Updated on 15 June 2015
Mr Briggs Morrison, chief medical officer and head of global late-stage drug development, AstraZeneca
Singapore: British drug giant AstraZeneca recently announced that the company's chief medical officer and head of global late-stage drug development Mr Briggs Morrison is to leave the company, thus creating a gap at the top of the group's research operations.
The company spokeswoman said that Mr Morrison was leaving AstraZeneca to become the CEO of an unlisted venture capital-backed drugmaker in the United States.
Mr Morrison joined Astrazeneca in 2012, and since then has played an instrumental role in the British drugmaker's bid to turn around its product portfolio.
AstraZeneca also said that until the appropriate replacement is chosen, Chief Executive Mr Pascal Soriot will take over responsibility for medicines development and Ms Elisabeth Bjork will act as chief medical officer.
Under Morrison's direction, AstraZeneca retained its rep as a big player in the global pharma R&D business. The pharma giant spent $5.6 billion on its research work last year, up from $4.8 billion in 2013 and the 6th largest R&D budget in the industry.