Reed pops up at J&J after leaving Sanofi

John Reed

Almost immediately after Sanofi announced the departure of John Reed yesterday, Johnson & Johnson confirmed he was joining the company as its new executive vice president of pharmaceuticals R&D.

Reed will take up the new position on 3rd April, replacing Mathai Mammen, who left J&J last August, as well as William Hait, who had stepped up to the role on an interim basis.

Sanofi didn’t indicate where Reed was heading after his near-five-year tenure leading the French drugmaker’s R&D efforts came to an end, following spells at other organisations including Roche and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute over a 35-year career in the biomedical sector.

J&J’s chief executive, Joaquin Duato, said Reed is “an accomplished leader and highly regarded researcher with an extraordinary track record for discovering and developing life-saving innovations on a global scale.”

He added that he is “confident his experience and leadership will enable our pharmaceutical R&D organisation to continue to accelerate innovation and competitiveness, invest with focus and discipline and improve the lives of the patients we serve around the world with transformational medicines.”

Reed will take control of one of the largest R&D budgets in the life sciences sector, at nearly $15 billion last year, and joins J&J as it is in the midst of a push into new cancer therapies, including the recent launch of Carvykti, J&J’s first cell therapy, and Tecvayli, a BCMAxCD3 bispecific antibody, which are both for multiple myeloma.

J&J has great expectations for its myeloma franchise, building on its established heritage in the blood cancer, with drugs like Genmab-partnered Darzalex (daratumumab) and with new therapies on the way, including recently filed talquetamab, its GPRC5DxCD3 bispecific.

Duato has set an ambitious target of $60 billion in annual revenues by 2025, with myeloma a key driver towards reaching that objective, and Reed will also have to oversee the continued integration of Abiomed, which J&J bought for $16.6 billion in a deal that completed last December.

Reed said he is “deeply honoured and extremely excited” to join J&J, adding that he “looks forward to applying my passion for science, experience in drug discovery and development, and commitment to helping patients in leading the talented pharmaceutical R&D team.”

His role at Sanofi will be filled on an interim basis by the French pharma’s chief medical officer, Dietmar Berger, while an internal and external search to identify a suitable successor gets underway.