Friday, September 29, 2023


Biotechnology News Magazine

William Pao MD., Ph.D. – New Chief Development Officer of Pfizer

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Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced that William Pao MD., Ph.D., will join the Company as Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer effective March 21, 2022. Dr. Pao will be a member of Pfizer’s Executive Leadership Team reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla.

He joins Pfizer from Roche, where he most recently served as the Head of Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) and oversaw the discovery and early development of a portfolio of new molecular entities to treat diseases related to cancer, neuroscience, ophthalmology, rare diseases, immunology, infectious diseases, and rare blood disorders, across seven global sites. He was also a member of Roche’s Enlarged Corporate Executive Committee.

Dr. Pao succeeds Rod MacKenzie who recently announced his intent to retire after a 35-year career at Pfizer. Mr. MacKenzie has agreed to continue in his role until a seamless transition is completed.

At Pfizer, Dr. Pao will oversee the Company’s Global Product Development organization, which is responsible for the clinical development and advancement of Pfizer’s pipeline of innovative medicines in inflammation and immunology, internal medicine, hospital, oncology and rare disease, as well as regulatory affairs in support of Pfizer’s R&D pipeline and portfolio of marketed therapies.

“We are delighted to welcome William Pao to our executive leadership team in this crucial role as we enter the next era of innovation at Pfizer. Throughout his impressive career, William has amassed extensive clinical and deep scientific expertise that make him the ideal leader to continue our pursuit of both cutting-edge science and breakthrough medicines and vaccines for the benefit of patients and society,” said Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer.

“Through courage and determination, Pfizer has saved millions of lives through its breakthrough science, especially in the past two years, with the delivery of both a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment. Building on this strong momentum, I am honored to assume the leadership of Pfizer’s Global Product Development organization to help bring the next transformative medicines to the world faster,” said William Pao, M.D., Ph.D.

Before joining Roche, Dr. Pao simultaneously held key positions as Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University, and Director of Personalized Cancer Medicine at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. During this time, he was co-corresponding author on the first paper to describe osimertinib (Tagrisso®), a medication used to treat non-small-cell lung carcinomas with specific mutations. He also co-founded MyCancerGenome, a pioneering cancer medicine knowledge resource for physicians, patients, caregivers, and researchers.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard, and his M.D. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Following his residency training in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical School, he completed his medical oncology and postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Dr. Pao was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2011 and the Association of American Physicians in 2017.

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