Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Announces Retirement of Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of R&D for Healthcare

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany today announced that Dr. Luciano Rossetti, MD, will be retiring as Global Head of Research & Development (R&D) for the Healthcare business sector.

15 Oct 2020 | Darmstadt, Germany
  • Danny Bar-Zohar appointed as Global Head of Development
  • Joern-Peter Halle continues to serve as Global Head of Research

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, today announced that Dr. Luciano Rossetti, MD, will be retiring as Global Head of Research & Development (R&D) for the Healthcare business sector. Dr. Rossetti will be succeeded by Dr. Danny Bar-Zohar, MD, who will join the organization on November 1, 2020 as the new Global Head of Development for the Healthcare business sector, and Dr. Joern-Peter Halle, PhD, who will continue to serve as Global Head of Research for the Healthcare business sector. Rossetti will remain with the organization through December 31, 2020.

“Throughout his six-year tenure as Global Head of R&D, Luciano Rossetti has had a significant impact on our Healthcare organization and on the lives of patients,” said Belén Garijo, Vice Chair of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, as well as CEO Healthcare. “He has led the R&D organization through a strategic transformation that has delivered multiple tangible regulatory successes and most importantly, built a durable foundation for the future of scientific and medical innovation at our company.”

Since joining Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in 2014, Rossetti has led the rigorous prioritization of the Healthcare pipeline of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, delivering global approvals and launches for the Neurology & Immunology and Oncology portfolios, and playing an integral role in establishing and leading global strategic alliances.

“My time at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany - working with a talented team and having the opportunity to advance truly novel science for patients in need - has been some of the most rewarding of my career,” said Rossetti. “I’d like to thank Belén Garijo for her unwavering support in helping to build a science-driven, high performing R&D organization.”

Bar-Zohar, as the new Global Head of Development, will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the Healthcare portfolio of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, across all phases of Clinical Development.

Bar-Zohar is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive, with more than 15 years of experience successfully leading mid- and late-stage clinical development in neuroscience, immunology, oncology and ophthalmology at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, and most recently at the venture capital firm Syncona Investment Management. His visionary and courageous leadership has helped to deliver multiple new global therapeutic approvals at both Teva Pharmaceuticals and Novartis. He also brings to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a strong track record of leading complex M&As, partnerships and due-diligence efforts for cutting-edge technologies in R&D. In addition, he has a deep knowledge of the international regulatory environment and its requirements with broad experience in dealing with major health authorities. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Bar-Zohar spent several years as a general surgeon at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.

Halle will continue in his capacity as Global Head of Research for the Healthcare business sector of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He joined Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in 2005 in Corporate Development, working in positions of increasing responsibilities in Business Development & Licensing, Oncology Program Leadership, Business Operations, Strategy Implementation, and External Innovation. Most recently, he was responsible for the Translational Innovation Platform in Immuno-Oncology. Before joining Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, he founded a successful bioinformatic start-up and co-founded a functional genomics biotech company in the area of dermatology where he served as the Chief Technology and Chief Business Officer.

“Peter’s proven track-record and leadership in discovery, advanced analytics and translational approaches, together with Danny’s depth of experience in the healthcare industry along with his patient-centric approach to clinical development, different therapeutic platforms and new methodologies, create the perfect combination to continue to advance our R&D strategy and potential for future innovation,” said Garijo.


For more information, please contact Gangolf Schrimpf

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About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark “Merck” internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

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