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AstraZeneca appoints new EVP in Oncology R&D

Susan Galbraith

AstraZeneca has appointed Susan Galbraith to lead Oncology Research & Development from initial discovery through late-stage development.

Her appointment follows the passing of José Baselga earlier this year. She will join the company’s Senior Executive Team and report to Chief Executive Officer, Pascal Soriot.

“I am honoured to take on this position as we continue our work to one day cure cancer. This ambition drives our bold strategy and pulls us together as a team so that we can realise the potential of our Oncology medicines, accelerate the delivery of the next wave of science, and make an even bigger difference to patients around the world,” says Susan Galbraith.

A pivotal role in the evolution of AstraZeneca’s Oncology strategy

Susan previously led early-stage Oncology R&D, overseeing the progression of seven programmes into Phase III trials, with four new medicines now approved in countries around the world. During this time, she played a pivotal role in the evolution of AstraZeneca’s Oncology strategy, supporting pioneering research, embracing cutting-edge technologies and forging successful partnerships to transform productivity and scientific output.

“Susan is an outstanding oncologist with a track record of delivering breakthrough science. Over the past decade at AstraZeneca, she has developed new medicines that have transformed care and improved the lives of patients around the world. She is also an exceptional leader who, together with her high-performing team, will continue to rapidly advance our exciting Oncology pipeline and execute the strategy that Susan helped to devise with José Baselga. Susan’s experience, energy, and passion for investing in the next generation of scientists will be invaluable to AstraZeneca’s next chapter of growth,” says Pascal Soriot, CEO, AstraZeneca.

Susan Galbraith

Susan Galbraith joined AstraZeneca in 2010 and led the development of some of the company’s most innovative cancer therapies. Prior to this appointment, Susan was Senior Vice-President and Head of Research and Early Development, Oncology R&D, and had overseen the progression of seven programmes into Phase III trials, with four new medicines now approved around the world: Lynparza(olaparib), the first-in-class PARP inhibitor approved in ovarian, breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers; Tagrisso (osimertinib), a third-generation, irreversible epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) approved in lung cancer; Orpathys (savolitinib), an oral, potent and highly selective MET TKI approved in China for non-small cell lung cancer patients with MET exon 14 skipping alterations; and Koselugo(selumetinib), an inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase approved in paediatric patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 with plexiform neurofibromas.

Susan has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a background as a clinical oncologist. She trained in medicine at Manchester and Cambridge Universities, was admitted to the Royal College of Physicians in 1992, and then trained in clinical oncology in London. In 1997, Susan gained a Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists and completed a PhD at the University of London involving translational work on a vascular-targeting molecule. In 2017, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medical Science from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), and in 2018 was admitted to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

In addition to her role at AstraZeneca, Susan serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the ICR and on the European Association of Cancer Research Advisory Council. In 2021, Susan was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research. She is also a member of the Cambridge Cancer Centre Executive Committee.

Photo of Susan Galbraith: AstraZeneca