GLAXO INC. RESEARCH INSTITUTE WILL CONSOLIDATE CORPORATE RESEARCH
GLAXO INC. RESEARCH INSTITUTE WILL CONSOLIDATE CORPORATE RESEARCH in the areas of cancer, inflammatory and metabolic disease, the U.S. arm of the British firm Glaxo Holdings plc announced Oct. 10. The company said it is shifting all discovery-phase research for new drugs for cancer, inflammatory diseases and metabolic disorders to Glaxo in the U.S. At the same time, cardiovascular discovery projects will be transferred to Glaxo Group Research in the U.K., which also oversees respiratory and central nervous system research programs. The shift of three major research programs to the U.S. coincides with the creation of Glaxo Inc. Research Institute (GRI), which assumes responsibility for all current research as well as development functions in the U.S. GRI will be part of the $350 mil., 10-building, 1.5 mil. square foot Glaxo Inc. R&D facility expansion that will be dedicated on Oct. 18 in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Glaxo Holdings' Group R&D Director Richard Sykes, PhD, will serve as president of GRI on a temporary basis for up to three years while the company's research programs are in transition. He will be headquartered in Research Triangle Park. Glaxo Inc. employed 180 discovery scientists and 550 development-phase researchers at the end of the fiscal year, June 30. Worldwide, Glaxo employs approximately 5,700 R&D personnel, of which one-third are devoted to discovery and the remainder to development. While not ruling out some shifts in personnel, the company said it has no plans to move researchers involved in the cardiovascular program to the U.K.; they will be offered positions in one of the three new U.S. research areas. The new research structure will allow Glaxo to take advantage of the particular research strengths in the U.S. and U.K., the company said. In the U.K., the newly transferred cardiovascular discovery program meshes well with the existing respiratory and CNS programs. The company expects the more advanced stage of U.S. molecular biology and biotechnology programs to benefit research into oncology, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. The shift marks a continuation of the Americanization of Glaxo that began with the promotion of Ernest Mario, PhD, to CEO of Glaxo Holdings in May 1989 and was bolstered by the appointment of Charles Sanders, MD, as Glaxo Inc. CEO two months later, in July 1989. Glaxo Inc. now accounts for approximately 40% of Glaxo Holdings' worldwide sales. Commenting on the restructured research focus for the U.S., Sanders said: "We think this is a significant opportunity for Glaxo Inc. to put in place a first-class research function in therapeutic areas of critical importance to vast numbers of patients. This represents another step in bringing our still-young R&D function to full maturity."
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