Catalyst Advisors Completes Top Search for Gilead Sciences

January 27, 2017 – Executive search firm Catalyst Advisors has placed Alessandro Riva, M.D., at Gilead Sciences, Inc. as senior vice president of hematology and oncology therapeutic area head and member of its executive committee. Catalyst recruiter Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D., led the search along with colleague Amy Bottoms. He will report to executive vice president of clinical research John McHutchison, M.D., and will have responsibility for Gilead’s hematology and oncology programs.

Dr. Riva joins Gilead from Novartis Oncology, where he served as head of global oncology development and was responsible for the development of more than 20 cancer compounds, including targeted and immune-oncology therapies and for many worldwide regulatory approvals of innovative medicines in both solid and hematological malignancies. He was also a member of the Novartis Oncology division executive committee, development committee, translational and early development committee and innovation management board. During his 12-year tenure at Novartis he was involved in several worldwide drug approvals.

Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Riva co-founded the Breast Cancer International Research Group (BIRG) and Cancer International Research Group (CIRG), for which he served as chief executive officer and chief medical officer. During his career, he has authored or co-authored more than 100 oncology research manuscripts and abstracts. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the European Society for Medical Oncology.


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“Alessandro Riva is one of the world’s leading oncology drug developers,” said Dr. Williams. “This is more than a hire, it’s a clear statement by Gilead of their commitment to oncology.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Alessandro, who brings a wealth of experience and expertise in hematology / oncology drug development and translational medicine,” said Dr. McHutchison. “His leadership and proven track record developing therapies across the spectrum of hematological malignancies and solid tumors will be instrumental as we continue to grow and advance our pipeline of novel therapeutics for people living with cancer.”

“I have always admired Gilead for its scientific focus and data-driven approach to drug development,” said Dr. Riva. “I look forward to working alongside Gilead’s dedicated and passionate colleagues throughout the R&D organization to tackle the cancer research and development challenge with a goal of improving the lives of patients.”

Biopharma Search Specialist

Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 30 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, CA.

With offices in New York, London and Los Angeles, Catalyst Advisors is focused on finding C-suite leaders and board directors for biopharma companies ranging from established global enterprises to start-ups backed by leading venture funds. The firm’s clients include Acceleron Pharma, AveXis, BioMarin, GW Pharmaceuticals, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Ovid Therapeutics, Regeneron, Shire, and Takeda, among many others.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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