Christoph Westphal to move to Longwood Fund, leaving GSK
Dr Christoph Westphal, President of SR One, is to leave GlaxoSmithKline later in 2011 to focus on external business interests, primarily the new venture, Longwood Founders Fund in which GSK is an investor. Dr Westphal will remain an advisor to GSK as Co-chair of the Sirtris Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr Westphal joined GSK in 2008 upon the acquisition of Sirtris, where he was co-founder and CEO. Following the initial successful acquisition and integration of Sirtris, his considerable specialist expertise was leveraged further in GSK, first as leader of GSK's Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) and then onward to head SR One, GSK's venture fund. The role of Sirtris CEO was taken on by Dr. George Vlasuk. The independent Longwood Founders Fund was set up in 2010 with the intention that Dr. Westphal would move to a full time role with Longwood in the future.
Moncef Slaoui, Chairman R&D said, "I would like to recognise Christoph's contributions to GSK and to R&D in the last three years. In addition to his achievements at Sirtris, he has brought an entrepreneur's perspective to our thinking on venture capital investments and deals to help us implement R&D's strategy to diversify through external collaborations. I wish him all the very best at Longwood Founders Fund."
GSK will begin recruitment for a new leader for SR One immediately, and Dr Westphal will leave GSK later this year. The early announcement of Dr Westphal's plans has been made in order to facilitate identification of internal and external candidates to succeed him at SR One.
SR One is GlaxoSmithKline's independent corporate healthcare venture capital fund. SR One invests globally in emerging biotech companies that are focused on drug discovery, development or delivery and have the potential to make products that will have a dramatic benefit to patients. In addition the fund focuses on maximising the value of GSK technological innovation to establish new businesses and revenue opportunities across a range of industries. The SR One portfolio includes approximately 25 private and public companies, and SR One has invested over $560MM in the biotech space.
Longwood Founders Fund is a healthcare venture capital firm that founds, manages, and builds biotechnology companies. Longwood's mission is to identify technologies and to found companies that will advance new therapeutics that can not only make a difference in the lives of patients worldwide, but also create significant value for investors. This is achieved by leveraging the management team's history of successful biotechnology company formation and operational leadership.
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