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GlaxoSmithKline Launches Chinese Research Center wtih Appointment of Head in Shanghai

Type:Press          Date:2007-05-24 10:53

Jingwu Zang To Lead Work On Neurogenerative Diseases

 

LONDON, 24 May 2007 -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announces the appointment of Jingwu Zang to head a new GSK research and development center in Shanghai, China. His appointment, as Senior Vice President, will be effective in June.

 

GSK R&D China will focus on research into neurodegeneration with the objective of creating new medicines for such severe disorders as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The center will eventually direct the global discovery and development activities within its therapeutic area, from drug-target identification to late-stage clinical studies, while collaborating with research institutions elsewhere in China and other countries.

 

Dr. Zang, a neurologist and researcher in immunological and neurodegenerative disorders, will lead the scientific activities of the center and the hiring of staff, which will begin immediately. It is anticipated that over the next decade GSK R&D China will grow to become one of the larger R&D facilities within GSK. Dr. Zang will report directly to Moncef Slaoui, Chairman, GSK R&D.

 

Dr. Slaoui commented: “We are entering an exciting period of expansion for our R&D organization as it builds on the strength of the superb science now being conducted in China. We intend to be part of a future in which the phrase 'discovered in China’ is heard as often as 'made in China’ is heard today.

 

“Our initiative in China reflects our commitment to ally GSK with talented researchers wherever we can find them and to further encourage within R&D the contest of ideas needed to create new medicines. It shows as well our commitment to the neurosciences, where many of the greatest challenges in drug discovery and development are to be found. Indeed, as we create a center in China to focus on neurodegenerative disorders, we will re-focus our largely UK-based neurology drug-discovery efforts on finding new therapies for pain, epilepsy, and brain injury.”

 

Until his appointment at GSK, Dr. Zang served most recently as the founding director and a professor at the Institute of Health Sciences in Shanghai. The Institute is an affiliate of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Under Dr. Zang’s direction, the Institute grew to comprise a staff of 150 and a cadre of graduate students numbering about 250 while broadening its mission to bridge the basic sciences and translational medicine. 

 

Dr. Zang also served as research director of the Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Houston, Texas, where he concentrated on clinical research in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology.

 

Dr. Zang earned an M.D. degree at the Shanghai Second Medical University (now Shanghai Jiao Tong) and a Ph.D. degree in immunology at the University of Brussels, where he started his research into multiple sclerosis. He went on to complete postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and a clinical residency at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Zang  has been  Professor of Neurology at Baylor and held positions at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai Jiao Tong. He is licensed in both Texas and Shanghai and has more than 20 years of experience in translational research. He is an author on more than 100 scientific papers, review articles, and book chapters.

 

“Dr. Zang brings to his role at GSK both an understanding of the biomedical research community in China and international experience as a scientist and clinician,” said Dr. Slaoui. “He has, moreover, demonstrated his capacity to assemble the talent required to make a success of a new R&D initiative.”

 

GlaxoSmithKline in China

The heritage of GlaxoSmithKline in China dates from 1908. GSK has its Chinese headquarters in Shanghai and major offices in Beijing, Tianjin, and Hong Kong. The company employs more than 2,200 people in China, and pursues all its businesses there: prescription medicines, vaccines, and over-the-counter medicines. It has manufacturing plants in Shanghai, Tianjin and Suzhou.

 

GSK also has a growing R&D presence in China. For the past decade, GSK has collaborated in discovery with the combinatorial Chemistry Laboratory at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, the drug research institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In development, GSK started 17 clinical studies in China during 2006 and plans an additional 18 in 2007.

 

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit www.gsk.com.