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Novartis oncology CEO Bruno Strigini is calling it quits

Novartis oncology chief Bruno Strigini is on the way out of the pharma giant.

In a brief statement Novartis pointedly said that Strigini had decided to retire “from Novartis and the industry” for personal reasons.

Bruno Strigini

The statement suggests that Strigini — a central figure in one of the leading oncology biopharma groups in the world — won’t be making the usual end run out of one Big Pharma and in to a new job. Such moves have become routine, especially as biotechs and equity stakes beckon from a thriving sector of the drug development world.

Novartis has made some big moves in cancer since hiring Strigini from a senior Merck position in the summer of 2014, particularly in its role in spearheading the first CAR-T to hit the market and integrating GSK’s oncology portfolio three years ago. The deal preceded Strigini’s arrival by a few months.

Strigini is stepping out of the executive committee and then plans an early-2018 departure as Narasimhan selects a key replacement for his team.

CEO Joe Jimenez, who’s also headed out of Novartis as development chief Vas Narasimhan prepares to shift to the helm, did the honors.

I’d like to thank Bruno Strigini for his contributions and achievements. He has navigated the business unit through the Gleevec patent expiration and has led the successful integration of the GSK Oncology Product Portfolio acquired in 2015. I wish him the best for his future.

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