LifeArc appoints first Chief Operating Officer

Richard Godfrey has joined LifeArc as its first Chief Operating Officer (COO). The new role will strengthen leadership at the charity as it evolves to deliver its new 2030 strategy, ‘Making life science life changing’.

Richard will play a key role in ensuring the organisation works effectively with others and takes a leading role in translating life sciences discoveries to proof of concept, and towards clinical development realising patient benefit.

“I am delighted to be joining LifeArc at such an important time, as it launches its new strategy,” says Richard. “Everything the charity does has the potential to help patients.

“LifeArc has a pivotal role to play – to translate promising discoveries into products and treatment concepts that could really be breakthroughs for patients,” he continues. “This is a magical and exciting stage in the medical development life cycle, where we’ve identified something novel that could potentially be life-changing, and we prove it.”

A wealth of experience

Richard brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from across industry, biotech and private equity to LifeArc. As a pharmacist with more than 30 years’ pharmaceutical industry experience, Richard has held several senior management positions across the UK, Norway and the USA, including leadership, business development, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital funding.

He was responsible for establishing many successful international collaborative research projects with academic and commercial partners including Merck, Jansen, MD Andersen, Universities in UK, EU and USA, and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), for projects spanning target discovery and validation, drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development, for therapeutics and diagnostics.

He started his career as a research scientist, assuming positions of increasing responsibility in clinical development, supply chain, marketing, sales and general management. Latterly he was a partner in a venture capital fund and led an oncology biotech from university spin out to phase III.

Working together to make things happen

“Richard has great experience to bring into LifeArc as we transform and launch our new strategy,” explains our CEO, Dr Melanie Lee. “He will help us as we begin our translational challenges and work more closely with the UK life science community to translate new science to benefit patients.”

“Having worked in large complex corporations and small start-up companies I understand the importance of collaboration,” explains Richard. “Collaborating, and managing collaborations, alliances and partnerships are really valuable skills for science everywhere and LifeArc is in a privileged position to make things happen with our partners.“I’m looking forward to working with the charity and our partners as we strive to make a difference for people with different health conditions.”

Richard has been appointed on an interim basis while the charity seeks to shape the senior leadership of the organisation. He will report into Melanie and will be responsible for the charity’s business development, opportunities assessment, project management and corporate affairs functions.

Richard will take over managing LifeArc’s business development team from Ian Campbell, who leaves LifeArc at the end of the year to pursue a career opportunity abroad.