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FDA's HARRY MEYER, MD, WILL HEAD AMERICAN CYANAMID's MEDICAL RESEARCH DIVISION

Executive Summary

FDA's HARRY MEYER, MD, WILL HEAD AMERICAN CYANAMID's MEDICAL RESEARCH DIVISION upon his retirement from FDA. Meyer, who has been director of FDA's Center for Drugs and Biologics since 1982, will leave the agency on Oct. 1, FDA announced on August 29. At Cyanamid, Meyer, 57, will be involved in the development of the products in the Lederle pipeline. Among the Lederle drugs currently in the clinical trial stage are the anti-cancer agents Cyabin (bisantrene), Decapeptyl (decapeptyl) and Novantrone (mitoxantrone); the cephalosporin cefixime; a cholesterol-lowering agent (CL-277,082) and a cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor (15-ketosterol). Meyer's scientific background in biologic and viral research blends well also with Lederle's vaccine development program. The company is currently in clinical trials with two vaccine products: an acellular pertussis vaccine and a Herpes simplex vaccine. An FDA "Talk Paper" announcing Meyer's retirement notes that he was one of the early developers and researchers of the measles vaccine. Meyer and Office of Drugs and Biologics Deputy Director Paul Parkman developed the German measles vaccine, and were granted two patents on their work, which were subsequently assigned to the federal government. Meyer was appointed director of the Center for Drugs & Biologics by former FDA Commissioner Art Hayes when the Bureaus of Drugs and Biologics were merged into one administrative unit in 1982. He had been director of FDA's biologics product regulatory unit, then known as the Bureau of Biologics. Meyer headed the Center for Drugs & Biologics when the first generation of therapeutic products based on recombinant technology were approved. Lilly's Humulin (human insulin), Genentech's Protropin (human growth hormone), interferon (Roche's Roferon-A and Schering's Intron-A), and Ortho's Orthoclone OKT3 monoclonal have cleared FDA during Meyer's tenure.

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