GlaxoSmithKline has named Kevin Sim as senior vice president and head of worldwide business development for pharmaceuticals R&D.

He will join GSK in July from Genentech, where he is currently vice president and global head of Oncology Business Development, responsible for partnering, acquisition and licensing activities for novel oncology therapeutics.

Before joining Genentech in 2006, Sim was an attorney advising private and public life sciences companies on business development and strategic partnering transactions.

“The incredible pace of scientific and technical innovation that is happening around the world is significant and presents an abundance of opportunities to combine GSK’s strengths and capabilities with that of others to pursue big ideas in science and medicine,” said Sim.

“I look forward to working with the team to explore collaborations that can accelerate the discovery and development of new medicines with the potential to significantly improve human health.”


Meanwhile, the drug giant also said that data from the landmark IMPACT study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows significant benefits of Innoviva-partnered Trelegy Ellipta for patients with coronary obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The once-daily single inhaler triple therapy - which combines fluticasone furoate, umeclidinium and vilanterol (FF/UMEC/VI) in a single haler - was found to the superior to Relvar/Breo Ellipta (fluticasone furoate/vilanterol) and Anoro Ellipta (umeclidinium/vilanterol) across multiple endpoints including exacerbations, lung function and quality of life.

Results showed a statistically significant 34 percent reduction in COPD hospitalisations (severe exacerbations) for Trelegy compared to Anoro (0.13 vs. 0.19 per year) and a 13 percent reduction compared to Relvar/Breo, which was not statistically significant (0.13 vs. 0.15).

“As many patients experience frequent exacerbations or ‘flare ups’, which can often result in hospitalisation, these data will be highly relevant to patients and clinicians as they consider the optimal treatment,” noted Dr Fernando Martinez, chief, division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

A significant reduction in the risk of on-treatment all-cause mortality was also observed for both inhaled corticosteroid containing arms compared to Anoro, including 42.1 percent for Trelegy compared to Anoro (20 percent vs. 1.88 percent).

“To fully understand the implications of the all-cause mortality observation, off-treatment data also need to be considered. Work is ongoing to investigate this further and will be presented at future scientific meetings,” GSK noted.

Trelegy Ellipta was originally approved last year, in the US for the long-term, once-daily, maintenance treatment of COPD in patients who are on a fixed-dose combination of FF and VI for airflow obstruction, and reducing exacerbations in whom additional treatment of airflow obstruction is desired, or for patients who are already receiving umeclidinium and a fixed-dose combination of FF/VI.

In the EU, Trelegy Ellipta was cleared as a maintenance treatment in adult patients with moderate to severe COPD not adequately treated by a combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist.

Regulators are now considering whether to expand the therapy’s scope to include maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction and reduction of exacerbations in patients with COPD.