Sanofi reveals R&D leadership shake-up


Change is afoot at the helm of international pharma company Sanofi, as it announces the departure of a key leadership figure from its research and development team.

After nearly five years as global head of R&D, Dr John Reed has elected to pursue “a new opportunity outside of Sanofi”. Having joined the company in 2018, Dr Reed has overseen Sanofi’s research and development transformation, focusing efforts on producing first and best-in-class medicines while also driving the integration of new technology platforms and partnerships.

While his plans for the future have yet to be announced, Dr Reed has already gained significant experience working for some of the biggest pharma companies. Before joining Sanofi, he gained credit for stabilising Roche’s pharma research and early development and helping to establish a promising pipeline before his exit to join Sanofi.

Moving into 2023, he leaves the company as it prepares to launch two new medicines that the company claims will address major needs in haemophilia and respiratory syncytial virus. Furthermore, the company expects 27 scientific readouts in the next 15 months and two pivotal readouts in multiple sclerosis and COPD/chronic bronchitis within the coming year.

Speaking on Dr Reed’s departure, Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said: “Under John’s leadership, our R&D organisation has built a robust pipeline and sharpened its research focus, employing cutting-edge therapeutic platforms and creating a culture that responds to the urgent needs of patients. His contribution to our company’s transformation has helped pave the way for Sanofi’s emergence as a science-driven and innovation leader in our industry.

“As we continue to build an exciting specialty care and vaccines portfolio, we look forward to the growing momentum of our pipeline. This is what we were aiming for when we laid our strategy in 2019, and the 2022 results we recently published confirmed our choices. 2023 will only strengthen our commitment to transform the practice of medicine.”

Dr Reed's departure clears the way for Dr Dietmar Berger to step into the role while an internal and external search to identify a suitable successor gets underway. Since 2019, Dr Berger has served as chief medical officer and global head of development for Sanofi. Prior to this appointment, he established an extensive and successful career at various other pharmaceutical companies, including Genentech, Bayer, and Amgen.