31 July 2020 – LifeArc, the independent medical research charity specialising in translation, has appointed Dr Ian Campbell to the position of Chief Business Officer (CBO). He will join the organisation in the fourth quarter of 2020. In this newly created role, Ian will take on responsibility for LifeArc’s business development and partnerships – a key component in the charity’s purpose of accelerating the translation of life sciences innovation into benefits for patients.
As an organisation, LifeArc has been through significant change, boosted last year by the receipt of nearly £1billion for monetising a portion of its royalty rights in the breakthrough oncology medicine Keytruda™. Since that time, the charity, which focuses on medical translation and technology transfer, has been reviewing how it can most effectively deploy its new capital to increase the impact that it delivers.
Commenting on the appointment, LifeArc CEO Dr Melanie Lee said: “We are delighted to welcome Ian to LifeArc’s executive team. His knowledge and experience of the UK life sciences and diagnostics sectors and the supporting infrastructure required to enable research and innovation to thrive, will boost our ability to have an impact.”
LifeArc is unique in the UK sector. It specialises in the translation of innovation via its own lab-based therapeutics discovery and diagnostics development facilities. It also supports external translation by sharing advice and expertise and providing funding to third parties, including medical research charities, academics and early stage start-ups.
“I am excited to be taking up this role and to have the opportunity to build the innovative alliances that will help realise LifeArc’s ambition and build on its reputation as an integral part of the UK life sciences community. At this time in the UK, it is more important than ever that a charity like LifeArc can use its resources to advance the most promising medical innovation,” said Ian.
Ian joins LifeArc from Innovate UK where he has been interim executive chair and before that Director for Health and Life Sciences. Prior to Innovate, Ian was Chief Executive of Arquer Diagnostics, a company developing and commercialising immunoassay tests for cancers of the urogenital tract. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, Ian holds a PhD in Biochemistry.
Communications Manager, LifeArc
Notes to editors
LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines. Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. We are motivated by patient need and scientific opportunity. Two funds help us to invest in external projects for the benefit of patients: our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research and our Seed Fund is aimed at start-up companies focussed on developing new therapeutics and biological modalities.
About translational research
Translational research in medicine is to go from "bench-to-bedside". It covers the activities, expertise and processes required to turn lab-based research into new approaches that benefit human health and ideally provide economic returns. The aim is to develop new therapies, medical procedures, devices or diagnostics that can be used in humans.
The ability to translate UK R&D innovation into public and economic benefit for the UK was identified as a priority for the UK in the 2017 Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the Future.[i] There are a number of barriers to effective translation including a need for more access to skills and knowledge, funding needs, capacity of organisations to innovate and navigate through regulatory challenges.
[i] Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy: Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the Future, ( 2017) pp61-62.