AstraZeneca plc brought in former Physician-in-Chief of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), José Baselga, as Executive Vice President (EVP), Research and Development Oncology. It is part of a corporate restructuring effort to align the company’s commercial and R&D departments.
AstraZeneca’s press release serves as the first mention of Baselga’s next career move after resigning from his post at MSK in September. The doctor sparked controversy after a joint report from The New York Times and ProPublica uncovered a number of instances where the renowned breast cancer researcher had failed to disclose millions in payments from drug and healthcare companies in his scientific publications. The ensuing media storm that followed this report led to Baselga’s resignation from the prestigious post he had held at MSK for six years, as well as from his professorship at Weill Cornell Medical College and the boards of pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and medical device manufacturer Varian Medical Systems.
Baselga’s appointment accompanies several other executive shifts in the senior executive team of the leading global drug manufacturer. Dave Fredrickson continues to lead AstraZeneca’s commercial oncology unit. Menelas “Mene” Pangalos has shifted his responsibilities to heading the R&D unit for biopharmaceuticals, while Ruud Dobber will lead the biopharma’s commercial unit.
According to ProPublica’s research, Baselga had failed to disclose AstraZeneca’s $28,750 worth of payments for consulting work related to unspecific drugs in 2013 and 2014 in many of his published articles. AstraZeneca did not comment on Baselga’s controversial history, while Baselga himself stated: “it is a true privilege to now have the opportunity to work with the tremendous oncology expertise at AstraZeneca … this really is a dream job.”