William Burns

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A message from the Chair, William Burns

The Pharma model is alive and well, however the hurdles to success are higher!

“Consider that todays research companies aim for ‘first in class or best in class’. To be first in class a company really must understand the biology in depth, be agnostic as to whether it takes a large or small molecule, or peptide or whatever to have an exquisite affinity for the target site and to then move swiftly to measure the medical benefit for the patient, such that society will reward it with a price that enables a return on the investment and risk taken by the shareholders.

This is not for the faint hearted, it requires a drive and energy, second to none.

The aim of establishing such clinical differentiation has to be the challenge in the R&D community, and once registered the commercial challenge is to establish the product as text book therapy and to become a leader in the disease segment you have defined.”

William Burns, Event Chair & Former Chief Executive Officer, Roche Pharmaceuticals

Bill for press work 001William (Bill) Burns has spent his entire career in the Pharmaceutical Industry, first with Beecham and then, since 1986 with Roche.

Bill retired from the position of CEO of the Pharma Division, after 9 years in that role, at the end of 2009 and joined the main Board for the next four years till 2014.

Today he is on the boards of 5 Life Science Companies. Shire and Mesoblast as Non Executive Director; Biotie and Masters as Chairman; and Vestergaard as Vice Chairman.

In addition he is a trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research in London and a Chair of a funding Panel on Health Innovation jointly funded by Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health (England). He also sits on several Advisory Boards including the Centre of Integrated Oncology of the Universities of Cologne and Bonn, and Chugai in Japan.”