Stephen Whitehead, ABPI Chief Executive, explains:
“With Neil’s introduction the ABPI is taking the opportunity to strengthen the link between our Innovation Board and our Board of Management. Supporting and encouraging innovation is the key role of our Innovation Board, but it is also a key consideration for the ABPI as a whole.
“We’re very grateful to all the effort and hard work John Stageman put into the Innovation Board, and I’m confident that we have the right person in Neil to continue taking us forward.”
Commenting on his appointment, Neil said:
"I’m delighted to have been appointed Chair of the ABPI Innovation Board at such a critical time for our industry. As the shape of our industry continues to rapidly change our fate lies in the ability to continually innovate. Our ambition must be to offer innovative new medicines and ground-breaking solutions that go beyond the drug. We must remain committed to enabling cutting-edge scientific research that is driven by the patients' needs but above all we should continue to focus on our core strength and offering, namely: innovation."
The ABPI is continuing to develop its Medical and Innovation capability whilst also increasing its level of engagement, and the recruitment process – managed by DHR International – to find a new Director to lead the Medical and Innovation team is currently underway. Previous Medical and Innovation Director, Dr Allison Jeynes-Ellis, left the ABPI in February of this year.
The ABPI Innovation Board was set up to develop a long term vision for pharmaceutical innovation in the UK and to boost our international competitive position.
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Notes to Editor
The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. Our members supply 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing over two-thirds of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.
Biography of Dr Neil Weir, Senior Vice-President, Discovery UCB S.A.
Dr Neil Weir leads discovery at UCB where he oversees an integrated portfolio of small molecule and antibody therapeutic projects in the areas of Immunology and Neurology.
Neil was one of the inventors of the drug Cimzia®, a novel pegylated anti-TNF, and the discovery team he is responsible for has transitioned twenty novel molecules (comprising small molecules and antibodies) from discovery into development.
Prior to his role at UCB, Neil was Head of Discovery at Celltech R&D in the UK during which time he was involved in the discovery and development of antibody and antibody fragment-based drugs.
Neil is a member of the Research Directors Group of EFPIA (The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations) and has sponsored three call topics in the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). He is a member of the MRC Translational Research Group and the HealthTech and Medicines KTN Steering Board as well as chair of the industry advisory panel for VISION (University College London’s ground-breaking new training programme specifically tailored for Senior Executives in biopharma and related sectors). Neil is also a Non-Executive Director for the company Ondek Pty Ltd.
He received a BSc (Hons) in biology from Edinburgh University and a PhD at the Institute of Biotechnology (University of Kent at Canterbury) studying metabolic flux through amino acid biosynthesis pathways.