Merck Serono changes R&D organizational structure

Thursday, July 7, 2011 02:02 PM

Merck Serono, a division of Merck of Darmstadt, Germany, is putting a new organizational structure for research and development into effect. Two dedicated groups, focusing on different stages of pharmaceutical innovation (pre- and post- proof-of-concept), will be created as a first step in redesigning Merck Serono's R&D model.

The Global Research & Early Development Group, headed by Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, will include discovery, research and early clinical development, through to proof-of-concept. The Global Drug Development & Medical Group, headed by Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, will focus on full clinical development, medical life-cycle management activities and medical, including regulatory and safety functions.

Dr. Jenkins was appointed Global Head of Drug Development & Medical effective September 5. Also, Dr. Belén Garijo has been named Chief Operating Officer, effective September 1. In their newly created positions, both Dr. Garijo and Dr. Jenkins will be based in Geneva and report directly to Dr. Stefan Oschmann, president of Merck Serono.

Dr. Garijo joins Merck Serono from Sanofi, where she was senior vice president, global operations region Europe. Dr. Jenkins joins from Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was senior vice president, global medical.

Dr. Garijo will be responsible for worldwide commercial operations and marketing. The primary purpose of her role is to define a highly competitive commercial and marketing strategy to strengthen Merck Serono's product brands and lead its global business to profitable growth across all therapeutic areas. One of her top priorities at Merck Serono will be to define the future commercial and marketing organizational structure and efficient processes to drive the successful implementation of the business strategy.

A key priority for Dr. Kirschbaum and Dr. Jenkins will be defining the structures and processes of the new R&D organization, with the goal of simplifying the organizational structure, governance and decision-making processes. The new organizational structure for R&D is expected to foster agility, creativity and entrepreneurship and to allow a more efficient use of resources, with the ultimate goal of delivering innovative medicines that address the unmet needs of patients.

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