New appointments at GlaxoSmithKline emphasize focus on development and medical governance
Wednesday 23 February 2006, London, UK - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced appointments in its R&D organization relating to late-stage development of future medicines. The changes address opportunities arising from pipeline progress in recent years which has yielded a high volume of compounds expected to be in late-stage clinical development in 2006 and beyond. The appointments are as follows:
* Allan Baxter as Senior Vice President, Medicines Development. He will be responsible for GSK’s Medicines Development Centers, which are the therapeutically defined units that lead and manage late-stage clinical development in GSK R&D, and for related scientific disciplines.
* Amber Salzman as Senior Vice President, Development Operations. She will be responsible for the operational support of clinical trials and planning.
* Ronald Krall as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. He will be responsible for medical affairs, clinical safety, pharmacovigilance, and all matters relating to regulatory affairs including compliance. He will also chair the Global Safety Board.
The appointments take effect 27 February. All three executives will report to Tachi Yamada, chairman, R&D, and upon his retirement 1 June to his successor, Moncef Slaoui.
“These new roles for Allan, Amber, and Ron are the next logical step in the evolution of our R&D organization as our pipeline grows and matures,” Yamada said. “We are building on our success to date by intensifying our focus on several aspects of development crucial to delivering our next generation of medicines and by addressing the growing need for the strongest possible medical governance.
“GSK now has 97 clinical projects advancing potential new medicines, nearly double the number at the inception of our company five years ago, and in 2006 we will progress another 8 major assets into Phase III, doubling the number of assets in late-stage development. To deliver on this promise, we must continue to evolve as an organization focused on exquisite design, planning, and execution and the highest ethical standards in responding to medical needs.
“Allan was instrumental in creating our promising pipeline in his previous role as head of Drug Discovery, which comprises our entrepreneurial Centers of Excellence for Drug Discovery. He will now drive our late-stage projects with the same emphasis on personal commitment and accountability.
“Amber has already contributed importantly to our progress in improving the economics of clinical development. She has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to work with partners across R&D to find creative and pragmatic solutions to operational issues.
“At the same time we manage our many projects, we must ensure the paramount importance of strong medical governance, clinical insight, and tireless attention to safety. Ron will bring to his role as chief medical officer a distinguished record as a physician and researcher and as a leader with uncompromising standards.”
A new head of Drug Discovery will be appointed in due course. In the interim, the heads of the individual Centers of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDDs) will report to Yamada. The CEDDs will continue unchanged with their responsibility for progressing innovative medicines in early- and mid-stage development.
Baxter, Salzman, and Krall each has more than two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
While leading Drug Discovery, Baxter had responsibility for GSK’s early- and mid-stage portfolio of new compounds. The number of compounds annually entering Phase I studies nearly doubled from that at the inception of GSK and the number of compounds entering Phase II studies more than tripled. He has served on the boards of various biotechnology companies and scientific institutions, including the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Universityof Glasgow.
Salzman most recently had direct responsibility for late-stage development operations, and previously headed R&D Information Technology. She leads a medical research foundation dedicated to finding better therapies for people with adrenoleukodystrophy by applying innovative approaches such as stem cells and gene therapy. She has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from BrynMawrCollege.
Krall has led global drug-development and regulatory organizations at GSK and AstraZeneca. He earned an M.D. at the Universityof Pittsburghand is board-certified in neurology. He trained at the National Institutes of Health Epilepsy Branch and then completed his training in neurology and clinical pharmacology at the Universityof Rochester. He is a past trustee of the AmericanAcademyof Pharmaceutical Physicians.
GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by the company, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect the Group’s operations are described under ’Risk Factors’ in the Operating and Financial Review and Prospects in the company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2004.
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