Actavis and Forest Labs today announced that C. David Nicholson, PhD will be appointed Senior Vice President, Actavis Global Brands R&D following the close of Actavis' planned acquisition of Forest. In this role, Dr. Nicholson will lead the global teams focused on developing Actavis' significantly expanded branded R&D portfolio, as well as defining long-term product development strategies and collaborations. Dr. Nicholson will join Actavis effective August 4, 2014 and will report to Robert Stewart, who will become the Chief Operating Officer of Actavis following the close.
"David is a seasoned R&D leader who has transformed organizations into drug development powerhouses," said Brent Saunders, Chief Executive Officer and President at Forest Laboratories. "He brings an exceptional track record spanning more than 30 years in the industry to this critical brand product development position within the new Actavis. His expertise in the development of a diverse portfolio of products including treatments in women's health, psychiatry, cardiovascular, anesthesiology and immunology, matches exceptionally well with our current portfolio, as well as our therapeutic category focus. He also brings expertise in the development of biological products to our organization. David is the ideal leader for our development-focused branded R&D organization, and we look forward to his contributions in maximizing the value of our existing pipeline, while continuing to expand our development portfolio in key therapeutic areas." "The ability to recruit such an exceptionally talented executive to our combined company demonstrates the breadth and strength of our development portfolio and scientific capacity, and a commitment to our development-focused approach for creating innovative branded pharmaceuticals," said Paul Bisaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Actavis.
“David's experience working in the U.S., UK, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as leading a team of 2,400 colleagues in sites around the world also gives him a unique understanding of the global clinical and regulatory environment that will help us develop specialty pharmaceuticals not only for the U.S., but also for the expanded global commercial footprint of our combined company. His background will be critical in advancing our near- and mid-term pipeline, including new exclusive product opportunities, as well as defining a robust portfolio of next-generation products."
Prior to his current role as Chief Technology Officer, Executive Vice President R&D of Bayer Crop Sciences, Dr. Nicholson was the head of R&D at Organon before its acquisition by Schering-Plough. While at Organon, his teams developed an impressive array of specialty pharmaceutical products including Saphris and Remeron in CNS; NuvaRing, Implanon, Elonva and NOMAC/E2 in Women's Health; Bridion and Zemuron in anesthesia; and Arixtra in cardiovascular. Dr. Nicholson's teams also had a pioneering role in the discovery of MK-3475, an immuno-oncology PD1 inhibitor project that is now in phase 3 trials at Merck.
At Bayer Crop Sciences, Dr. Nicholson leads a team of approximately 4,000 scientists globally in the development of next-generation agrochemicals and seeds. Dr. Nicholson also served as the Senior Vice President, Licensing and Knowledge Management at Merck and Senior Vice President, Global Project Management and Drug Safety at Schering-Plough. He began his career at Beecham-Wulfing in Germany.
Dr. Nicholson serves on the Board of Directors of Actinium and Transparency. He earned a PhD in Pharmacology from University of Wales and a BSc in Pharmacology from Manchester University.