Our people

Here for Good: The human element inspiring our cancer research

Learn how one doctor turned his family connection to cancer into a career driven by scientific innovation

May 27, 2022

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Advances in oncology research require a firm commitment to scientific investigation. Behind every innovation, there are countless researchers, doctors and clinicians who dedicate their lives to helping patients through scientific breakthroughs.  

At MSD, Dr. Gregory Lubiniecki, vice president, oncology clinical research, is a senior leader who oversees cancer research. He’s also a practicing clinician, continuing to see patients — adding a human connection to his research.  

For Lubiniecki, having a “one-on-one connection” with patients is important both personally and professionally, and helps to keep the patient experience at the forefront when designing clinical studies.   

Dr. Lubiniecki’s drive to pursue a career in oncology was motivated by his family’s experience with cancer — watching his mother go through surgery and chemotherapy while he was in high school — and his own scientific curiosity. “The complexity of the molecular biology involved in cancer was very intriguing to me,” he said.

Dr. Lubiniecki and his team play a critical role in advancing MSD’s effort to help save and improve lives around the world through leading-edge science. With an ongoing connection to patients and his research firmly focused on the future, Dr. Lubiniecki is excited about where cancer care may go next.  

“I’m very excited about several clinical projects that are going to try and improve the lives of patients who are fighting cancer.”

  • Dr. Gregory Lubiniecki

Watch the video to learn more about Dr. Lubiniecki

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Our people

4 LGBTQ+ employees share stories of finding freedom to be themselves at work

Bringing your whole self to work allows you “to be happy not just in your personal life but also in your professional life"

May 26, 2022

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It can be as simple as sharing your weekend plans with coworkers or having a photo of your partner on your desk. When you feel free to be yourself at work, even the seemingly small things can have a big impact on your happiness and wellbeing.

Still, many employees struggle with the decision to reveal aspects of their identities they worry may be problematic for co-workers and managers. They end up “covering” those parts of themselves — whether it’s being gay, being a parent, practicing a certain religion, or having a disability — in order to avoid discomfort or discrimination.

Covering is emotionally draining. It can lead to poor performance at work, not to mention feelings of isolation and depression.

Four of our LGBTQ+ colleagues from around the world — in the U.S., Colombia, Poland, and Japan — share their own experiences with the fear and anxiety of covering who they are, and the joy of finding freedom at a workplace that encourages them to be themselves.

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Finding a support system at work

Tracy A. White,

Executive customer representative, chronic care division, Missouri

“I came out at MSD before I came out at home,” says Tracy White, whose story starts in 2010, when she saw a video of then-MSD CEO Ken Frazier talking about the importance of bringing your whole self to work.

“Watching that video had a powerful impact on me,” she says. “I thought about the gifts that people were missing in me, and the gifts I was missing in others, by not relaxing and being myself.”

Tracy started talking more openly about her partner, Kristyn, with her coworkers. And a simple gesture from White’s manager ultimately gave her the freedom to come out: “She said, ‘Thank you for sharing Kristyn with me.’ That was her way of making it safe for me. And that’s when I started crying and came out to her. That was a turning point for me to feel more comfortable at work.”

After that, White came out to her siblings and parents. She became a co-chair of the sales organization’s Rainbow Alliance chapter. And she and Kristyn got married in 2013.

“When I came out at work, I embraced my job so much more,” says White. “For me, coming out was just a beautiful gift I gave myself.”

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Taking off the mask

Daniel Muriel

Specialist, clinical operations, medical writing, Colombia

Before joining  the company in 2018, Daniel Muriel worked as a flight attendant, a job that allowed him to explore cities throughout South America and Europe. During his off hours, he immersed himself in local LGBTQ+ culture — but on the job, things were different. “I wore a mask the majority of the time,” Muriel says. “Because of the stigma that ‘all flight attendants are gay,’ customers would put this label on you. So I would put the mask on to earn respect from them.”

When Muriel left to pursue a different career, he decided to seek out a company where he could be completely himself — and he found it at our company. “I said, ‘I’m not going to put the mask on; I’m going to show them who I really am.’ That was one of the biggest and most positive changes in my life.”

Instead of deflecting questions about his personal life, as he’d done in the past, he told his colleagues about his fiancé, and about their plans to get married, buy a house and adopt a child. “Even my fiancé says, ‘Since you started working for MSD, you’re different. I know you’re happy, not just in your personal life but in your professional life.’”

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Leading by example

Thomas Johansson

Executive director, clinical research, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine

In his 20+ years with the company, Thomas Johansson hid his sexual identity from a manager only once—only to discover later that the manager was an LGBTQ+ ally. “I was shocked, and I felt so stupid,” he says. “The lesson learned was, you should not cover up; the worst thing that can happen is someone doesn’t like you, and that can happen to anyone.”

Now in a leadership role himself, Johansson says he tries “to be open as much as possible, to show that as a gay man you can have a career. You don’t need to cover up to be successful at MSD.”

He acknowledges that the recent rise in conservatism and anti-gay sentiment in Poland and across Eastern Europe has made it more difficult to live openly. Indeed, more than 90 Polish municipalities have declared themselves “LGBT-free zones,” although a small number of them have repealed those declarations for fear of losing European Union funding for violating E.U. law regarding nondiscrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. Thomas observes, “It’s not as safe as it was in the past to speak up in Poland.”

Thomas is working to make sure employees know that our company is a safe space. In 2019, he helped organize the first Diversity and Inclusion Day in Poland—and while none of the participants asked LGBTQ+-related questions during the meeting, several people approached Johansson afterward. “Some of them privately said, ‘thank you so much for your courage, thank you for being visible.’”

And, in 2021, our company in Poland held its first LGBTQ+ awareness training for people managers, which was well attended and opened the door to great dialogue. Johansson comments, “I was surprised in a positive way of the engagement, openness and curiosity.”

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Speaking up for change

Marie Sagi

Associate director, global market access, U.S.

Before moving to her role in the U.S., Marie Sagi lived in Japan, where same-sex marriage is not legal; however, she and her partner lived in one of a growing number of municipalities that offer same-sex partnership certificates. With the certificate in hand, Sagi applied for a “with spouse” housing allowance through our HR department in 2018. Her application was denied.

“At first, I felt helpless,” Sagi recalls. “But then I thought, if I allowed the status quo to stand, how many others were going to feel demoralized and isolated? So I decided to take action.”

Marie learned that our company didn’t offer benefits for same-sex partners — in Japan, the issue had simply never come up. Although same-sex partnership certificates had been introduced in Japan just a few years earlier, in 2015,  being openly gay in Japan is still largely taboo. Sagi was the first employee to bring the issue to the company’s attention.

One week later, she began working with HR to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion — and as a result, our company became one of the first in Japan to provide full benefits to same-sex partners.

For Sagi, that was just the first step. Her mission is to help  LGBTQ+ employees feel comfortable coming out at work if they want to. In 2019, she established the first Rainbow Alliance chapter in Japan, and she’s continuing to work with HR to increase LGBTQ+ awareness and support.

“I’ve been the only one working on this for a long time,” she says, “but last November, two colleagues said, ‘We are LGBT also,’ and they joined the Rainbow Alliance chapter. One of them told me he joined our company because we have this [same-sex partner program]. I’m so happy he said that, because we worked so hard. I hope more people will join us.”

Our people

Finding the courage to come out after 20 years of marriage

MSD executive Scott M. Wright shared his story of coming out in midlife — the response was overwhelming

May 25, 2022

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Scott Wright’s coming out journey came full circle in July 2020 when he received an email from Judy Shepard.

The brutal murder in 1998 of Judy’s son, Matthew Shepard, a gay college student, was a defining moment in Wright’s life, given how deeply conflicted he was with his own identity at the time. It would take another 20 years for Wright to find the courage to accept himself.

Wright heard from Matthew’s mother after he publicly shared his coming out story in 2020. It was an exchange that was surreal and deeply emotional. It also reaffirmed Wright’s decision to share his voice to help pave the way for others to move beyond their fear and shame.

Suffering in silence

Recalling the television reports of Matthew’s horrific murder, Wright says, “On one level, it was immensely tragic, and it frightened me that someone’s life was taken for just being gay. I felt for him and his family. And then the second wave hit me — I couldn’t ever talk about how much it deeply bothered me.”

At the time, Wright was newly married to his wife, Cherryl. Although he “had some confusing feelings about men”, Wright never doubted his love for her. The couple soon had a daughter, and life went on.

“We continued to have a great, loving relationship, but silently I suffered with tremendous conflict,” says Wright, who despaired as the chasm widened between his true self and the life he’d built.

He watched as the LGBTQ+ movement gained momentum, building mainstream support and sparking landmark policy changes like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the Obergefell decision, which legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S.

As a MSD employee, he saw the company consistently champion diversity and inclusion, encouraging employees to “show up as their authentic selves.” He envied people, both gay and straight, who felt the freedom to do that.

“I could never imagine what that would be like — to not constantly battle the fight within but be able to just relax, breathe and live a true life,” Wright says.

Coming out to his wife

Wright was in his late 40s when he began coming to terms with his identity as a gay man. “You can’t fight nature; it will always win. And I was exhausted from fighting,” Wright says. By the beginning of 2019, after more than 20 years of marriage, he came out to his wife.

Scott and Cherryl smiling

“It was not easy. It was actually the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” he says. “The person who was the closest to me was the person I was potentially going to impact the most.”

After the initial shock and some very heartfelt conversations, Cherryl ended up becoming one of Wright’s biggest supporters and advocates. “We knew that we loved each other, and we were committed to finding a way to remain very connected in our lives,” Wright says.

‘You can just be you now’

Any fears he had about coming out to his co-workers were quickly put to rest.

“MSD was the first place I came out more fully,” says Wright. “I’ve had so much support. Not only am I surviving, I’m thriving — I literally thought I would go to my grave in the closet,” Wright says. “I come to work now just being me. That seems like such a simple thing, but when you’ve lived your entire life covering, where it’s always on your mind — every interaction and conversation you have — it’s tremendously draining. I don’t have to do that anymore.”

Scott and Abby

The positive experience he had coming out at work – along with the steadfast encouragement from Cherryl and his colleagues — fueled Wright to come out to more people, including his daughter, Abby, who was then a 20-year old college student.  Abby responded by saying, “Dad, I was honestly just waiting for you to tell me. You can just be you now.”

Life after coming out

Wright came out “to the world” in 2020 by sharing his story on MSD.com. 

“Seeing it on the homepage of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies made our family realize, ‘wow, it’s REALLY out there,’” says Wright. “We had no idea what to expect.”

The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Wright received nearly 150 emails from colleagues around the world who shared stories of family members and friends who were struggling to come out and how this story inspired them.

On social media, Wright’s story got thousands of views and hundreds of comments expressing support.

“There were also some heart-wrenching stories,” Wright says and pauses. “Which is why it’s so important that I — and all of us in the LGBTQ+ community — continue to share our stories to keep paving the road for others.”

Cherryl, Abby and Wright have grown even stronger as a family over the past couple of years.

“Not everything has been easy, but we have a strong foundation of love, and with a strong foundation, you can build anything on it. It’s helped us not only navigate our way through this but also put us on a healthy path to redefining us, as a family, and that was unimaginable to me,” says Wright. “I think it says a lot about the importance of not just love and respect but resiliency in relationships.”

Abby and Cherryl
Scott, Cherryl and Abby

Coming full circle

While Wright plans for the future, he also thinks about the past.

“I only get the privilege of coming out because of the generations of people who came out before me — often risking or losing their lives,” he says. “People like Matthew Shepard — to me and millions of others — are part of that history. When you come out, it’s about owning your truth, but more importantly, it’s about making it easier for the next person after you.”

Wright’s story eventually made its way to the board of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, whose mission is to amplify Matthew’s story to inspire individuals, organizations and communities to embrace the dignity and equality of all people.  That’s when he heard from a board member, and then from Matthew’s mother. In reflecting on Wright’s story, Judy said:

“…it is a powerful and personal essay. It always makes me happy when someone can 'live their truth' with the support of those people who are important to them. I wish I could say it was always that way…”

Judy Shepard

She ended by stressing the importance of telling and sharing our stories: “When our personal stories are shared, we change hearts and minds.  Thank you for being part of the movement. Your voice is welcome and needed.”

Wright’s story doesn’t end here; in many ways, it’s just beginning. In May 2022, the Matthew Shepard Foundation invited Wright to join a special executive advisory board focused on strengthening and growing the foundation’s influence and impact throughout the LGBTQ community, its allies and many public/private partnerships.

“I’m incredibly honored to join this board. And, I’ll continue telling my story and doing whatever I can to help change hearts and minds…so others can live their true lives.”

Scott Wright at the Ganga River in India
Responsibility

35 Years: The Mectizan® Donation Program

The Mectizan Donation Program is the longest-running, disease-specific drug donation program of its kind

May 25, 2022

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Our commitment: “as much as needed, for as long as needed…"

For centuries, river blindness — also known as onchocerciasis — plagued remote communities in Africa, Latin America and Yemen, and there was no answer to this affliction.

This all began to change in the mid-to-late 1970s when Dr. William Campbell of MSD Research Laboratories suggested the use of ivermectin (later named Mectizan) for river blindness in humans. Following the breakthrough lab work by Dr. Campbell, another MSD researcher, Dr. Mohammed Aziz, championed the clinical development of Mectizan. Dr. Aziz led the collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early 1980s to design and implement field studies in West Africa that, ultimately, proved the effectiveness of the drug against river blindness.

In 1987, MSD committed to donate Mectizan – as much as needed, for as long as needed – with the goal to help eliminate river blindness.

mectizan 35 years logo
MDP partners include: World Health Organization, the Task Force for Global Health, ministries of health, non-governmental development organizations, academic institutions and local communities in endemic communities.

A ground-breaking public-private partnership

In order to reach this goal, MSD leaders recognized that many organizations with unique skills would need to work together as a team. To enable this collaboration, MSD established the Mectizan Donation Program (MDP), a ground-breaking public-private partnership. Operating from the Atlanta-based Task Force for Global Health, the MDP coordinates technical and operational activities between MSD, WHO, endemic countries, and a range of public and private stakeholders.

Building on the successful implementation of the river blindness program, in 1998 MSD expanded its commitment to include donating Mectizan for another neglected tropical disease, lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, in African countries and Yemen where it co-exists with river blindness. For lymphatic filariasis, Mectizan is administered with albendazole, a drug donated by GSK.

In November 2017, in support of new WHO guidelines, MSD announced an expansion of the program to reach up to an additional 100 million people per year through 2025 as part of the global effort to eliminate lymphatic filariasis.

More than thirty years later, the results of the MDP speak for themselves. Several countries in Africa are making significant progress towards eliminating both diseases. In Latin America, four countries – Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala – have received WHO verification of river blindness elimination. Lymphatic filariasis has now been eliminated in Togo, Yemen and Malawi. Both river blindness and lymphatic filariasis are on WHO’s list of neglected tropical diseases targeted for elimination globally.

Pioneering a community-directed approach

Today, the MDP is the longest-running, disease-specific drug donation program of its kind and has been influential in the development of a number of other drug donation programs. And, the MDP’s community-directed strategy used to distribute Mectizan has enabled add-on health services to be introduced in remote communities where health services are limited. The program reaches more than 300 million people in the affected areas annually, with more than 4.4 billion treatments donated since 1987.

People in the communities are an integral part of the distribution process in 49 countries where Mectizan has been distributed.

According to Uche Amazigo, former director of the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control, “by engaging the people, the treatment coverage increased significantly.”

“This pioneering program has changed the face of global health over the past three decades,” said Yao Sodahlon, head of the MDP. “When I visit communities where Mectizan is donated, I can see how the program has helped alleviate suffering and allowed people to live better and healthier lives.”

What are river blindness and lymphatic filariasis?

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River blindness (onchocerciasis)

River blindness is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide. Transmitted through the bite of black flies — which live and breed near fast-flowing streams and rivers — and can cause intense itching, permanent skin and eye lesions and, over time, blindness. It has historically been prevalent in remote rural areas of 36 countries (in Africa, Latin America, and in Yemen.)

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Lymphatic filariasis (LF)

Also known as elephantiasis, LF results in disfiguring swelling in the limbs and genitals. Parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes and damages the human lymphatic system. More than 1.3 billion people are at risk, and 30 percent of those infected live in Africa.

