is out the door, following closely in the footsteps of Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., former head of its biologics arm MedImmune, now CEO of Immunocore, as well as portfolio strategy chief Mark Mallon.

The R&D and commercial changes announced last week were a reaction to these departures and saw José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., run its newly formed cancer-focused unit. He had been physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering but was forced out in the fall over allegations he was paid renumeration from biopharmas that were not properly disclosed.

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Mene Pangalos, Ph.D., who was previously responsible for the company’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit, now runs a second, nononcology unit.

RELATED: Baselga takes helm of AstraZeneca’s cancer R&D as pharma rings in the new year with big changes

Bohen now becomes the latest high-profile executive to leave the company. The British-based pharma confirmed to FierceBiotech that Bohen will be leaving but won’t be going until a successor is found. The former Genentech executive did not say where he would be setting his sights on next, but the company said he was key in the company's growth, and that he will leave "eventually," although a direct successor is not yet being sought.

RELATED: AstraZeneca's Imfinzi fails key Mystic trial in lung cancer. What now?

This comes amid a mixed time for AstraZeneca, with its CEO Pascal Soriot also endlessly speculated to be heading for the exit, something however he continuously denies, and a plethora of trial setbacks over the years, with cancer becoming a brighter spot but still being hit by some late-stage failures.

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