EMD Serono Announces Retirement of Dr. Luciano Rossetti, Global Head of R&D for Healthcare

Dr. Rossetti will be succeeded by Dr. Danny Bar-Zohar, MD, as the new Global Head of Development, and Dr. Joern-Peter Halle, PhD, who will continue to serve as Global Head of Research.

15 Oct 2020 | Billerica, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • Danny Bar-Zohar appointed as Global Head of Development
  • Joern-Peter Halle continues to serve as Global Head of Research

Billerica, MA, October 15, 2020—EMD Serono, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the US and Canada, today announced that Dr. Luciano Rossetti, MD, will be retiring as Global Head of Research & Development (R&D) for the Healthcare business. Dr. Rossetti will be succeeded by Dr. Danny Bar-Zohar, MD, who will join the organization on November 1st as the new Global Head of Development, and Dr. Joern-Peter Halle, PhD, who will continue to serve as Global Head of Research. Dr. Rossetti will remain with the organization through December 31, 2020.

“Throughout his six-year tenure as Global Head of R&D, Dr. 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, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; 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 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.”

Since joining the company in 2014, Dr. Rossetti has led the rigorous prioritization of the company’s pipeline, 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 Dr. Rossetti. “I’d like to thank Belén for her unwavering support in helping to build a science-driven, high performing R&D organization.”

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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 have 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, Dr. Bar-Zohar spent several years as a general surgeon at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.  

Dr. Halle will continue in his capacity as Global Head of Research for Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Dr. Halle joined the company 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 Dr. Garijo.

For more information, contact Amber Chase

About EMD Serono, Inc.
EMD Serono - the biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S. and Canada - is engaged in the discovery, research and development of medicines for patients with difficult to treat diseases. The business is committed to transforming lives by developing and delivering meaningful solutions that help address the therapeutic and support needs of individual patients. Building on a proven legacy and deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, EMD Serono is developing potential new oncology and immuno-oncology medicines while continuing to explore potential therapeutic options for diseases such as psoriasis, lupus and MS. Today, the business has approximately 1,500 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts. www.emdserono.com.


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 in 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.