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Pharma carousel sees Bayer discovery chief head to Shire

Published on: 01/12/17

It’s no secret that when individuals leave companies within the pharma industry, they tend to pop up at a rival company before the dust has had time to settle. And so it was the case when Bayer announced that it would be revamping its R&D operations. The company revealed the shake-up would see its Head of Drug Discovery, Andreas Busch, leave and Joerg Moeller would take complete control of the R&D side of the business.

In a relatively unsurprising twist to the story, Busch popped up in a Shire announcement the following day announcing that he would become its CSO and Head of R&D. Which company actually made the first move is unknown, though it seems likely that Busch had left Bayer for the senior position at Shire – coinciding with that company’s consolidation of its US operations to a site in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Andy is an outstanding scientist with extensive experience leading research and development functions, and an established track record of building broad portfolios that encompass both biologics and small molecules,” said Flemming Ornskov, Chief Executive Officer, Shire.  “We look forward to Andy enabling us to further accelerate our ability to discover novel treatments for our innovative rare disease pipeline.”

Busch will join Shire in January, after having spent 13 years at Bayer; ultimately, he led a team of 3,300 researchers in his position as Head of Drug Discovery, alongside his role as a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to joining Bayer, he had worked at Sanofi as its Head of Cardiovascular Research.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead the research and development function for Shire, which has developed and brought to market numerous high-impact medicines targeting underserved patient populations,” said Busch.

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