Flagship snags yet another Big Pharma leader, this time welcoming ex-GSK leader John Lepore

The draw of Flagship Pioneering strikes again. After leaving his position as GSK’s head of R&D, John Lepore, M.D., is set to become a CEO-partner at Flagship and will helm the portfolio company’s ProFound Therapeutics. 

John Lepore, GSK
John Lepore, M.D. (GSK)

Lepore will start his new roles Oct. 16, just a few weeks after exiting GSK as the company reshuffled its R&D sector. The leader spent 17 years with the Big Pharma, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of research. Before GSK, Lepore was a faculty member of the department of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Now, Lepore will join Flagship-founded ProFound, which launched in 2020. The company’s mission is to use discoveries of the human proteome to unlock potential new medicines. The biotech’s platform is designed to produce an expanding database of novel proteins, including their connectivity, functionality and roles in health and disease.   

“At this crucial stage in the company’s growth, we’re thrilled to welcome John to the team and look forward to leveraging his leadership experience and successful R&D track record as we reveal a universe of novel therapeutic targets and develop an initial pipeline of new medicines,” Avak Kahvejian, Ph.D., Flagship general partner and founding CEO of ProFound, said in an Oct. 2 release.

The appointment is the latest in a string of Big Pharma executives exiting for Flagship. Just a few months ago, Bristol Myers Squibb’s former head of research and early development Rupert Vessey, joined Flagship as its first chief scientist and executive partner. Before that, former AbbVie President Michael Severino left to lead Flagship’s gene editing startup Tessera Therapeutics.