Former J&J executive emerges as front-runner for Biogen top job – STAT News

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FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge

(Reuters) – Mathai Mammen, a former executive at drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, has emerged as a top candidate to head Biogen as chief executive officer, news website STAT reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

In May, Biogen announced that its chief Michel Vounatsos was stepping down amid the company pulling back on selling its controversial Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm.

Biogen’s Alzheimer drug was seen as the company’s next blockbuster treatment, but controversy over its approval without clear evidence of patient benefit and the U.S. government’s decision to limit access was a big blow.

Since then, Biogen has been seeking to appoint a leader with scientific bonafides, sources familiar with the search.

When contacted by Reuters, a Biogen spokesperson said the search for a new CEO is ongoing, and “in the meantime, Michel Vounatsos and the leadership team are focused on delivering on the company’ mission and business priorities.”

Vounatsos is serving as CEO until a successor is appointed.

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Mammen left his role as head of research and development at Johnson and Johnson in August to pursue new leadership roles. He told STAT that said he could not comment on any matters during his transition from J&J, as per the report.

(Reporting by Khushi Mandowara; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)