President Donald Trump is poised to nominate Stephen Hahn as the next commissioner of the FDA, according to BioCentury. Hahn, a radiation oncologist, is chief medical executive of the MD Anderson Cancer Center and reportedly the preferred pick of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar.
In contrast, Hahn has spent the vast majority of his career at academic medical centers, starting out at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1990s before arriving at MD Anderson to lead the radiation oncology division about five years ago.
Some prominent people had called for Trump to make more of a continuity pick by nominating Ned Sharpless, who is serving as interim commissioner. Former FDA commissioners including Gottlieb lobbied for Sharpless to get the position on a permanent basis, as did more than 50 groups involved in cancer and other areas affected by the agency.
That lobbying looks to have failed, suggesting Sharpless will return to the National Cancer Institute and Hahn will take the top job at the FDA. A sizable slice of Hahn’s inbox upon arrival at the FDA is likely to focus on issues unrelated to biopharma as the agency’s handling of vaping is in the spotlight.
Oct 2, 2019