A top scientist at AstraZeneca has left the company to join Sanofi.
The French pharmaceutical giant announced on Tuesday that noted immunology specialist Dr. Yong-Jun Liu will join the company as head of research. Liu’s research has yielded numerous important drug targets in areas like allergies and oncology.
He’ll be tasked with leading the charge on all of Sanofi’s research projects and to build a stronger R&D organization. Sanofi’s official statement explains one realm Liu will focus on is rejuvenating the drug maker’s early-stage pipeline.
FierceBiotech adds that Sanofi has had “pretty average financials for a few years now” due to factors like losing patent protection on valuable diabetes drug Lantus. Other medications like cholesterol drug Praluent have shown promise in clinical trials, but Sanofi doesn’t have a potent blockbuster medication to support falling sales.
Elias Zerhouni, Sanofi’s president of global research and development, told Reuters oncology is one priority where Liu’s expertise will be useful. Zerhouni hopes Liu’s arrival will help the company move forward in testing multiple cancer drug combinations and create new approaches for fighting the disease.
Liu’s first day will be on April 1.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery