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.
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