FDA commissioners seem to love joining the big pharma companies after leaving the governmental agency.
Former FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn has left the governmental agency to join Flagship Pioneering as the chief medical officer. He will be helping lead a program focused on preventive medicine and health security.
Flagship Pioneering founded Moderna in 2009. Moderna is another company that is seeking FDA approval for a Covid vaccine. This move follows his predecessor, Scott Gottlieb, who is now the director for Pfizer. Hahn was with the FDA for just over a year from Dec. 17, 2019, through Jan. 20, 2021.
According to Flagship, Dr. Hahn will lead an initiative to help prevent infectious and chronic diseases. This will include financing the development of vaccines and drugs targeting “existing pandemic diseases such as obesity, cancer, and neurodegeneration.”
Brad Loncar, CEO of Loncar Investments, wrote: “I have the highest respect for Flagship and for Dr. Hahn. But I have to keep it real. It would not be a good look for our industry if the person who approved the vaccine went to work for an affiliated company.”
It definitely is not a good look. Those who question the authority in the country see the trend. We can follow the trail of sticky hands that seem to be following the money. The conflict of interest is outstanding and it makes a person wonder about their judgment.
While Hahn was FDA commissioner he granted emergency use authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine after okaying Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. As of now, tens of millions of American’s have received the Moderna jab.
As reported by Fierce Biotech, two weeks ago, ex-FDA deputy Amy Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., joined Alphabet’s life sciences unit Verily as president of clinical research. Abernethy suddenly departed the FDA recently after having been a contender for the agency’s top spot, a role for which Fierce Pharma voters deemed her to be the no. 1 choice.
On Monday Flagship announced it raised more than $2 billion ahead of the launch of its new preemptive medicine and health security division, which is expected to work to prevent the onset of cancers as well as future pandemic threats.
While this kind of move isn’t abnormal, it’s kind of strange how people from the FDA are jumping ship to all of these big pharma companies as approvals for the Covid vaccine are getting approval. It’s yet another reason to continue to question the FDA, these big pharma companies, and the government.