Johnson & Johnson’s top scientist is leaving the company, according to a report.
Johnson & Johnson’s Top Scientist to Depart
The chief scientist at Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.42 percent), who supervised a turnaround in the company’s pharmaceutical business as well as the creation of a Covid-19 vaccine, will retire at the end of the year.
J&J said Tuesday that Paul Stoffels, 59, would step down as vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer on December 31.
The firm, which produces Band-Aid bandages and Tylenol pain medication, as well as cancer and psoriasis treatments, did not immediately identify a successor.
Dr. Stoffels stated, “It’s wonderful to watch the healthcare environment change as we unleash the finest science and technology to offer new medications to address the world’s biggest health problems.”
J&J has announced the resignation of a top executive for the second time in recent weeks. Alex Gorsky, the firm’s chief executive, will step down on January 3, 2022 and become executive chairman, the company said in August.
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Mr. Gorsky’s successor at J&J is veteran executive Joaquin Duato.
According to a source acquainted with the situation, Dr. Stoffels is retiring to spend more time with his family in Europe and reduce his travel. For his J&J work, he regularly traveled back and forth between the United States and Europe.
Dr. Stoffels started his career as a tropical-disease researcher in Africa before joining J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceutica business in Belgium for his first tenure with the company.
He left J&J in the early 1990s to co-found businesses that would eventually become Tibotec-Virco, a Belgian antiviral medicine developer.
When J&J purchased Tibotec-Virco in 2002, Dr. Stoffels rejoined the business and helped manage the company’s HIV medication development. J&J is now a major supplier of the drugs that have helped to make infections more controllable.
In 2009, he was named J&J’s worldwide head of pharmaceutical research and development, and he subsequently served as the pharmaceutical unit’s chairman for many years. Since 2012, he has worked as J&J’s chief scientific officer.
J&J’s yearly pharmaceutical revenue has quadrupled to $45.6 billion in 2020 since Dr. Stoffels took over pharmaceutical R&D in 2009, making the firm a dominating power in the sector.
The firm has made profitable investments on novel cancer medicines like Darzalex and Zytiga, as well as increasing its products for immune-mediated diseases like psoriasis.
J&J claimed its pharmaceutical R&D teams produced more than 25 novel medications during Dr. Stoffels’ supervision, seven of which have been included to the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.
Dr. Stoffels urged J&J to focus on developing-world medications, such as a therapy for multidrug-resistant TB and vaccinations for Ebola and Covid-19.
In a news statement, Mr. Duato stated, “With Paul at the helm, Janssen revitalized its pipeline, releasing numerous innovative medications, making a difference for patients all around the globe.”
Dr. Stoffels supervised the development of a Covid-19 vaccine beginning in early 2020 and was often the public face giving updates on J&J’s progress. In a major clinical study, the vaccine was shown to be generally safe and effective, and it was approved for use in the United States in February.
However, due of safety concerns over a rare blood clot disease observed in some vaccination recipients, as well as manufacturing issues that restricted the dosage supply, uptake of the J&J Covid-19 vaccine has been lower than anticipated.
Peter Loftus can be reached at [email protected]
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