GlaxoSmithKline’s head of R&D Patrick Vallance is reportedly leaving the firm to take on the role of chief scientific advisor at the government.

According to the Financial Times, which cited “two people briefed on the situation”, Vallance will also become head of the Government Office for Science, to boost the quality of scientific evidence and advice in government.

Vallance has not officially resigned and, as yet, there has been no comment from GSK on the rumours, so there is currently no indication of when the move would take place.

According to the FT, one source said while Vallance had interpreted the recent restructuring at the firm by new chief executive Emma Walmsley as “a criticism”, his departure was “solely because of the lure of the new job.”

Earlier this year Walmsley announced a new path ahead for the drugs giant, including a narrower research focus that will see the lion’s share of the budget streamed into respiratory and HIV/infectious diseases, and the rest to oncology and immuno-inflammation.

Vallance joined GSK in 2006 and took on the role of R&D president in January 2012.