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Biogen steal away Pfizer VP to boost R&D plans

Published on: 01/08/17

Pfizer has had a tough time keeping hold of its Vice President’s involved in R&D of late, losing high-profile researcher, Tony Wood, to GSK recently, and it has lost another Vice President, and Head of Medicinal Synthesis Technologies, in the form of Anabella Villalobos.

Villalobos will take up a position as Senior Vice President of Biotherapeutic and Medicinal Sciences (BTMS) at Biogen. Her remit in the position will be to lead the company’s BTMS organisation in delivering high-quality, differentiated molecules to the clinic.

The new SVP’s background is within neuroscience and medicinal chemistry, where she has particularly focused on the development of clinical candidates for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and pain. This pairs well with Biogen’s recent announcement, at its Q2 financial report, that it aims to focus on neuroscience and plans to continue to build its pipeline in this area.

“Biogen has been an absolute pacesetter in developing breakthrough neurology medicines in the forms of biologics, small molecules, and new anti-sense oligonucleotide therapies for patients.” said Dr. Villalobos on her appointment. “I am honoured to lead Biotherapeutic & Medicinal Sciences, and I look forward to accelerating our neuroscience discovery to find new approaches for the most challenging conditions of the brain.”

“We are excited to have Anabella Villalobos join us at Biogen,” said Dr. Michael Ehlers, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D at Biogen. “Anabella is a world-class drug hunter, a proven leader in medicinal sciences, and a champion of scientific innovation. Her experience in neuroscience and passion for drug discovery will help us create and advance the next generation of breakthrough medicines.”

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