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AstraZeneca R&D executive Morrison to lead cancer firm Syndax

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca's outgoing chief medical officer and head of global late-stage drug development Briggs Morrison, whose departure from the British drugmaker was announced last week, is to head U.S. cancer firm Syndax Pharmaceuticals.

Syndax said on Monday that as its chief executive he would help take the privately owned company to the next level as it develops a drug called entinostat that modulates the immune system in the fight against tumours.

The U.S. company is already collaborating with Merck to evaluate entinostat in combination with Keytruda to treat lung cancer and melanoma.

Morrison's exit leaves a gap at the top of AstraZeneca's research operations.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler, editing by Louise Heavens)