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Matthew Emmens began his career in international pharmaceuticals with Merck & Co., Inc., in 1974. There he held a wide range of sales, marketing, and administrative positions before volunteering in 1992 to help establish Astra Merck, the joint venture between Merck and Astra AB of Sweden. He later became president and chief executive officer. In 1999 he joined Merck KGaA and established EMD Pharmaceuticals, the company's U.S. prescription pharmaceutical business. Subsequently, he was promoted to president of the global prescription business and lived in Germany. In 2003, he joined Shire Pharmaceuticals as chief executive officer and member of the board. As CEO of Shire, Emmens has engineered an extraordinary revitalization, transforming Shire into one of the top specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world in just a few years' time.