Merck R&D chief Roger Perlmutter is handing off the big job to the exec in charge of discovery
After a 7-year run as one of the most successful R&D chiefs in Big Pharma, Roger Perlmutter is stepping away from his post at Merck.
He leaves behind one of the most successful franchise-building operations in pharma history, taking Keytruda from clinical trials and pushing it to a $12 billion megablockbuster, while dominating rivals with a combination approach that has yet to be beat.
Merck says that Dean Li, currently in charge of the discovery effort at Merck in search of new drugs, will take his place at the top of a $10 billion research organization at the beginning of next year. Perlmutter is planning to stay on through to mid-2021 in a non-executive role to keep the wheels turning smoothly through the transition.
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