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Amgen R&D head to retire to pursue early stage biotech opportunities

Amgen Inc. said its research and development head Sean Harper will retire and pursue opportunities in early stage biotechnology.

Harper was executive vice president of R&D at the Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company since 2012, after joining the company in 2002.

David Reese, the company's current senior vice president of translational sciences and oncology, will replace Harper.

Harper's tenure saw Amgen get product approvals for therapies in heart diseases, oncology, neuroscience and kidney diseases.

Meanwhile, Anthony Hooper, the executive vice president of global commercial operations, will also be retiring, Amgen said in the press release.

Hooper, who helped establish the company's biosimilars business, will retire in September and be replaced by Murdo Gordon, chief commercial officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Gordon's appointment will be effective Sept. 3.

Both Harper and Hooper will remain with the company for some time to help with the transitions.