Merck Serono Reorganizes R&D, Attracts Former Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Medical Head

GENEVA, July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced today that it is strengthening its executive management team with two appointments. Dr. Belén Garijo has been appointed Chief Operating Officer, effective September 1, 2011. Dr. Annalisa Jenkins has been appointed Global Head of Drug Development & Medical, effective September 5, 2011. In their newly created positions, both Belén Garijo and Annalisa Jenkins will be based in Geneva and report directly to Dr. Stefan Oschmann, President of Merck Serono.

Belén Garijo joins Merck Serono from Sanofi, where she was Senior Vice President, Global Operations Region Europe. Annalisa Jenkins joins from Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was Senior Vice President, Global Medical.

"I am very pleased to have Belén and Annalisa onboard at this important time for Merck Serono as we seek to adapt our organization to the challenges the pharmaceutical industry are facing," said Stefan Oschmann. "In joining our Executive Management Board, Belén and Annalisa will bring extensive international experience in the pharmaceutical industry to lead and drive our organization through changes aimed to ensure sustained success."

As Chief Operating Officer, Belén Garijo will have responsibility for worldwide commercial operations and marketing. The primary purpose of her role is to define a highly competitive commercial and marketing strategy to strengthen Merck Serono's product brands and lead its global business to profitable growth across all therapeutic areas. One of her top priorities at Merck Serono will be to define the future Commercial & Marketing organizational structure and efficient processes to drive the successful implementation of the business strategy.

A new organizational structure for research and development (R&D) will be effective when Annalisa Jenkins joins Merck Serono. Two dedicated groups, focusing on different stages of pharmaceutical innovation (pre- and post- proof of concept), will be created as a first step in redesigning Merck Serono's R&D model:

The Global Research & Early Development Group, headed by Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, will include discovery, research and early clinical development, through to proof of concept;

The Global Drug Development & Medical Group, headed by Annalisa Jenkins, will focus on full clinical development, medical life-cycle management activities and medical, including regulatory and safety functions.

A key priority for Bernhard Kirschbaum and Annalisa Jenkins will be defining the structures and processes of the new R&D organization, with the goal of simplifying the organizational structure, governance and decision-making processes. The new organizational structure for R&D is expected to foster agility, creativity and entrepreneurship and to allow a more efficient use of resources, with the ultimate goal of delivering innovative medicines that address the unmet needs of patients.

Biography of Dr. Belén Garijo

Belén Garijo is a medical doctor who specialized in clinical pharmacology.

Prior to her appointment at Merck Serono, she was Senior Vice President, Global Operations Region Europe at Sanofi from 2006 and served as the Global Integration Leader for the Genzyme integration.

Belén Garijo has served in a range of global executive positions in healthcare for 20 years, including emerging markets and mature markets, core prescription medicines as well as diversified, adjacent businesses (such as generics, medical devices, health solutions and consumer health care). She has managed large pharmaceutical operations and medical and marketing organizations on local, regional and global levels, successfully leading a number of business transformation projects.

Belén Garijo started her career at Abbott Laboratories as Medical Director of its Spanish affiliate before heading Global Medical Affairs at Abbott headquarters in Illinois (USA). She joined Rhone Poulenc Rorer in 1996 as Business Unit Director of Oncology in Spain and was promoted in 2000 to be Aventis' Global Vice-President Oncology based in New Jersey (USA). She then became General Manager of Aventis Spain in 2003, leading the integration towards Sanofi-Aventis in 2004 and serving as General Manager of Sanofi-Aventis Spain.

Belén Garijo is a Spanish citizen.

Biography of Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

Annalisa Jenkins is a medical doctor who specialized in cardiology.

Prior to her appointment at Merck Serono, she was Senior Vice President, Global Medical, at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).

Annalisa Jenkins started her career as a medical officer at the British Royal Navy and worked subsequently for three years for the UK National Health Service.

In 1997, she joined BMS and began her career in pharmaceutical research and development where she rapidly advanced in both responsibility and expertise. She started as Cardiovascular Medical Advisor based in the UK. In 2000, she moved to Australia to serve as Executive Medical Director for Australia and New Zealand, where she was responsible for executing clinical trials and medical activities. Within a year of assuming that position, she took on far broader duties when the company asked her to lead its Medical Division across Asia Pacific and Latin America.

After completing her overseas assignment, Annalisa Jenkins moved to BMS's major R&D site in Princeton, New Jersey to oversee the company's worldwide Medical Division composed of 46 medical departments responsible for medical publications, medical information and collaborative science.

After three years in this role, she was appointed Chief Medical Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa; later she was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer responsible for the Americas and the Development Teams. Prior to assuming her current responsibilities, she served also as Vice President, Full Development, where she was responsible for the management oversight of development leaders of the late stage pipeline.

Annalisa Jenkins is a British citizen.

About Merck Serono

Merck Serono is the biopharmaceutical division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Merck Serono discovers, develops, manufactures and markets prescription medicines of both chemical and biological origin in specialist indications. In the United States and Canada, EMD Serono operates as a separately incorporated affiliate of Merck Serono.

Merck Serono has leading brands serving patients with cancer (Erbitux®, cetuximab), multiple sclerosis (Rebif®, interferon beta-1a), infertility (Gonal-f®, follitropin alfa), endocrine and metabolic disorders (Saizen® and Serostim®, somatropin), (Kuvan®, sapropterin dihydrochloride), (Egrifta™, tesamorelin), as well as cardiometabolic diseases (Glucophage®, metformin), (Concor®, bisoprolol), (Euthyrox®, levothyroxine). Not all products are available in all markets.

With an annual R&D expenditure of over € 1bn, Merck Serono is committed to growing its business in specialist-focused therapeutic areas including neurodegenerative diseases, oncology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as new areas potentially arising out of research and development in rheumatology.

About Merck

Merck is a global pharmaceutical and chemical company with total revenues of € 9.3 billion in 2010, a history that began in 1668, and a future shaped by more than 40,000 employees in 67 countries. Its success is characterized by innovations from entrepreneurial employees. Merck's operating activities come under the umbrella of Merck KGaA, in which the Merck family holds an approximately 70% interest and free shareholders own the remaining approximately 30%. In 1917 the U.S. subsidiary Merck & Co. was expropriated and has been an independent company ever since.

For more information, please visit or

Back to news