Skip to Main Content
Contribute Try STAT+ Today

The shocking revelation came in a Saturday afternoon email, restricted to a tight circle of top executives within Biogen. Al Sandrock, the company’s most prominent scientist and chief of its entire research and development group, was leaving. There was no warning or explanation. After 23 years at Biogen, Sandrock, 64, had apparently decided it was time to retire.

The real story, according to multiple people close to Biogen, is that Sandrock was pushed out by the company’s CEO, Michel Vounatsos — an effort to blame the scientist for the polarizing approval and disastrous commercial rollout of Aduhelm. Just five months earlier, the company heralded the drug as a revolutionary advance in Alzheimer’s disease, and the first new treatment in nearly two decades.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment