Hans Bishop, Bayer Healthcare

May 31, 2009
By Pharmaceutical Executive



HANS BISHOP
CEO, Bayer Healthcare, Hematology/Neurology/Business Unit

Pharma vet Hans Bishop readily admits to being ruthless in his career. "If you're ruthless about seeking out challenges that you're not quite ready for, that will make you grow," he says. This tropism toward uncertainty is a trait shared by many young guns who come to Big Pharma embracing its medical mission only to find how resistant to risk the structure can be.

So Bishop also admits to being restless—and his career trajectory betrays the sense of a man on the move. After training in organic chemistry, he was too restless for a life in the lab. Being a sales rep at Glaxo Wellcome benefited by comparison. Soon Bishop was managing the major launch of game-changing migraine drug Imtrex (sumatriptan). From sales and marketing he jumped to spin off a joint-venture between Glaxo and Reuters called Diversified, dealing with then-emerging PBMs. Next the British drug giant handed him its entire UK marketing business to manage. "But the company had a crazy idea about how to run the business," he says. "I spent months trying to change management's mind, lost the argument, and left."

Other tracks left by this restless spirit: SmithKline Beecham, Chiron—and Sonera Zed, a global mobile-telecom startup.

In 2007 Hans Bishop finally jumped the pond, leaving London to take the to spot at Bayer's worldwide headquarters for hematology and cardiology in Berkeley, CA—the company largest division within the company. "When I arrived, we had a fantastic product, Kogenate {Factor 8}, but I was quite surprised at how little we were doing to develop it, let alone meet what were very significant needs for hemophilia patients," he recalls.

His effect on the company was one of immediate and disruptive innovation. Bishop has transformed Bayer's hemophilia franchise and increased annual global sales to $3 billion; at the same time, he is revitalizing both its R&D to cover the entire spectrum of hemophilia-related conditions and its commercial approach. Bayer can now boast the only long-acting version of Factor 8 in the clinic, a major leap in convenience and compliance over the standard thrice-weekly infusion regimen.

Bishop also pressed his Diversified expertise into service to innovate his business unit's approach to customer service, including funding grants for research into how to better manage the disease, from drug discovery to patient empowerment.

As he refines the model, he plans to apply it to the three other therapeutic areas under his wing, oncology, neurology, and early-stage ophthalmology. For the moment, Bishop seems too busy to be restless.