Pierre Meulien has been appointed to run the EU’s €3.3 billion pharma research partnership, the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), ending a year-long search.
Meulien, who is currently president and chief executive of Genome Canada, will take up office in mid-September, replacing former head Michael Goldman, who left in December 2014.
Before Genome Canada, Meulien was chief scientific officer at Genome British Columbia, and founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland), an organisation linking three medical schools and six teaching hospitals in Dublin.
As head of Molecular Medicine Ireland, Meulien served as the Irish representative on the committee that went on to become the member states’ representatives group of IMI.
Meulien said he is delighted to have been selected to lead the second phase of IMI. “This unique joint venture will deliver health innovations to millions of European citizens and solidify an important industry based in Europe that will be a source of jobs and growth in all of the member states.”
Alongside experience of running research-funding organisations, Meulien’s background includes stints in both academia and industry. He has a PhD in molecular biology from Edinburgh University and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute Pasteur.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) manages IMI on behalf of the pharma companies. EFPIA Director General Richard Bergström said Meulien has the perfect background having, “worked in the area where public sector and private sector interests overlap, all in the interest of advancing the latest science for the benefit of patients.”
Meulein’s contract will run for an initial period of three years.Irene Norstedt , who has been acting head of IMI since Goldman left, will return to her post as head of unit in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation when Meulien takes over.