Shortly after Sanofi announced its head of R&D John Reed was departing the organization, his “new opportunity” was revealed: Reed is joining Johnson & Johnson as EVP of pharmaceuticals, R&D.

The J&J position had been held on an interim basis since August by William Hait, who assumed the job when Mathai Mammen left the company. Reed will assume his new post in April.

“I am confident his experience and leadership will enable our pharmaceutical R&D organization to continue to accelerate innovation and competitiveness, invest with focus and discipline, and improve the lives of patients we serve around the world with transformational medicines,” said Joaquin Duato, Johnson & Johnson chairman of the board and CEO, in a statement.

Reed had served as Sanofi’s global head of R&D since 2018. In that role, he oversaw the development of RSV antibody nirsevimab and Sanofi’s acquisition of Principia Biopharma in 2020. Prior to his Sanofi tenure, Reed was global head of R&D and early development at Roche.

In a statement, Reed described himself as “deeply honored and extremely excited” to join J&J. “I share the company’s commitment to innovation to conquer disease and improve human health, and I look forward to applying my passion for science, experience in drug discovery and development and commitment to helping patients in leading the talented pharmaceutical R&D team.”

In announcing the hire, Duato referred to Reed’s significant experience in research, noting he had “an extraordinary track record for discovering and developing life-saving innovations on a global scale.” Reed has authored more than 900 research papers.

Reed’s arrival comes as J&J focuses on preparing several drugs for approval. Late last year, J&J submitted a BLA for its multiple myeloma drug talquetamab to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company is also hoping for a greenlight on its metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer drug, niraparib, in the EU.

Last November, J&J sealed its biggest acquisition in six years when it snapped up Abiomed for $16.6 billion. The deal brought Abiomed’s heart pumps and cardiovascular expertise under J&J’s umbrella. J&J continues to expand its heart failure and recovery pipeline, and in so doing position itself as a “cardiovascular innovator.”