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Gilead makes move in oncology by snaffling Riva from Novartis

Published on: 04/01/17

Gilead Sciences have made an ambitious move to boost its oncology business by appointing current head of global oncology development at Novartis, Alessandro Riva. Riva will join Gilead in the role of senior vice president, haematology and oncology therapeutic area head.

Riva had been head of oncology at Novartis for 12 years, developing over 20 cancer compounds which included targeted and immuno-oncology treatments. Gilead will be hoping that this backlog of success carries over to its oncology business, which has struggled of late. Gilead struggled with several drug failures in 2016 whilst also being hit by a $2.54 billion fine for infringing upon patents held by MSD.

“I have always admired Gilead for its scientific focus and data-driven approach to drug development,” said Dr. Riva. “I look forward to working alongside Gilead’s dedicated and passionate colleagues throughout the R&D organization to tackle the cancer research and development challenge with a goal of improving the lives of patients.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Alessandro, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise in hematology/oncology drug development and translational medicine,” said Dr. McHutchison. “His leadership and proven track record developing therapies across the spectrum of hematological malignancies and solid tumors will be instrumental as we continue to grow and advance our pipeline of novel therapeutics for people living with cancer.”

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