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A senior researcher who was most recently at Johnson & Johnson has emerged as a top candidate to be Biogen’s CEO, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The selection of the researcher, Mathai Mammen, until recently the head of R&D at pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, would be a major departure for Biogen, which has tended to hire corporate operators rather than credentialed scientists to serve as CEO. But picking a leader with scientific bona fides could be particularly important for the company as it seeks to rebound from the disastrous rollout of its Alzheimer’s disease treatment Aduhelm and the ouster of high-level executives.

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