Drug Development

Merck vet Michael Rosenblatt joins R&D exodus to the startup world

Merck Chief Medical Officer Michael Rosenblatt recently caused quite a stir when he suggested that a lot of academic research work in the drug field is a mess, urging that investigators be forced to return at least some of their funding if industry scientists can’t reproduce their work.

And now, Rosenblatt will get to explain his position on a face-to-face basis.

Cambridge, MA-based Flagship Ventures, which has been soaking up academic research in its quest to start up a string of new biotechs, has named Rosenblatt as its very first CMO. And he’s been tapped to play a leading role in spawning a new wave of upstarts at Flagship.

Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Flagship Ventures

Michael Rosenblatt, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Flagship Ventures

Rosenblatt is joining a long lineup of top biopharma R&D execs to turn in prominent roles at the world’s top companies to jump into the venture/biotech startup field. That list includes Briggs Morrison (AstraZeneca), JC Gutierrez-Ramos (Pfizer), Doug Williams (Biogen) and more.

He’s had a long and distinguished career, and Rosenblatt is allied with some deep pockets, so chances are he’ll be welcome with open arms. His resume includes: Dean of Tufts University School of Medicine; Robert Ebert Professor of Molecular Medicine and George R. Minot Professor of Medicine, both at Harvard Medical School; President, Harvard Faculty Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Programs of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; and Director of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

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