Douglas Hager is a physical chemist, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin. He then pursued doctoral studies as a National Science Foundation Fellow at Harvard University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1976.
After receiving his Ph.D., Doug worked at the Procter and Gamble Company, researching the solution and rheological properties of proteins and synthetic polymers. His work led to several patents and publications on the use of polymers in food and paper products. In 1987, he moved to Alcon Laboratories to direct the research program in ophthalmic drug delivery systems. Doug then joined Sandoz (now Novartis) in 1989 as director of drug delivery systems research in New Jersey. The main focus of that assignment was the development of Sandostatin LAR. During this time, Doug was appointed the Project Leader for Sandostatin, beginning his formal involvement in project management. He joined the project management group at Novartis in 1994 and has specialized in managing development projects in Oncology from 1995 on. In January 1999, Doug was appointed Vice President and Global Head of Oncology Project Management, a position he held until October 2004.
During Doug’s tenure as Head of Oncology Project Management, major registration programs for Femara, Glivec and Zometa were completed. In addition, the number of oncology projects and the size of the Project Management Department more than doubled.
In October 2004, Doug moved to Tokyo to establish an Oncology Development Department at Novartis Pharma K.K. to facilitate transition of oncology products and projects from the West to the Japanese market. During the next three years, Sandostatin LAR, Femara, Zometa, and Exjade were approved in Japan. Tasigna was submitted to the Health Authority and approved in 2008. And the registration program for Afinitor (approved in January 2010) was initiated. In addition, the routine inclusion of Japanese sites and patients in Novartis Oncology global registration trials was established.
After his return to the United States in October 2007, Doug was responsible for the implementation of a new program management system in the General Medicines area of Novartis Pharma and re-joined the Oncology Business Unit in the Business Development and Licensing group in May 2008. In that function, he has served as Head of Search and Evaluation and was also the lead negotiator for the agreement with Incyte under which Novartis licensed a JAK-2 inhibitor outside the US and a c-MET inhibitor globally. This agreement was finalized in November 2009. Subsequently, he was the Oncology Business Unit negotiator for the licensing agreement with Array for their MEK inhibitor program in April 2010.
Doug returned to Japan in February 2014 as Head of Business Development and Licensing for Novartis Pharma K.K. In that role, he was responsible for acquiring new product opportunities and the initiation and management of marketing partnerships in Japan, including the recently launched co-promotion of Cosentyx with Maruho. Doug retired from Novartis Pharma K.K. on June 30, 2014 after more than 25 years with the Novartis group.