Roche's CMO to Retire, Eli Lilly's Garraway to Fill Her Shoes


Sandra Horning, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development, will retire from the company at the end of the year, leaving some big shoes to fill. The Swiss pharma giant believes Eli Lilly and Company’s Levi Garraway is the man for the job.

This morning, Roche announced in a very brief statement that Horning’s 10-year tenure with the company will end on Dec. 31. During her decade-long career with Roche, Horning was the guiding hand on 15 new drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for various diseases, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, influenza and blindness.

“We thank her for her incredible contributions to medicine and to the employees at our company who have been inspired and motivated by her commitment to science and patients,” Roche said in the brief statement this morning.

Horning’s success as Roche’s CMO is evident with the number of FDA-approved drugs the company has racked up, including several this year. Horning’s most recent success came in the form of an FDA approval of personalized cancer medication Rozlytrek (entrectinib) for two different indications. Earlier this month, the FDA approved Rozlytrek for the treatment of adults with ROS1-positive, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer. Also, Rozlytrek secured accelerated approval for the treatment of solid tumors that have a neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion. In June, Roche won approval for the blood cancer drug, Polivy (polatuzumab vedotin-piiq), a first-of-its-kind anti-CD79b antibody-drug conjugate. Polivy was approved for people with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) whose disease returned after or did not respond to multiple treatment regimens. Also this summer, the company’s breast cancer treatment Kadcyla won approval as adjuvant treatment of people with HER2-positive early breast cancer.

Levi Garraway, who most recently served as Eli Lilly’s head of Oncology Research & Development and head of Lilly Research Laboratories Novel Target Research, will succeed Horning in her roles at the company. Garraway will assume his duties Oct. 1 and will be based in South San Francisco, the home of Roche subsidiary Genentech, which is where Horning was based.

Garraway resigned from his position at Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly earlier this month, to “pursue other opportunities,” Eli Lilly said at the time. The company said Josh Bilenker, chief executive officer of Loxo Oncology, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly, will lead oncology research and early phase development in the interim, in addition to his current responsibilities. Garraway joined Eli Lilly in 2017 after serving as an associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, as well as an associate physician at the Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Garraway is also a founder of Foundation Medicine, an oncology-focused company located in Cambridge, Mass.

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