35 years later, results of this program speak for themselves

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More than 4.4 billion cumulative treatments

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Donations to 49 countries

Through the efforts of a variety of partners, more than 4.4 billion treatments have been donated to 49 countries in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Mediterranean, Asia, and South Pacific. River blindness transmission has been interrupted – meaning no new cases have been identified – in four of the six affected countries in Latin America and regions in five African countries. The program reaches more than 300 million people annually.

Today, the MDP is the longest-running, disease-specific drug donation program of its kind.

Rob Davis

“We are proud of the positive difference that the Mectizan Donation Program has made in the lives of so many people, their families and communities, and health care systems over the years. Together, with our alliance of partners, we will continue to support endemic countries in their commitment to eliminate these devastating diseases.”

Rob Davis, CEO and President, MSD

Explore our history of helping bring treatment to those afflicted by river blindness and elephantiasis

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1978

Dr. William Campbell of MSD Research Laboratories suggests the use of Mectizan (ivermectin) against onchocerciasis (river blindness) in humans.


1981

The first human clinical trials begin in Dakar with the first patient receiving a single dose.


1987

MSD CEO Dr. Roy Vagelos announces the company’s commitment to donate Mectizan to treat river blindness — as much as needed, for as long as needed — the MDP is formed.


1988

The Mectizan Expert Committee meets for the first time to establish the strategy for distribution and the donation review process. Mectizan has been produced at the MSD plant in Haarlem, the Netherlands, since the beginning of the program.


1991

MSD, the MDP Secretariat and WHO establish the Non-Governmental Development Organization (NGDO) Coordination Group for Onchocerciasis Control. NGDOs play a critical role in Mectizan distribution through their work with ministries of health and local communities, expertise in program management, and financial support.


1993

The Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA), formed by the River Blindness Foundation and currently sponsored by The Carter Center, brings together the ministries of health of six countries in Latin America affected by onchocerciasis.


1995

WHO, the World Bank, international NGOs, and 19 African countries partner to create the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), providing a structure for financial support and coordination of river blindness control efforts.


1998

MSD begins a partnership with GSK to expand the MDP to include the elimination of LF, commonly referred to as elephantiasis, in African countries and in Yemen.

MSD and the MDP celebrate the 100 millionth treatment in Uganda.


1999

The iconic river blindness statue, “Sightless Among Miracles” by sculptor R. T. Wallen, is dedicated at WHO headquarters in Switzerland. Identical statues are also found at The Carter Center (Georgia, USA), the World Bank (Washington, D.C., USA), the Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), MSD (New Jersey, USA) and Lions Club International Foundation (Illinois, USA).


2002

In Tanzania, MSD CEO Raymond
Gilmartin celebrates the 250 millionth
treatment distributed.


2008

The Pan American Health Organization passes a resolution calling for the interruption of transmission of river blindness in the Americas by the year 2012.

WHO confirms the potential for elimination of river blindness in some parts of Africa through current treatment strategies.


2010

MSD reaffirms its commitment to the MDP. MSD “will continue to [donate Mectizan] until river blindness becomes a disease of the past,” said MSD CEO Richard T. Clark.


2011

Colombia becomes the first country to apply for WHO certification for the elimination of onchocerciasis transmission after suspending treatment with Mectizan in 2007.


2012

MSD CEO Kenneth C. Frazier commemorates the 25th anniversary of the MDP at a celebratory event in London.


2013

WHO verifies that Colombia has eliminated onchocerciasis, thus becoming the first country in the world to achieve this goal.


2014

WHO verifies the elimination of onchocerciasis in Ecuador. Ecuador worked in partnership with the MDP and a number of other organizations and now becomes the second country in the world to be free of this disease.


2015

WHO verifies the elimination of onchocerciasis in Mexico, the third country in the world to be free of river blindness.

Dr. William C. Campbell, Ph.D., is jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of avermectin, which led to a treatment for river blindness. Dr. Campbell performed his Nobel Prize-winning work at MSD Research Laboratories in Rahway, N.J., where he worked from 1957 until his retirement in 1990.


2016

WHO verifies the elimination of onchocerciasis in Guatemala thanks to a partnership with the MDP and a number of other organizations. With this milestone, four of the six countries in the Americas historically at-risk for river blindness now have verified elimination of the disease.


