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Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley – Merck KGaA – Executive Leadership Series

Authored by James Sheppard

At the beginning of 2013 Liftstream profiled 13 life science leaders we believed were going to make an impact over the course of the year. Below we outline how Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley performed for Merck KGaA in 2013.

2013 Liftstream Analysis: 2012 was a tough year for Merck KGaA and 2013 will not be any easier. In December, the company’s cancer vaccine failed in phase III trials.  With setbacks in 2012 to extend the indications for Erbitux and job cuts, site closures and strategic review of pipeline, the company has a heavy agenda for 2013. The results of the Stimuvax Phase-III INSPIRE trial could also help determine the success or failure of the year for Merck KGaA

• Publish data from  INSPIRE  Stimuvax trial

• Company needs to look towards strategic realignment and possible acquisitions

• Effective restructuring and realignment of the business

2014 Liftstream Verdict: 2013 was always going to be a challenging year for Merck KGaA and Merck Serono. The company suffered some set-backs in early 2013 with key oncology trials failing to reach their endpoints in Phase III. The company since then, under the leadership of CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley has been pushing ahead with a new strategy that will see the company focus on oncology and immunology to try and bolster its pipeline. They will also create smaller and more entrepreneurial units which are more representative of the biotech sector. The company is also looking to create deals with external partners such as investors for new experimental medicines. These restructures saw new personnel appointed in many areas but also many job losses announced. The company is actively seeking acquisitions and managed to buy AZ Electronics for $1.6bn, extend a deal with Chinese company BeiGene for $232m for their BeiGene230. With Erbitux still offering the company promise in colorectal cancer, Merck hopes that it can swiftly emerge a more innovative and collaborative company.

To see how the other leaders profiled in Liftstream’s 13 for 2013 performed please click here. Liftstream would very much like to hear your thoughts on how you believe these life science leaders performed in 2013. Please leave your comments below, email or tweet @liftstream #LSL13for13

Liftstream is an executive search and interim management recruitment company working exclusively within the global life sciences sector. 

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