GlaxoSmithKline announced that Dr Hal Barron has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D, GSK. He has also been appointed as an Executive Director to the GSK Board. Dr Barron will assume his new role and join the Board on 1 January 2018.
Dr Barron is currently President R&D at Calico (California Life Sciences LLC), an Alphabet-funded company that uses advanced technologies to increase understanding of lifespan biology. Prior to joining Calico, Dr Barron was Executive Vice President, Head of Global Product Development, and Chief Medical Officer of Roche, responsible for all the products in the combined portfolio of Roche and Genentech. At Genentech, he was Senior Vice President Development and Chief Medical Officer.
Emma Walmsley, CEO, GSK said: “Scientific innovation must be at the heart of GSK and with the appointment of Hal, we are bringing one of the world’s foremost R&D leaders to the company.
“Hal has exceptional experience and a strong track record of developing significant new medicines from his time at Roche and Genentech; whilst at Calico he has helped build a research organisation that uses cutting-edge technologies in drug discovery and development. He is also very well known for his integrity, for being a clinician who is committed to always doing the best he can for patients and for building exceptional teams.
“The fusion of science and technology is fast transforming pharmaceuticals R&D. With Hal, we have a new R&D leader who will drive the changes and choices we need to make to be successful in this new environment, and as we look to build the next wave of growth for the company.”
Philip Hampton, Chairman, GSK, said: “We are delighted that Hal will be joining GSK and look forward to welcoming him to the Board. He is a highly respected clinician-scientist with a proven ability to generate value for shareholders and his appointment reflects the Board’s commitment to investing in research and development.”
Dr Barron said, “I am honoured to have been chosen for this important position especially given the company’s renewed focus on discovering and developing transformational new medicines. GSK is a company with a rich history of innovation, with many talented scientists who care deeply about translating great science into therapies that make a meaningful difference for patients. I believe there is a significant opportunity to accelerate this effort and am looking forward to joining Emma and the team on this mission.”
During his time at Genentech and Roche, Dr Barron oversaw the development of Xolair (Asthma), Avastin (multiple tumour types), Tarceva (Lung Cancer), Lucentis (AMD), Actemra (Rheumatology), Zelboraf and Erivedge (Melanoma), Perjeta and Kadcyla (Breast Cancer), as well as Gazyva (CLL). He has overseen pioneering work in oncology, personalised medicine and has led teams across the USA, Europe and Asia.
Prior to joining Genentech as a clinical scientist in 1996, Dr Barron received his Bachelor of Science in physics from Washington University in St. Louis, his medical degree from Yale University, and completed his training in Cardiology and Internal Medicine at the University of California San Francisco.
Dr Barron’s academic positions include adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He has been issued several patents for his work in thrombosis and angiogenesis and has published more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Dr Barron will be based in the US, while operating from offices in both San Francisco and Stevenage in the UK. The new office presence in San Francisco will be focused on business development for R&D.