Drug industry job changes: People on the move

Drug industry job changes: People on the move

Related tags Merck serono Stem cell Stem cells Takeda

New hires at Merck Serono, Amgen, Takeda and Fate Therapeutics this week. It's in-Pharmatechnologist.com's people column.

Merck Serono

Merck KGaA’s German biopharmaceutical division, Merck Serono, has appointed Meeta Gulyani Head of Strategy and Global Franchises as of May 7, 2014.

Belén Garijo, President and CEO of Merck Serono, described Gulyani as “an accomplished executive with a leadership track record across strategic and operational  roles in both  mature and  emerging  markets.​”

From a base in Boston, Massachusetts, the new hire will lead the company’s global franchises, comprising Multiple Sclerosis and Immunology, Oncology, Fertility, General Medicine & Endocrinology, and Medical Devices.

For a guide to the split between Merck KGaA and Merck & Co., see In-Pharmatechnologist.com’s interactive timeline​.


Amgen has promoted David Piacquad, its VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, to Senior VP, Business Development.

Effective immediately, Piacquad will leads a new organisation that combines the biologics manufacturer’s Corporate Development group with its External Research and Development division.

Amgen hit the news last month​ when a plant in Thousand Oaks, California was hit with a US FDA Warning Letter last month over violations in production of Enbrel, a monoclonal antibody combination product.


Takeda Pharmaceuticals International GmbH, a subsidiary of Takeda based in Zurich, has announced Giles Platford as its Head of Commercial Operations, Emerging Markets.

He will be responsible for expansion in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

Platford was previously head of Takeda’s Middle East, Turkey and Africa business, whichhe restructured, generating “60% of growth versus previous year in the first three quarters of the fiscal year,​” according to the company.

Platford will report to Christophe Weber from April 1, when the latter takes over as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Takeda.

The company revealed last November it planned to appoint Weber COO by April and President by the end of June 2014. At the same General Meeting in June this year, the current Takeda President and CEO, Yasuchika Hasegawa, is expected to be named Chairman and CEO.

Weber moves to Takeda from roles as President and General Manager at GSK Vaccines, CEO of GSK Biologicals SA in Belgium, and as a member of the GSK global Corporate Executive Team.

Weber, a French national, will be the first leader who is not Japanese since Takeda was founded as a drugs wholesaler in 1781.

Fate Therapeutics

Fate Therapeutics, a biopharma company specialising in treating orphan diseases with adult stem cell modulators, has appointed epidemiological expert Robert S Epstein to its Board of Directors.

Epstein was president of the Medco-UBC Division and Chief Research and Development officer at Medco Health Solutions, a managed healthcare company, from 2010 to 2012. Before joining the private sector he held positions in public health and academia, including at the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), the Drug Information Association (DIA) and the International Society of Quality of Life.

Fate Therapeutics, headquartered in San Diego, California, has built two adult stem cell modulation platforms: one for hematopoietic stem cells, and another for muscle satellite stem cells. Its lead product candidate is Promema(r), a hematopoietic stem cell therapy currently in Phase II trials.

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