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LeadingBiotech: Cancer Advance
March 5, 2020
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MITCambridge, MA

Zhen Su, MD
Senior Vice President, Head of Global Oncology Franchise at Merck KGaA Darmstadt Germany


Zhen Su, MD, MBA is Senior Vice President and Global Head of the Oncology Franchise for Merck (Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany). In this role, he is leading the evolution of Merck Oncology into a biology-driven focused leader by continuing to deliver on the company’s market leadership globally in more than 60 countries and strategically shaping the future of the Merck Oncology franchise and its exciting pipeline. Merck’s oncology research has three innovation clusters: immuno-oncology, oncogenic pathways and DNA damage response. Building on a strong foundation of ERBITUX® (cetuximab) (outside the US and Canada) and BAVENCIO® (avelumab), Merck Oncology has a strong commitment to the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and thoracic oncology communities.

Before taking the leadership role for Global Oncology Francise, Dr. Su was the Chief Medical Officer of EMD Serono, the healthcare business of Merck in the US and Canada. In this role, Dr. Su led the regional medical & clinical strategy across all therapeutic areas, including Neurology & Immunology, Oncology, Fertility and Endocrinology. Dr. Su joined Merck in 2015 as the Vice President and Head of US Medical for Oncology, and successfully built an Oncology Medical team from the ground up. Dr. Su was then appointed as Global Head of Medical Oncology, leading Oncology Medical activities globally to support marketed brands, product launches and the acceleration of the oncology pipeline.

Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Su held increasing leadership roles at Sanofi Oncology, where he led the taxane franchise (docetaxel and cabazitaxel), and at GSK Oncology (pazopanib and dutasteride), with a dedecated focus on GU oncology treatment development and commericlization.

A physician executive with 20 years of experience in Oncology, Dr. Su has strong clinical expertise in Oncology, Urology, and Immuno-Oncology. Prior to joining industry, Dr. Su held several academic positions, including Assistant Professor at Duke University Medical Center, where he also received his post-doctoral fellowship. He then served as Assistant Professor and Cancer Immunotherapy Program Director at the University of Florida. He also has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in the field of immuno-oncology and targeted therapy.

Dr. Su earned his MD from the Technical University of Dresden, Germany, and completed his MBA training at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Agenda Sessions

  • A Review of the Cancer Research Ecosystem: Opportunities and Challenges