October 19, 2021
Zoetis announces appointment of new R&D president
Zoetis Inc. announced on October 18 the appointment of Robert J. Polzer, PhD, as executive vice president and president of research and development for the company, effective January 1, 2022.
Polzer currently serves as senior vice president of global therapeutics for Zoetis and joined the company in 2015 after spending more than 20 years in R&D leadership roles at Pfizer. Polzer will become a member of the Zoetis executive team and report to chief executive officer Kristin Peck.
Polzer will succeed current executive vice president and president of R&D, Dr. Catherine Knupp, DVM, MS, who will remain head of R&D through the end of the year.
Knupp plans to retire after a career of building organisational talent and capabilities in Zoetis.
In his role, Polzer will have responsibility for the company's global R&D organisation and regulatory affairs, overseeing Zoetis' discovery and development pipeline across a diverse set of therapeutic areas, including medicines, vaccines and genetics as well as diagnostics and biodevices for use in animal health.
Polzer has built a career around biotech innovations and pharmacokinetics in human and animal health, and has been pivotal in looking at how animal health can translate scientific innovations from human health – like monoclonal antibodies and immunotherapies – into breakthrough advances for treating pets and livestock.
At Zoetis, Polzer has played a key role in the discovery and development of many of the company's recent innovations, including its monoclonal antibody platforms across species and therapeutic areas and its growing portfolio of companion animal parasiticides.
While further developing Zoetis internal R&D capabilities and teams, Polzer has also played a key role in fostering external collaborations with institutions like Colorado State University, which is developing new immunotherapies that could pave the way for alternatives to antibiotics in food-producing animals, and Regeneron, which is exploring the connections between animal and human health.
Polzer began his career as a research scientist at Pfizer, where he specialised in research to predict drug metabolism by the human body.
He eventually became head of Worldwide Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism at Pfizer before joining Zoetis at its global R&D headquarters in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the United States, in 2015.