- AstraZeneca is clearly looking to its immuno-oncology R&D to pave the path to its future, which is why the departure of Rachel Humphrey and Peter Emtage, both key players in this area, is viewed as a true shake-up. However, Robert Iannone from the global medicines development team has stepped up to the plate to replace Humphrey.
- Despite the departure of Humphrey and Emtage, which is supposedly related to personal factors, AZ maintains that the immuno-oncology program is proceeding without a hiccup.
- AZ is also hoping to broaden the scope of its indication for Brilinta, which is used as secondary prevention in patients who have experienced a myocardial infarction (MI).
It's important for AZ to maintain a strong front, especially after staving off Pfizer's $118 billion takeover attempt last year. News of the departures from the top ranks of executives involved in AZ's highly valued immuno-oncology program could have been perceived as a negative and harbinger of a challenging future. But the company's ability to tap an insider for Humprey's job bodes well for a full-steam-ahead 2015.