AZ cancer head Mahjoubi departs to helm Innate Pharma

AstraZeneca's oncology head is leaving the company.

AstraZeneca has been relying on oncology to help it stage a turnaround. But now, it’ll have to continue down that path without its head of the unit.

Oncology SVP Mondher Mahjoubi is leaving to start a CEO stint at France’s Innate Pharma, Innate said in a statement Monday. He'll be replaced by Jamie Freedman, currently the SVP of clinical development at AZ's MedImmune, an AZ spokeswoman told FiercePharma.

"Jamie takes up his new role at an exciting time for AstraZeneca’s Oncology franchise and brings tremendous expertise and leadership qualities that will help to take the portfolio to the next stage," she said in a statement.

Free Webinar

What could you do with real-time supply chain information at your fingertips?

Interested in complete supply chain real-time data visibility? Unlock productivity with digital workflows, manage plants inventory with real-time supply chain information and enable faster decision-making with data visualization with pci | bridge. Register today!

Mahjoubi, who served as SVP of global product strategy in oncology at cancer king Genentech before joining AZ, has been helping shape the British drugmaker’s cancer efforts since 2013. Over the past few years the company has made the field a pillar of its growth platform, striking a bevy of pipeline deals and bringing key new products Tagrisso and Lynparza to market.

While those meds have so far chipped in their fair share, AZ has a key test ahead with immuno-oncology up-and-comer durvalumab, which is looking to join future rivals Keytruda from Merck, Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Tecentriq from Roche in the checkpoint inhibitor ranks. U.S. regulators granted the prospect priority review status earlier this month in bladder cancer, an area where the Roche contender will be ready and waiting if AZ does snag a green light by the FDA's second-quarter 2017 decision date.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca will need to keep firing on all cylinders if it wants to hit its lofty sales ambitions. In 2014, CEO Pascal Soriot outlined a $45 billion revenue goal for 2023 that even he says the company would be "lucky" to hit.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information from an AstraZeneca spokeswoman.


Suggested Articles

With a slate of vaccine authorizations on the horizon, vaccine execs from a trio of leading shot makers are looking at distribution hurdles ahead.

News of an FDA plant inspection for a Macrogenics drug boosted investor confidence in BMS' ability to meet its year-end deadline for liso-cel.

BioCryst has scored FDA approval for Orladeyo, the first oral option to prevent hereditary angioedema attacks in patients 12 and older.