Merck Announces Retirement of Dr. Roy D. Baynes; Dr. Eliav Barr Appointed Head of Global Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer

Mar 23rd, 2022 7:25 EST

KENILWORTH, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that Dr. Roy D. Baynes, head of Global Clinical Development (GCD) and Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories (MRL), will be retiring from Merck in July. Dr. Baynes will be succeeded by Dr. Eliav Barr, effective April 1, 2022. Dr. Baynes will continue to report to Dr. Dean Y. Li, president, Merck Research Laboratories, until his retirement.

“Roy is one of the world’s pre-eminent oncologists and clinical development experts, and his masterful spearheading of the development of KEYTRUDA leaves an indelible mark on Merck, on oncology and on the lives of patients and their families. As textbooks are updated to reflect the era of immuno-oncology, Roy’s contributions cannot be overstated, and will persist far beyond his eight years with Merck,” said Dr. Li. “I know there are many who join me in thanking Roy for his efforts and wishing him well in his next chapter.”

Dr. Baynes joined Merck in 2013. Under his leadership, Merck has become a leading oncology company and achieved more than 140 medicine and vaccine approvals globally across numerous therapeutic areas. This includes the development of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), WELIREG™ (belzutifan), VAXNEUVANCE™ (Pneumococcal 15-valent Conjugate Vaccine), ZEPATIER® (elbasvir and grazoprevir), LAGEVRIO® (molnupiravir), ZERBAXA® (ceftolozane and tazobactam), RECARBRIO™ (relebactam), PREVYMIS® (letermovir), BRIDION® (sugammadex) among others and, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Eisai and Bayer, the development of Lynparza (olaparib), Lenvima (lenvatinib) and VERQUVO™ (vericiguat), respectively. He also led the expansion of Merck’s research and development in China and Japan.

“It has been a privilege to have led the global clinical development organization during my tenure at Merck,” said Dr. Baynes. “I am immensely proud of the team’s accomplishments and the difference we are making in the lives of patients worldwide. I look forward to continuing to work with Eliav in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.”

Dr. Baynes will be succeeded by Dr. Eliav Barr, senior vice president, Global Clinical Development. During his more than two decades at Merck, Dr. Barr has held positions of increasing responsibility including leadership roles in oncology and infectious diseases clinical development. Dr. Barr oversaw the company’s Vaccines/Infectious Disease area during a period of high productivity, including the development of novel therapies for chronic hepatitis C and HIV-1 infections. Most recently he led MRL’s Global Medical Affairs organization from 2018 to January 2022, significantly expanding Merck’s scientific engagement and implementation efforts in oncology, vaccines and more. In his new role Dr. Barr will lead all late-stage clinical development for Merck’s expansive human health portfolio and pipeline and will report to Dr. Li.

“Eliav’s career at Merck has been marked by roles spanning infectious diseases, oncology and vaccines involving the development of several first-of-their-kind medicines and vaccines that have since been used by millions of people around the world. Most notably, he led the development of Merck’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which have become key tools in the global effort to reduce the burden of certain cancers and diseases caused by HPV,” said Dr. Li. “Eliav’s expertise in global clinical development combined with his unwavering commitment to patients and Merck’s purpose to save and improve lives make him well qualified to be the next Chief Medical Officer for Merck and the ideal leader for our industry-leading global clinical development team.”

Dr. Barr is a cardiologist by training. He received his undergraduate degree from Penn State University and his medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University. He completed his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, and subsequently pursued post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Merck in 1995, he held a faculty position at the University of Chicago. In 2019, he was a proud recipient of a Penn State Alumni Fellow Award for his dedication to the development of medicines and vaccines that treat and prevent infectious diseases.

“I am honored to assume the role as head of Merck’s industry-leading clinical development organization,” said Dr. Barr. “I am grateful to Roy for his mentorship and excited by the opportunity to build on Merck’s proud legacy of delivering breakthrough medicines and vaccines for the patients we serve.”

About Merck

For over 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA

This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021 and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).

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