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Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer, Who Played Strategic Role In COVID-19 Jab Development, Will Step Down

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Pfizer announced its Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten, who played a prominent role in developing the company’s experimental COVID-19 jab, will step down.

Dolsten will leave behind a 15-year career at the drug manufacturer.

Per Reuters:

Dolsten, aged 65, served as the head of Pfizer’s research and development after he joined the company through its $68 billion acquisition of Wyeth in 2009. He became the company’s chief scientist in 2010.

During his tenure, Comirnaty — jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech — became the first COVID vaccine to get an approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2021, just 13 months after its trial began, in a record time to approval for any shot or therapeutic.

Pfizer also developed and launched multi-billion dollar products such as heart disease drug Vyndaqel and blood thinner Eliquis, after the company struggled to remain competitive with other drugmakers.

“After more than 15 years as the architect of Pfizer’s exceptional scientific and research and development resurgence, Mikael and I recently discussed starting the process to look for his successor,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, according to Reuters.

BioPharma Dive noted:

Dolsten will help with the search and continue to serve in his current position until a successor is in place and “any necessary transition is complete,” according to Pfizer.

Dolsten is a veteran drug hunter, having served in major research roles for Boehringer Ingelheim, AstraZeneca and Wyeth before joining Pfizer. He came to Pfizer after the company acquired Wyeth in a $68 billion megamerger in 2009, and then was tasked with leading the company’s drug research as well as development through mid-stage testing.

Over that time, Pfizer changed CEOs multiple times and narrowed its focus to branded medicines, spinning off its animal health and consumer divisions. And under Dolsten’s watch, Pfizer cut back its neuroscience research and pushed further into oncology and gene therapy.

Since Dolsten’s arrival, Pfizer has won approvals for over 35 drugs and vaccines, more than half of which were new molecules, the company said. Among those medicines were the immunology treatment Xeljanz, the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine Abrysvo and the transthyretin amyloidosis therapy Vyndamax. The company also won its first gene therapy approval, for the hemophilia B treatment Beqvez, early this year.

The outlet added that Dolsten is probably most noted for his work in developing the mRNA COVID-19 shot.

Pfizer faces mounting lawsuits by multiple U.S. states for harms caused by the experimental jab.

Five States Reportedly Suing Pfizer Over COVID-19 Jab

“Five states — Texas, Utah, Kansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana — suing Pfizer for knowing and concealing the vaccine causing myocarditis, pericarditis, failed pregnancies and deaths. That’s 10% of US states. The tide is turning,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said.

Last month, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, a Republican, announced a lawsuit against the COVID-19 jab manufacturer.

Republican Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Pfizer

"As I mentioned before, it is part of a multi-state effort in which more suits may follow depending on Pfizer's reaction," Kobach said during a press conference.

“Pfizer marketed its vaccine as safe for pregnant women. However, in February of 2021, Pfizer possessed reports for 458 pregnant women who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. More than half of the pregnant women reported an adverse event and more than 10% reported a miscarriage, many within days of the vaccination,” Kobach said.

“Pfizer consistently denied any evidence of connection or safety signal between its COVID-19 vaccine and myocarditis or pericarditis,” he continued.

“Pfizer also claimed that its COVID-19 vaccine protected against COVID-19 variants, even though data available at the time showed Pfizer’s vaccine was effective less than half the time against variants,” he added.

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