2017

Togo becomes the first country in Africa recognized by WHO to have eliminated LF as a public health problem.

MSD announces an expansion of the MDP to reach up to an additional 100 million people per year through 2025 as part of the global effort to eliminate LF.


2019

WHO verifies the elimination of LF as a public health problem in Yemen. The Mectizan Expert Committee meets in Togo and presents the Ministry of Health with the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Award.


2020

WHO verifies the elimination of LF as a public health problem in Malawi.


2021

MDP and MSD announce a $500,000 donation to strengthen laboratory capacity to support onchocerciasis elimination in Africa in partnership with WHO’s Collaborating Centre for Onchocerciasis Diagnostics at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida.


Health awareness

Taking prostate cancer research forward

Scientists at MSD are committed to research and development for people diagnosed with prostate cancer

May 12, 2022

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Almost everyone knows somebody living with prostate cancer.

But the people we know are not just a statistic or a number. They are our partners, parents, children, siblings and friends. They are our loved ones fighting to hang on to their dreams for the future. And that’s who we’re fighting for, too — aggressively building our prostate cancer research program day in and day out to help advance new options for patients who need them.

“As with any cancer, there’s a wide spectrum of clinical settings in prostate cancer and outcomes can vary between those with early versus later stage disease,” says Dr. Peter Kang, vice president, clinical oncology research. “Patients with advanced prostate cancer face a poorer prognosis and have limited options, which is what drives us to do more for them.”

How common is prostate cancer?

About 1 out of 8 people assigned male at birth will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. It is more likely to develop in people who are 65 or older, as well as among those with African ancestry or a family history of the disease. Prostate cancer can also be genetic. Several inherited genetic mutations — such as those of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes — can increase prostate cancer risk.

“Having first-hand clinical experiences with patients with prostate cancer has provided me with deep insights and inspiration that I regularly integrate into our overall approach to prostate cancer research,” explains Dr. Kang. “For me, those clinical experiences help to provide a fuller picture of patient needs — an invaluable perspective.”

What is the prognosis for prostate cancer?

For those patients who are diagnosed before their cancer has spread outside the prostate, the prognosis is promising with a five-year survival rate of nearly 100%. But for those patients diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of the body or is resistant to medical or surgical treatments to lower testosterone, the outcomes can be dramatically different and the five-year survival rate remains low.

What MSD is doing to advance prostate cancer research

MSD’s prostate cancer research program, in collaboration with academia and other partners, is one of the most comprehensive, science-forward programs in the industry,” says Dr. Kang.

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“We're working with a true sense of urgency because prostate cancer affects many patients and their loved ones, and they simply don't have time to wait.”

Dr. Peter Kang

Our science, coupled with new insights of the disease, continues to guide us — constantly evolving to inform clinical advancements.

“We are certainly smarter today in understanding the unique biology of prostate cancer,” explains Dr. Kang. “I am most encouraged by the fact that we now have more prostate cancer-specific treatments designed based on the biology of prostate cancer.”

And since the next breakthrough can come from anywhere and anyone, we regularly collaborate across the entire prostate cancer community, working with health care providers, academia and advocates to gain deeper insights and make progress for patients.

“We recognize that the fight against prostate cancer is a marathon, and to endure we must constantly evolve our strategies,” explains Dr. Kang. “As scientific leaders focused on changing the course of cancer forever, we must continue to ask big and bold questions, ultimately bringing us closer to our goal — a world where cancer isn’t just treated, but cured.”

Innovation

New podcast: The power of one pipeline

Through business development and licensing, MSD Research Laboratories stays primed for new opportunities and partnerships to drive our innovation

May 12, 2022

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Innovation comes in many forms — and from many places. That’s why business development and licensing is a key component of building and maintaining a strong portfolio today and in the years ahead.  

In this new podcast, Dean Li, president of MSD Research Laboratories, is joined by Sunil Patel, senior vice president and head of business development and licensing, and Fiona Marshall, senior vice president of discovery, preclinical and translational medicine, to discuss why our collaborations across biotech and the partnerships we forge are all part of our “one pipeline.”

Learn more about how discovery and development shape the future of MSD.

