Vasant (Vas) Narasimhan, M.D., has been Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Novartis since 2018. Since becoming CEO, Dr. Narasimhan has led a strategic and cultural transformation at Novartis to build a leading medicines company globally powered by advanced therapy platforms and data science. Under his leadership, the company has completed over USD 70 billion in strategic transactions.
Dr. Narasimhan previously was Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer for Novartis from 2016 to 2018. Prior to that, he held a range of leadership roles in product development and general management, such as Global Head of Development for Novartis Pharmaceuticals from 2014 to 2016; Global Head of the Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals and Oncology Injectables business unit in 2014; Global Head of Development for Novartis Vaccines from 2012 to 2014; and North America Region Head for Novartis Vaccines as well as United States Country President for Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics from 2008 to 2012. During his career at Novartis, Dr. Narasimhan has overseen the licensure of over 20 novel medicines, including cell and gene therapies as well as vaccines.
Dr. Narasimhan received his doctor of medicine from Harvard Medical School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago in the US. During and after his medical studies, he worked extensively on a range of public health issues in low- and middle-income countries, and he continues to champion global health priorities today. Dr. Narasimhan is a member of the board of fellows of Harvard Medical School. He is a committee member of the Biopharmaceutical CEOs Roundtable at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations, based in Switzerland, and he serves on the board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, ranking number one in sales (57.9 billion US$) among the world-wide industry in 2013.
Novartis manufactures such drugs as clozapine (Clozaril), diclofenac (Voltaren), carbamazepine (Tegretol), valsartan (Diovan) and imatinib mesylate (Gleevec/Glivec). Additional agents include cyclosporin(Neoral/Sandimmun), letrozole (Femara), methylphenidate (Ritalin), terbinafine (Lamisil), and others.