FDA Gets New Acting Head

National Cancer Institute Director Ned Sharpless will temporarily lead the FDA when Scott Gottlieb resigns.

There will soon be a changing of the guard at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Current Director Scott Gottlieb is retiring and will be replaced by Ned Sharpless, Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Sharpless will serve as interim head effective April 1, 2019.

 

According to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, "There will be no let-up in the agency's focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes." In the meantime, a search is underway to identify the right person to serve as Gottlieb’s permanent replacement.

 

Sharpless has led the NCI since October 2017, and before that he was director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is an oncologist, has been an author on more than 150 publications listed on PubMed and is a co-founder of the companies G1 Therapeutics and HealthSpan Diagnostics, but has no direct role or financial stake in the latter.

 

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