GSK chief elaborates on biotech strategy

With profits sliding, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty used much of his second quarter review for analysts to amplify plans to radically alter its R&D work, abandoning its old focus on blockbusters in favor of more targeted drugs that earn more modest incomes. Glaxo is shifting more to a biotech approach, creating small units of up to 80 scientists to pursue development programs. Those groups will then apply for research funds from a central investment board.

According to a report in The Times, Witty plans to also set up a venture arm to invest in promising new therapies pursued by early-stage companies or set up small companies to focus on Glaxo drugs. In addition, the pharma giant plans to coordinate their research with UK regulatory officials to help determine if the drugs they have in development are cost efficient and unique. And Glaxo is delaying a share buyback plan to make sure that the company has the funds it needs to make new acquisitions.

- read the report from The Times
- read the story in the Wall Street Journal

ALSO: GlaxoSmithKline and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have inked a five-year, $25 million-plus collaborative agreement to build a "unique alliance in stem cell science, leading to the development of new medicines." Release