GERMANY —In a strategic move poised to reshape the trajectory of its Pharmaceuticals Division, Bayer has named Dr. Juergen Eckhardt as the new Head of Business Development & Licensing / Open Innovation (BDL/OI), effective from September 1, 2023.

This development marks a significant step in Bayer’s pursuit of innovative growth avenues, placing Dr. Eckhardt at the helm of the Pharmaceuticals Executive Committee.

Dr. Juergen Eckhardt, MD, MBA, is set to embark on an influential journey as he assumes the role of Head of Business Development & Licensing / Open Innovation for Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division.

With a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in the healthcare industry, encompassing roles as a physician, strategy consultant, and venture capital investor, Dr. Eckhardt brings a multifaceted skill set to lead Bayer’s external growth strategy.

Stefan Oelrich, Member of the Board of Management at Bayer and President of the Pharmaceuticals Division, highlighted Dr. Eckhardt’s pivotal role in this transformation, stating, “Juergen’s expertise will be key to lead our external growth strategy.”

Oelrich expressed gratitude to Friedemann Janus, who had served as the acting head of the BDL/OI organization in the preceding months.

Dr. Juergen Eckhardt’s journey at Bayer

Dr. Eckhardt’s journey with Bayer began in 2016 when he played a vital role in establishing Leaps by Bayer, the company’s impact investment arm focused on breakthrough technologies in health and agriculture.

Under his leadership, Leaps by Bayer has injected over US$1.7 billion into more than 55 companies, some of which were subsequently acquired by Bayer to fortify its technology portfolio and pipeline.

Dr. Eckhardt’s background as a physician at the University Hospital of Basel and his experiences as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., combined with his tenure as a Venture Capital investor, have equipped him with a unique blend of insights and perspectives.

Throughout his career, he has contributed as a board member to various biotech companies and has orchestrated numerous partnering transactions.

Empowering innovation for patients

Commenting on Bayer’s approach to collaboration and innovation, Dr. Eckhardt shared, “At Bayer we are strong believers in collaboration and partnering as a strategy to deliver breakthrough innovation to patients.”

He emphasized the importance of listening to partners’ needs and fostering an environment of idea exchange, all aimed at finding optimal solutions for patients.

Dr. Eckhardt’s dual role, encompassing the leadership of Leaps by Bayer, underscores his dedication to advancing innovation and propelling Bayer’s impactful mission forward.

As Bayer embarks on this transformative journey, Dr. Eckhardt’s leadership promises to reshape the company’s trajectory, foster collaboration, and bring innovative solutions to the forefront of healthcare.

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