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EMD Serono Adds to Leadership Team

By Kristin Brooks | February 13, 2014

Zieziula, Diaz, Buffington, Kuta, and Ruggiero bring extensive industry experience

EMD Serono, Inc., a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has appointed Gary Zieziula as chief commercial officer, Allene Diaz as senior vice president of Managed Markets, Lisa Buffington as vice president of U.S. Communications, Alexander Kuta as vice president and head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs, and Michael Ruggiero as vice president of U.S. Government Affairs and Policy.
Mr. Zieziula is responsible for maximizing the growth of the U.S. organization by driving the performance of the company’s franchises. He has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and in specialty care, most recently serving as an independent consultant focused on opportunity assessments for development-stage products, and mergers and acquisitions.
Ms. Diaz is responsible for developing and executing managed markets marketing, sales, and contracting strategies to help ensure optimal market access for EMD Serono products. She is also responsible for developing and executing specialty pharmacy patient adherence and retention strategies and oversees account management, managed markets marketing and contracting strategy, contracting operations and business operations. Ms. Diaz brings more than 25 years of both U.S. and international industry experience. Most recently she served as EMD Serono’s senior vice president, head of U.S. Oncology.
Ms. Buffington is responsible for driving and executing all aspects of the company’s communications strategy, including external and employee communications, media relations, corporate reputation, product communications, community relations, as well as meetings and events. Ms. Buffington brings 20 years of industry and communications experience, and most recently served as vice president of corporate communications at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Kuta is responsible for driving the strategic direction of EMD Serono’s regulatory efforts with the FDA, overseeing regulatory submissions in the U.S. and strengthening interactions with the FDA. He has 25 years of regulatory experience, most recently from Lantheus Medical Imaging, where he was vice president of Global Regulatory Affairs and a member of the executive leadership team.
Mr. Ruggiero is responsible for federal and state legislative, policy, political, and advocacy strategy and execution for the company’s business. He will also serve as a member of the Global Government Affairs and Policy (GA&P) leadership team. Mr. Ruggiero is an experienced executive in the biopharma industry with more than 20 years in government strategy, advocacy, and government relations. Most recently he served as vice president of government strategy for Astellas Pharma U.S., Inc.
“We are committed to being an organization dedicated to patients and customers, and our leadership team is critical to our mission,” said Paris Panayiotopoulos, president and managing director of EMD Serono. "Each of these talented individuals brings a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to our team that I am confident will help strengthen EMD Serono as a leading, specialty care biopharmaceutical company in the U.S.”

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