Ins & Outs: Filling gaps at Pfizer and the FDA

Pfizer’s chief financial officer Frank D’Amelio will retire from his position after 15 years at the firm, prompting an external search for his successor. Meanwhile, Joe Biden nominates Robert Califf for US FDA chief. Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s Ins &Outs.

Pfizer announced D’Amelio’s planned departure from the company and stated he has agreed to stay on board in a consulting role while the firm externally search for a chief financial officer (CFO).

Pfizer claim that during D’Amelio’s tenure as CFO, the firm made close to $150 billion in market capital growth, led various acquisitions and partnerships valued at nearly $200 billion, and supported its manufacturing network to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Frank D’Amelio CFO at Pfizer. Image c/o Pfizer website

Pfizer’s most recent acquisition in August saw the firm bolster its oncology capabilities through  the acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics in a deal valued at $2.3 billion.

“I want to thank Frank for his many years of service to Pfizer as CFO and for the impact he has had on the Company and the patients we serve,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO at Pfizer.

“Frank has driven a strategic vision for the Company’s financial success, and he leaves Pfizer in a strong position for future growth having been instrumental in our multi-year transformation to an industry leading, science-based biopharmaceutical company.”

In other news, Pfizer has named Mike McDermott as its chief global supply officer. He has been with the company for 18 years and according to the firm, his efforts have supported its goal of producing three billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 and four billion doses next year.

US FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not had a permanent leader since January but President  Joe Biden has nominated former FDA commissioner Robert Califf to lead the organization once again.

Califf first joined the FDA in 2015 and he served as the FDA commissioner from 2016 until 2017 under former President Barack Obama. Since then, he has been employed as head of clinical policy and strategy at Verily Life Sciences.

“Robert Califf is one of the most experienced clinical trialists in the country and has the experience and expertise to lead the FDA during a critical time in our nation’s fight to put an end to the coronavirus pandemic,” Biden said in a statement from the White House.

“I am confident Califf will ensure that the FDA continues its science and data driven decision-making. Califf had strong bipartisan support in the Senate in 2016, and I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Califf so he can continue the important work being done at this critical moment.”

Biden thanked Janet Woodcock for her leadership over the past year after she left her position at Operation Warp Speed (OWS) in January to serve as acting FDA commissioner.

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