Eisai Inc. makes key executive appointments in Alzheimer’s disease

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Eisai Inc., the U.S. pharma subsidiary of Eisai Co. Ltd., has continued the expansion of its Alzheimer’s disease business with the appointments of two renowned experts in the neuroscience field. Dr. Harald Hampel joins the company as VP, Global Medical Affairs. Dr. Michael Irizarry has been named VP, Clinical Research. Both executives will work on advancing the company’s extensive pipeline of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia compounds.

“The additions of Dr. Hampel and Dr. Irizarry are a very important step as Eisai continues to break through in its quest to develop the first disease-modifying therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s disease,” says Lynn Kramer, chief clinical officer and chief medical officer, Neurology Business Group at Eisai. “Every day, the number of patients diagnosed with AD and dementia continues to grow with little hope for them, their caregivers and families. Through the efforts of our talented employees and our commitment to our human health care mission, we are confident that we can someday offer a complete treatment regimen that is preventative, pre-emptive, restorative, and regenerative.”

“I am delighted to join the outstanding global Eisai effort to discover and develop innovative therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, with the ultimate goal to help patients, caregivers and family members all over the world who suffer from this debilitating central nervous system disease,” Dr. Hampel says.

Dr. Michael Irizarry

Dr. Harald Hampel

Dr. Hampel is responsible for creating and overseeing the company’s global AD/dementia medical strategies. He also oversees investigator-initiated trials, Phase IIIb/IV projects, and the company’s continued medical education and medical information programs. Dr. Hampel, who has 25 years clinical trial experience in AD and related neurodegenerative diseases, has published more than 600 scientific publications and has won multiple awards for his research. His extensive areas of study have pioneered the field of precision medicine for AD using systems theory and innovative data science. The founding director of the Alzheimer Memorial Center at the University of Munich in 1997, Dr. Hampel most recently served as full professor and Excellence Chair, Scientific Director at the Institute for Memory and Alzheimer’s Disease, European Center of Excellence in Neurodegenerative Disease at Sorbonne University in Paris. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Munich and holds an M.A. in hospital administration from the University of Cologne and an M.A. degree from Trinity College, University of Dublin.

Dr. Irizarry, who joined Eisai in 2018 as VP, Clinical Research for the company’s Epilepsy and Sleep/Wake therapeutic areas, assumes a new role with responsibility for the clinical development and overall strategy of the company’s AD-related neurosciences portfolio. After spending 12 years as a researcher at the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, Dr. Irizarry moved to the pharmaceutical industry in 2006, where he has held leadership positions in the neuroscience area at Eli Lilly and in epidemiology at GlaxoSmithKline. He earned undergraduate and medical degrees from Georgetown University and a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his neurology residency and Memory Disorders Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“I am excited to work with the groundbreaking researchers at Eisai to advance the Alzheimer’s portfolio towards bringing urgently needed, transformative symptomatic and disease-modifying therapies to patients,” Dr. Irizarry says.