FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) today announced that Gregg Alton has been appointed Chief Patient Officer, a newly created role that will facilitate access to the company’s medicines and increase focus on reaching patients. The company also announced that Diana Brainard, MD, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, HIV and Emerging Viral Infections, and that Andrew Cheng, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, has decided to leave Gilead to pursue another opportunity.
Mr. Alton joined the company nearly 20 years ago and was the architect of its access program, which has enabled Gilead’s HIV medicines to reach more than 11 million people in the developing world. He has helped shape the organization in a number of executive positions, including as general counsel, and more recently, leading the company’s international commercial operations and corporate affairs groups. Prior to joining Gilead, he was an attorney at the law firm of Cooley Godward, LLP, where he specialized in mergers and acquisitions, corporate partnerships, and corporate finance transactions for healthcare and information technology companies. Mr. Alton received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a JD from Stanford University.
“Gregg has a deep and broad understanding of the company and an unparalleled commitment to enabling access to our medicines for millions of people in both the developed and developing world,” said John F. Milligan, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead. “Bringing together into one organization a number of groups – including Access Operations & Emerging Markets, Public Affairs & Advocacy, Government Affairs, Medical Affairs, Digital Patient Solutions and the company’s commercial operations in certain countries in Asia – will help us better serve patients.”
Dr. Brainard joined Gilead in 2010. She has extensive training and experience in immunology, infectious diseases and drug development. Under her leadership, Gilead received regulatory approval of four chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) therapies in a period of less than four years. She was promoted to Vice President, Clinical Research, Liver Diseases, in 2015. Dr. Brainard received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, holds an MD from Tulane University School of Medicine, and completed her residency and fellowship in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Harvard University. Dr. Brainard trained as an infectious diseases physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and was on faculty at Harvard Medical School, where her NIH-funded research focused on translational models and T-cell trafficking in HIV infection. In addition to her clinical and research activities in Boston, she helped establish an immunology laboratory and train researchers at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.
“Diana is an astute, knowledgeable and experienced clinician and researcher with broad expertise across the field of infectious diseases. She played an instrumental role in the rapid clinical development and approval of Gilead’s HCV medicines,” said John McHutchison, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development. “The vision and leadership that she brings to this role will enable Gilead to continue to innovate, and advance new therapies for people with HIV and other emerging viruses.”
Dr. Cheng joined Gilead in 1999 to lead the company’s development-stage programs in HIV/AIDS. He received additional responsibility for the company’s Development Operations organization in 2009 and was named Executive Vice President in 2015. Dr. Cheng was appointed Chief Medical Officer in March.
“During his time at Gilead, Andrew played a definitive role in bringing forward new medicines that transformed the lives of millions of people with serious illnesses,” said Dr. Milligan. “Andrew played an especially critical part in advancing our portfolio of HIV products, and we’re extremely grateful for his many contributions and wish him all the best in the future. We are very pleased that Diana will lead this important therapeutic area for us going forward, as we seek to advance our next generation of HIV medicines, including potential options for prevention and perhaps one day a cure.”
Dr. Cheng will remain at Gilead until September 7 to help with the transition of his duties. Mr. Alton and Dr. Brainard will take on their new roles effective immediately.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.
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