AstraZeneca's head of R&D for oncology dies at 61

(Reuters) - AstraZeneca Plc’s head of oncology research, Jose Baselga, has died at the age of 61, the company said on Sunday.

"An outstanding scientific leader, José leaves a lasting legacy in the scientific community and here at AstraZeneca," the company's Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said in a statement.

The statement did not give a cause of death but Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia said Baselga had died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare brain condition.

Baselga joined AstraZeneca in 2019. He previously worked as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s chief medical officer. He had also been chief of hematology/oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a professor at Harvard Medical School.

Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry