AZ's chief medical officer Bohen quits after shake-up


AstraZeneca’s chief medical officer Sean Bohen is to leave the company following its organisational shake-up.

This is the latest high-profile departure from AZ, following the exit of Bahija Jallal, formerly head of the company’s Medimmune biologics unit, and former product and portfolio strategy chief Mark Mallon.

But while Jallal and Mallon left for roles as CEOs of biotech companies – Immunocore and Ironwood respectively, Bohen has seemingly found himself looking for new work because of the reorganisation instigated by AZ’s CEO Pascal Soriot.

Soriot has opted to split the firm into two R&D units – oncology and renal and metabolism biopharmaceuticals.

With Mene Pangalos, formerly AZ’s early drug development chief taking over the biopharma division, and cancer doctor José Baselga taking over as chief of the oncology division, Bohen has opted to leave the company.

[caption id="attachment_28515" align="alignnone" width="103"] Sean Bohen[/caption]

A spokesperson could not say whether Bohen had been made redundant, or had been offered new work with AstraZeneca because of the reorganisation announced last week.

But the spokesperson said that “it was Sean’s choice to leave AstraZeneca.”

“As part of the organisational changes the part of the business that Sean was responsible for, global medicines development, is being integrated into the oncology and biopharmaceutical units.”

Bohen will stay on during a transitional period while the organisational changes are implemented and no timeline has been decided yet, the spokesperson said.

It’s unlikely that Bohen will be short of job offers once he finally does leave – he worked in early drug development at Genentech, now part of Roche, for 12 years and is an alumnus of medical schools in Stanford, and the University of  California in San Francisco.

In his three and a half year stint at AZ, Bohen has overseen a period when the company’s fortunes have been transformed as a result of some notable successes with new drugs.

Lung cancer drug Tagrisso (osimertinib) has become a blockbuster, and Lynparza (olaparib) has steadily built momentum in ovarian and breast cancer.