PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Zoetis Inc. has announced the appointment of Dr. Robert J. Polzer as executive vice president and president of research & development for the company, effective Jan. 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 CEO Kristin Peck.
Polzer will succeed current EVP and president of R&D, Dr. Catherine Knupp, who will remain head of R&D through the end of the year. Knupp plans to retire after a remarkable career of building the organizational talent and capabilities that have made Zoetis the innovative leader in animal health, the company noted.
Zoetis holds the position as the most productive R&D organization in the animal health industry, introducing more than 1,100 new products and lifecycle innovations over the last five years, the company said. Zoetis’ R&D investment strategy and approach has enabled it to build a diverse and durable portfolio across the continuum of animal care — from prediction and prevention to detection and treatment. Based on its track record of innovation, Zoetis has one-third of the industry’s largest blockbuster product lines and has a rich pipeline of future innovations, the company added.
“Zoetis, and the animal health industry, owe Cathy Knupp a huge debt of gratitude for the way she has influenced innovation in animal health and veterinary care during her tenure at Zoetis and Pfizer Animal Health,” said Zoetis CEO Kristin Peck. “Cathy’s vision for R&D has always been driven by finding the right marriage of impactful science, unmet customer needs and business strategy. That combination — and the talented scientists she brought together at Zoetis — have led to amazing scientific breakthroughs in dermatology, parasiticides, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, which have truly advanced animal care.”
“Since joining Zoetis, Rob has shown the business mindset, scientific rigor and leadership qualities to shape the future of innovation at Zoetis,” Peck said. “He is a forward-thinking researcher with experience in new areas of animal health like monoclonal antibodies and immunotherapies. He has forged exciting new research collaborations and is a respected leader across our global R&D community and beyond. I am confident Rob will continue discovering, developing and delivering an exciting pipeline of new products and continuous innovations across our diverse portfolio.”
In this role, Polzer will have responsibility for the company’s global R&D organization and regulatory affairs, overseeing the company’s 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.