Servier picks Shire executive to run U.S. business being built out of deal for Shire’s oncology unit

Having established a U.S. beachhead with its $2.4 billion deal for Shire’s oncology business, Servier says it has found just the right person to oversee it: Shire executive David K. Lee.

The French company today said Lee will head Servier Pharmaceuticals U.S., a subsidiary it established with its April deal for the Shire operation. He will take on his new job when the deal closes this quarter and will report to Olivier Laureau, president of Servier group, the company said.

Lee is currently head of Shire’s Global Genetic Diseases and Oncology franchises and oversaw the oncology franchise at Baxalta before Shire acquired it. While getting Servier all set up for business in the U.S., he will oversee the Boston-based unit that already has one cancer product in the market, Oncaspar.

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Shire’s spinoff of its nascent oncology operation came just days ahead of its own agreement to be acquired by Takeda for $64 billion, one of the biggest pharma M&A moves in years, and one it said serves its global ambitions. But Servier has an expansive vision of its own.

The French drugmaker today reiterated that the acquisition enables it “to establish an immediate and direct commercial presence in the U.S.” and furthers its ambition to become a global biopharmaceutical company.