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Boehringer’s Corsico to be new GSK drug dev leader

Research and drug development will be split into separate divisions

GlaxoSmithKline is continuing with its infusion of new blood into senior positions, and has revealed that Chris Corsico will be joining the firm from Boehringer Ingelheim.

Mr Corsico is currently chief medical officer at the German pharma company, but will move into the new role of senior vice president of research at GSK.

The UK-headquartered firm has underperformed on R&D and commercialisation in recent years, and CEO Emma Walmsley is determined to create a more focused and productive pharma division.

Chris Corsico

Chris Corsico (Image: Transcelerate)

Corsico takes up his new post on 1 January 2019 and will report to Hal Barron, GSK’s chief scientific officer and R&D supremo, who Walmsley headhunted from his role at Google-owned drug research division Calico a year ago.

The company told Endpoints News that it will be restructuring its R&D organisation, with Corsico heading up a separate drug development division, while research will be led by John Lepore, who has been at GSK since 2006.

Corisco will be based at GSK’s UK research base in Stevenage, and will travel regularly to its US centre in Philadelphia, while Hal Barron will also retain an office in San Francisco’s Bay Area.

In addition, GSK’s oncology R&D division, based in Philadelphia, will remain a separate entity, under the oversight of Alex Hoos. HIV joint venture ViiV also retains its own discovery unit.  This is headed up by Mark Cockett, who joined ViiV in February this year with the acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb’ HIV pipeline assets.

The company achieved three major approvals last year - shingles vaccine Shingrix,  respiratory treatment Trelegy Ellipta and HIV combination Juluca. However the company has just received bad news from the FDA, the US regulator refusing to approval a licence extension for its respiratory drug Nucala into COPD, citing insufficient efficacy data.

The company’s most advanced oncology assets are both in phase 2: a BCMA targeting antibody drug conjugate and a TCR T-cell immunotherapy being developed with Adaptimmune.

New faces on the R&D side have also been complemented by hirings in commercial positions. The most significant of these was the poaching of Luke Miels from AstraZeneca to head up pharma commercial operations, with Christine Roth coming from Novartis to oversee the oncology division.

Article by
Andrew McConaghie

20th September 2018

From: Research

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