Innovation

MSD’s Q1 2022 earnings report

April 28, 2022

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MSD’s Q1 2022 results reflect sustained strong business momentum with robust top and bottom- line growth. The company announced Q1 worldwide sales of $15.9 billion, an increase of 50% from Q1 2021.

“We successfully delivered across our key strategic priorities and achieved strong top and bottom-line growth,” said chief executive officer and president, Robert M. Davis. “Our robust first quarter performance was driven by significant clinical advancements in our research pipeline and our ability to effectively execute commercially across a broad set of key growth drivers. We remain focused on driving our strategy, which is led by science, and are confident in the durability of our growth prospects, as we continue to provide value for patients, shareholders and all our stakeholders today and well into the future.”

MSD anticipates full-year 2022 worldwide sales to be between $56.9 billion and $58.1 billion.

Take a look at the infographic below for more details.

Download infographic

MSD Q1 2022 results infographic
Our people

Celebrating our Asia Pacific community

We’re committed to supporting and saluting our colleagues and the important work they do

April 27, 2022

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At MSD, embracing diversity is key to cultivating an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute their most innovative ideas. We celebrate and take inspiration from our global workforce while embracing and encouraging allyship.

Radhika and Moushmi
Radhika Balasubramani and Moushmi Culver

Through the work of our Asia Pacific Association (APA) employee business resource group (EBRG), we seek to serve the needs of our community members around the world as they help elevate our work and drive our organization forward. Going further than traditional employee affinity organizations, EBRGs connect colleagues and provide opportunities for business insights, talent development and social action.

“We believe cross-cultural understanding is not only good for employees but also good for business,” said Moushmi Culver, vice president, head of manufacturing strategy & business development, and executive sponsor, APA EBRG. “That’s why our APA group is so active in terms of community outreach and support, talent development, social responsibility, and business integration, where we can effectively leverage diversity and provide insights to drive our company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

In their own words, some APA members share why this EBRG community is important to them:

Moushmi Culver

Moushmi Culver, vice president, head of manufacturing strategy & business development, and executive sponsor, APA EBRG

The last 2 years of challenges — the pandemic, social injustices and catastrophic events — have taught us the positive impact that our community can have on each of us. APA has helped in many ways, including educating us on social issues, providing support with career development, informing business insights and, most importantly, connecting us with each other. These connections – in a group that has so much geographic and cultural diversity within itself — are especially important now.

Radhika Balasubramani, director, global science, engineering and commercialization organization, and global co-lead, APA EBRG

Born and raised in India and a woman of color in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field, I became the first in my family to achieve many milestones. This included moving to the U.S. to pursue my graduate degree and the first to work in a corporate environment. However, integrating into a new society and trying to be my authentic self can be challenging, especially while navigating a career and work culture.

Radhika Balasubramani

APA EBRG provided me with a safe space and a sense of belonging with a community of people who shared similar cultural backgrounds, professional experiences and challenges. At the same time, we are constantly seeking ways to enhance cultural competency – being aware of one’s own identity, cultural beliefs and values, finding commonalities, learning about the different cultures of our colleagues and celebrating our differences. We do this by organizing various cultural events, providing insights for our business, implementing professional development initiatives, like our mentoring program, and actively pursuing efforts to give back to the community. As an EBRG leader, I take great pride in knowing that I’m able to indirectly enable the career progression of our members and influence key business decisions to serve our global population.

Richard Huang

Richard Huang, associate director in Shanghai, China, supply chain management, and global co-lead, APA EBRG

As a second-generation, American-born Chinese, I had only “known” the culture through my upbringing but never experienced it firsthand. So, when I decided to pursue an assignment at our company in Shanghai, I was scared. But, I followed advice I received early in my career and have applied to all aspects of my professional development and decision-making ever since:  Do what scares you the most.

When I first arrived in Shanghai, I experienced culture-shock, but it then evolved into an enlightening and fulfilling experience. I have not only learned more about my heritage but also how I can use my diverse experiences and skills to make a meaningful impact on the business.

Now, with my unique geographical position, I’m able to help broaden our EBRG’s reach and support the community and business in the Asia Pacific region. We look forward to building a diverse and social community of future leaders and bring forth the greatest opportunities and growth in individuals, organizations and the business.

Our people

Living with type 2 diabetes in uncertain times

One man’s story of finding support for managing his type 2 diabetes during the pandemic

April 26, 2022

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More than a decade since his type 2 diabetes diagnosis, Barry Levine, who works in global customer insights at our company, has learned to manage his condition with the help of his family and friends. While his positive attitude and adaptable approach have often helped him manage a complex, chronic condition, these attributes became crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adjusting to a new normal

Because people living with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of serious complications from COVID-19, it was especially important for Barry to make adjustments to ensure he was protecting himself from potential infection.

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“It was a daunting task to determine how best to manage my type 2 diabetes while keeping myself safe by staying at home and social distancing.”

Barry Levine

“This meant I needed to adjust my everyday routine to include activities I could do at home – from ordering things like health care supplies online to taking walks around my neighborhood and joining online yoga classes.”

Celebrating everyday victories

For Barry’s family, friends and health care providers who are his biggest cheerleaders, showing support meant celebrating his everyday victories.

In previous years, Barry’s health care team encouraged him to do more exercise and choose healthy foods. And while he appreciated the encouragement, there were times when he felt he wasn’t doing enough. During the pandemic, his doctors acknowledged his efforts, big or small, which motivated Barry further and helped him feel good about his daily wins.

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“It’s not just looking down the road and trying to get one more day of exercise in. It’s also looking at today and celebrating what I’m doing, even with everything going on, to ensure I’m working on my health.”

Looking toward the future

It’s important that health care providers and patients keep up with their routine health care as a foundational part of maintaining wellness. Barry’s endocrinologist was always readily available and even made it a priority to see him for in-person visits throughout the year. The changes Barry made this past year to ensure he continued managing his type 2 diabetes showed him that no matter what life puts in front of him, he can adjust and successfully manage his condition. As everyday life starts to look more familiar, Barry is thankful for the ongoing support he receives.

*Barry’s story may not be representative of every patient’s experience.

Health awareness

Type 2 diabetes: A patient-centric approach to care

An informative Q&A with Dr. Sam Engel, associate vice president, cardiometabolic and women’s health at MSD Research Laboratories

April 26, 2022

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Dr. Sam Engel talks about the importance of taking an individualized approach to type 2 diabetes care.

How would you define patient-centered care and how does it differ for those with type 2 diabetes?

We use the term patient-centered care to describe an approach grounded in an individual’s goals and priorities, plus how their disease (e.g., type 2 diabetes) fits into their particular life. These insights guide a tailored strategy to help patients manage their disease for the long term – for those with a chronic, progressive disease such as type 2 diabetes, this is a critical step.

I remember vividly a patient who came to me and said, “I have diabetes, but I get so much joy out of life from food. Can you work with me so I can continue to get joy from food, but still manage my type 2 diabetes?” I learned a lot from that conversation. This patient taught me that once you know what’s off the table (literally!) in terms of care, then you can figure out what is possible.

But, these are not the only things we need to think about when it comes to patient-centered care. We also need to consider other factors that may impact a patient’s ability to manage their disease, which may include:

Health Literacy
Can they access, understand and apply health information?

Family and social support systems
Do they have a support network?

Financial concerns
Can they afford care?

How would you encourage health care providers to offer more personalized care?

Time is of the essence for everyone. I think providers need to plan for sufficient time to listen and empower patients as true partners in the process.

Also consider short, medium-and long-term strategies to help patients move forward, recognizing which goals are accessible now and which behaviors might take a long time to modify.

What steps can people with type 2 diabetes take to become more involved in their care?

I encourage patients to proactively communicate with their health care team. Patients can start by explaining their:

personal goals check mark
Needs check mark
Desires check mark

I understand that type 2 diabetes can feel like a full-time job, but together with a healthcare professional, patients can act daily on their management plan.

How can family members play a role in helping people with type 2 diabetes?

As a chronic disease, type 2 diabetes requires many self-management decisions throughout each and every day, as well as performing complex care activities. Family members may be able to provide important emotional and practical support on issues related to diet and lifestyle, among other things, for those managing the disease. But remember, as your supporters, family members must remember to be sensitive to your choices and know when to be involved and when not to be involved.

At the end of the day, type 2 diabetes requires a very individualized treatment strategy. So, each person with diabetes needs to be vocal and tell providers and family members, “This is where I would appreciate your help.”